Committee recommendationS as amended


(This application is subject to Bill 51)


1.         That Council approve an amendment to the former City of Ottawa Zoning By-law to change the zoning of 453 Bank Street and 343 McLeod Street from CN6 F(2.0) H(18.3) Neighbourhood Linear Commercial Zone with a Heritage Overlay and R5D[82] H(10.7) Low Rise Apartment Zone with a Heritage Overlay to a CN6[***] Schedule [**] Neighbourhood Linear Commercial Zone as detailed in Document 2, as amended to modify the requirement for bicycle parking for an apartment building to 0.60 spaces per dwelling unit.


2.         That the By-law to implement Recommendation 1 not be enacted until final approval of the proposed development pursuant to the Ontario Heritage Act has been given as set out in the Departmental Report Reference ACS2008-PTE-PLA-0067.



RecommandationS modifiÉeS du Comité


(Cette demande est assujettie au Règlement 51)


1.         Que le Conseil approuve une modification du Règlement de zonage de l’ancienne Ville d'Ottawa qui aurait pour effet de rezoner le 453 de la rue Bank et le 343 de la rue McLeod de CN6 F(2.0) H(18.3), Zone de rue commerçante de quartier avec désignation patrimoniale, et de R5D[82] H(10.7), Zone d'immeubles d'appartement de faible hauteur avec désignation patrimoniale, respectivement, à CN6[***] Annexe [**] Zone de rue commerçante de quartier, comme le montre en détail le document 2, amendé  afin de modifier l’exigence d’une aire de stationnement pour vélos d’un immeuble d’habitation à 0,6 espace par unité d’habitation.


2.         Que le règlement municipal de mise en application de la recommandation 1 ne soit pas adopté tant que l’aménagement projeté n’aura pas reçu une approbation définitive en vertu de la Loi sur le patrimoine de l’Ontario, suivant ce qui est prévu dans le rapport ACS2008-PTE-PLA-0067. 





1.      Deputy City Manager's report Planning, Transit and the Environment dated 12 March 2008 (ACS2008-PTE-PLA-0067).

Report to/Rapport au :


Planning and Environment Committee

Comité de l'urbanisme et de l'environnement


and Council / et au Conseil


12 March 2008 / le 12 mars 2008


Submitted by/Soumis par : Nancy Schepers, Deputy City Manager

Directrice municipale adjointe,

Planning, Transit and the Environment

Urbanisme, Transport en commun et Environnement


Contact Person/Personne Ressource : Grant Lindsay, Manager / Gestionnaire, Development Approvals / Approbation des demandes d'aménagement

(613) 580-2424, 13242  Grant.Lindsay@ottawa.ca


Somerset (14)

Ref N°: ACS2008-PTE-PLA-0067




ZONING - 453 Bank street and 343 mcleod street (FILE NO. d02-02-07-0122)




ZONAGE - 453, rue bank et 343, rue mcleod




1.                  That the  recommend Council approve an amendment to the former City of Ottawa Zoning By-law to change the zoning of 453 Bank Street and 343 McLeod Street from CN6 F(2.0) H(18.3) Neighbourhood Linear Commercial Zone with a Heritage Overlay and R5D[82] H(10.7) Low Rise Apartment Zone with a Heritage Overlay to a CN6[***] Schedule [**] Neighbourhood Linear Commercial Zone as detailed in Document 2.


2.                  That the By-law to implement Recommendation 1 not be enacted until final approval of the proposed development pursuant to the Ontario Heritage Act has been given as set out in the Departmental Report Reference ACS2008-PTE-PLA-0067. 




1.                  Que le Comité de l'urbanisme et de l'environnement recommande au Conseil d’approuver une modification du Règlement de zonage de l’ancienne Ville d'Ottawa qui aurait pour effet de rezoner le 453 de la rue Bank et le 343 de la rue McLeod de CN6 F(2.0) H(18.3), Zone de rue commerçante de quartier avec désignation patrimoniale, et de R5D[82] H(10.7), Zone d'immeubles d'appartement de faible hauteur avec désignation patrimoniale, respectivement, à CN6[***] Annexe [**] Zone de rue commerçante de quartier, comme le montre en détail le document 2.


2.                  Que le règlement municipal de mise en application de la recommandation 1 ne soit pas adopté tant que l’aménagement projeté n’aura pas reçu une approbation définitive en vertu de la Loi sur le patrimoine de l’Ontario, suivant ce qui est prévu dans le rapport ACS2008-PTE-PLA-0067. 



The subject properties are located on the east side of Bank Street, with frontage on Gladstone Avenue to the north and McLeod Street to the south as shown in Document 1.  The combined area of the properties is 3761 square metres, with 56 metres of frontage along Bank Street and a depth of 61 metres.


453 Bank Street contains a three-storey, red brick, flat-roofed building which fronts onto Bank Street and McLeod Street.  The building was constructed and has been used as a place of worship (Metropolitan Bible Chapel).  The remainder of the site comprises of paved surface parking for the church.  The congregation is in the process of building a new facility and as a result this church has become surplus to its needs. 


