Sir John Carling Building

The Sir John Carling Building (SJCB), located on the Central Experimental Farm at 930 Carling Avenue in Ottawa, was designed by architect Hart Massey in 1963 and completed in 1967. The SJCB has a floor area of 40,064m² and consists of an 11-storey tower plus two basement levels. The east annex comprises a two-storey structure with two basement levels, while the single-storey west annex formally housed the cafeteria.

The Sir John Carling Building had served as the headquarters for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) from 1967 to 2009, when it was determined that the building had reached the end of its life cycle. The asset has been vacant since AAFC and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency relocated their headquarters to the Skyline Office Campus in 2010.

In 2004, the Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office (FHBRO) designated the SJCB as a “recognized” federal heritage building, noting its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values. The building is a good example of the modernist architectural style of the middle part of the 20th century.

Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) presented a report to the FHBRO demonstrating its intention to deconstruct the building. The decision to deconstruct the building was based on a combination of financial factors and multiple building assessments and studies. The FHBRO confirmed that PWGSC had met its obligations to explore every reasonable option that would permit the protection of the building's heritage character, as required by Treasury Board policy.

In June 2012, the project was presented to the National Capital Commission's board of directors, who approved the deconstruction of the main tower. The west annex will be preserved.

In January 2013, PWGSC awarded a $4.8M contract to Aim Waste Management Inc. for the deconstruction of the Sir John Carling Building. Work is expected to be completed by summer 2015.

Deconstructing the building and east annex in a controlled manner will help preserve heritage elements, as well as provide the opportunity for the proper disposal of construction material. Deconstruction allows for materials to be salvaged in a reusable form, sorted, stored and shipped to depots for reuse, and diverted from landfills. With deconstruction, it is estimated that a minimum of 75 per cent of building components, other than harmful material, can be diverted from landfills.

Once the main building is deconstructed and the grounds landscaped, the remaining west annex will be transferred to AAFC.