EllisDon to begin construction on $183M West Memorial Building reno next month

The West Memorial Building as seen from Bay Street. Photo via Public Services and Procurement Canada

A major facelift of a long-vacant federal government building is set to begin next month as contractors ready a temporary home for the Supreme Court of Canada.

Public Services and Procurement Canada tapped EllisDon in 2018 to carry out renovations to Ottawa’s West Memorial Building, located at 334 Wellington St., between Bay and Lyon streets. The federal government workplace, constructed in the mid-1950s as part of tributes to Canada’s Second World War veterans, has sat in disrepair since 2008.

Rehabilitation work will include maintenance on the historic building’s walls, floors and heritage elements, as well as its mechanical and IT systems.

PSPC told OBJ in an email this past week that work on the West Memorial Building is slated to begin in August. When construction is complete, the roughly 215,000 square feet of usable space in the historic structure will act as a temporary home to the Supreme Court of Canada during renovations to the judiciary’s own building at 301 Wellington St.

When work is finished on the Supreme Court of Canada Building, space in the West Memorial Building could be used to consolidate other federal government operations and reduce the need for office leases elsewhere in the city, according to a PSPC website.

EllisDon’s initial contract for pre-construction work, awarded last October, was pegged at $660,000 with later amendments tacking on an additional $495,000. PSPC told OBJ that the contractor’s total bid came in at a value of $183.3 million.

The full budget for the West Memorial Building’s rehabilitation is being looped in with the Supreme Court’s renovations, which PSPC says will total more than $1 billion. Design work on the Supreme Court project is expected to begin next year with a construction management contract planned to go up for tender in 2023. Work should be complete on these renovations by 2028.