Show The Chateau And Ottawa Some Respect




The changes made by Larco Investments Ltd. and its architect Peter Clewes after the public consultation on the Chateau Laurier expansion were insignificant.

Even Clewes says so. That shows disrespect to the people of Ottawa who for the most part are outraged about a modern addition stuck to the iconic railroad hotel. Yet Clewes doggedly sticks to his artistic conception which is deeply in question.

Ottawa has seen these consultations many times before. The public attends them in goodwill hoping their opinions might stick, then they’re largely ignored by the city and the builder because the big hitters want what they want and that’s it.

Ottawans don’t like the addition and they’re right. The Chateau is one of the symbols of this city, the parliamentary district and Canada.

Heritage Ottawa said it well:

“The current design of the proposed addition is incongruous with the heritage character of the Chateau Laurier and its environs. Bluntly stated, the proposed addition resembles a contemporary condominium.”

That’s correct. If this addition goes forward, will Ottawans see a condo stuck to the Parliament Buildings’ library? A condo in front of the Supreme Court? A condo hooked on to the Canadian Museum of History? Perhaps the architect will tell us they are symbols of man’s inhumanity toward his fellow man. And architecturally, he’d be right.

These are symbols of Canada. Perhaps Clewes would stick a condo on the back of the Acropolis as a statement of today and modernity. Such is the myopic attitude of the artist.

The owners of the Chateau should know they possess a national icon, not a Comfort Inn.

The Chateau should be treated with the respect it deserves as an integral part of Canada’s capital.



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2 thoughts on “Show The Chateau And Ottawa Some Respect

  1. Here again, Mayor Jim Watson is silent after his popular vocal outburst regarding the original design model. That protest rings rather hollow if Watson is not prepared to carry his disagreement with this design any further. Therefore, will Watson once again say: “back to the drawing board”; or instead claim that “the new design is an improvement that satisfies my previous concerns”?

  2. The NCC should comment on this. Also it seems that the Chateau has played such a role in the history of Parliament (PMs have stayed there, etc.) that it would make sense for Trudeau and Liberal party to comment on the proposed addition. It seems simple to make an addition which has the same “look and feel” as the original structure.
    In my experience architects either are engineers or artists. This one must fancy himself a creative artist. Suggestion: change architects. Get one who will make the addition in a workmanlike way such that the addition is at one with the original building.


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