In a reversal from June, Ottawa City Council has opted to green light Ashcroft Design's controversial plans to partially demolish and redevelop the historic Soeurs de la Visitation Westboro Convent located at 114 Richmond Road west of of downtown. Dating to the 1860s, with later additions from the 1880s and early 1900s, the Westboro Convent has laid dormant for several years, leading to speculation that it may only be a matter of time before the heritage structure suffers vandalism, arson, or demolition by neglect.
Framed by the City as a compromise between heritage and the realities of urban renewal, the latest plans would see the demolition of the heritage structure's two-storey west wing, as well as its single-storey southern section, all of which were constructed between 1880 and the early 1900s.
Only the original 1860s structure would remain, including the chapel, all of which would be restored and attached to a nine-storey condo block that would be built on the site of the demolished portions of the convent. While by no means ideal from a heritage standpoint, the City has weighed the decision against what many on council believe to be the very real danger of rejecting this proposal for a second time, and what the delay would mean for the fate of the historic convent.
Viewed above, the original 1860s chapel (right) will be preserved, while the 1880s addition (left), will be demolished to make way for the new 9-storey condo tower. The restored chapel will eventually be home to a restaurant and spa, which will be incorporated into the new development as an amenity feature.
SkyriseCities will be sure to return to this project as progress continues. For more information, check out the associated Database file and Forum thread, and as always, feel free to join the conversation in the comments section below.