Iraq to rebuild embassy

The Iraqi embassy across from the Museum of Nature is poised to be completely redeveloped, according to city documents.

A zoning amendment proposal is calling for the demolition of the existing embassy on McLeod Street, just east of Metcalfe Street, and replacing it with a new four-storey building.

The property, located at 215 McLeod St., would have one level of below-ground parking with the remaining three floors to be used as offices.

The current two-storey concrete structure was built in 1957 and has fallen into disrepair over the years, according to a planning rationale prepared by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountant’s Urban Planning and Sustainable Development office in Ottawa. It was left vacant for a period during 2003 and 2004 after the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime.

With a larger and more modern embassy, the Government of Iraq seeks to improve its diplomatic ties and intergovernmental services within Canada, the report reads.

The proposed building will be approximately 2,619 square feet, large enough to accommodate 30 employees. It will incorporate historical Iraqi architectural elements and ornamentation, with a pyramid-style structure. Many angled edges give it a complex, geometric feel. 

All existing landscape features including trees and shrubs would be removed in order to accommodate the new building and parking garage access ramp.

The bylaw amendment proposal seeks various changes including an increase to the maximum building height from 18 metres to 19.5 metres.

Plans include room for the storage of 11 bicycles and 25 underground parking spaces, 15 of which would be used for a valet service.

A decision will be made by the city’s planning and growth management department by Dec. 27 after public consultation, and will be presented to the city’s planning committee by Jan. 8, 2013.