343 McLeod Street contains a former detached dwelling that has been converted and is currently used for commercial purposes with surface parking located at the rear.  Both properties are designated within the Centretown Heritage Conservation District requiring that Council approval for any demolition and new construction be obtained pursuant to the provisions of the Ontario Heritage Act. Vehicular accesses to the properties are provided from McLeod Street and Gladstone Avenue.


Bank Street is designated as a Traditional Mainstreet in the Official Plan. The Centretown Secondary Plan designates the portion of the site abutting Bank Street as Residential Office with the remainder of the site designated as Residential Medium Profile.  This area of Bank Street contains a variety of service commercial, retail, professional and residential uses in the immediate area


Purpose of Zoning Amendment


The rezoning application has been submitted to accommodate the construction of a new commercial, retail and residential mixed-use building as shown on Document 4.  The height of the building varies along each frontage to a maximum height of nine storeys along Gladstone Avenue.  Commercial, retail and some residential uses would be located on the ground floor with residential units occupying the upper floors.  223 dwelling units and 175 underground parking stalls are proposed for the new building with access from Gladstone Avenue and McLeod Street.


Existing Zoning


The subject properties currently fall within two zoning designations.  The western third of the site fronting onto Bank Street from Gladstone Avenue to McLeod Street is zoned “Neighbourhood Linear Commercial” CN6 F(2.0) H(18.3). 


This zone permits a variety of mixed commercial uses that are pedestrian oriented and permits residential dwellings located on upper floors.  This zone permits a maximum floor space index (FSI) of 2.0 and a maximum height of 18.3 metres. The rear two-thirds of the site is zoned “Low Rise Apartment” R5D[82] H(10.7).  This zone permits medium density residential uses with a maximum height of 10.7 metres.  The entire site is also subject to a Heritage Overlay which regulates the permitted height of an existing building notwithstanding the permitted height within the zone.  Where there is no building on a site, the underlying zoning regulates the maximum height.  Both situations apply to the subject properties as portions of the site are vacant and other areas contain buildings.


Proposed Zoning


The application proposes a change in zoning to establish a uniform Neighbourhood Linear Commercial (CN) zoning for the entire site with site-specific modifications to the maximum permitted height, required yards, parking requirements, loading areas, landscaping, heritage overlay, bicycle parking and to allow dwelling units on the ground floor along McLeod Street.




Official Plan Considerations


A.        Primary Plan


Strategic Directions


The Strategic Directions Section (Section 2) of the Official Plan sets broad directions to meet the challenge of managing growth in Ottawa, providing infrastructure, maintaining environmental integrity and creating liveable communities. To achieve these, polices are set out directing major growth towards key locations within the urban area that are easily accessible and to pursue a mix of land uses and compact forms of development.  This in turn will enable the City to support a high-quality transit system and make better use of existing roads and infrastructure.  Within Section 2.2.3, specific strategic directions are set out for managing growth within the urban area that directs growth to locations with significant development potential, and especially to areas designated Central Area, Mixed-Use Centers, Employment Areas, Enterprise Areas, Developing Communities and Mainstreets. Specific direction is also set out in Section 2.5 for building liveable communities.  To achieve this, great emphasis is placed on community design with attention on how buildings and the spaces around them look and function in their setting.  The strategic directions set out in Section 2 are further built on in the policy directions set out in the Plan dealing with specific land use designations.

Land Use Designation


The subject properties are designated Traditional Mainstreet. Mainstreets are identified in the Official Plan as streets that offer some of the most significant opportunities in the city for intensification through more compact forms of development, a lively mix of uses and a pedestrian friendly environment.  As such, the plan encourages intensification along Mainstreets through the redevelopment of vacant lots, parking lots and gas stations as well as through additions to existing buildings. 


Traditional Mainstreets are planned as mixed use, pedestrian oriented streets.  The Plan encourages redevelopment and infill to optimize the use of land through increased building height and density.  Along Traditional Mainstreets, heights in the range of four to six storeys are supported with direction provided for considering greater heights.  In this regard, the Plan provides for considering higher buildings in any one of several situations including where greater heights have been determined to be appropriate through a Community Design Plan, where greater heights conform to prevailing heights or provides a transition between buildings, where increased height contributes to fostering the creation of a community focus for properties located on a corner or at a gateway location, where the increased height facilitates the provision of desired community facilities and services, or where the application of the provisions of Section 2.5.1 and Section 4.11 dealing with community design and compatibility determine that additional height is appropriate.  


The proposed development to be permitted by the recommended zoning conforms with and implements the key strategic directions set out in the Plan for Mainstreets. The development provides for redevelopment of an underdeveloped property to a level of intensification that will support rejuvenating Bank Street and contribute to an increased population along a key commercial corridor in walking distance to transit, downtown employment and amenities.  The development exhibits a design that will integrate into the Bank Street environment through the breaking of the Bank Street façade into architectural segments that respects the variation in building heights in the surrounding area along Bank Street and is of a scale that fits into its urban context.  The development will create a new focal point for the community on a corner lot that is currently underutilized and absent of form and beneficial function for the community.  The curvature of Bank Street in this area creates a natural reference point which the design of the building will take advantage of architecturally to promote a strong presence and sense of place.  The proposed development responds to the specific compatibility considerations of the Official Plan which are elaborated on in the following section.


