UrbanToronto and our global sister site, SkryriseCities, recently spoke to DevMcGill CEO Stéphane Côté and TradeUp Real Estate's Derek Nzeribe about Ottawa's ArtHaus Residences at Arts Court. Our interview with Côté foregrounds the unique vitality of a project housing an art gallery of national importance, a luxury hotel, and a collection of high-end residences, while Nzeribe gives us a an overview of Ottawa's ongoing urbanization, comparing the city's new wave of development to Toronto's recent growth. Our coverage here examines the project within the comparative framework of Toronto and Ottawa's urbanization, while our SkyriseCities editorial takes a closer look at some of ArtHaus' unique features.  

A rendering of the project, showing the gallery space (left) and the tower, image courtesy of DevMcGill

Now under construction, the development—expected to reach grade this spring—is located east of Downtown Ottawa, bordering the Byward Market. Designed by Régis Côté et Associés along with Barry Padolsky Associates Inc., Architects and KPMB Architects, the "top nine floors of 23-storey project will feature 88 residential suites, ranging in size from 450 ft² to almost 1,800 ft²," says Côte (below). At ground level, a new gallery will house Firestone Collection of Canadian art, while a le Germain hotel will occupy the lower floors. 

DevMcGill CEO Stéphane Côte, image courtesy of DevMcGill

Nzeribe adds that Ottawa's Downtown area—and the Byward market neighbourhood in particular—is in the midst of a strong trend towards re-urbanization. "Much like Toronto, the capital city is in experiencing new residential growth, bringing increasing vibrancy to the urban core," he says, describing a paradigm shift very similar to our own city.

"People don't want to lose time commuting, and the idea of city living is continuing to become more attractive." A close proximity to Canada's Houses of Parliament also means that many of the area's amenities—in terms of national cultural institutions, as well restaurants and cafés—exist at an "elite level" rarely found in cities of comparable size.

The site (crane visible at centre-right) in January, image by Jack Landau

ArtHaus is also set to welcome its first residents "just as Ottawa's new Confederation Line LRT nears completion," Nzeribe tells us. While the development is centrally located—boasting a near-perfect Walkscore of 99–the "LRT will provide quick, convenient connections to the city beyond." Both the 23-storey tower and the LRT come as part of Ottawa's recent trend of urban intensification.

Another view of the development, image courtesy of DevMcGill

"The nearby University of Ottawa adds another element to the Downtown," says Nzeribe, "and—just like in Toronto—areas near the University are sought after for their long-term value and vibrancy." Like Torontonians, Ottawa residents are increasingly finding walkability, cultural vibrancy, and access to transit, are increasingly becoming key criteria for an area's attractiveness.  

In addition to the project's prime location, Côté notes that the amenities at ArtHaus lend the development a distinctive cultural bearing. "For residents, it's more than just a place to live," he tells us, describing the unique presence that ArtHaus hopes to bring to the city. "In the morning, you can have breakfast at the hotel, and enjoy then stroll through the art gallery," Côté adds, noting that ArtHaus' location near Downtown Ottawa also puts residents in direct proximity to many of Canada's pre-eminent cultural institutions, a particular advantage of this city.

While Ottawa is much smaller than Toronto, the city's status as Canada's capital gives it a distinct socio-cultural edge. In addition, Ottawa's relatively affordable real estate prices give the local market a possible advantage over larger metropolitan areas like Toronto and Vancouver, with property ownership more accessible to first-time buyers and luxury properties within easier reach.

A closer look at the 23-storey tower, image courtesy of DevMcGill

"The units are also customizable, and they've been designed in such a way that walls can be reconfigured to create larger living spaces, meaning that residents can combine multiple suites into one bigger space." Set to be completed in late 2017, the project will also feature interiors by Toronto-based U31, which will be characterized by a luxurious and modern aesthetic.

The entrance to the future gallery, image courtesy of DevMcGill

For more information more about ArtHaus, check out the editorial on our sister site SkyriseCities. The SRC article features more detail about the architecture of the project and the Firestone Contemporary Canadian Art Collection, as well as more from our interview with DevMcGill's Stéphane Côte.

To find out more about ArtHaus—and see additional renderings—you can visit our dataBase file for the project, linked below, or read our previous construction update from earlier this year. If you would like to get in on the conversation, you can click on the thread link which will take you to our sister Forum at SkyriseCities.com, or you can leave a comment in the space provided on this page.