Sunday, November 29, 2009

Condo mania on OTrain corridor

The issue of Ottawa Business Journal (OBJ) out this past week has a major story on the development pressures along the Carling-Bayview OTrain corridor, parallel to Preston's trendy Little Italy.

They interviewed me (tiny bit, amongst more illustrious others) following my postings about developments at the Champagne/Hickory/Carling area. You can read their story at

Last week I attended the Civic Hospital Neighborhood Assoc meeting. First item was the new development by Domicile at the corner of Hickory and Champagne Avenue (shown below). The site is now a one storey industrial building, and is zoned for 4 storey redevelopment.

A month or so ago, I heard Domicile was planning an eight storey condo tower on the site, along with six townhouses facing Hickory. The plan unveiled at the CHNA meeting was for the same six townhouses, but now a 12 storey building. I wondered where the additional height came from: the developer or the city? The proposed tower is significantly higher than the Merion Square project (9 floors, two towers) immediately adjacent, on a much larger site.

I expected there to be a lot of comment on the height of the building, as it backs onto single houses. But there was nary a peep on the issue, despite the developers architect and planners continually opening the door to the issue. Instead, all the commentary was saved for Ron Jacks, the traffic consultant, who did a fine job of dealing with the questions. The 101 condos will generate one car per 12 minutes for rush hour along Sherwood Drive, which aggravated some attendees.

 The Domicile site needs rezoning before it can go ahead. Recall that 855 Carling is also up for upzoning; and I hear the former Acquerello site has been sold to Mastercraft-Starwood, currently selling condos on Parkdale north of Scott. Alas, at the rate things are going, all the sites and heights will be determined before the City's Community Development Plan is re-activated, and all local bargaining power lost. Also lost will be any chance of establishing view planes so each set of residents will have an unobstructed view of Dow's Lake.


  1. Really interstng - I wonder if there is any hope of the city putting a 1 year moratorium on developments to get a Community Plan in place. Particularly if they are needed to change multiple zonings - the developers (should) have to do something to earn the extra density. Parks? Pay for the LRT station

  2. Hmm... what did you think of the condos aesthetically? Density is good, and considering all the under-utlized space around it, it shouldn't block the sun for tooo many (existing) residents... But yeah, 12 stories seems high for the area.

    Did you head about the (re)proposal of a giant tower on Preston, near Carling?

  3. The 853 Carling office project was delayed until the CDP can be conducted, but no such suggestion was made for Domicile project.

    Planning could establish sight lines to everyone's benefit, make sure each property had direct access to the LRT line, and some sort of levy extorted from the developers for extra height could be used to cover over the Otrain track along the park at Beech St/Champagne, adding enough parkland maybe for a soccer field or two.
    -Eric Darwin

  4. Anon: tower on Preston... I havent heard much about that pencil thin tower proposed for the corner of Sydney/Preston. I was OK with the height and thinness, I hope it gets a really special exterior treatment to empahsize that. I hear it needs financing. I would like to see a statement condo at the south end of Preston as the bldg would be very marketable facing dows lake. The street needs some pizazz. I have mixed feelings about tall bldgs, sometimes I want only 5 floors, sometimes I like taller towers.