Compatibility Considerations


To ensure that any new development will respond to the compatibility objectives of the Plan, direction is provided under the polices dealing with Mainstreets that any development for which a rezoning is required to permit intensification be evaluated in terms of scale, design and compatibility in accordance with the provisions for Compatibility and Design in Section 2.5.1 and the Compatibility Criteria set out in Section 4.11.

Section 2.5.1


Direction is provided in Section 2.5.1 as to the meaning of compatible development.  In general terms, it provides for compatible development meaning development that, although not necessarily the same as or similar to existing buildings nonetheless enhances an established community and coexists.  The development fits well within its physical context and works well among the functions that surround it.


Within Section 2.5.1 broad design objectives are set out as qualitative statements of how the City wants to influence the built environment.  These objectives are broadly stated and are applicable to all land use designations either at the city-wide level or on a site specific basis. 


Design principles are further set out to describe how the City hopes to achieve the design objectives with acknowledgment that all the design objectives may not be achieved or achievable in all cases.  Annex 3 to the Official Plan provides an evocative design framework intended as a catalyst for the pursuit and consideration of a wide range of planning and design alternatives that will foster implementation of the design objectives and principles. 


The proposed development is consistent with and implements the various aspects of the design objectives and principles as discussed below. The objectives of greatest significance to the application speak to enhancing the sense of community, having new development respect the character of existing areas, defining quality public and private spaces through development and providing for the creation of adaptable and diverse places.


The first design objective to enhance a sense of community is being achieved by infilling a large vacant site that now breaks the built form and functional continuity of a significant inner urban commercial street and strengthening the urban fabric of the street both physically and functionally.  The development also incorporates a key heritage element to retain a relationship of the historical context of the site to the community.  Finally, the development will establish a unique focus at a key location along Bank Street and can contribute to the rejuvenation of Bank Street as a key retail street for both the Centertown community and the larger community.


The second design objective is focused on development complementing the massing pattern, rhythm, character and context.  The Bank Street elevation respects the existing pattern and rhythm along Bank Street as the main portion of the former church building will be preserved and integrated into the new design.  The positioning of the new building is slightly recessed from the portion of the church to be retained to provide visual prominence for this heritage element while keeping the new portions of the development as close to Bank Street as possible to provide for built form continuity.  The variation in the setbacks from Bank Street and building height creates new vertical and horizontal rhythms to this section of Bank Street which are compatible with the area.  The proposed massing of the building along the east property line with its blank wall treatment is the one element of the proposed development that requires modification to better respect the existing lower profile context as one moves east along Gladstone Avenue and McLeod Street. This is the subject of specific recommendations in the accompanying report to obtain required approvals under the Ontario Heritage Act which is referenced in Recommendation 2 of this report.


Encouraging the continuity of street frontage, meeting the needs of pedestrians and contributing to attractive public spaces and vistas is the third key design objective.  As a result of the retention of the existing façade and to retain visual prominence for this element of the project, the newer portions of the building are being setback further while still maintaining a sense of building continuity that has a strong street orientation.  The increased setbacks provides some variation that serves to create a larger public amenity area, space for pedestrian movement and opportunities for additional landscaping.  With respect to meeting the needs of pedestrians, the introduction of new commercial retail uses at grade and upper floor residential with ground floor residential along McLeod will create opportunities for a variety of social and commercial interactions that previously did not exist. The proposed design will take advantage of the natural focal point along this segment of Bank Street, specifically created through the curvature of the road. It is intended that the profile of the building at the Bank Street and Gladstone Avenue intersection will create a new landmark for the community and sense of place. 


The objective of creating adaptability and diversity will be implemented through a more compact and diverse building envelope that efficiently uses land, while contributing to the regeneration of Bank Street with a new building that integrates the past with contemporary design. The development proposal will add new commercial, retail and housing options along Bank Street.  The development will also help reduce resource consumption by promoting residential intensification inside the urban area along a Transit Priority Corridor and by providing services to local residents. 


Section 4.11


Section 4.11 sets out objective criteria to evaluate compatibility with respect to more traditional planning considerations dealing with matters including but not limited to traffic, parking, building height and massing, pattern of surrounding development, and micro-climate considerations. The following is an analysis of the applicable criteria set out in Section 4.11 which demonstrates that the proposed development is meeting the compatibility tests of the Plan in a way that does not result in undue adverse impacts.


a)         Traffic and Access


A traffic impact study was prepared in support of the application and has been reviewed by staff. Staff concur with the conclusions reached.  In this regard, the study determined that the area roads could accommodate the traffic that would be generated without any requirements for roadway modifications and found the proposed private approaches from Gladstone Avenue and McLeod Street to be appropriate.  There is no current or proposed access to the site from Bank Street so as to ensure a continuity of built form and retail frontage along this street.


b)         Parking


Vehicular parking for the building is provided in accordance with By-law standards, however the application proposed to establish a new minimum parking standard for the building in place of a ratio to allow for a slight reduction in parking required for the commercial use. 

