Rehabilitation of the Lester B. Pearson Building

Learn about the rehabilitation of the Lester B. Pearson Building.

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Project overview

Location

Ottawa, Ontario
Locate Lester B. Pearson on a map

Type of project

Rehabilitation

Lead department

Public Services and Procurement Canada

Project Delivery Team

EllisDon (Construction Manager), DIALOG (Prime Consultants), and Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions (Project Manager)

Value

More than $700 million

Project description

View enlarged image of entrance view of the Lester B. Pearson building

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), in collaboration with Global Affairs Canada (GAC), is restoring and modernizing the Lester B. Pearson Building (LBPB).

The project is divided into 4 phases:

With a focus on employee wellness, universal accessibility and environmental sustainability, we will implement a complete building retrofit. This includes updating various parts of the building such as:

As we move forward with the design and rehabilitation of the building, we will preserve its historical significance and character and also introduce sustainable and energy efficient features.

The project will create a modern workplace that follows GCworkplace standards and meets Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification.

The workspaces will be fully accessible by providing solutions such as:

Exterior work

Some of the exterior work includes:

Interior work

Some of the interior work includes:

Ongoing concurrent projects

The following projects are being done at the same time as the major rehabilitation project. This gives us the opportunity to improve the building performance and the department’s operations.

Global Affairs Canada Mail Distribution Centre relocation project

This project will provide an offsite facility for the Global Logistics Management division. It will allow the division to safely store, transport, and handle assets in support of mission programs abroad. The offsite facility will free up office space in the building. The project is scheduled to be completed by 2024.

Lester B. Pearson Building generator replacement projects

Two generator replacement projects will be added at 125 Sussex Drive. We are consulting studies to determine the best way to support electrical loads as a result of the general modernization of the building, given the age and condition of the existing generators. The projects are scheduled to be completed by 2026.

Benefits to Canadians

This rehabilitation will provide significant benefits to the local and national economies through contract opportunities in the construction industry and related sectors, such as construction materials, manufacturing and professional services.

Project background

The building is the flagship headquarter of Global Affairs Canada and is home to approximately 3,300 employees.

Completed in 1973, the building has not undergone any major building rehabilitation since its construction more than 50 years ago.

Completed projects

The garage project, completed in April 2021, included:

A security upgrade project, completed in spring 2021, has improved security for occupants and operations through:

History of the building

Construction began in May 1970 and took nearly 3 years to complete. The construction of the building was part of an intensive period of urban planning, which accelerated in the 1950s and 1960s, and continued into the 1970s.The building was named after the 14th Prime Minister of Canada.

The building was completed in 1973 to the designs of Webb Zerafa Menkes (now WZMH), the same firm also responsible for designing such iconic buildings as the CN Tower, in Toronto.

In 2012, it was designated as a federal heritage building. Federal government buildings, such as departmental headquarters, often employ robust materials that gain value as they age. They are eventually evaluated by agents of the Federal Heritage Building Review Office to determine if there is sufficient heritage value to warrant formal recognition. Where there is such value, designations such as classified or recognized, depending on the score obtained. The LBPB is a classified federal heritage building, the highest Federal Heritage Building Review Office designation. With this designation comes a certain measure of protection via additional intervention oversight and advice.

The LBPB is located on Indigenous land. As we are currently rehabilitating the building, PSPC is investigating opportunities to include permanent land acknowledgment onsite and Indigenous art in the design of the LBPB (both interior and exterior).

Photo gallery

Click on the image to view a larger version.

View enlarged image of completed work of Tower D: Main lobby.
View enlarged image of completed work of Tower D: Bike facility.
View enlarged image of completed work of the interior fit-up of Tower D: Lounge kitchen.
View enlarged image of completed work of the interior fit-up of Tower D: Washroom.
View enlarged image of completed work of the interior fit-up of Tower D: Workstations and open space.
View enlarged image of completed work of the interior fit-up of Tower D: Large meeting room.
View enlarged image of completed work of the interior fit-up of Tower D: Meeting room.
View enlarged image of the interior rendering of Tower B: Kitchenette.
View enlarged image of the exterior rendering: Employee courtyard.
View enlarged image of the exterior rendering: Embassy courtyard.
View enlarged image of the exterior rendering: Sussex Drive and King Edward Avenue.

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