Update on Magee House
City and owner agree on plan to save the heritage building.
As you may have seen in today’s Ottawa Citizen, there has been some significant progress this week on the efforts to save, and eventually restore, Magee House. Of critical importance to the BIA, area residents, and neighbouring businesses, this progress seems to lead us toward finally opening the North sidewalk, restoring parking, and removing the street detour after more than six months of uncertainty.
In brief, City engineers are now confirming that the design submitted by building owner, architect Ovidio Sbrissa, is feasible, and they are moving ahead to issue building permits – we’re told these documents should be finalized in the next few days.
For his part, we are also encouraged to hear that Mr. Sbrissa has now applied for the additional Heritage permit he requires to begin the work, which the City has promised to expedite. Sbrissa has also publicly shared his design drawings for the first time with the Ottawa Citizen (you can see a low-resolution version below) and these have been receiving broader support from knowledgeable professionals.
While we are relieved that tangible progress finally looks possible, we at the BIA are still waiting for firm dates and timelines, and in particular, we are anxious to know: what is the critical *date* the barricades will finally come down?
We are thus calling on the City and the owner in the strongest possible terms to immediately provide clear dates / deadlines for construction commencement and completion.
But we also strongly urge our neighbours and friends to…
SUPPORT AFFECTED BUSINESSES
All the businesses around the Magee House site have been hurting for the last six months. Many of the owners tell us that the fall and winter have been the least profitable, highest stress times of their careers. So while these disruptions continue, PLEASE take an extra trip – or three – to:
- Grab some delicious Indian food at Gurus Inspired;
- Buy coffee and a Dutch syrup waffle at Little Victories in Cyclelogik;
- Book a treatment at Oresta Spa;
- Explore the cool stuff at Extraordinary Baby Shoppe.
- Check out Tallow, FabGear 64, Uproar or any of the other fine merchants between Rosemount and Sherbrooke Avenues in Hintonburg.