Canadian Nurses Association to redevelop downtown HQ as residential building

CNA development

The Canadian Nurses Association wants to replace its Ottawa headquarters with a new nine-storey residential building that would incorporate part of the existing structure.

In planning documents recently filed with the city, the organization says it would retain the facade of the three-storey office building at the corner of Lewis Street and the Queen Elizabeth Driveway, which was built in the mid-1960s and designed by renowned Ottawa architect James Strutt.

The rest of the structure would be replaced by a nine-storey building with 66 residential units, including two-bedroom and three-bedroom suites “that will provide urban living opportunities for families,” according to a planning report.

“The integration of smaller one-bedroom suites will help to provide more affordable living options for singles, couples and young families,” the planning report prepared by J.L. Richards & Associates adds.  

While the current CNA headquarters does not have official heritage status, the association says the building is “architecturally significant” and would be partly preserved under the proposal.

“While the building has lost much of its functional value, it remains a piece of Canadian architectural heritage that should be recognized,” the report says, adding that “key architectural features” of the existing building such as its distinctive lantern-shaped top would be retained. 

Underground parking

The plan calls for an underground parking garage with 92 stalls. The new building would also include nearly 20,000 square feet of amenity space. 

Hobin Architecture is designing the building, and J.L. Richards & Associates is providing engineering services. The site plan does not say if there is a property developer backing the project.

Current zoning limits buildings on the property to 14.5 metres or four storeys. The CNA is requesting zoning and Official Plan amendments to permit additional height and reduced setbacks.

According to planning documents, the CNA’s headquarters previously employed up to 120 people. The application does not say where the organization plans to relocate.

The association did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday afternoon.