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Widespread Opposition Grows Against Victims of Communism Memorial – Make Your Voice Heard at City Hall BEFORE May 27

May 20th, 2015

To: Mayor Jim Watson and City Councillors, Ottawa    (click for contact info to make your opinion heard)

From:  Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC)

Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA)

Council for Canadian Urbanism (CanU)

Ontario Association of Architects (OAA)

Heritage Ottawa

DTAH Architects Limited

Barry Padolsky Associates Inc Architects (BPA)


Dear Mayor Watson and City Councillors,

We are writing in support of the City of Ottawa motion to formally request that the Government of Canada relocate the proposed Memorial to the Victims of Communism to another site.

The current site has been earmarked for a major building in the Government of Canada’s own Long Term Vision and Plan for the area. Building a monument at this location would undermine decades of planning to complete the Judicial Triad of buildings, a symbolic and physical counterpart to the Parliamentary Triad.

Our organizations representing architects, landscape architects, city planners, and heritage planners from across the country have expressed concerns about this location. Below are some extracts from the official statements that have been issued.

We believe the City of Ottawa have a strong stake in the use of this site, and are highly appreciative of the City’s willingness to express its opinion about this matter.

We hope you will support Councillor Tony Nussbaum in adding your vote to pass this resolution. (TEXT BELOW.)


Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC): “The proposed location, adjacent to the Supreme Court of Canada, represents Canada’s democratic values and respect for justice. We believe this land should be reserved for a building whose purpose, quality and dignity are commensurate with its context. Any addition to this immensely significant national site should reflect the impartiality and apolitical aspiral aspirations of Canada’s justice system. We believe this site should be representative of all Canadians, just as the principles of Canada’s judicial system speak for all Canadians.”

Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA): “The monument appears to be designed as a permanent fixture, whereas in this location only a temporary monument should be considered. The Long Term Vision and Plan not only shows a building but also indicates underground parking, material handling and a connecting concourse spine in that very location. Clearly, placing any monument at this location would impede the construction of any other future parliamentary or judicial building, and hamper all long-term plans for the area.”

Council for Canadian Urbanism (CanU): “The proposed site has been earmarked for a federal building to complete the Supreme Court triad by leading urban designers retained by the federal government for over a century, including the 1915 Federal Plan Commission report prepared by Edward Bennett, the 1950 National Capital Plan prepared by Jacques Gréber and the 1989/ 2007 Parliamentary Precinct Plan, which won several national and international urban design awards.”

Ontario Association of Architects (OAA): “The National Capital Commission (NCC) has long identified this site as a vital component of the ‘Capital Plateau.’ This site should be developed with a building that completes the judicial triad and is eflective of the surroundings. It is crucial to recognize the important contextual cues for this site; any built form for this site must recognize the scale, massing, materiality, detailing and relationship to the adjacent buildings.”

Heritage Ottawa: “The Supreme Court of Canada, designed by Ernest Cormier, and the Justice Building designed by Burritt and Horwood Architects—the two existing buildings in the triad—are handsomely designed structures that make important contributions to Canada’s architectural heritage. On completion of a third building in accordance with long standing plans, the judicial precinct will have significance for future generations as a reflection of Canada’s justice system and the democratic ideals on which that system is based. Maintaining the thematic integrity of this nationally significant site is key.”

Barry Padolsky B.Arch.,M.Sc.Urban Design OAA, FRAIC, RCA, CAHP

Contact the Mayor of Ottawa here

Contact your City Councillor here

 Text of Toby Nussbaum’s resolution:


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