L'Esplanade Laurier is an office complex in downtown Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It consists of two 23-storey towers, a three storey underground parking garage and a podium containing a two-storey shopping mall. The entire structure is clad in white carrara marble, making it clearly stand out from the other towers in the city. At 88 metres tall, the two towers are the ninth and tenth tallest in the city. It is located at the intersection of major Ottawa streets, Laurier Avenue between Bank Street and O'Connor Street. The lower two levels of the buildings stretch across the entire block and house a small shopping arcade.
The building was built by Olympia and York in 1973-1975, and was intended to be occupied by federal government workers. It was one of the last office complexes of that era purpose-built by the private sector for the federal government, as the government itself project-managed complexes constructed in the late 1970s, including the C.D. Howe Building and Place du Portage. Today, l'Esplanade Laurier contains the main offices of the Department of Finance, the Treasury Board Secretariat, and the Public Service Commission. On the Mezzanine Level there is a Service Canada office that provides one-stop service for the public to many government services. The building houses over 2000 public servants. The shops and food court in the mall on the lower levels mostly cater to the office workers.
In the early 1990s, a slab of carrara marble fell from the building podium. Subsequently most of the marble slabs from the lower levels of the building were removed and replaced with white painted plasterboard, still in place today. In 2002, the building was closed for several days after an accident caused hundreds of litres of ethylene glycol to enter the water supply. After the system was flushed the towers returned to operation.
The building is currently managed by Rosdev Group, an organisation that has been criticised for poor maintenance and mismanagement. The federal government bought the property for 20 million in 2010 from Rosdev. They are currently planning a major renovation after the Department of Finance and the Treasury Board Secretariat move to their new location in the Flaherty Building at 90 Elgin.
- Kalman, 59.
- Controversial firm wants to buy federal buildings Rosdev Group involved in legal battle over management of other properties Tobin Dalrymple, The Ottawa Citizen Published: Saturday, May 12, 2007
- ottawasun.com - Ottawa and Region - Critics hammer lease plan
- Kalman, Harold and John Roaf. Exploring Ottawa: An Architectural Guide to the Nation's Capital. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1983.