RioCan’s proposal for 36-storey towers at Westgate site heads to planning committee

Project is part of a series of redevelopments across RioCan's national retail portfolio
A redering of the proposed redevelopment of Westgate Shopping Centre.
A redering of the proposed redevelopment of Westgate Shopping Centre.

RioCan’s redevelopment of the Westgate Shopping Centre is poised to inch forward tomorrow as the next phase of the proposal is due to hit planning committee Tuesday morning.

Ottawa’s planning department is recommending that city councillors accept a proposal that would see five mixed-use towers replace the current 1309 Carling Ave. property.

Bylaw amendments are necessary to accommodate the proposed mixed-use development, which would see two 24-storey towers on Carling Avenue and another 24-storey building next to two 36-storey towers towards the rear of the property, bordered by Highway 417.

The towers would feature a mix of uses, with retail space on the lower floors and rental properties above. In total, the site would feature 1,146 residential units and about 8,000 square metres of commercial space. The final product would see the 9.1-acre property split with internal roads and an open privately owned public space to encourage pedestrian activity.

The development, if approved by planning committee and then by council in April, would happen in three phases. The demolition of the current structure and construction of the first two towers would take place over the first two phases in the next 10 years, with the construction of the remaining towers in phase three likely commencing over the following 10 years.

Public consultations held in November and December of 2015 raised concerns about closing the Highway 417 ramp during construction and about parking availability. The proposal provides for 1,133 parking spaces; the original development plan puts the maximum number of spaces at 1,566 and the minimum at 841. The planning department believes the amount proposed neither under- nor over-provides parking spots.

The Westgate overhaul is part of a series of redevelopments across RioCan's Canadian portfolio, including Ottawa’s Gloucester Centre and Elmvale Acres.