The application proposes to provide 175 parking spaces, with 40 parking spaces dedicated to ground floor commercial uses.  Under the current by-law parking ratios, 106 parking spaces would be required for the residential component with 53 spaces for the commercial component.  As the building is located along a transit corridor and in walking distance to employment areas, staff has no concerns with the new parking standard.


c)         Height and Massing


New buildings are to have regard to the area context, massing and height of adjacent buildings.  It is recognized that there are no immediate buildings in the area nine storeys in height, however as noted previously, the Official Plan does not require a new building to be the same as other buildings to be considered compatible. 


The section of Bank Street where the subject property is located is viewed as an area in transition and reinvestment.


The development is consistent with the direction and vision outlined within the Centretown Secondary Plan and Downtown Ottawa Urban Design Strategy 2020 (DOUDS) (as elaborated on in subsequent discussion) while respecting the main historical portion of the existing church which is to be retained and integrated into the development.  The Official Plan states that heights above six storeys may be considered whereas the Centretown Secondary Plan permits heights up to nine storeys.  Where variation in height and massing are considered appropriate, transitions in building heights are desirable and can be offset through the use of a more pedestrian friendly at-grade environment.  As mentioned previously, the increase in height is considered appropriate given the site’s urban context with no undue adverse impacts anticipated.  However, as also noted previously, the eastern façade of the building requires modification to create an appropriate transition to the lower development located to the east of the site.


d)         Pattern of the Surrounding Community


To compensate for the proposed variations in building height and mass the building has been designed to appear as three distinct building elements along Bank Street.  The Gladstone Avenue and McLeod Street elevations are individual as well, which is representative of the uses found along each section. Along McLeod Street, street oriented townhouse type units are proposed to reinforce and strengthen the residential fabric of this street.


While each building profile varies in height, the design focuses on integrating common building characteristics and materials found in the area along with the retention of a significant portion of the original structure.


e)         Loading Areas, Service Areas and Outdoor Storage


The required amount of loading bays will be provided within the proposed building.  The application proposes a reduction in the size of the bays to more efficiently meet the expected loading needs for the project.

Staff supports to proposed size modifications which will also allow the loading bays to be fully enclosed so as to reduce impacts on abutting properties and potential congestion on local streets. There is no proposed outdoor storage for the building.


B.         Centretown Secondary Plan


The site falls under two land use designations within the Centretown Secondary Plan.  The portion of the property that abuts Bank Street for a depth of approximately 20 metres is designated as Residential Office while the remainder of the site is designated as Residential Medium Profile.  The Centretown Secondary Plan provides goals and objectives for the entire community that are to be considered in the review of an application, and specific policies related to the land use designations, heritage and site development.


The goals of the Centretown Secondary Plan seek to maintain and enhance the residential character of Centretown while allowing for a moderate increase in population along with accommodating persons of all age groups, income levels and lifestyles with good quality and affordable housing.  The objectives of the Secondary Plan provide for encouraging innovative building and site development to contribute to the physical environment of the community and enhancing the desirability of Centretown as a place to live. 


The proposed placement of the building in relation to the curvature of Bank Street creates a natural focal point in the community when traveling northbound or southbound thereby creating a sense of place and an attractive vista.


The proposed development is consistent with objectives focused on protecting and preserving buildings which have local historical, cultural and architectural significance.  The main historically significant portion of the Metropolitan Bible Chapel is to be preserved and integrated into the design of the new building. The application will also allow for the revitalization of the local commercial area by providing commercial facilities and services for nearby residents on the ground floor of the building. Construction of the new building will also create an opportunity for additional landscaping to be placed along all street frontages to improve the pedestrian experience, environment and overall streetscape.


The Medium Profile Residential Area policies outline that maximum building heights will be limited.  A building height of up to nine storeys may be considered within this designation with higher buildings only contemplated where sites are located adjacent to areas designated high profile residential and where the project provides affordable housing beyond market affordability as defined in the Official Plan.  The application proposes a maximum height of nine storeys which is the upper height limit that can be considered for the site under the Centretown Secondary Plan.  The Residential Office designation states that maximum building heights may be limited but does not establish a specified height limit.


As previously discussed, the heights proposed for the building will range from three to nine stories.  Given the site’s context, these heights are considered appropriate.  The nine-storey component of the building will be focused along Gladstone Avenue and extend to Bank Street to create a focal point along the street.

Along the remainder of Bank Street, the heights range from the height of the existing church building to six stories reflecting the typical pattern of heights found along Bank Street and along McLeod Street the development will provide for a six-storey street edge height with an additional two stories set back from the street edge façade.  This treatment along McLeod Street provides for an appropriate scale relationship with the built form existing along this street.   To ensure the heights will be provided as shown on the plans submitted, a height Schedule will be established in the proposed zoning as shown on Documents 2 and 3. 


