Report to/Rapport au:


Planning and Environment Committee

Comité de l'urbanisme et de l'environnement


and Council / et au Conseil


May 5, 2009 / le 05 mai 2009


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

Directrice municipale adjointe,

Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability

Services d'infrastructure et Viabilité des collectivités


Contact Person/Personne-ressource : John Smit, Manager/Gestionnaire, Development Review-Urban Services/Examen des projets d'aménagement-Services urbains, Planning and Growth Management/Urbanisme et Gestion de la croissance

(613) 580-2424, 13866


Rideau-Vanier (12)

Ref N°: ACS2009-ICS-PLA-0085




Demolition - 263, 267 and 271 Besserer Street




dÉmolition - 263, 267 et 271, rue besserer





1.         That the Planning and Environment Committee recommend Council approve the demolition of 263 Besserer Street, 267 Besserer Street and 271 Besserer Street, subject to the following conditions:


a.         That the Registered Owner shall seed/sod and maintain the properties as open space and not use them for other interim use between the demolition of the existing building and the time of construction of any replacement building(s). 


b.         That the Registered Owner acknowledges that if the site is not maintained to City standards after demolition, the provisions of the Property Standards By-law will apply.  


c.         That the Registered Owner shall agree to substantially complete are placement building(s) on the three subject properties, within five years from the date of the demolition of the existing buildings is commenced and in default thereof, the City Clerk shall enter on the collectors' roll, the sum of Five Thousand ($5,000) Dollars for each dwelling unit contained in the residential property demolished.  The number of dwelling units determined for each building shall be in accordance with City records.


d.         That the Registered Owner shall enter into an agreement with the City of Ottawa to include the forgoing conditions and pay all the costs associated with the registration of said agreement.  At such a time as a building permit is issued to redevelop the site and the replacement building is in place, the agreement will become null and void and be released upon request by the Registered Owner. The Registered Owner shall pay all costs associated with the release from this agreement.


2.         That the approval be considered null and void if the agreement has not been registered within six months of the date of this approval.





1.         Que le Comité de l’urbanisme et de l’environnement recommande au Conseil d’approuver la démolition du 263, du 267 et du 271, rue Besserer, sous réserve des conditions suivantes :


a.         Que le propriétaire enregistré assure l’ensemencement/gazonnement et l’entretien des propriétés en tant qu’espaces ouverts, et n’en fasse aucun autre usage temporaire entre la démolition du bâtiment et la construction de tout nouveau bâtiment. 


b.         Que le propriétaire enregistré accepte, si l’emplacement n’est pas entretenu selon les normes de la Ville après la démolition, l’application du Règlement sur les normes de bien-fonds.


c.         Que le propriétaire enregistré accepte essentiellement d’achever un ou des bâtiments de remplacement sur les trois propriétés visées, dans les cinq ans suivant la date de début de la démolition des bâtiments existants, à défaut de quoi le greffier municipal pourra inscrire dans le rôle du percepteur la somme de cinq mille (5 000 $) dollars pour chaque logement aménagé dans la propriété résidentielle démolie. Le nombre de logements calculé pour chaque bâtiment doit correspondre à celui des dossiers de la Ville.


d.         Que le propriétaire enregistré passe un accord avec la Ville d’Ottawa afin d’inclure les conditions susmentionnées et de payer tous les coûts d’enregistrement dudit accord. Lors de la délivrance d’un permis de construire pour le réaménagement de la propriété et une fois construit le bâtiment de remplacement, l’accord deviendra caduc et sera abandonné sur demande du propriétaire enregistré. Celui-ci devra payer tous les frais associés à la libération de cet accord.


2.         Que l’approbation soit considérée caduque si l’accord n’est pas enregistré dans les six mois suivant la date de cette approbation.





An application has been made by the owner of 263, 267 and 271 Besserer Street to demolish these buildings without replacement buildings being constructed.  The subject properties are adjacent to one another and are located on the north side of Besserer Street, east of King Edward Avenue.  Below is information on each of the buildings.


263 Besserer Street


The building at this property is the most westerly building of the three and City records show that it is occupied by a two storey duplex dwelling.   It is vacant and was constructed in 1892.  It is a Category II building on the City's Heritage Reference List, which means that this building has been identified, as being of heritage interest but it has not been officially designated under Part IV or Part V of the Heritage Act. 


