documentation and conservation
of buildings, sites and neighbourhoods
of the modern movement
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    Union du Canada

    325 Dlahousie Street, Ottawa, ON.
    constructed: 1968

    “This office building is a very good and intact example of modernist architecture with strong Brutalist characteristics….  Unlike many of the generic and relatively undistinguished speculative office buildings that were built in Ottawa at that time, the Union du Canada building is a signature work characterised by a unique and sculptural use of glass. The faceted construction of the glass walls break up the reflections of the sky and create a distinctive visual effect.

     This effect, combined with the bold gridded pattern created by the structure, is its key character-defining element. This patterned façade was the result of a collaboration between the architect and prominent Quebec abstract artist Laure Major.

     This style of architecture was particularly influential in Quebec, and promoted by major firms such as ARCOP (Place Bonaventure, Place des Arts.) It is significant that Union du Canada Vie chose to use this style to express their corporate identity in Ontario, and this design should be considered a part of Ottawa’s francophone cultural history.”

    Alan Teramura, Graham Murfitt, Mariana Esponda Casajeres, Toon Dreessen, 2013

    The Union du Canada building was demolished in 2014.

    RLTD resources
    RLTD news

    Builder can demolish Union du Canada building, heritage panel rules

    Claridge can tear down the old Union du Canada insurance building at 325 Dalhousie St. but only if it replaces it with a shorter hotel than it previously wanted to build, the city’s committee on heritage buildings decided Thursday. The developer already has permission to renovate the 11-storey landmark on the edge of the ByWard […]


    Claridge asks to demolish Union du Canada building rather than renovating it

    Having received permission for a major renovation to turn the Union du Canada headquarters on the edge of the ByWard Market into a hotel, Claridge Homes is instead asking to tear it down. The developer hopes to squeeze about the same number of rooms into a shorter building and head off an appeal of the […]


    Union of Canada building already tall and ugly, might as well get taller and prettier, heritage experts say

    The plans call for adding 17.5 metres, or more than 50 feet, to the existing 11-storey concrete and glass building on Dalhousie Street, in addition to re-cladding the outside and renovating the inside. Claridge needs permission from the city’s committee on heritage buildings because the tower is in a heritage conservation district, where individual projects […]

    documentation and conservation of buildings, sites and neighbourhoods of the modern movement