Site development policies are meant to apply to vacant sites within Centretown available for redevelopment.  A significant portion of the property is vacant and utilized as surface parking.  Similar to the policies of the Official Plan, the specific residential site development policies recognize the need to maintain a compact urban form of development and may adopt regulations relating to yard clearances and building setbacks which will preserve this form of development.  It is the intent of such regulations to ensure adequate buffering between residential areas and other existing and possible future land uses.  As recommended by staff, the modification of the eastern façade which faces lower profile residential buildings is intended to provide for a more appropriate relationship between the proposed development and existing development to the east than is currently proposed.


Commercial site development policies direct that façades of buildings compliment one another and provide a positive contribution to the overall physical environment of the area. 


Parking and loading areas are to be designed to minimize conflict with adjacent land uses and access points are to be designed to minimize disruption to traffic flows.  The extension of the building façade along the entire frontage of Bank Street along with the introduction of new amenity areas and landscaping dramatically improves the pedestrian experience and the overall physical environment.  Parking and loading areas have been designed to be located internal to the building and access points are located from the lower order side streets versus Bank Street which is a significant transit route.


In summary, subject to the modifications to be made to the east façade, staff considers the proposed development to be fully in keeping with the applicable policy directions of the Centertown Plan and is satisfied that the project will make a positive contribution to the community by strengthening the commercial continuity of Bank Street and providing for increased residential opportunities for people to live and work in an area accessible to transit, services, work places and amenities. 


Design Review Considerations


The subject property is within the area covered by the DOUDS and subject to design control as per Schedule L – of the Official Plan.  Properties within this area require review by the Downtown Ottawa Urban Design Review Panel.  The role of the Panel, where a rezoning application is submitted to allow for increased building height and or density, is to assess these changes in the context of the design objectives outlined in DOUDS in order to assist the Department in assessing the application and in bringing forward a recommendation to Committee and Council. 

The Panel comments are also intended to inform LACAC of considerations relevant under DOUDS where a proposed development is subject to heritage approval.


A pre-consultation meeting was held with the Design Review Panel in October 2007 followed by a formal submission accompanying the rezoning application. The Panel expressed support for the level of urban intensification proposed, the range of uses and their deployment within the proposed building design.  The one concern raised by the Panel related to the eastern façade of the building and its relationship to the eastern property line and lower buildings to the east.  The Panel suggested modifications to this facade to provide for an improved contextual fit between the lower profile developments to the east and the proposed building.  Subject to this modification, the Panel advised staff that they are prepared to offer full endorsement of the project.  Comments from the Design Review Panel are included as Document 6.


Staff concurs with the concern expressed by the Panel and as part of the Departmental recommendations dealing with the accompanying Heritage Act application being considered concurrently with the rezoning, is requiring that modifications to the east facade be made prior to final heritage approval being given. Recommendation 2 contained in this report provides for the by-law to implement the recommended zoning change not being enacted until final heritage approval which will include a modified design for the east facade has been given.  A revised façade that could include setbacks and terracing to the east walls would provide for an appropriate and repeatable type of transition between the proposed development and the properties to the east. 


Heritage Considerations


The subject properties are located within the Centretown Heritage Conservation District, designated under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act (OHA). The OHA requires that demolition and new construction in a Heritage Conservation District be approved by City Council.  An application for demolition and construction has been submitted as per the OHA and is the subject of an accompanying report to be considered by the Planning and Environment Committee and City Council concurrently with the rezoning


The Official Plan outlines that where a new development is proposed within a heritage area or adjacent to heritage resources, a heritage impact statement must be prepared.  A Cultural Heritage Impact Statement was prepared in support of the proposed development.  Section 4.6.7 of the Plan requires that new development adjacent to heritage buildings shall respect the massing, profile and character of adjacent heritage buildings.  As well, applications should ensure new buildings facing the street approximate the width of heritage buildings and follow established setback patterns of the street.  The intent is that new development fit within the established development pattern and that new development integrates well with heritage resources that serve to define the heritage character of the area.


Subject to the modification of the east façade, as discussed in detail in the accompanying report dealing with the Heritage Act application, the proposed development is considered to be in keeping with the intent of the heritage policies of the Official Plan.


Details of Proposed Zoning


Increase in Height


The application proposes an increase in height of 31.5 meters (nine storeys) for a portion of the building.  The remainder of the building is terraced at various heights when viewed from the Bank Street, Gladstone Avenue and McLeod Street frontages.  The increase in height as considered appropriate with respect to the design objective and principles and the compatibility criteria of the Official Plan.  The height will be regulated under the recommended zoning through a height schedule to be included in the Zoning By-law.


Reduced Side Yard


To implement the proposed building footprint, the application proposes to establish a minimum 1.3-metre side yard abutting Gladstone Avenue and McLeod Street.  The reduced side yard will still provide an area for landscaping and public amenity along with the adjacent public right-of-way.  The specific landscaping details will be finalized through the application for Site Plan Control.


Reduced Rear Yard


For the purposes of administering the new site-specific by-law and to be consistent with the direction of the new Comprehensive Zoning By-law, Bank Street will be considered the frontage of the property.


