Feds present plans to overhaul Place du Portage III, expand capacity

Place du Portage III
The Place du Portage III office complex in Gatineau. (Photo by Óðinn / Wikimedia)

The federal government plans to significantly increase the number of civil servants working in a Gatineau office complex following a major rehabilitation of the aging building in the coming years, according to a National Capital Commission report.

Public Services and Procurement Canada wants to increase the density of Place du Portage III by 40 per cent so that it can accommodate 6,800 full-time employees, up from 4,773.

The structure has nearly 1.15 million square feet of office space, with another 462,000 square feet of parking and storage area, according to the building’s website.

The nine-tower complex, located just off the Portage Bridge, was built in the mid-1970s and currently acts as “a barrier between the riverfront and the downtown core of Gatineau,” the NCC says.

The planned rehabilitation would improve access to the building via Laurier Street, redesign landscaping elements and increase accessibility. The project would also include new exterior concrete cladding.

Place du Portage III
The proposed building envelope design of Place du Portage III.

Officials said construction is expected to start in 2021.

NCC board members were scheduled to receive a presentation of the Place du Portage plans on Thursday, according to a meeting agenda. While NCC board meetings are normally open to the public and streamed online, the April meeting was held via a closed videoconference due to COVID-19.