New Condos still springing up

There are three new condo projects being marketed on the west side. Two are from Taggart/Tamarack; and one from Domicile.

The West Wellington condo being proposed by Tamarack goes beside the heritage Grace Hospital structure, on a current parking lot:

west wellie tamarack


above: the parking lot is in the foreground, corner of West Wellington and Fairmont. Rosemont. The Carnegie public library is behind it; the Grace Hospital to the right.

The current proposal is for this:

tamarack, west wellie, oct2013


(above: from Tamarack web site)

The building height is six or seven floors (no doubt the builder will call it six, with a set-back penthouse, as the CDP calls for six on traditional main streets). The height calculation is complicated by some arrangements to transfer development rights from the Grace building on the right, which is Heritage, as are some blades of grass on the front lawn.

I gather there is also some effort to connect the building to the Carnegie library building behind it, on Fairmont,Rosemont, which is too small. That heritage structure, initially funded by the patron saint of public libraries, used to have a proper front staircase (learning elevates…) and torch like lamps (the light of learning…) but all that was torn off to make an awful 70’s entrance that now blights the building.

Now squint at the Grace building on the right. It appears to have developed a sunken front courtyard, allowing for a walk-out basement, perhaps a patio (there are tiny umbrellas in the pic) or a reflecting pond (coffee and foot soak, anyone?).

The proposed building only takes up a portion of the entire lot; I gather a much larger building will appear behind the Grace structure.

It might be notable that the West Wellington condo appears on Tamarack’s marketing materials whereas there is no mention of the approved Bronson/Carling high rise tower; nor of the 101 Norman Street mid-rise tower. So we can hazard a guess as to which location they think will sell first (hint: the more walkable one).

Over on Norman, a little dead end street running between Preston and the new OTrain bike and pedestrian path, Tamarack’s proposal there continues to change. Originally proposed as an slim 18 storey tower, it’s now down to a wider 9, beside a lower-rise wing of 5 stories (or as the developer insists, its 3 with a 2 storey setback on top, with a still-slim tower at the end of a podium):

97 norman, elevation, fall 2013


(above: the mid-rise tower is abutting the OTrain greenspace on the left; Preston is a few houses out of the picture, to the right).

perspective, low, fall 2013

I still see significant problems ahead for this building, including the four storey height limit for the low rise portion just set out in the recent CDP; and George Dark’s professional opinion delivered to Planning Committee that even nine stories cannot work on a dead end street.

He suggested a “mews” running along the OTrain corridor, which appears to be (thankfully) comatose right now. The latest “urban amenity plan” now underway by Toronto-based The Planning Partnership favours the developer(s) building private laneways through mid-block, but Taggart/Tamarack haven’t yet bought the house for sale directly behind their building, which would allow them to put a exit onto Beech.

There is no turning around room on the narrow one way street; vehicles have to avail themselves of finding a unused private driveway for turning. Without some way of handling taxis and para transpo to the front door, this may become Ottawa’s first inaccessible building. Who will sue first?

The City is being very adamant that the proponent not address this access issue at the rezoning stage, leaving it for the “details” stage of site plan. How extraordinary! I have no doubt this is because they know the work-around will enrage the public, putting the rezoning at risk.

I’m putting my bets on the city contributing a chunk of the OTrain greenway for a turning circle at the end of the street. After all, the neighbourhood has such an abundance of parkland that the planners now call the slopes of the Queensway “public green space” in a desperate attempt to show some parkland in the coming high rise jungle.

elevation showing MUP, fall 2013


(above: temping OTrain green corridor shown on the left, that some want to pave to improve road access permitting even larger developments)

In another bit of Extraordinary, the width of the zone along the OTrain corridor that is acceptable for mid-rise development doesn’t seem to be subject to any sort of tape measure, ie the size of the zone is left as a general indication on a map. No actual dimensions provided. It’s not surprising, therefore, that the size of the tower seems to have gotten much much wider as it got shorter from its original proposed 18 stories to the current 9. Indeed, it’s an open invitation for developers to push the boundaries, and Taggart seems to be walking through that door.

Over on Preston Street, Domicile has opened its “lifestyle” sales centre for its Rochester Street tower. The sales office skips those tiresome model suites in favour of soft urban pictures of a great neighbourhood to live in. Whether it will continue to be great, or become greater, or become lesser, is a matter of some debate as right across the street from Domicile’s sales centre is Soho Italia and a few doors up, Claridge’s Icon. And a bunch more towers lie lurking in the underbrush.

domicle, rochester, nov2013

(above: the exterior detailing continues to evolve on Domicile’s Rochester tower).

The tower has some micro-suites (more like hotel rooms); and a fair number of two and three bedroom units in 1200+ square foot range. There will be storefronts on the ground floor facing Rochester and Pamilla Streets. Indeed, the sales office even mocks up what an Italian grocer might look like.

The front entrance is well handled, with a (hopefully lively) front door cafe:

domicile entry, nov2013

Local activists are trying to get Rochester developed into a complete street in the process, you can support them at   Please take a moment to sign on, whatever you think of high rises, we do need better streets than the abominably wide Rochester that is there now.


8 thoughts on “New Condos still springing up

      1. It’s actually Rosemount (Rosemont is Montreal).

        And the library is called Rosemount Library, not Carnegie (I believe Carnegie Library was the original one where we now have the Main Library branch).

  1. Considering that a number of condo buildings in the pre-sales phase are having problems selling units, I suspect the condo craze in Ottawa is on its last legs and these planned condos will never in fact be built

  2. One can only hope that Neil’s (above) prophecy comes true. The City, and developers have willfully gone against any and all marketing principles to create a despicable glut on the condo market.”Supply and Demand” when tilted dangerously in the “supply” indicator, will cause disaster: drastic price reductions and decreased demand as in Ottawa right now- but worse is the disappointment and disgust of its citizens and the realization that the acceptance, indeed embracing, of the condominium lifestyle in Ottawa has suffered an irreparable, in the short term, backward slide.
    We are NOT happy campers and feel a massive change in the City’s Planning procedures is overdue.

    1. The thing is many that don’t support condos in the core are unaware how bad urban sprawl is right now look at Kanata/Barrheaven/Orleans even Carleton Place/Kemptville its out of contol but most don’t know or care some even say double if not triple the sprawl.

  3. With regard ti the demand for massive change in the City’s Planning procedures is there any explanation why the city has planners on its payroll and also has a full slate of concerned community associations but feels the need to hire “planners” out of Toronto and elsewhere?

    It seems the taxpayer is paying twice. First to support local civic planners who appear to be unable to plan and second to pay for the imported planners to do what the local civic planners should do.

  4. Interesting post. But I wish to correct you. The street and library are both called Rosemount (with a ‘u’). Carnegie Library was originally where the Main Library is currently located. And Fairmont (without the ‘u’) is where the church St-François d’Assise is located.

    Rosemont though (without the ‘u’) is an area of Montreal.

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