A large inner-city commercial/residential development is proposed for a prominent site in a heritage conservation district in Ottawa designated under Part VI of the Ontario Heritage Act. MTBA prepared, in collaboration with ContentWorks, a Cultural Heritage Impact Statement (CHIS) that was a required element of the planning approvals for the City of Ottawa. The study reviewed the proposed development plans with respect to the Heritage Conservation District Plan Guidelines evaluating impact with respect to its heritage context.
This complex urban site with frontage on a primary arterial (at a highly visible point along Bank Street), a secondary arterial (Gladstone Avenue), and a residential street (McLeod Street), covers over a third of a large city block. The surrounding context includes a gas station, buildings in various states-of-repair and parking lots, which covered most of the existing site. The development included a total area of 2,320 square metres of site coverage with 2 to 9 stories over, in a “U” shaped footprint. Commercial uses are located on the ground floor fronting onto Bank Street while urban townhouses are located along MacLeod; The upper stories of the heritage building were reused to accommodate the condominium’s residential amenity space. The development also retained a rehabilitated “Metropolitan Bible Church” façade (c. 1934-36), which was located approximately centred within the block.
Existing guidelines including heritage guidelines and an Official Plan provided differing requirements with heights ranging from 3-6 storeys (depending on the document). These would become the focus of significant development, Central Phase 1 was the first of many condominiums along this stretch of Bank Street. Evaluating the potential impact on the heritage resources at this location therefore required the study of a broad matrix of issues and elements. MTBA worked with architectural historian Julie Harris as well as the development team for Urban Capital, Inc. (including FoTenn Consultants and CORE Architects) to prepare this report for the City of Ottawa.