Report to/Rapport au :


Planning and Environment Committee

Comité de l'urbanisme et de l'environnement


and Council / et au Conseil


2 February 2010 / le 2 féverier 2010


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


Somerset (14)

Ref N°: ACS2010-ICS-PGM-0044




ZONING - 333 Laurier Avenue west, 152 Bank Street, 250 Slater Street (FILE NO. D02-02-09-0093)









That the Planning and Environment Committee recommend Council approve an amendment to the Zoning By-law 2008-250, to change the zoning of 333 Laurier Avenue, 152 Bank Street, 250 Slater Street from the existing Mixed-Use Downtown Zones (MD S23 and MD S24) to new Mixed Use Downtown exception zones MD S23[xxxx] and MDS24[xxx] as detailed in Document 1 and as shown in Document 3.




Que le Comité de  recommande au Conseil d’approuver une modification au Règlement de zonage 2008-250 afin de changer les désignations de zonage actuelles du 333, avenue Laurier, du 152, rue Bank et du 250, rue Slater de Zones d’utilisations polyvalentes du centre-ville (MD S23 et MD S24) à Zones d’utilisations polyvalentes du centre-ville assorties d’une exception (MD S23[xxxx] et MD S24[xxxx]), tel qu’il est expliqué en détail dans le Document 1 et indiqué dans le Document 2.





The subject property is located in the Central Area on the west side of Bank Street between Laurier Avenue and Slater Street.  Located on the property are three, three-storey buildings, an open space plaza, two parking lots and two high-rise office buildings known as Standard Life 1 and 2.  Each of the existing three-storey buildings is designated under the Ontario Heritage Act.  The building at the corner of Bank and Slater Streets is designated under Part IV of the Heritage Act and is subject to the heritage overlay provisions of the Zoning By-law, while the other two buildings form part of the Bank Street Heritage Conservation District and are designated under Part V of the Heritage Act.  In between the two buildings on the southern end of the lot and the building at the corner of Bank and Slater Street is a temporary gathering place known as Snider Plaza.  The plaza is also designated under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act. The middle portion of the site is vacant and is used for parking.  There are two surface parking lots, one serves the office uses at the corner of Bank and Laurier, while the other is a City of Ottawa Municipal Parking Lot.  The western portion of the site is occupied by the two high-rise office buildings (Standard Life 1 and 2).  These two buildings are owned by the applicant.  


The applicant is intending to construct on the property a new 18 storey (69.6 metre) office building.  The ground floor is proposed to consist of retail/commercial uses with the upper floors being used for offices.  The top floor will contain the mechanical penthouse.  As part of the proposal, the applicant will be incorporating the facades of all three of the existing heritage buildings into the proposal.  These facades will be maintained in their present location, renovated without displacing them and incorporated into the new building.  The applicant has submitted an application to the Ottawa Built Heritage Advisory Committee (formerly LACAC) to alter the heritage buildings.


All parking is to be provided underground in three levels, which will link with the underground parking already provided for the Standard Life buildings on the western portion of the site.  Access to this parking will be provided via a ramp along Slater Street, where it is presently located.


Purpose of Zoning Amendment


In order to facilitate the development, the applicant is proposing three changes to the performance standards applying to the zoning of the property.  The first relates to a change in the parking that will be required.  For the proposed building this is to be reduced from 230 spaces to 178 spaces and for the existing buildings this is to be reduced from 261 spaces to 252 spaces. The parking provided for the entire property will be 430 parking spaces.  For the second and third requests, the applicant is proposing to reduce the required minimum parking aisle width from 6.7 metres to 6.2 metres and amend the provisions of the Heritage Overlay for the designated heritage building at the corner of Bank and Slater Streets.




Parking Reduction


It is the intent of the Official Plan to increase the amount of travel undertaken by means other than with the use of a private vehicle.  Parking policies have been established to limit the supply of long term parking in a manner that balances transit ridership objectives with the needs of automobile users.  Land use patterns are encouraged that are more compact and that will support increased use of sustainable travel modes, which include public transit, walking and cycling.  Long term targets have been set in the latest revisions to the Official Plan that call for a 30 per cent public transit modal split, a 10 per cent walking modal split and a three per cent cycling modal split, by the year 2031.  


It is the Department’s position that allowing the proposed reduction in parking supports the City’s policy initiatives to decrease the dependence on private vehicles and increase travel by other means.  The parking to be eliminated is long-term employee parking.  Reducing the availability of this type of parking in the existing and proposed buildings, along with the loss of the City of Ottawa Parking Lot, is expected to support the use of alternative methods of transportation by workers in the building.  There are limited long-term public parking alternatives in the area and the subject property is located next to City’s Transitway on Slater Street/Albert Street, making the use of public transportation by the workers in the building a strong viable alternative.  It should also be noted that the traffic impact completed for this development indicates that the parking proposed is sufficient to meet the needs of the building, without resulting in parking conflicts in the area.  As well, as part of the applicant’s Transportation Demand Management strategy, they will be providing locker rooms and showers for workers in the building, as well as 148 bicycle parking spaces, to support the use of bicycles and walking.  The Zoning By-law requires 136 bicycle parking spaces.


