Larco’s updated Château Laurier design wins support from mayor, Heritage Ottawa

Chateau Laurier

The owner of Ottawa’s Château Laurier appears to have reached a compromise with one of its leading critics in a long-running effort to expand the city’s most iconic hotel.

Heritage Ottawa said Thursday that it reached an agreement with Château Laurier owner Larco Investments based on “a dramatically altered design of the addition that will see an end to the widely vilified horizontal bar-shaped structure that blocked the rear view of the historic hotel.”

The organization called the new two-pavilion design “more compatible with the irregular silhouette of the original hotel” and creates more favourable views of the property from Major’s Hill Park.

Chateau Laurier

Larco Investments first publicly shared its controversial expansion plans – which include extended-stay suites – in 2016. Planners representing the real estate firm have said the extension is necessary for the hotel to continue competing in Ottawa’s hospitality market.

Larco saw its previous plan for a seven-storey, 147-unit addition passed by the city’s planning committee in 2019, only to have the city’s committee of adjustment deny it approval for a minor variance – one of the final steps needed before obtaining a building permit.

On Twitter, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said the updated design “meets Council’s key conditions for improvement.”

The revised design will require approval from the city and the province’s Local Planning Appeals Tribunal, according to Heritage Ottawa.