As a result, the application is proposing a 0.0-metre setback which is consistent with side yard setbacks permitted for development fronting onto Gladstone Avenue and McLeod Street.  It is further noted, while a 0.0-metre rear yard setback will be permitted, there still remains a requirement for modifications to the east façade as part of the Ontario Heritage Act approval being recommend that could result in a setback being prescribed for all or part of the rear façade.


Minimum Parking Requirements


The property is located along a high volume transit corridor, is within walking distance to a major employment area, and in an area with a high amount of pedestrian traffic anticipated.  Recognizing these locational attributes, as previously discussed the application is proposing that a new minimum parking requirement be established for the proposed development to allow a slight reduction in required commercial and visitor parking from what would be required when applying the standard by-law parking ratios.


Reduced Loading Spaces


The application proposes to provide two loading spaces that are undersized. As previously noted, the Department has no concerns with the size modifications requested for the loading spaces. The provision for the required amount of loading will remain the same which is appropriate to handle the demand.


Required Landscaping Strip


Due to the proposed footprint of the building, the application does not propose to establish a minimum landscape strip abutting any street frontage.  Detailed landscaping opportunities will be examined through the related application for Site Plan Control to better determine the appropriate amount and type of landscaping for each street frontage. 


Heritage Overlay


Currently the entire property is subject to a heritage overlay that would limit the height of a new building to that which currently exists.  The existing building is a two- to three-storey building whereas the application proposes a building of varying heights from three stories for the portion of the main church building to be retained to six stories along McLeod Street and south of the main church building with an eight storey element stepped back along these streets and a nine storey element along Gladstone Avenue and extending to Bank Street. As a result, the application proposes to remove the heritage overlay provisions for the subject property and regulate building heights through a height schedule. 


Reduced Bicycle Parking Spaces


The amendment proposes to provide storage lockers that can accommodate bicycle parking and miscellaneous storage.  As such, the rezoning application has requested modifications to the standards for bicycle parking which would allow bicycle parking in association with other storage, as well as not providing bicycle parking in a designated area.  The Department has no concerns with the proposed modifications.

There are no modifications proposed in the required amount, location or standards for bicycle parking related to the commercial element of the building.


Residential Units on the Ground Floor


The proposed design incorporates ground level dwelling units along a portion of the McLeod Street wing.  This design element is crucial in maintaining and enhancing the residential fabric along McLeod Street moving eastward.  To avoid encroachment of commercial uses along McLeod Street and Gladstone Avenue, standards have been created in the implementing by-law to limit the visibility of commercial uses along these streets.




Staff reviewed the project and requested zoning changes within the context of Official Plan, the Centretown Secondary Plan and the Downtown Ottawa Urban Design Strategy.  With the modification to the east façade recommended as a condition of the approval for the related Ontario Heritage Act application, staff are satisfied that the proposed development and recommended zoning responds to all the relevant planning policies and design objectives for considering approval.  The proposed amending by-law will create a building envelope that will effectively implement the proposed recommended design.



A Phase I and Supplemental Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) were submitted with the application indicating that there were no significant environmental concerns with the existing building and site.  However, as a result of a previous use of the site (former fuel outlet) the mandatory filing of a Record of Site Condition (RSC) will be required as per Ontario Regulation 153/04.  The RSC will be addressed through conditions of the related application for Site Plan Control.




Notice of this application was carried out in accordance with the City's Public Notification and Consultation Policy.  The Ward Councillor is aware of this application and the staff recommendation. A summary and discussion of the responses to the public notification is included in Document 6.








This application was processed by the "On Time Decision Date" established for the processing of Zoning By-law amendment applications.




Document 1      Location Map

Document 2      Details of Recommended Zoning

Document 3      Building Height and Yard Schedule

Document 4      Concept Plan

Document 5      Design Review Panel Comments

Document 6      Consultation Details




City Clerk’s Branch, Council and Committee Services to notify the owner, David Wex, Urban Capital, 10 King Street East, Suite 810, Toronto ON, M5C 1C3, Ted Phillips, Taggart Construction 3187 Albion Road South, Ottawa ON, K1V 8Y3, Nat Hughes, FoTenn Consultants Inc., 232 McLeod Street, Ottawa ON, K2P 0Z8, OttawaScene.com, 174 Colonnade Road, Unit #33, Ottawa, ON  K2E 7J5, Ghislain Lamarche, Program Manager, Assessment, Financial Services Branch (Mail Code:  26-76) of City Council’s decision.


Planning, Transit and the Environment Department to prepare the implementing by-law, forward to Legal Services Branch and undertake the statutory notification.


Legal Services Branch to forward the implementing by-law to City Council.

LOCATION MAP                                                                                                  DOCUMENT 1




DETAILS OF RECOMMENDED ZONING                                                       DOCUMENT 2


The following change in zoning will be made to all of the lands know municipally as 453 Bank Street and 343 McLeod Street as shown on Document 1.



