The next ‘big thing’ in Glebe Annex – 275 Carling

The site at 275 Carling is slated for construction of a 16-storey multi-use retirement residence.

Building rendering by Fotenn Planning and Design.  
Photo: Krikor Aghajanian

It was in fact the spectre of this development that spurred residents in the Glebe Annex, led by Sylvia Milne from the Lakelander Condominium, to band together, increasing our voice and impact and creating the Glebe Annex Community Association (GACA) in February 2013.

By Sue Stefko

Nearly a decade after a project at 275 Carling Avenue was first proposed, construction is expected to begin in the coming weeks. The initial project was proposed in 2012 by the Taggart Group as part of its 265 Carling Avenue property. It was the first of the large parking lots in the Glebe Annex to be considered for development but far from the last.

Initially, Taggart floated the idea of a 24-storey condominium building, then 20, before its actual proposal came in at 18 storeys. Considering that the existing zoning for the site (which was split) was four and nine storeys, the neighbourhood was taken aback by the proposal. It was in fact the spectre of this development that spurred residents in the Glebe Annex, led by Sylvia Milne from the Lakelander Condominium, to band together, increasing our voice and impact and creating the Glebe Annex Community Association (GACA) in February 2013.

Since then, a number of changes have occurred. The site was rezoned in early 2017 to 18 storeys. Later that year, GACA took the City of Ottawa and the Taggart Group to the Ontario Municipal Board (now the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal) to challenge the zoning. This resulted in an agreement between GACA and the Taggart Group to decrease the height to 16 storeys and provide larger building setbacks, plant more trees and push most vehicular access to Bronson, moving pedestrian access to Cambridge South. In 2018, the lot was severed, creating its current address of 275 Carling; in 2019, the Katasa Group purchased the lot from Taggart.

Last fall, Katasa received site plan approval to build a 16-storey, 168-unit retirement residence on the site. Unlike a long-term care home or nursing home, which provide 24-hour nursing and personal care, this will be a retirement residence. The project will provide independent supported living, which means that residents will have some supports in place for things like personal hygiene or meal preparation but will be able to live independently.

There will be a variety of units from studio to two-bedroom, with many units having their own balconies. The ground floor will include services such as a pharmacy and a hair and nail salon, which will be available to the general public too, as well as a doctor’s and nurse’s office, kitchen and dining room. The next two floors, which are also located in the building podium, will have mostly studio and some one-bedroom units. The floors include a nursing station, communal dining area (some of these units aren’t equipped with full kitchens) as well as a bathing area in addition to the in-unit private bathrooms. The fourth floor is where the majority of the building amenities will be. These include a pool, gym, yoga studio, theatre, chapel, party room, café and an outdoor terrace. The tower contains traditional apartment-style units. A mix of one and two bedrooms, they include full kitchens and private balconies, though some units on the 16th floor will not have balconies.

While most of the existing trees on the site will be removed, including a large number of maples along Clemow, native plants, such as ironwood, hackberry, honey locust and service berry, will be included in the plan where possible.

Primary vehicular access will remain on Bronson, including for service, loading and delivery vehicles. Secondary vehicular access will be on Clemow, and the main pedestrian access will be on Cambridge South. The building will include five levels of underground parking to accommodate 181 vehicles and 49 bikes. The underground lot will connect to the neighbouring property at 265 Carling to allow for vehicular access from Bronson.

The construction itself is expected to last for 32 months – more than two and a half years. The first phase will take approximately six months and will include remediation as well as excavation for the underground parking. This will commence with the demolition of the existing undergound garage on the 265 Carling site and will likely involve blasting operations. Another six months will be required to finish the underground parking structure before the rest of the build begins.

Change is definitely afoot in the Glebe Annex.

Sue Stefko is president of the Glebe Annex Community Association.

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