Ottawa

Vittoria Trattoria's reconstruction taking shape

Ten months after fire severely damaged a restaurant and other shops in the heart of Ottawa's historic ByWard Market, the public is getting a first glimpse of the buildings being proposed to take their place.

ByWard market eatery, neighbouring building heavily damaged by fire in April

The two properties on William Street will still 'evoke the character of the traditional storefronts' of the ByWard Market's heritage district, according to a city report. (KWC Architects)

Ten months after fire severely damaged a restaurant and other shops in the heart of Ottawa's historic ByWard Market, the public is getting a first glimpse of the buildings being proposed to take their place.

On Tuesday, Ottawa's built heritage subcommittee discussed architectural plans submitted by the owners of Vittoria Trattoria at 35 and 37 William St., and its next-door neighbour at No. 41.

Fire destroyed the two properties in April 2019 while the restaurant was undergoing roof repairs.

"It's been an emotional roller-coaster," said Vittoria Trattoria's co-owner, Domenic Santaguida.

Domenic Santaguida, co-owner of Vittoria Trattoria, says he’s hopeful he’ll be able to reopen the restaurant in 2021 after a fire devastated the building in April 2019. 0:47

William Street, lined with two-storey, flat-roofed commercial buildings, has been a busy commercial row since the mid-1800s. City staff have been working with property owners since the fire to shore up façades or make plans to reconstruct them in a way that will still "evoke the character of the traditional storefronts" of the heritage district.

The owners of Vittoria Trattoria want to build a four-storey addition of residential apartments behind the restaurant, at 62 York St.

The buildings sit across a narrow street from the ByWard Market Building. (City of Ottawa)

The subcommittee approved their applications and heritage permits, and has sent them on to planning committee and city council for further approval later this month.

"We're pleased. It's one check mark out of about 20 before we're able to put the shovel in the ground," Santaguida said.

He said his main focus is reopening the restaurant, but doesn't see that happening until Spring 2021.

Domenic Santaguida, co-owner and president of Vittoria Trattoria, called the past 10 months 'an emotional roller-coaster.' (Kate Porter/CBC)

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