  1. The subject lands will be rezoned from CN6 F(2.0) H(18.3) to CN6 [***] Sch [***].
  2. The subject lands will be rezoned from R5D[82] H(10.7) to CN6 [ ***] Sch [**].
  3. The following provisions shall apply to lands zoned CN6 [***] Sch [**].


i)                    The lot line abutting Bank Street shall be considered the front lot line.

ii)                   Part II, Sections 14 to 19 do not apply (Heritage Overlay).

iii)                 The minimum front yard setbacks do not apply where they conflict with the requirement of a corner sight triangle.


iv)                 The minimum Side Yard setbacks abutting a street are:

                                                               i.      1 storey (6.7m) - 1.3m

                                                             ii.      2 – 8 storeys (12.7m – 28.5m) – 0.0m

                                                            iii.      9 storeys (31.8m) – 3.0m


v)                  The minimum Front Yard setbacks are:

                                                               i.      1 – 8 storeys (6.7m – 28.5m) – 0.0 m

                                                             ii.      9 storeys (31.8m) – 4.5m


vi)                 The minimum Rear Yard setbacks are:

                                                               i.      1 – 6 storeys (6.7m – 28.5 m) – 0.0m

                                                             ii.      7 – 8 storeys abutting McLeod Street – 6.75m

                                                            iii.      9 storeys (31.8m) – 7.5m


vii)               Despite Part III, Table 50, Visitor Parking – of the minimum parking spaces to be provided, 15 parking spaces shall be for visitor parking.

viii)              Despite Part III, Table 51, Commercial Parking – of the minimum parking spaces to be provided, 40 parking spaces shall be provided for all ground floor commercial uses.

ix)                 Despite Part III, Table 78, Parking – a minimum of 175 parking spaces shall be provided for the entire building.

x)                  Part III, Sections 87, 88, 90 and 91 do not apply for bicycle parking associated with an apartment building (Bicycle Storage).

xi)                 Despite Part III, Table 89 Bicycle Parking Rate – bicycle parking for an apartment building shall be provided at 0.70 spaces per dwelling unit.

xii)               Despite Part III, Table 108, Loading Space Design

a.    minimum width of a loading space shall be 3.0 metres.

b.    minimum length shall be 10.0 metres.

xiii)              Part III, Section 114 does not apply  (Passenger Loading).

xiv)             Part IV, Sections 123 and 124 do not apply (Landscaped Area).

xv)               Ground floor commercial uses may occupy a maximum length of 39.0 metres of the frontage on Gladstone Avenue measured from Bank Street.

xvi)             Ground floor commercial uses may occupy a maximum length of 24.0 metres of the frontage on McLeod Street measured from Bank Street.

xvii)            Despite Part VII, subsection 295 (2) dwelling units are permitted on the ground floor along McLeod Street,

xviii)          Part VII, Table 298 does not apply (CN Zone regulations).

xix)             That the maximum permitted building heights are as shown on Document 3 (New Schedule).



BUILDING HEIGHT SCHEDULE                                                                       DOCUMENT 3



CONCEPT ELEVATIONS                                                                                    DOCUMENT 4




















DESIGN REVIEW PANEL COMMENTS                                                          DOCUMENT 5


The design review panel submits the following report for 453 Bank Street/343 McLeod Street based on a pre-consultation meeting held in Ottawa and on the package submitted for formal review in December 2007. The panel notes this site was identified as a re-development opportunity in the Downtown Ottawa Urban Design Strategy. 


The panel appreciates the level of completeness in the design brief as prepared by FoTenn Planning and Urban Design.  This package has assisted greatly in the review.


The panel would like to express support for level of intensification, the overall program of uses and their deployment within the project on this site.


The panel specifically references;


·        The modulation of the building massing and types along Bank Street and feels that the project will add positively to Bank Street in this location.

·        The retail ground floor will animate the street and help to re-establish this area as a retail service zone.

·        The grade related housing and streetscape on McLeod is a very positive feature.

During the pre-consultation the panel expressed concern with the eastern end of the building and the relationship to the property line and the context of the houses to the east.  The panel suggested that the building should not be 100 per cent to the property line and not be composed of six‑storey and eight-storey blank walls.  Suggestions included introducing terracing and setbacks to the east walls and that they be fully developed architecturally recognizing that the eastern walls will be very visible to the adjacent houses and the general context of the neighbourhood including the park at the Museum of Nature.


There is a specific reference to this in the DOUDS on page 61


            “Regardless of the height of new buildings, the City should carefully review all design aspects including street setbacks, architectural quality, contextual fir, massing, parking provisions and the distance between buildings.  It is important to note that while zoning may define allowable building envelopes, design review could impose limitations and require further refinements within that envelop to ensure compatibility with local conditions.  As building heights exceed 6 storeys this design review becomes even more critical to ensure appropriate development and compatibility with the existing context.”


To be specific;


1.              The façade and massing is still presenting a blank unarticulated wall between six stories and eight stories tall at the eastern property line. The panel does not feel this massing at the property line is a good repeatable urban design for the intensification of Bank Street.


2.              The panel had asked that the adjacent buildings be drawn on the elevations and the three‑dimensional computer model to illustrate how this transition was to be successful. This has not been done.


