Report to / Rapport au:
Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee /
Comité consultatif local sur la conservation de l’architecture
Planning and Development Committee /
Comité de l”urbanisme et de l’aménagement
and Council / et au Conseil
14 January 2003 / le 14 janvier 2003
Submitted by / Soumis par: Ned Lathrop, General Manager / Directeur général
Contact / Personne-ressource: Grant Lindsay, Manager, Development Approvals /
Gestionnaire, Approbation des demandes d’aménagement
Ref N°: ACS2003-DEV-APR-0031
SUBJECT: APPLICATION TO DEMOLISH 135 rideau STREET, A PROPERTY LOCATED IN THE BYWARD MARKET HERITAGE CONSERVATION DISTRICT
OBJET: DEMANDE EN VUE DE DÉMOLIR LE 135, RUE rideau, UNE PROPRIÉTÉ SITUÉE DANS LE DISTRICT DE CONSERVATION DU PATRIMOINE DU MARCHÉ BY
That the Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee recommend that the Planning and Development Committee and Council refuse the application to demolish 135 Rideau Street Street, a property located in the Byward Market Heritage Conservation District.
(Note: Approval of this application under the Ontario Heritage Act must not be construed to meet the requirements for the issuance of a building permit.)
Que le Comité consultatif sur la conservation de l’architecture locale recommande au Comité de l’urbanisme et de l’aménagement et au Conseil municipal de rejeter la demande de démolition visant le 135, rue Rideau, une propriété située dans le district de conservation du patrimoine du marché By.
(Nota : l’approbation de cette demande aux termes de la Loi sur le patrimoine de l’Ontario ne signifie pas qu’elle satisfait aux critères de délivrance d’un permis de construire.)
An Application for a Permit under the Ontario Heritage Act was submitted on behalf of the property owner on January 8, 2003. The demolition of buildings within a Heritage Conservation District requires the approval of City Council following consultation with the Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee (LACAC). Where no replacement building has been proposed, City Council can refuse the demolition of a building designated under the Ontario Heritage Act beyond the nine months specified under the OHA until such time as a building permit has been issued for a replacement building.
The current application under the Ontario Heritage Act is for the demolition of the entire building without replacement. A Fire Marshall’s Order pursuant to the Fire Protection and Prevention Act 1997 has been issued to “repair or demolish” the building. The reasons for the order state that: “The building poses a threat to adjoining structures, building is vacant and is in dilapidated condition and subject to unlawful entry.” The property has been vacant for a number of years and despite being boarded up has been broken into. Fires have been set in the building and two pieces of stone cladding on the newer (1970s) George Street elevation have slipped by approximately one inch.
On May 14, 1998 the property owner applied to demolish this building under the Ontario Heritage Act with no proposed replacement building or use. City Council of the former City of Ottawa refused this application on July 2, 1998. As a result of this decision, a demolition permit for 135 Rideau Street was not issued pending the issuance of a building permit for a replacement building. A building permit for a replacement building has not been applied for or issued since that time.
On September 25, 2000 the owner applied under the Ontario Heritage Act to construct a new building on this site in accordance with a design by Barry Padolsky Architect for a cinema complex. In response to this application, the Department of Urban Planning and Public Works of the former City of Ottawa prepared a report recommending refusal of the application for new construction. In addition, the heritage designation of the south part of the building under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act was recommended in accordance with the Statement of Reasons for Designation included as Document 3. The cost consulting firm hired by the property owner determined that the costs of retaining the Rideau Street façade at that time would be approximately $1,416,000. These cost estimates are included as Document 4 and are on file with the LACAC Coordinator. The property owner felt that these costs were too prohibitive to retain the original Rideau Street façade and proposed a replica as part of the Market Cinema project. Planning and Economic Development Committee and subsequently City Council of the former City of Ottawa approved the proposed development on November 8, 2000 based, in part, on the verbal commitment from the project architect and property owner at Committee that a building permit application would be forthcoming within several weeks. Two additional conditions were also approved by Committee and subsequently City Council as follows:
“That a complete photogrammetric record of the building, along with a copy of the plan of the existing building, be filed with the City Archives prior to the demolition of 135 Rideau Street.” (Status: completed)
“ That the applicant be required, in the construction of the new Rideau Street façade, to retain and re-use as much of the materials of the original façade as possible, and practical, including the buff-coloured portion of the building.” (Status: not carried out as Market Cinema project did not proceed)
The recommendation to designate the south half of the Caplan’s store under the Ontario Heritage Act while “vigorously” supported by the LACAC was rejected by the Planning and Economic Development Committee and Council of the former City of Ottawa.
The current application under the Ontario Heritage Act is similar to that made by the applicant in 1998 for demolition without replacement. City Council of the former City of Ottawa refused that application and a demolition permit for 135 Rideau Street was not issued pending the issuance of a building permit for a replacement building. A building permit for a replacement building has not been applied for or issued despite the approval by City Council of designs for the proposed Market Cinema on November 8, 2000.