Driveway Aisle


Regarding the proposed reduction in driveway aisle width, the Zoning By-law establishes a minimum width of 6.7 metres for a double traffic lane providing access to a parking garage.  This is to allow opposing vehicles the ability to pass, without conflicting with each other.  This area is also often used by vehicles for entering and exiting parking spaces and is intended to provide a distance that is sufficient to allow vehicles to do so in a safe and efficient manner.  The proposal represents a reduction for the aisle width of only 45.5 centimetres (approx 18 inches).  It is the Department's position that such a reduction will not negatively affect the ability of vehicles to pass each other safely or for a vehicle to enter or exit a parking space without conflicting with other parked vehicles or the building structure.


Heritage Overlay


While the proposed development will retain the facades of all the existing buildings, it will not keep the entire buildings and since the proposed development will be 18 storeys in height, instead of the existing three, it does not satisfy the specific provision of the Zoning By-law relating to the Heritage Overlay.  The Department supports this amendment request to the Heritage Overlay provisions.


The applicant has worked extensively with staff to retain the facades in their existing location.  The efforts undertaken by the applicant support the policies in both the Primary Official Plan and the Central Area Secondary Plan related to Bank Street, pertaining to the protection of heritage resources, as they give prominence to the retained façades through architectural treatment, articulation, massing and materials.  This will in turn retain the existing streetscape presence along Bank Street and at the corner of Bank and Slater Streets.  As well, the development of the new building's façade along Bank Street, at Snider Plaza, has been designed to reflect the current height characteristics of the heritage buildings, to help reinforce the three-storey streetscape presence. 


Overall Proposal


Each of the applicant's amendment requests represents changes to specific performance standards. As set out in this submission, staff considers the requested modifications to be appropriate, and will allow for the construction of a building which satisfies development policies in the Official Plan.  Under the Central Area policies, granting the proposed amendments will allow a development that promotes Bank Street as a significant Central Area shopping street and a vibrant area of activity while maintaining and promoting a Mainstreet theme.  It also allows for continuity between building façades while contributing to a sense of human scale.  Regarding the compatibility policies (2.5.1.), the new building represents a high quality of architectural design consistent with a major metropolis.  It recognizes the history of the city by maintaining and successfully incorporating the heritage building facades along Bank Street.  It meets the needs of pedestrians by offering ground floor retail and convenience uses and through higher density infill, it achieves a more compact urban form and addresses the connections between buildings and buildings and the street.  It also complements the massing patterns, rhythm, character and context of the development in the City's Central core and provides for a statement building that will add significantly to a positive image and identity for the City's downtown core.


Downtown Ottawa Urban Design Strategy


In addition to satisfying the relevant policies in the Official Plan, on November 12, 2009, the applicant’s proposal was reviewed as part of the City's Downtown Ottawa Urban Design Strategy.  The design panel overwhelmingly supported the applicant's efforts to preserve the heritage buildings facades, as well as the overall design of the building. 




Notice of this application was carried out in accordance with the City's Public Notification and Consultation Policy.  Three comments were received.  Two that indicated support as it represented an excellent development proposal and one opposed because of issues related to the height of the building and the resulting traffic.




Councillor Diane Holmes is aware of the application.




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




F2 – Respect the existing urban fabric, neighbourhood form and the limits of existing services, so that new growth is integrated seamlessly with established communities.








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




Document 1    Location Map

Document 2    Building Rendering

Document 3    Details of Recommended Zoning




City Clerk and Solicitor Department, Legislative Services to notify the owner, applicant,, 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 and Growth Management to prepare the implementing by-law, forward to Legal Services and undertake the statutory notification.


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

LOCATION MAP                                                                                                DOCUMENT 1

BUILDING RENDERING                                                                                  DOCUMENT 2

DETAILS OF RECOMMENDED ZONING                                                    DOCUMENT 3


Proposed Changes to the Comprehensive Zoning By-law


The lands known municipally as 250 Slater Street, 333 Laurier Avenue West and 152 Bank Street shown on Document 1, will be rezoned from MD S23 and MD S24 to MD S23[xxxx] and MD S24 [xxxx], and will be subject to the following exception:


- minimum number of parking spaces required: 438

- minimum width of driveway aisle along northerly wall abutting Slater Street:  6.2 metres

- the provisions of Section 60 (1)(2)(3) and (4) do not apply for a high-rise office building incorporating the street façades of all existing heritage buildings located on the lands zoned MD S23[xxxx] and MD S24[xxxx] and designated under either Part IV or V of the Ontario Heritage Act.