a peek inside the fishbowl

17 Jan, 2007

update on La Maison

Posted by andrea tomkins in: - Westboro

Things are gearing up again. And we’re at a fairly urgent crossroads.

First up, this info via Stuart Lazear, Senior Heritage Planner for the City of Ottawa.

The report dealing with the designation of 360 Kenwood Avenue was signed off by Nancy Schepers yesterday afternoon and is on the LACAC agenda of next Thursday January 25. It will then proceed to Planning and Environment Committee of February 13 and City Council of February 28. The rezoning report will also be dealt with at PEC of February 13.
Notwithstanding the heritage significance of the building, the Planning, Transit and the Environment Department is not recommending designation of the building under the Ontario Heritage Act. The Department felt that the arguments presented by the development/design team of Uniform Urban Developments and Barry Hobin Architects against retention of the building outweighed the argument for retention and designation of the building. The complete Action Report will be available on-line by this Friday January 19. Any enquiries regarding this report can be directed to Grant Lindsay, Manager of Development Approvals at ext. 13242.

It appears as though there is a copy of the agenda already online. The designation of la Maison Jeanne D’Arc is item #4 on the list. It appears as though the city staff’s report to LACAC (Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee) is online too. It’s here.

I have only just skimmed it. There is a lot in there that I am questionning but I really need to sit down with it and gather my thoughts. It is overwheming. BUT:

I will be at that meeting on the 25th. If you want to see the building saved it is urgent that you attend.

You might be asking: I don’t know if I’m opposed. I haven’t seen Hobin’s plans! Well, not many people have. He hasn’t made them public and has denied requests to meet.

I happened to be walking by the other day and I noticed a two men park their car in front of the building. Both got out, and one of them was taking some photos.

“Are you from the developers?” I asked the younger one.

“Well, sort of,” he said. “We’re the money.”

“What’s going in there anyway?” I asked, pointing to La Maison.

Click to enlarge - View of La Maison Jeanne D'Arc - Kenwood AveHe pointed at the Oglivie homes across the street (also by Barry Hobin). “Oh,” he said. “More of the same.”

The other outstanding issue is Christine Leadman. I’m not sure whether she thinks the building is worth saving or not.

What’s more, we need about 40 more signatures on our petition. So I expect to be heading out into subzero temperatures to get them.

This, from the report:

Furthermore, the proposed residential development will contribute to the residential character of this neighbourhood. Uniform Developments, in association with Barry Hobin Architect, recently constructed a new residential development on the block immediately to the north of 360 Kenwood Avenue on the site of the former Ogilvy Estate. That project has been awarded an Award of Excellence from the City in recognition of its sensitive residential design within the context of the Westboro neighbourhood and the 1920s Ogilvy home that was retained on site.

Sensitive design? Sure, it’s handsome, but I would never call it “sensitive.” It does not fit the context of Westboro. It does not fit with the style and character of the surrounding neighborhood.   

Oh my friends. Now is the time to show your support. Please help me if you can.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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