267 Besserer Street


This is the middle building of the three and it is a two-storey single detached dwelling.  It is also vacant and was constructed in 1892.  It is a Category III building on the City of Ottawa Heritage Reference List, which means that this building has been identified as being of heritage interest but it has not been officially designated under Part IV or Part V of the Heritage Act.  


271 Besserer Street


This is the most easterly of the three buildings.  Like the other two, it was also constructed in 1892 and is two storeys in height.  City records show it has been used as a duplex dwelling.  Like the building adjacent to the west, this building has been listed as a Category III building on the Heritage Reference List, which means that this building has been identified as being of heritage interest, but it has not been officially designated under Part IV or Part V of the Heritage Act.




Heritage Consideration


The proposed demolition has been discussed with Heritage Planning staff and there are no concerns from a heritage perspective with the demolition of the three buildings. 


Affordable Housing Consideration


In the past, the subject buildings served as student housing, however, they have been vacant for several years and are no longer habitable.  The subject properties form part of a larger land holding, which includes the vacant properties in the block to the east, along Besserer Street and properties opposite these on Rideau Street  (e.g. Steve's Music and Nates Deli).  Demolition of these buildings will create a larger vacant parcel of land, which can be combined with the adjacent properties, to allow for comprehensive redevelopment to meet the residential intensification policies set out in the Official Plan and the Uptown Rideau Community Design Plan.  In fact, the entire property was recently rezoned by City Council to permit a high-rise mixed-use development on the site. Such development would satisfy the aforementioned intensification policies and increase the housing stock in the area.  The demolition of the subject buildings would be necessary for the redevelopment intended by the recent rezoning.


Building Condition Consideration


The subject buildings have been vacant for several years.  Staff have been advised by the applicant that the subject buildings are unsafe for habitation and are boarded to prohibit access. Nevertheless, these buildings have all been broken into on numerous occasions by squatters and used for illegal activities.  Staff visits to the site have confirmed that these buildings are in a deteriorated state.  Given the history of break-ins, these buildings currently pose a security issue and unless demolished, will continue to be subject to vandalism.  The demolition of these buildings will allow the Owner to focus on his redevelopment plans for the entire contiguous property, rather than trying to secure and protect buildings that he has no intention to rehabilitate or reuse.  


Given the deteriorated conditions of the subject buildings and considering that they have been uninhabitable and vacant for years, it is the Department's position that the subject buildings do not contribute positively to the neighbourhood.  Recommendation 1a) will ensure that the properties will be seeded and not used for surface parking pending their redevelopment.  Sod is the preferred treatment because it softens the property’s appearance while helping to minimize erosion.  In addition, a parking lot is not a listed permitted use for the subject properties.  Given the state and use of the buildings, having the properties as vacant lands would improve the physical fabric of the surrounding neighbourhood, as the properties would be maintained as open space.  In the future, the redevelopment of the site will further enhance the character of the area.  The demolition of the buildings would also remove the safety and security issues associated with many vacant buildings occupying the lands.


Recommendation 1b) requires that the properties be maintained in an acceptable manner as per the City’s Property Standards By-law.  Recommendation 1c) has been included to ensure that redevelopment of the property occurs within a reasonable timeframe and applies a penalty if the redevelopment has not occurred.  Recommendation 1d) will provide the authority for ensuring the properties are in an acceptable condition after demolition and Recommendation 2 provides a timeline for finalizing the approval.




Notice of this application was carried out in accordance with the City’s Public Notification and Consultation Policy.  The Ward Councillor is aware of the proposal.  Five comments were received from the posting of the on-site sign.  Each wanted to know when the buildings were going to be demolished as they were in horrible condition and were being used for illegal activities.




There are no legal/risk management implications associated with this report.








This application was processed by the "On Time Decision Date" established for the processing of an application for Demolition Control. 




Document 1      Location Map




City Clerk and Legal Services Branch, Legislative Services to notify the Owner, 1727916 Ontario Inc. 231 Brittany Drive Unit D Ottawa, Ontario K1K 0R8, the agent Guy Gervais P.O. Box 43, 68 Frances Colbert Carp, Ontario K0A 1L0,, 174 Colonnade Road, Unit #33, Ottawa, ON  K2E 7J5 and all interested parties of Council's decision.


Legal Services to prepare the Demolition Control Agreement.



LOCATION PLAN                                                                                                  DOCUMENT 1