Built between 1914 and 1925, the Ottawa New Edinburgh Club (ONEC) Boathouse, is designated as a ‘Recognized’ federal heritage building, and is also designated under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act. Situated above the Ottawa River water in a natural harbour near Rockcliffe Point, the building is a large, wooden gable roofed building supported on steel columns and concrete piers sunk into the riverbed. It is connected back to the Ottawa shoreline by a single pedestrian bridge. The building and site are managed by the National Capital Commission (NCC).
The NCC’s mandate includes the preservation of federal heritage assets in the National Capital Region. Part of this responsibility is to ensure best utilisation of federal assets, integration of the 50-year plan and vision for the Capital, and efficient use of national resources. The NCC’s primary goals and objectives for the ONEC Boathouse Rehabilitation project were to rehabilitate the existing building and site in order to preserve the deteriorating asset, to meet current codes and standards, and to enable mixed-used and multi-tenancy by converting the uninsulated 3 seasons building to allow for 4 seasons occupancy on the upper two levels. This provided an opportunity to improve the building and infrastructure to support a use and occupancy compatible with the original use of the facility and site, and to optimize this underutilized asset.
The selected conservation treatment was one of Rehabilitation (with maintenance in selected areas) as guided by the Standards and Guidelines, respecting the general and additional Standards 1-14 and focusing on Chapter 4.3 – Guidelines for Buildings and Chapter 4.5 – Guidelines for Materials. The sympathetic rehabilitation protected character-defining elements of the building while allowing for changes that accommodate contemporary requirements for health, safety and security, accessibility, and sustainability.