Eye on Development – Renaissance on Rideau Street?

Chad Rollins

IMAGE file  photos from March, 2019 by John Cockburn

The following developments will add more than a thousand new apartments along four blocks of Rideau Street. This could mean another 1,500 people living in the area, and hopefully, supporting local businesses along Rideau. Could we be seeing the start of a Rideau Street renaissance?

Trinity—Rideau and Chapel

Trinity Development Group has filed a new site plan application for 151-153 Chapel St., former site of the Jewish synagogue and community centre.

The City’s planning committee previously approved a proposal for two 25-storey high rises on this site with a total of 586 apartments and nearly 7,000 square metres of retail space. Big-box stores start at about 4,500 square metres. The plan included a grocery store and liquor store, in addition to other smaller retail outlets. However, since receiving final approval in spring 2016, Trinity has not proceeded.

In its new application, Trinity has revised its plans, significantly reducing the retail space and increasing the number of apartments. The new proposal still includes two 25-storey high rises, but now there are a total of 633 apartments and just 855 square metres of retail space. This significant reduction in retail space for such a large, prime site on Ottawa’s main street is truly disappointing.

Trinity says it will build the new proposal in two phases: Phase 1 fronting on Rideau Street, Phase 2 on Beausoleil. The new proposal no longer includes the contentious request to open the cul-de-sac at the end of Chapel.


Chenier—Rideau and Cobourg

Chenier Development Group has begun work on a new apartment building at 541-545 Rideau St., former site of Culinary Conspiracy.

In September 2018 the City’s planning committee approved the proposal for a nine-storey, mixed-use building on this site with a total of 112 apartments and about 200 square metres of retail space. In addition, the existing heritage building is to be dismantled and rebuilt as two semi-detached residences further north along Cobourg Street.

Chenier has indicated that the building will be rental apartments, not condominiums. This is much needed, given the record low vacancy rate of 1.7 % for rental apartments in Ottawa.


Richcraft—Rideau at Charlotte and Rideau at Cobourg

You may have noticed that Richcraft Group has fenced the temporary park at 590-594 Rideau, corner of Charlotte, and that they are erecting a temporary sales office on the site. This sales office will be for their development a block away, at 560 Rideau, corner of Cobourg.

In 2017, following an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board, Richcraft obtained permission to build a 14-storey, mixed-use building at 538-544-560 Rideau. The approved proposal is seven storeys along much of Rideau, rising to 14 storeys at the corner of Rideau and Cobourg; and also includes a three-storey section fronting on Besserer Street. The development will contain 230 apartments, and retail space on the ground floor along Rideau and Cobourg. Richcraft’s website says that “The Charlotte” – as they’ve dubbed the building – is coming soon.

Presumably once The Charlotte is sold out, then the sales office at 590-594 Rideau will begin selling the future development on that site, where Richcraft has approval for a seven-storey, mixed-use building, with 72 apartments and ground floor retail space.