811 Gladstone Avenue

The largest Passive House project of its type in the country

Located at 811 Gladstone Avenue, “Mosaïq” Phase 1 provides a maintenance-free lifestyle and amenities in a safe and vibrant urban community. The project fills a gap in the Ottawa rental market and sets the standard for high-quality, sustainable living at an affordable price.

Mosaïq Phase 1 is a 1.1 acre non-profit community situated in the heart of Little Italy. 108 apartments are provided within a 6-storey building fronting onto Gladstone Avenue, plus 32 townhomes in two blocks nestled behind. Of the 140 dwellings, 24 are wheelchair accessible. Hobin Architecture is now at work on the second phase of the project which will add a further 273 affordable homes to the Mosaïq development on the south side of Gladstone Avenue.

At time of completion, the apartment block at 811 Gladstone Avenue is the largest Passive House building of its type in the country. The project incorporates additional sustainable practices to achieve an environmentally conscientious redevelopment while maximizing on government energy grants.

Thinking Green

The program for 811 Gladstone called for a significant increase in density while designing to the stringent sustainability provisions of Passive House (PHIUS). The proximity to the new Gladstone LRT station, city bike path network, and local schools, shopping and employment centres were perceived as valuable assets in support of the project sustainable design initiatives.

From the outset, the design incorporated a number of innovative sustainable design strategies. The primary strategy was the design of the mid-rise apartment building to Passive House standards. This approach resulted in a super-insulated airtight building envelope with minimal thermal bridging, thereby significantly reducing utility costs for the low-income tenants. This led to a partnership with Hydro Ottawa, who served the development with carbon neutral hydro-electric power in exchange for electricity generated by the building’s large rooftop photovoltaic solar array.

The building’s sophisticated mechanical system was also designed to harvest waste heat and reuse it to serve neighbouring buildings. These initiatives yield utility costs that will be truly affordable for the families of the building.


The design of 811 Gladstone seeks to create a thriving, sustainable and socially inclusive environment for all, within a safe and durable environment that instills pride and a sense of place for its inhabitants.

This site is part of a large urban parcel that was developed for social housing in the 1960’s. After more than 50 years, those original townhomes had reached the end of their service life. This project is the first phase of a progressive sustainable design vision that will provide higher density affordable housing while weaving into the existing urban fabric and enhancing community life.

Pedestrian paths through the access a wide range of outdoor and indoor community amenities. The entire ground level Gladstone frontage is dedicated to a range of meeting, training, recreational and maker community spaces that can be easily converted to commercial uses as the street evolves.

Sited near LRT, prime bus routes and bicycle paths, the design greatly reduces the number of required parking spaces while providing abundant bike storage facilities.

Mosaïq sets an affordable living standard in the surrounding neighbourhood where rents have skyrocketed by 30% from 2016 to 2019. Rental rates are 40% to 50% lower compared to other new rentals in the area with similar amenities. Tenants only pay energy consumption for things like appliances. High efficiency appliances and lighting help to reduce tenants’ in-suite hydro bills. The building’s many energy efficiency features translate to dramatic energy savings which are passed on to the tenants through affordable rents.

Project Highlights

  • Situated within close walking distance to transit, parks, schools, places of worship and numerous community services
  • Central courtyard designed as a park-like space with play area for small children, a community garden and outdoor sitting area
  • Ground floor mail room with courier lockboxes
  • Fitness room with rubberized floor and mirror wall
  • Central laundry room with high-capacity washers and dryers
  • Multi-functional lounge with space for homework, children’s play and business work area
  • Community gathering room with kitchen and universal washroom
  • Surface and underground parking plus visitor parking
  • Secure bicycle parking
  • Indoor heated scooter parking and charging stations
  • Garbage/recycling centre
  • Sunny, south landscaped terrace
  • On-site management
  • CCTV security at all common areas and building entrances 
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