Developer to gut heritage building for 27-storey tower

Latest plans for Medical Arts Building no longer include hotel

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Kate Porter · CBC News · Posted: Aug 13, 2018 1:02 PM ET | Last Updated: August 13


A developer wants to gut the Medical Arts Building on Metcalfe Street and use the six-storey heritage facade as a podium for a 21-storey tower. (Roderick Lahey Architect)

A developer has resumed plans to gut an art deco heritage building in downtown Ottawa and integrate its facade into a new 27-storey tower to be built behind it. 

Toth Equity Ltd. has applied to the City of Ottawa to demolish the inside and rear wall of the six-storey Medical Arts Building at the corner of Metcalfe and Nepean streets.

The building, classified as a "neighbourhood landmark" in a consultant's heritage report submitted by city planners, includes several distinct exterior architectural features such as buff-coloured geometric brick and window grills, but its interior is not protected.

The project last went before city council in September 2015, when it included retail, condos and 140 hotel suites. The city councillor for the area, Catherine McKenney, argued a hotel at that location would be inappropriate and called for more three-bedroom apartments to accommodate families living downtown.

Council approved the zoning and official plan amendments in 2015, but decided the hotel would go ahead only once the developer paid the city $200,000 toward parks or recreational facilities. 

The latest plan no longer includes the hotel, according to the consultant's report.





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