Claridge today unveiled proposals for a very tall condo at the corner of Preston and Carling, facing Commissioner’s Park and Dow’s Lake. This would be the tallest building in Ottawa, taller than Place de Ville Tower C (Transport Canada), and taller than the Metropole condo in Westboro.
The 45 storey building is designed by David Pontarini, a prominent high-rise designer based in Toronto. Here is a view from Dow’s Lake:
The podium levels would possibly contain office uses, which is good mixed-use for a building. There are no details yet as to the amount and location of parking. Just a bit visible to the left of the tower (in the picture above) is the outline of the Soho Italia tower, currently proposed for 30 stories, by Starwood Mastercraft. Their building just lost value as the Claridge building trumps their view.
In the sketch below, the view is from somewhere in the midst of the NRCan office sites in the northeast, so we are looking to the south west. This time, the Claridge building is to the left, the Soho Italia is to the right, with Preston running between the two:
Squint carefully and you can just make out the bell tower of the little German red brick church at the base of the tower. The first house at the base of the Soho ghosted-in building is the Topkapi restaurant. The artist has kindly envisioned a new high rise for the Dow Motors site (beyond the Soho building) but I don’t know why it wouldn’t be at least as tall, given its front row location and much bigger lot plus it’s right on top of the OTrain Carling Station.
CTV did a news report on the project, at this link is the text as well as the video of the site:http://www.ottawa.ca/cs/groups/content/@webottawa/documents/pdf/mdaw/mdkw/~edisp/cap092001.pdf.
I must confess to some puzzlement at the Preston BIA position that this building doesn’t cast a residential shadow whereas the Soho Italia one does. Why the focus on residential? Maybe it depends on who’s house is being shadowed. Obviously they both throw shadows, one down each side of the street, which will definitely darken the first blocks of Preston. It will be interesting to see a shadow study with these two towers in place, and maybe the Dow Motors one too. Note that all these high rises contradict the Preston neighborhood plan which called for Preston to be a traditional low rise mixed use main street, with high rises set back from the low rise street.
Of course, these two towers will change the look and feel of the existing neighborhood in the area. That’s exactly what intensification and high rises do. The current Bayview-Carling CDP plan, in progress ever so slowly and seemingly designed to report only once all the available lots have been bought up and rezoned, does call for a lot of redevelopment along Carling from LeBreton to Sherwood on the north side of Carling; and on the south side of Carling too from Preston to Sherwood (which many people erroneously think is parkland when it has been zoned for intensive mixed-use development for many years).
From my perspective in the Dalhousie neighborhood, I’d like to see some delay in this land rush, and maybe the guiding hand of a full-time planner working right now. The City has been unwilling to devote the staff time to plan this area in a timely manner, maybe we should import George Dark to give us a more detailed plan for the Gladstone – Preston – Carling – LeBreton street rectangle. This could include the OTrain station itself, and a proper redesign for Carling Avenue that doesn’t rip out the green median as do current city traffic plans.
This area has such potential, can we do it right?