Place de Ville

Place de Ville is a complex of office towers in downtown Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It consists of four office buildings: Place de Ville A, B, and C; and the 'Podium' building. The complex also has two large hotels, the Delta Ottawa City Centre (410 rooms) and Ottawa Marriott Hotel (487 rooms), as well as the city's largest underground parking garage with space for 974 cars. The buildings are linked by an underground shopping complex. Place de Ville C is the tallest building in Ottawa. It was once advertised as "Ottawa's glittering answer to the Toronto Dominion Centre and Place Ville Marie".[2]

Place de Ville
Tower C of Place de Ville
Location within Ontario
General information
TypeCommercial offices and hotels
LocationLyon and Queen Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Coordinates45.4194°N 75.7045°W / 45.4194; -75.7045
Construction started1965
OwnerBrookfield Properties
ManagementBrookfield Properties
Antenna spireNone
RoofTower A: 87 m (285 ft)
Tower B: 87 m (285 ft)
Tower C: 112 m (367 ft)
Delta Hotel: 91 m (299 ft)
Marriott Hotel: 96 m (315 ft)
Top floor29
Technical details
Floor countTower A: 22
Tower B: 22
Tower C: 29
Delta Hotel: 25
Marriott Hotel: 26
Floor area1,200,000 sq ft (110,000 m2)
Lifts/elevatorsTower A: 6
Tower B: 6
Tower C: 12
Design and construction
DeveloperCampeau Corporation
Main contractorCampeau Corporation
Other information
Number of roomsDelta: 411
Marriott: 486

History and development

The complex is located in downtown Ottawa on Albert Street between Kent Street and Lyon. Towers A and B are located on the south side of Queen Street while tower C is on the north of Queen. The buildings are mostly home to various federal government workers, with the Department of Transport, headquartered in Tower C, being the largest tenant.

For almost a century the area had been home to the city's streetcar garages. The streetcar system was closed in 1959. The land was purchased later by developer Robert Campeau. He conceived an ambitious plan to recentre Ottawa's downtown on the site. The scheme faced several barriers, the most important of which was that for many years buildings in downtown Ottawa faced a 45.7 metre (150 foot) height restriction so the Peace Tower would dominate the skyline. Despite strong opposition from Ottawa mayor Charlotte Whitton, the rule was changed to allow the only somewhat taller Towers A and B to be constructed. These two towers were completed in 1968. That same year Campeau began lobbying to build the much taller Tower C. Originally hoping to build a 145-metre (475 foot) tower (which would have made it about 42 storeys), although approved by the city, the National Capital Commission allowed it to only be 112 metres (367 feet) (29 storeys), but it was, and remains, the tallest building in the city.

In the early 1980s Campeau proposed building a fourth even taller tower but a deep recession and a glut of Ottawa office space ended these plans. The buildings also began to suffer a variety of problems including asbestos, mould, a fire and allegations of Sick Building Syndrome. In the late 1980s Towers A and B were gutted and completely renovated. Campeau's business empire was also struggling and after failed expansion attempts in the United States his company collapsed. In 1996 its remnants, including Place de Ville, were bought by the Reichmann's Olympia and York (O&Y).

In 2000 O&Y announced that work would begin on a third phase of the Place de Ville complex. This would consist of two new towers one 18 storeys and the other 12. They would be built on the large parking lot across from Tower B. Several other downtown building projects and another economic downturn put these plans on hold, however. In February 2005 O&Y announced it would be selling most of its Canadian holdings, including Place de Ville.

Future developments

Place de Ville is now managed by Brookfield Properties. Plans have been filed with the City of Ottawa to replace the 4 storey 'Podium' building with a 19 floor office tower. A two storey link would connect tower C with this new building and include wider, brighter escalators to the underground concourse.

In addition, the complex will be integrated with Lyon Station of the Confederation Line which will be situated underground between the two phases of Place de Ville. It has been rumoured that the opening of the Confederation Line and its direct integration with the underground concourse of Place de Ville will create enough pedestrian traffic to warrant a revitalization of the concourse and the reopening of the old cinema on site.

Brookfield also owns a large surface parking lot taking up half a block across Kent Street from Place de Ville phase I that could see construction of over half a million square feet of office space. The parking lot will be partially closed during the construction of the Confederation Line to allow the builders to use the lot as a staging area and a central point from which to dig the downtown subway portion of the system.

See also


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