The Development Services Department does not feel that 135 Rideau Street and specifically the original Rideau Street façade should be demolished, particularly in the absence of any proposal for a replacement building. In addition to the loss of a significant heritage component of the streetscape along Rideau Street, the demolition of 135 Rideau Street would create a significant vacant space on Rideau Street.
The state of deterioration of the building is unfortunate as is the necessity for a Fire Marshall’s Order.
It is the opinion of the Legal Services Branch, in that the Fire Marshall’s Order permits the repair or demolition of the premises, that it is possible to comply with the order without demolishing the building. Securing of the building and skylights has been carried out by the owner subsequent to and in partial compliance with the Fire Marshall’s Order and removal or stabilization in-situ of the stone panels on the George Street elevation can be carried out immediately without compromising the heritage character of the building which is defined principally by the original Rideau Street elevation.
The costs of retaining the original Rideau Street façade as described in Document 4 were compiled in 2000 and were based on certain assumptions such as the immediate construction of the Market Cinema project. Some of the estimated costs are no longer relevant such as over $100,000 associated with construction delays for the new cinema. There are other contingency costs that could possibly be reduced or eliminated subject to further detailed analysis. While the owner has not expressed an interest in retaining the Rideau Street elevation or in commissioning updated feasibility studies to do so he would commit to building a replica of the Rideau Street elevation as part of a future development and also to storing some of the original bricks from the Rideau Street façade to be used in a future project.
The Development Services Department could consider the demolition of the north half of the building provided the south half incorporating the existing Rideau Street elevation were retained and stabilized to the satisfaction of the City for future incorporation into a new development.
The refusal by City Council of this application will mean that no demolition can take place of the existing building until a building permit is issued for a replacement building on the site.
Adjacent property owners as well as area community associations were notified by letter of the date of the LACAC and Planning and Development Committee meetings and were provided with comment sheets to be returned to LACAC. This is in accordance with the municipal public participation policies of the former City of Ottawa regarding heritage alterations including new construction in a heritage district.
The Ward Councillor, Madeleine Meilleur objects to the demolition of 135 Rideau Street.
The application under the Ontario Heritage Act was received on January 8, 2003. It was processed within the 90 day timeline established under the Ontario Heritage Act for the processing of heritage applications.
Document 1 - Location Plan
Document 2 - Heritage Survey Form 135 Rideau Street
Document 3 - Statement of Reasons for Designation 135 Rideau Street (Draft)
Document 4 - Hanscomb Ltd. Cost Estimate October 13, 2000 (On file with LACAC Coordinator, Department of Corporate Services)
The Department of Corporate Services, Statutory Services Branch to notify the owner, Canril Corporation, 81 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 6K7, the agent Janet Bradley, Gowling Lafleur Henderson, Suite 2600 1600 Elgin Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 1C3 and the Ontario Heritage Foundation (10 Adelaide Street East, 3rd Floor, Toronto, Ontario, M5C 1J3) of City Council’s decision.
LOCATION PLAN Document 1
HERITAGE SURVEY FORM – 135 Rideau Street Document 2
STATEMENT OF REASONS FOR DESIGNATION Document 3
The former Caplan’s Department Store, 135 Rideau Street is recommended for designation under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act for architectural and historical reasons.
Founded in 1908 by Caspar Caplan, a Jewish immigrant from Lithuania, Caplan’s moved to Rideau Street from Sussex Drive in 1916. When it opened on Rideau, it joined Ogilvy’s and Freiman’s, both of which had established and expanded dry goods stores there in the early 1900s. All three stores eventually grew into department stores, making Rideau Street the city’s most important retail street. Caspar Caplan ran the store until his death in 1943 when its management was taken over by his sons. It closed in 1984 . The Caplan family played a large role in Ottawa=s community life.
Caplan’s originally occupied a small store constructed in 1877, located at the west end of the structure now known as 135 Rideau. The business proved to be so successful that it expanded westward into a building constructed in 1894. The two sections of the building have different windows: the 1877 section has segmental-arched windows and the 1894 section has round-arched windows. The building was further enlarged in 1928 when it expanded northward to George Street. In the 1970s, this addition itself was enlarged.
Caplan’s is a three-storey, red-brick structure with a flat roof. Its ground floor has been altered but the upper two storeys facing Rideau Street retain a high degree of architectural integrity. It is a good example of late 19th century commercial architecture and features a rhythmical front facade with paired round arched windows topped with brick voussoirs between brick piers with incised brickwork (1894 section) and segmental-arched windows (1870s section). Decorative brick work separates the second and third storey and runs below the cornice. Larger segmental-arched windows fill the space between the piers on the second floor.
The existing Rideau Street facade is the only part of the building subject to this designation.