291 Carling Avenue – watch this space!

Carling-Photo-1-Landscape

A wide-angle view of the site from the southeast corner. The federal Natural Resources Canada buildings are in the background. Photo: David Perkins

Concepts credited to: Canada Lands Company,
the Algonquins of Ontario 
and MCROBIE Architects
and Interior Designers Inc.

Carling-info-sessions-option-1

Preliminary design concept #1 for development of 291 Carling Avenue

by Sue Stefko

Carling-info-sessions-concept-2

Preliminary design concept #2 for development of 291 Carling Avenue

Carling-info-sessions-concept-3

Preliminary design concept #3 for development of 291 Carling Avenue

Carling-south-edge

The site viewed from Carling Avenue – the Dow’s Lake Towers on Bell Street South are in the background. Photo: David Perkins

Canada Lands Company (CLC) and the Algonquins of Ontario (AOO) held a series of public open house drop-in sessions in July showcasing three preliminary development concepts for the site at 291 Carling Avenue. The property consists of a parcel of approximately 3.4 acres of vacant land on Carling Avenue bordered by Bell Street South to the east and Lebreton Street South to the west. The area is currently used as a parking lot for approximately 300 vehicles for nearby federal office buildings. CLC acquired the site in February 2017 and will be developing it as part of a joint venture with the AOO.

The drop-in sessions gathered input and feedback from the community and stakeholders about the three preliminary development concepts. Each plan outlined various land-use options and features:

Development Concept #1 – This option proposes to retain the striking sheer rock wall as a feature on the southeast side of the lot (along Bell Street South). A landscaped area would surround the rock wall, which includes the small triangular outcropping of vacant land on the top of the site on Bell Street South. This concept proposes development that is concentrated on the southern portion of the site, away from existing homes on Henry Street and Lebreton Street South.

While the concept shows a podium and a residential building of up to 30 storeys, this could potentially include more than one building, which is true of all options. Regardless of the built form, the building(s) on the site will not have a height of more than what is shown.

This option is unique in that open space is proposed for the northern portion of the site, to be defined for future parking needs, which could include surface parking, a parking garage, etc.

Development Concept #2 – This option also proposes to retain the natural rock feature and would integrate a landscaped area. The residential building(s) at the southern portion would still be up to a maximum of 30 storeys, but the land use area would be smaller. The building(s) would also be situated closer to Carling Avenue, with a larger setback from Lebreton Street South.

The northern portion of the site would include residential building(s) to a maximum height of six to 10 storeys with associated underground parking. It has yet to be determined what types of residential units (condo, apartment, townhouse) would be developed.

Development Concept #3 – This concept proposes a larger landscaped area than the other two options. The building(s) at the southern portion of the site could be up to 24 storeys, with the setback at Carling and Lebreton Street South the smallest of all the options.

The maximum height of the residential building(s) within the northern portion of the site is proposed to be 10 to 18 storeys. One unique feature of this concept is that the entire site could be serviced by one underground parking lot.

There are a number of commonalities amongst the concepts. Each proposes pedestrian connections from Carling Avenue and Bell Street South to Lebreton Street South, with a common open shared area in the centre of the site to enable pedestrian connections and to allow for views across the site. Each envisages vehicular access from Lebreton Street South. Finally, in all options, the podium(s) could be used for a mix of retail, office and commercial purposes, and would be serviced by underground parking.

CLC and the AOO want to ensure that the community continues to have an opportunity to provide their input through an online survey. For more information on each of the preliminary development concept plans, visit www.291ruecarlingave.ca and fill out the survey posted online. Comments will be accepted until September 15.

CLC and the AOO, together with their planning and architecture consultants, will further refine the plans based on feedback received and will present a preferred concept to the public in late fall. As the site is a virtual carte blanche, with no heritage designation or other buildings to work around, CLC and the AOO plan to submit zoning amendment applications to the city early in 2019. Upon CLC’s submission of zoning applications for the site, CLC will develop architectural design guidelines that developers would adhere to when they submit a site plan application with the City of Ottawa.

There are a number of steps that need to be completed before construction can commence, including the aforementioned zoning amendment approval, remediation, marketing to developers, and applications from the developer(s). It is hoped that construction could begin in the early- to mid-2020s.

(Now that we have looked to the future of this site, stay tuned in future issues of the Glebe Report for a piece on its past…)

Sue Stefko is president of the Glebe Annex Community Association.

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