Heritage Ottawa issues 'call to action' against Château Laurier expansion

Heritage Ottawa says the new proposed design for the Château Laurier's addition simply isn't good enough and they want the whole country to tell city council.

Group says new designs still not good enough.

A rendering of the proposed Chateau Laurier addition, viewed from the Rideau Canal, Heritage Ottawa is encouraging city council to reject this proposed design. (Larco Investments)

An Ottawa heritage advocacy group wants the entire country to tell Ottawa city council that the new proposed design for the Château Laurier's addition simply isn't good enough.

Heritage Ottawa put out a "call to action" Tuesday asking all Canadians to tell Ottawa city councillors to reject the proposed design for the expansion of the hotel.

"We can do better. The architects can do better and that's what we want to see," said the group's co-chair Leslie Maitland.

The new courtyard will be created between the original building and the addition. (Larco Investments)

The developer behind the project submitted new designs last month for the addition, which will allow for 171 more rooms. In contrast to the existing stone building, the proposed addition is made up largely of steel and glass.

Maitland said the addition can be modern in design, but should blend in better to the hotel and other important buildings nearby.

"What we are looking for is a building that complements the context, that complements the national historic site and makes us all proud."

She said the hotel should absolutely expand, but in a way that respects the heritage property. 

"There has been no objection to their putting an addition on, we are all for that. We just want it to be a better addition."

A view of the proposed design from Majors Hill Park. (Larco Investments)

She points out that when viewed from Quebec, the hotel sits between the National Gallery of Canada and Parliament Hill so it should fit into that iconic landscape.

"Whatever addition they put there is going to be there for 30, 50 or 60 years. That is a long time to put up with something that doesn't work."

The city is accepting public comments on the issue until Friday. City councillors will vote on the project in May.