Transformation of Booth Street complex clears hurdle

By Kate Porter, CBC News Ottawa, February 28, 2019

The bleak block of brick buildings that once housed the federal government's mining labs in the heart of Ottawa's Little Italy is a major step closer to revitalization.

On Thursday, the city's planning committee granted the necessary zoning approvals to allow Canada Lands Company, the Crown corporation that prepares federal properties for sale, to transform the 2.6-hectare Booth Street complex into a retail and residential area some are comparing to Toronto's Distillery District.

The rezoning paves the way for five new highrises — the tallest reaching a maximum of 25 storeys — as well as various additions to existing buildings, all set amid a number of protected heritage structures. A corner of the property at Norman and Rochester streets will be set aside for a park.

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