Cadillac Fairview floats plan for 21-storey highrise at Rideau Centre

Rideau Centre apartments

The owner of the Rideau Centre wants to add a residential component to the downtown mall in a plan that would see a heritage building integrated into a new mixed-use highrise with nearly 300 rental units.

Cadillac Fairview recently filed an application to build a 21-storey tower at 70 Nicholas St. on the southwest corner of the shopping centre near the Mackenzie King Bridge. 

Designed by Toronto-based Zeidler and Montreal’s Neuf architects, the proposed highrise would include 280 apartment suites in a mix of one- and two-bedroom units as well as about 2,500 square feet of ground-floor retail space. An enclosed pedestrian walkway would connect the building to the Rideau Centre.

The site is currently occupied by the City Registry Office, a provincially designated heritage building. Cadillac Fairview says it plans to restore the structure, which was built in 1874, and relocate it farther north on the property, where it would be integrated into the retail component as a “focal point for a new plaza” along Nicholas Street.

The proposal calls for 102 parking spaces in a two-level underground garage accessed from a new ramp via Nicholas Street at the south end of the property. Cadillac Fairview says the lot will be “intentionally separate” from the Rideau Centre’s main parking garage and will be accessible only to residents of the building.

Heritage permit required

The plan also features amenities such as a gym, theatre, playrooms and lounges and well as a rooftop pool.

Cadillac Fairview would require a special heritage permit to relocate the City Registry Office. The company is also seeking an exemption from zoning rules that require a minimum of 27 visitor parking spaces as well as relief from a bylaw that mandates at least 50 per cent of ground-floor space must be dedicated to “active uses.”

Cadillac Fairview joins a growing number of retail landlords that are seeking ways to generate new revenue from their properties amid a widespread shift to online shopping. 

RioCan, for example, is redeveloping various local malls, including Elmdale Acres, Gloucester Centre, Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre and Westgate Shopping Centre, into mixed-use projects.