Condomania on Carling: Domicile joins in

Domicile has a proposal winding its way through the bureaucratic maze at City Hall. It’s for a 18 storey condo building on Rochester Street, between the Queensway and Carling Avenue, near Dow’s Lake.

Here’s what the street looks like now:

Domicile owns the lot running from Pamilla Street and Rochester (the intersection in the foreground) all along Rochester to the red brick wall of a 3 1/2 storey low rise.  Domicile already has permission to demolish the elderly house in the middle .

Here’s an aerial view of the lot set within the south Dalhousie neighborhood:

The Queensway runs east-west across the top of the picture, and Carling Avenue across the bottom. The big black office tower is the Feds, the Logan building housing NRCan. Preston Square, the popular mixed-use development on Preston, is shown at the top centre-left. Domicile’s lot is just to the left of the Logan black tower, outlined in red. We can zoom in to see it up closer:

Notice the long, low building running parallel to the left side of Domicile’s lot. This is Barry Hobin’s office building, running all the way through from Pamilla to Norman Street. It was so prescient of him to buy a few years ago before the land rush.

The lot is currently zoned for 14.5m, or 5 stories. But that isn’t a hindrance.  Domicile is proposing a 18 storey building. It would have 132 condos, 3 “townhouses” facing Pamilla, 113 parking spaces for residents, and another 25 for guests. There would be 1453 sq ft of commercial space facing Rochester, enough for one large or two small storefronts.

Here are two street level views of the proposed tower. It is a big change from Domicile’s usual buildings, which are dominated by brick exterior walls punctuated with individual windows. This appears to be an “all glass” tower. Hobin is the architect. Ottawa Hydro contributes those third-world-ish wooden poles holding up electrical wires. They add character to the ‘hood.


The building is quite severely stepped back in a saw-tooth pattern from the southeast corner to the southwest corner. This exterior pattern is more expensive to build than a square building.  I’ve been trying to figure out if this is done to maximize views, but I do notice it lets lots of light onto the lot next door. Which is owned by Domicile’s architect, Barry Hobin. If and when Hobin retires, and develops his lot into another 18 storey tower, it will offer him significant benefit, opening up vistas and letting light in. If I were building on Domicile’s lot, I would give long thought to potential conflict of interest in letting the guy next door design my building, but then I’m probably too cynical and paranoid to boot.

Here’s the street view from Pamilla Street. In the left pic, that Volkswagen is parked in front of Hobin’s building site, with Domicile’s stepped back façade behind. I notice the Domicile building has a projecting flat roof on the top floor, something Hobin also put on the midrise recently constructed by Thiberge on Richmond Road a few doors east of Island Park. *


Here are some aerial and perspective views from different angles. The first is a flat elevation:

Rather more interesting is this one, that adds in several approved or proposed buildings:

Starting from the OTrain on the left in the above pic, notice the diagonal placement of the Arnon towers (positioned that way until the City decides it doesn’t need his front corner for the OTrain or LRT). The artist shows great restraint in putting only two towers on the Dow Motors lot, since there is room (going along the tracks) for at least four. Claridge’s 42-storey Icon tower is shown at the corner of Preston and Carling. This building is getting a redesign, see tomorrows story.

A third building has appeared on the Arnon block that currently holds two mid-rise red-brick office towers (shown in blue) designed by Alistair Ross. I vaguely recall that he had original planning permission for three towers on this site. The front lawns along Carling that belong to the feds are shown holding a parade of towers.

Moving down Rochester, there is an unknown tower, and then Domicile’s proposed tower. In the background, the giant parking lot and former trucking terminal belonging to Arnon, immediately south of the Sakto complex at 333 Preston (Xerox, Adobe, et al) is shown with two towers. I am aware that Arnon is talking to the city about what to put there, including a large retail presence, maybe someone’s grocery empire.

All of the above anticipated towers are roughly in accord of what I know of the City’s thinking on its Carling-Bayview CDP, and certainly also in the mindset of George Dark, who recently held a planning event in the neighbourhood that saw a veritable meteorite shower of high buildings impact onto the neighbourhood.

Most curiously though, is the 18 storey high rise put right on Preston, at Norman. If my memory serves me right, this is currently a large lot holding a two storey office building including the Bank of Nova Scotia. Hmm. Isn’t Sketch-up wonderful?

Finally, here’s a Photo-shopped view from the Arboretum cycle path along Dows Lake. In this view, the forest of condo towers has been thinned down to just Domicile, Claridge, and Mastercraft-Starwood.


* for a closer up view of the baseball bill on a condo, see

3 thoughts on “Condomania on Carling: Domicile joins in

  1. Interesting. I live near there and I don’t have any issues with building up Rochester. Maybe the development would result in some stop signs or street lights near there because drivers speed down from the 417 to Carling daily, making it unsafe to cross.

    It is nice they’ve left some houses in the area, though on my street there is someone quietly buying up houses and then offering to buy out the neighbours as well.

    1. I agree, in fact my husband thought your comment was mine.

      I’ve seen a bunch of near miss car crashes at Beech and Rochester. I think it’s also partly the width of Rochester that makes it so easy to speed on. I’d love to see some of that width go towards a boulevard or a cycling lane.

  2. The design is nice enough and it’s interesting to see a departure from the identifiable ‘This is a Domicile Building’ look.

    I’m the first house not owned by Barry Hobin along that strip and I’m actually not averse to Rochester St. development.

    I think a few stories shorter would be appropriate – take a line from the top of the NRCan roof to my roof and a logical step down shows about 4 stories shorter. Interesting though, the way the top of the design goes – the extra height on the right hand top – it is almost as if they did that exact thing and then added a few stories. Or maybe they did that from NRCan to the Adobe building so that nobody could say they were blighting the vista along Dows Lake.

    Of course, I’m worried about when Barry Hobin decides to develop his land, but I’m pretty relieved that there was no ‘hey, why don’t we develop the corner lot and the Hobin land in one big condo tower?’

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