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Design Woes in the Capital

The design argument on the renovation to the Chateau Laurier is an interesting dilemma.  On the one hand there are the owners of the Chateau Laurier, Larco Investments, who believe they have done everything to accommodate the wishes of City Council and on the other there is a public crying unsatisfactory to each revision to the architect’s offering.

While the latest visual does seem to resemble a huge radiator hanging off the side of the building, the interior plaza does give a sense of calm to shut out the world beyond. Good thing.

There is a notable irritation about the debate and process involved and the owner does have a point that they have upheld their end of the process despite the horrible look. And, it t is Larco Investments paying for the renovation–their private property.

The question is how did it get this far?

We’ve had 3 years and six designs later to complain and disagree, and yet here we are at the 11th hour trying to make the change.  The subcommittee overseeing the modifications even approved the application last June, only demanding three changes.  Earlier this year, city staff said the latest design met the requested changes.

Maybe we expected more from the design.  Maybe we just didn’t believe it was really going to happen the way it did.  And some of the same Councillors who are now against were initially for.

It seems to be a lose/lose situation.  Perhaps the Councillors are just getting bad advice from city staff? After all, how do they get their information on approving applications that come under the city’s purview.  They rely on guidance from staff.  In any event it has turned into a gong show with no end in site.  Either way some party will complain and turn to the courts to solve this dispute.

Who will the courts side with?  It is hard to gauge given the history of how this process unfolded and who agreed to what over the course to the end result.

Just imagine centuries n the future, people looking at the Chateau, perhaps having to make repairs, and they mutter out loud – What were thinking of back in 2019?

A sad reflection.