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Larocque-Lafortune College

445-447 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1988/10/06

View of the main entrance of Larocque-Lafortune College.; National Capital Commision/Commission de la Capitale Nationale, c.a. 1986.
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Other Name(s)

Larocque-Lafortune College
Larocque-Lafortune College
Collège Larocque-Lafortune

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/11/22

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Laroque-Lafortune College is located at 445-447 Sussex Drive in downtown Ottawa. A corner building, the two principal facades face Sussex Drive and Murray Street. It is a flat-roofed, three-storey stone structure, with regularly placed windows and a formal, balanced appearance. Decoration is limited to a stringcourse between the first and second floors and a heavy, bracketed cornice at roof level. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

Laroque-Lafortune College is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value:
Laroque-Lafortune College is a very good example of a building associated with Ottawa’s early development and also with the development of Sussex Drive as a primary commercial and symbolic corridor in the city. The building is one of the earliest masonry structures constructed for commercial purposes in Lower Town. It was built during a phase of development that transformed the pioneer community into a permanent and prospering nineteenth-century urban centre. Its first owner Charles Sparrow was a Lower Town merchant and entrepreneur who once served as mayor of Bytown, Laroque-Lafortune College is now the property of the National Capital Commission.

Architectural Value:
Laroque-Lafortune College is valued for its good aesthetics and is one of the oldest extant buildings in the downtown area. It is an early example of a commercial structure executed in stone. Good functional design is seen in the building’s configuration with the ground floor used for commercial space and residential or other use above. Good craftsmanship is evidenced in the ashlar masonry.

Environmental Value:
Laroque-Lafortune College reinforces the commercial / institutional character of its setting and is a familiar city landmark to local residents.

Shannon Ricketts, 445-447 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 88-009.

445-447 Sussex Drive, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 88-009.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Laroque-Lafortune College should be respected, for example:

Its good aesthetics, functional design, and craftsmanship, for example:

-The three-storey massing of the structure with a flat roof.
-The exterior walls of ashlar masonry.
-The simple detailing including a stringcourse and heavy bracketed cornice at roof level.
-The regularly placed door and window openings with large retail windows on the ground floor.

The manner in which the Laroque-Lafortune College is compatible with the commercial / institutional character of its setting, and is a familiar city landmark as evidenced by:

-Its scale, design and materials that maintain a visual and physical relationship with the surrounding block of buildings and complement the streetscape.
-Its familiarity to visitors, passing pedestrians, and local residents owing to its location on a busy corner of Sussex Drive and to its commercial premises on the ground floor.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type



Post-Secondary Institution

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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