Lowering Lorne

Stand on the Mackenzie King Bridge, just outside the Rideau Centre, facing west, and one stares directly at what’s supposed to become a $487-million “jewel.”

Not long before Canada Day, a large green fabric was draped over the old eight-storey Lorne Building, masking the rapid demolition of the 40-year-old structure.

As the bricks came down, asbestos had to be carefully extracted and rubble hauled away, requiring the labour of dozens of local contractors.

OBJ360 (Sponsored)

Millions of dollars are being poured into the 1.51-acre site for services such as architectural drawings, wind studies and demolition.

The biggest payments, however, are headed to Great-West Life, which will receive $19.5 million in annual lease payments from the federal government for 25 years, after which the property will revert back to the Crown.

GWL and Ottawa-based developer and landlord Arnon Corp. are working together on the building, kitty-corner to the National Arts Centre.

“It’s a very important project, particularly in the government market,” said Paul Finkbeiner, president of GWL Realty Advisors. “There’s a little more scrutiny put on you, a little more pressure.”

GWL’s development in the 1990s of 269 Laurier Ave. W., where BMO Financial Group is located, benefitted the firm in the qualifications stage, he said.

He noted the process of getting the 90 Elgin St. contract was a long one, particularly since there is the usual government requirement to do a request for information and other steps before the tender is put out.

“Because we know the market, we have people on the ground … we were partly chosen because we’ve been in the market a long time. We have people (in Ottawa), we have an office there, we build buildings, and people have respect for us.”



Prime consultant:

Dialog McRobie Architects Inc.

General contractor:

Arnon Corp./Ron Engineering



GWL Realty Advisors



• Adjeleian Allen Rubeli Ltd. (structural)

• Delcan (traffic brief)

• ECOH Management Inc. (environmental assessment)

• Goodkey Weedmark & Associates (mechanical and electrical)

• Gradient Microclimate Engineering Inc. (pedestrian wind study, traffic noise)

• James B. Lennox and Associates Inc. (landscaping)

• Meloshe and Associates Ltd. (easements and setbacks)

• Morrison Hershfield (LEED, commissioning authority)

• Paterson Group Inc. (geotechnical)

• Rooney Irving and Associates Ltd. (elevators)

• R.V. Anderson Associates Ltd. (civil)


Trade contractors:

• AGF – Raymond (rebar)

• Bellai Brothers Construction Ltd. (formwork)

• Betron Electric Ltd. (electrical)

• Dilfo Mechanical Ltd. (mechanical)

• Dufresne Piling Co. (siteworks)

• Lafarge (concrete)

• Latcon Ltd. Demolition Experts (demolition)

• Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope (curtainwall)

• ThyssenKrupp AG (elevators)

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