Greystone Village is a unique urban development on a site that is steeped in history and community significance.
For more than 150 years the 26 acre site has been the home of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and the Sisters of the Sacred Heart. From here the Oblate Fathers had a powerful influence on the development of the community of Old Ottawa East in the founding of churches, schools, and St. Paul University. With its central location, vast open space, and long shoreline along the Rideau River, the site also became a prime unofficial recreation area. Informal linkages between neighbourhoods were created through the site as well.
When the Oblate Fathers began to consider the sale of this asset, they had the foresight to engage in a visioning exercise with the community and the City. Out of this process emerged both a community design plan and a spirit of collaboration.
The Regional Group acquired the site and commissioned Hobin Architecture to develop a Master Plan, ensuring that this collaborative approach was integrated into the design process. The planning process, led by Gord Lorimer and Barry Hobin, was based on the firm’s experience and commitment to city building over the last 30 years. Both principals, who live nearby, were conscious of successfully integrating the new project. The guiding principle in the planning process was the implementation of a sustainable design template while recognizing history, sense of place, housing diversity and neighborhood connections.
The preservation and repurposing of the heritage monastery and its formal allée and forecourt, the restoration of the historic Oblates Avenue as an access loop, and the naturalization of a 30 metre wide band of the Rideau River shoreline are the primary organizing elements of the Master Plan. These elements provide a strong sense of identity for both the community and the development while also preserving and enhancing public access through the site.
The Master Plan embraces its context by extending the historic narrow street pattern into the site employing new urbanist and sustainable design principles. When the project is complete, Greystone Village will have almost doubled the community population. Approximately 1000 dwelling units will be constructed across the site employing a wide range of building typologies and households including condos, three-storey towns, and single homes up to and including larger homes on 35 foot lots – to suit buyers of all ages eager to embrace a new, green, water-front community.
Private parking will be accessed from rear lanes freeing the streetscape from driveways. This public realm will feature intense landscaping and ample on-street visitor parking. An innovative “window street” will provide a context geared to pedestrians and cyclists while permitting modest vehicular movement.
The Greystone project is now becoming a reality thanks to the collaborative planning, design and production efforts put forth by Barry Hobin, Gord Lorimer, Kent Bugatsch, Bill Ritcey, Marc Thivierge, Steve Clifford, Doug Van Den Ham, Todd Duckworth, Hugo Latreille, Jeff Chaput, Alison Michelin, Jennifer Guidry, Ammar Jaratly, Patrick Bisson and Benoit Maranda.
While steadily underway, Greystone has already recieved recognition for its concept and marketing. Recent awards include a City of Ottawa Urban Design Award of Merit and two GOHBA Sales and Marketing (SAM) awards (see full article HERE). Visit www.greystonevillage.ca for more information or to register for updates.