Ottawa

Aquarium could one day make a splash beside new library

Book lovers could one day find themselves reading with the fishes after the city's planning committee allowed for an aquarium next to the future central library.

Committee OKs zoning for new library and adjacent lands

The National Capital Commission asked city council to allow an aquarium next to the location for the new central library. (Maui Ocean Centre)

Book lovers could one day find themselves reading with the fishes after the city's planning committee allowed for an aquarium next to the future central library.

The National Capital Commission asked councillors to consider rezoning its land at 584 and 587 Wellington Street to allow an aquarium.

According to city staff, the likelihood of anyone actually building an aquatic museum at the site wasn't discussed much beyond that.

But the idea to attract tourists works well with the city's plan for the area, committee heard.

The site is directly next to the site of the future $174.8 million central library near LeBreton, which was approved today.

The committee voted to allow major increases to the maximum building heights at the library site and surrounding lands.

If committee's decision is upheld, the library would be allowed to be as tall as 12 storeys. The building heights for the neighbouring land was originally capped at eight storeys, but may now be as tall as 25 storeys.

The idea is to encourage lots of mixed uses in the area, including residential and commercial units - and maybe a few fish tanks. No specific applications have been brought forward.

City council still needs to give final approval for the changes. 

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