Ottawa

'It's soooooo ugly': Public pans approval of Châ​​​​​​​teau Laurier expansion

The consensus is in: Ottawa does not like the planned expansion of the Châ​​​​​​​teau Laurier. As it goes ahead nonetheless, the public continues to take its shots at both public and private officials.

Ottawa city council gives 5th version the go-ahead despite continued public ire

Larco Investments has had its architects create five versions of an addition for the Châ​​​​​​​teau Laurier. And while the fifth may be several storeys shorter, with more limestone than the first version, people still aren't happy. (Larco Investments)

What a week it's been for the Château Laurier.

Architects have spent three years coming up with plans for an expansion to the iconic hotel in downtown Ottawa, and over the past 48 hours, the criticism has reached its absolute peak.

It all started back in the fall of 2016, however, when hotel owners Larco investments introduced their first plan from Toronto architect Peter Clewes.

The reaction was swift and harsh, which led to four more tries to appease the public. None of them were widely embraced.

This pretty much sums up the sentiment on social media this week.

Some have likened the expansion to an air conditioning unit, while others have called it "jail-like".

With criticism and ire quite potent, Ottawa city council took two days to review the fifth and final plan.

Ultimately, suburban councillors outnumbered the urban ones who wanted to halt it, giving the plan a thumbs-up in fear of overstepping on the ability for a private property owner to alter their own building.

The decision, which has now become national news, was met with its fair share of skeptics. Many targeted Mayor Jim Watson.

Even comedian Tom Green, an Ottawa native who attended council's final session on the hotel Thursday, shared his not-so-subtle opinion.

Now that city council has decided to let the expansion proceed, critics have shifted their focus to federal and provincial officials.

The Château Laurier was declared a national historic site in 1980, so Ottawa Centre MP Catherine McKenna will now be in the spotlight when it comes to the hotel expansion's next steps.

This story is far from over, so the CBC's Kate Porter mapped out what we should expect in the days and months to come.

You can leave your comments on the Château Laurier addition and city council's decision below, on Twitter by tweeting at CBC Ottawa, or by sharing your opinion on Facebook.

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