Heritage at Zibi: Celebrating our industrial past with an eye to the future - Zibi Skip to Content

Heritage at Zibi: Celebrating our industrial past with an eye to the future


Did you know that Zibi was the first master planned community in Ottawa to develop a Heritage Interpretive Plan (HIP)?

A HIP is the roadmap to ensuring that the historic site’s cultural heritage values and resources are respected and celebrated for future generations.

Located in the heart of the national capital region, Zibi has significant cultural heritage value thanks to its association with Indigenous people, the natural and geological history of the site, the early settlement of Hull and Bytowne, and the industrial history of these cities. Indeed the waterfront lands were also once the timber and industrial heart of Canada.

Since day one, Zibi’s remediation and construction teams have taken great care to reclaim and reuse materials of historic importance throughout the site, and to preserve, restore and adapt the buildings designated as heritage sites by law or identified as being of historic importance or interest.

While it is challenging – financially and creatively –  to bring existing buildings to the high energy efficiency standards required for this One Planet Living® community, Zibi remains committed to celebrating the past throughout the community.

Here are a few examples of their accomplishments to date:

O – Named as a nod to the power and importance of water (“eau” in French) to this historic site, visitors and residents to Zibi’s first condo building will find flooring made from wood preserved during the demolition of industrial buildings.

La Ruelle – The two beautiful buildings that are now joined by an impressive glass atrium to form La Ruelle were carefully restored to their natural brick colour, and adapted for reuse as an event space and the co-working Spaces offices.

New office spaces – Passersby on the Chaudière Bridge will have noticed that Zibi’s newest builds on the West side of Booth Street on Chaudière Island, includes a restored façade from the former Ottawa Mill building. This restoration was undertaken by Hobin and Kohn + Teeple to celebrate the site’s impressive industrial history. These new buildings will be used as office spaces.

Head Street Square – This public square located North of the Kanaal residences on Chaudière Island will transform industrial salvaged materials into custom moveable “lumber benches” made from railway tracks from the site, and lighting posts made from steel columns.

What’s next?

Visitors to Zibi will soon have the opportunity to experience the full restoration and adaptive reuse of a former JR Booth building located on the South edge of Albert Island, overlooking the War Museum. The building, which was built after the great fire of 1900, will soon become an office space with retail, weaving the old with the new, including exposed brick walls, and repurposed wood and steel .

Zibi is also in the process of developing conceptual designs for the former stonewalled E.B. Eddy buildings along Taché Boulevard and Eddy Street. Some sections of these buildings have the highest level of heritage protection in Québec with some of the foundations pre-dating the 1900 fire. Consultation on the proposed approach for securing this edifice and its rehabilitation will take place with the la Ville de Gatineau and Québec Ministry of culture.

To continue to learn more about our master planned community and the great ways in which Zibi will continue to celebrate the past, while building a sustainable community for the future, we invite you to visit Zibi House or to register  for our mailing list today!


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