CF Rideau Centre is a full-scale
shopping centre located on Rideau Street, in the heart of historic downtown
Ottawa. With a nod to the past and an eye on the future, this Cadillac
Fairview–owned property has undergone a major renovation and expansion that
will contribute to the transformation of the city’s centre and the Ottawa
A distinct design feature of CF Rideau Centre is
the façade that incorporates materials recovered
from a demolished city heritage building.
The new look of CF Rideau Centre appeals to
visitors looking for a truly modern shopping
An oval, four-level atrium with a central skylight is
a dramatic feature in CF Rideau Centre.
With strong consumer demand for
additional retail space, the high-performing mall and tourist attraction was
ready for redevelopment. PCL was responsible for the construction of a
550,000-square-foot addition to CF Rideau Centre to accommodate four levels of
retail space; three levels of underground parking; the building’s exterior
facelift; an oval, four-level atrium with a central skylight; and the portal
beneath the mall that will connect it to a future underground Light Rail
Transit (LRT) station.
PCL modernized the exterior of the
building that runs along Rideau Street using a combination of curtain wall
(floor-to-ceiling glass walls), glazing, porcelain, and aluminum. And in Ottawa
when they say everything old is new again, CF Rideau Centre will come to mind.
Prior to the expansion, PCL disassembled and removed a heritage building façade
and demolished the interior of the building located on the current project
site. To meet City of Ottawa heritage requirements, and to pay tribute to the
city’s history, PCL catalogued every brick and wooden window frame from the
demolition and stored it for reinstatement on the CF Rideau Centre expansion
exterior. The design included the heritage building’s façade, with new glazing
to integrate the past with the present.
Structure within a Structure—Can Ya Dig it?
“How do we dig that kind of hole
through an existing building?” That’s the question PCL answered when faced with
building the portal from CF Rideau Centre to the City of Ottawa’s underground
LRT station. PCL had to excavate beneath CF Rideau Centre’s former food court
to build a structure within a structure, with operating stores above.
Excavating through an existing
building for this type of construction is rare. PCL worked with a team of
engineers and designers to come up with a plan to dig down and pour concrete
for a new structure within the building while ensuring the safety of existing
shoring, pilings, and foundation supports along the way. Before PCL removed any
foundation supports, the team had to remove the concrete slab that underlay the
old food court and continue to drill down 20 feet to pour a new concrete
foundation slab. Only then could the large-grade beams, piles, and support
columns above be removed.
After the dig, PCL poured concrete
walls and stairs for the new portal and installed escalators that will
transport passengers up from the LRT station and into the portal to CF Rideau
Busting, and Moving Bridges
Two rusty, disheveled, pedestrian
bridges connected CF Rideau Centre to a department store on the north side of
Rideau Street. PCL closed one bridge temporarily for a complete renovation. The
second, deemed redundant, needed to be removed. It seems simple enough, but
Rideau Street is a major artery running through downtown Ottawa, and to remove
the bridge piece by piece while minimizing traffic inconvenience over a
four-to-five month period wasn’t the best option.
The best option was a fine-tuned,
cost-saving solution that involved a lot of heavy equipment. PCL devised a plan
to remove the bridge over five days, which included a weekend. Piece by piece,
with the help of a 300-ton crane, PCL cut and removed the bridge in time for
the City of Ottawa to begin tunneling below for the LRT line.
CF Rideau Centre’s expansion and
renovation promises to “wow” shoppers with an amazing dining and retail
experience. The redevelopment will also contribute to the overall
revitalization of the Rideau Street area, which will continue to attract
tourists and residents for an unforgettable experience in the heart of Canada’s
Watch a cool time-lapse video that shows how PCL removed one of the
pedestrian walkways connected to CF Rideau Centre.
“The revitalization of CF Rideau
Centre was an extremely comprehensive project featuring interior and exterior
enhancements to the landmark property. We
appreciate the dedication and quality of work put forth by our partners
in helping us achieve this important milestone.” - David Handley, senior vice president, Special
Projects, Cadillac Fairview