Proposal calls for restaurant, food store in former Vanier church

Ottawa city councillors will consider a proposal by Linebox Studios Inc. to turn the former St. Charles church into a restaurant and retail food store, surrounded on three sides by 55 housing units.

Church housed the Order of Jacques Cartier, a French-speaking 'secret-society'

A rendering of Linebox Studio's proposal for the former St. Charles Church, as seen from Beechwood Avenue and St. Charles Street. (City of Ottawa)


  • On Nov. 8, Planning Committee approved ModBox's application.

A proposal to put a restaurant and food store within the former St. Charles church in Vanier, and surround the heritage building with housing units, will go before Ottawa's planning committee on November 8.

The Archdiocese made $4 million when it sold the building to Linebox Studio Inc. in 2013.

Now, the architecture firm Linebox Studio Inc., along with property developer ModBox, is seeking a zoning change to turn the nearly century old church building and its lot into a mixed-use development on Beechwood Avenue.

The church once housed the Order of Jacques Cartier, a French-speaking secret-society.

Now, the developer proposes that residents in the Vanier and New Edinburgh areas will shop there for food or dine in a new restaurant.

The church has heritage designation, so the plan is to restore it and keep the church and its belfry as the focal points on the site. The rectory behind will be torn down.

The proposal also calls for a c-shaped, eight-storey addition with 55 residential units, including townhouses at ground level and apartment-style units on upper floors. The residents would use an automated parking system that stacks vehicles.

Future plans also include a farmers' market, coffee shop, outdoor patios and open public space.

"We are happy to see the protection of the church and new activation for the main street," said Coun. Mathieu Fleury in comments submitted for the staff report.

Seventy people attended a public meeting about the proposal back in May, and Fleury noted that concerns remain about the eight-storey mass of buildings that would be built across from two-storey homes on Barrette Street.