3.              Elevations are required for all four facades. The east façade is still missing.


4.              The panel discussed a change in massing to lower and or set back the end module (east end between grid 10 and 11) to reduce the height of this wall at the property line.  No attempt to address this has been made.  The building as designed is too tall at the eastern end and the blank brick walls in a single plane are not an appropriate repeatable condition.  Please see DOUDS, pg 61.


5.              The building between the towers has also been moved to the property line and expressed in a blank wall which appears to be concrete at the property line. This is not an acceptable edge condition between the properties.


6.              Lane - explain how this area will operate. This feature should include overhead doors to close this opening from the street, complete the facades at the street line and reduce impact on the adjacent properties to the east.




The design review panel would recommend these changes be made before granting the project approval.




CONSULTATION DETAILS                                                                                DOCUMENT 6




Notification and public consultation was undertaken in accordance with the Public Notification and Public Consultation Policy approved by City Council for Zoning By-law amendments. 



Five letters were received from members of the public.  Two letters were submitted in opposition to the application and three were in support.

Comments in opposition raised concerns related to adequate parking for the building and the impact of the east façade of the building on abutting properties. 




With respect to parking the building is proposing two levels of underground parking that conform to the by-law requirements.  The application has not requested a reduction in parking.  With respect to the east façade of the building, staff share the same concern and as a result have recommend the redesign of the building to create a better transition to the lower profile buildings.

Comments in support of the application were supportive of residential intensification along this section or Bank Street, the introduction of a building that can improve the profile of the area and the possibility of this development attracting additional investment in the area.


General Comments:


Redevelopment of this site should transform a pivotal intersection in Centretown by introducing a desirable residential intensification to an empty tract of Bank Street. The overall components of the project - a strong continuous retail presence on Bank, with mid-rise housing units above meet the goals of the 'Traditional Mainstreet' zoning and the Centretown Plan's Medium-Profile residential OP designation. .


Increase in Maximum Building Height:


Although the requested increase in maximum height from six storeys to nine is at the upper limit of what is acceptable within a medium-profile residential and the Bank Street zoning, and there are other sites where a nine storey height would not be appropriate, it has to be assessed in the site-specific context of the property, which is on a busy arterial roadway across from an automotive use. I note that the McLeod Street frontage has been stepped down to six floors, with ground-oriented townhouses at grade that are more appropriate to the McLeod Street block.

The re-zoning should be a built-form envelope that conforms to this proposal and adheres to the various stepped down transitional sections.


Compatibility with Centretown Heritage Conservation District/Heritage Overlay Provisions:


The Centretown HCD guidelines state that each application for new construction in the district should be assessed for its compatibility with its environs, streetscape, footprint and massing. It does not require new buildings to be copies of other historic buildings in the area - but clearly buildings of their time. In this case, the immediately adjacent streetscape is very mixed, and would not be overwhelmed by the new building. Its massing (a U-shaped block) respects and echoes a well-established footprint seen in other mid-rise apartment buildings in the Centretown area, and the mixed use (with commercial at grade, and residential above) is seen up and down Bank Street in earlier examples.


Given the above rationale, I am in support of this application.




In response to the Application for new construction in the Centretown Heritage District, Councillor Holmes submitted these additional comments:


The 'rear' of the building is a remains an unresolved design issue. The blank masonry walls of each wing and the concrete base of parking podium need to be articulated to reduce their impact. This was the primary comment of the Urban Design Peer Review Panel, and I share their concerns.


While the proposed building is certainly an uncompromisingly contemporary design statement, its functional programme (at-grade storefronts and residential units above) is a traditional format that is already found on commercial streets in the Centretown Heritage District. This is further echoed by the proposed U-shaped apartment block (another historic form) - so in that sense it meets the spirit of the design management guidelines for the Centretown HCD. The use of red brick continues a material that predominates the Centretown area. The portion of the Bible Church that is to be entirely demolished does not have architectural significant.


From the preservation perspective, it would have been desirable to retain the 1930s portion of the tabernacle in its entirety. On this site, with no existing heritage streetscape in its blockface, or immediately abutting it, I feel that the Bank, Gladstone, and McLeod facades of the new building are generally appropriate - although certainly at the upper limit of what would be acceptable in terms of height in this zone. That said, the street level treatment of the commercial space along Bank Street should be more pedestrian friendly, finely detailed, and make a positive contribution to the Bank Street retail ambience.


The treatment of the east side of the building is not acceptable. I cannot support a building having blank walls and a concrete base. The wall needs to be stepped down and articulated to be more sympathetic to the area to the east.



Centretown Citizens’ Community Association (CCCA)


At a meeting on November 20, 2007 the developer made a presentation regarding the proposal.  A motion was passed which states that the CCCA does not support any building on this site higher than the current zoning permits.  The CCCA is not opposed to development in Centretown; however it should be appropriate to the area and must respect existing zoning by‑laws.


While height was a key issue in the discussion, other comments related to inappropriate building materials, unsuccessful integration of the façade of the church, no appreciable landscaping and lack of parking.