Watson Spirits Chateau Issue Away



Insiders at Ottawa City Hall say that the fingers of Mayor Jim Watson are all over the decision to give city staff the final approval on the addition to the iconic Chateau Laurier.

Watson wants the controversial issue to go away during an election year and that’s what the legislation passed at planning committee is designed to do. It is expected to be rubber-stamped at council today … 24 hours after it went through planning. What’s the rush? Less time for voters to get concerned about it. Rather like the height and zoning bylaw passed recently … spirited past the public tout suite.

Thus the legislation says that city staff will work with chateau owner Larco to create a design that is reflective of the original building.  City staff, not council (and accordingly the people), will have the final say on the design. That way Watson, if things turn out badly, can say it’s not his fault. No doubt the Bobblehead council will agree.

So what Watson is doing is putting his political success ahead of what is best for the community. It’s not the first time this has happened and it won’t be the last. In fact it is the rule rather than the exception. Watson has taken the final decision for the chateau addition out of the political realm.

It is disgusting politics. Open, caring, inclusive government? Don’t buy that from Watson come voting time in October. The chateau decision, like the height and zoning bylaw, is characteristic of how the mayor conducts his politics … for himself.

Furthermore the National Capital Commission has gone to ground on this as well. Does it not have a mandate to deal with the built design of the Parliamentary district? But the Crown corporation doesn’t want to go near this political hot potato with a 10-kilometre poll.

So what Watson and the NCC are doing is what is best for themselves … not what is best for the community.

Who suffers as a result of the legislative fiasco? The people of Canada and Ottawa who lose a part of the heritage of this country for the political expediency of the mayor and the NCC.

Voters should remember this in October.

This municipality does not run for the benefit of Watson. Instead Watson should be operating the city in the best interests of the inhabitants of this community.

Once again, the mayor is not doing this. He is a very selfish person.


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2 thoughts on “Watson Spirits Chateau Issue Away

  1. I know that someone could, perhaps, do this , so I’ll ask. There are two pictures on today’s Bulldog.

    The concept image is from a point of view that is farther away than the picture of the side view shown above. Also, the images appear to be from two slightly different angles and at slightly different heights.

    In the above picture I see a cement wall with three arches blocking the side view of the Chateau and in the concept image I see a glass wall blocking the side view of the Chateau.

    I can’t run downtown. The only way I could judge the differences would be for me to see the cement wall from the same distance, elevation and angle as the glass wall’s image. I might be able to tell if the wall made of cement is much different than the one of glass if I could compare apple-to-apple.

    Could/would somebody from Ottawa send a picture to the Bulldog that duplicates the concept’s point of view with the existing cement wall?

    And, being the damn devil that I am, I have one more question about the proposed new building. If the land where the glass is going was currently vacant, owned by me, did not belong to the Chateau and was not part of a Heritage building would I be allowed to build what I wanted on my land? Perhaps a one story building with castle turrets housing a hamburger joint would be nicer? I think that no proposed building will satisfy everyone.



  2. Didn’t this whole thing start with a motion at Built Heritage Committee by Toby Nussbaum? To have the details worked out by staff. I wouldn’t have thought that Nussbaum is one of the bobblehead brigade.

    Not sure if you’re aware of it but slowly but surely the city has been expanding the area covered by the Mature Neighbourhoods Bylaw. Most people can’t figure it all out and the city has expanded the area of confusion recently to Lindenlea, Overbrook and the Dow’s Lake area through a report to council etc.

    However, buried in the inner pages of the Cleary/Orchard Secondary Plan report was the intent to expand the Mature Neighbourhoods Bylaw to the Woodroffe North area (east of Woodoffe, north of Richmond, south of Ottawa River Parkway) through that report. Seemed rather sneaky to me.


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