Renewal of Portage III
From: Public Services and Procurement Canada
Learn about the renewal of Portage III.
On this page
- Project overview
- Project description
- Key milestones
- Benefits to Canadians
- Project background
- Photo gallery
- Related links
- More information
- Gatineau, Quebec
Locate Portage III on a map
- Type of project
- Lead department
- Public Services and Procurement Canada
We are investing in key strategic assets, including Portage III, to provide federal public servants with workplaces that are:
About Portage III
The Portage III complex is the largest of four buildings that constitute Place du Portage. It currently serves as Public Services and Procurement Canada’s (PSPC) headquarters.
The complex was built between 1973 and 1978. It consists of:
- nine towers
- commercial areas
- four basement levels
- a three-level underground parking garage
Portage III renewal project
This project consists of a complete overhaul of both the inside and outside of the building. As part of the planned midlife renewal work, we are doing much-needed renovations and are replacing systems that have reached the end of their useful life.
The project includes:
- replacing base building systems, such as:
- the building exterior (also known as the building envelope)
- electrical systems
- heating and cooling systems
- modernizing the interior workplace
- updating security systems
- installing new information technology
Modernizing the workplace
The Portage III project considers Government of Canada priorities, including:
- Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) measures
- universal accessibility
- inclusivity, including Indigenous engagement
The renewed Portage III building is being designed to meet the modern workplace standard for the Government of Canada, known as GCworkplace. GCworkplace offers greater flexibility in where and how people work. It will also enable PSPC to meet the needs of a post-pandemic workforce and to ensure that workplaces continue to be as flexible as possible to accommodate a hybrid workforce.
Phases of project
The Portage III Asset and Workplace Renewal (AWR) Project is divided into two phases and will consist of renovations to the inside and the outside of the building.
Phase 1 (2018 to 2027) is currently underway. It will address the interior workplace refit of the western towers (C1, C2, D and B3) by 2024, and base building systems throughout the complex by 2027.
Phase 2 (2024 to 2027) will address the interior workplace refit of the eastern towers (A1, A2, B1, B2 and E).
An aerial shot of Portage III with colour-coding indicating the project phases for the complex:
- The building’s western towers are in blue, and the image shows that the interior workplace fit-up of towers C1, C2, D, and B3 (on the right) will be done in phase 1.
- The building’s eastern towers are in green and the image shows that the interior workplace fit-up of the towers A1, A2, B1, B2 and E (on the left) will be done in phase 2.
Portage III is a recognized federal heritage building. The design of the renewed building respects heritage considerations, particularly the renovation to the exterior building envelope. We will keep most of the interior works of art that are considered as heritage. We will also integrate Indigenous design elements that will enrich the building and pay homage to the human history of the site.
Inside the building, the project includes the following elements.
Modernizing the workplace
The modern activity-based workplace will promote collaboration, flexibility, wellness and accessibility for users. It will include elements such as height-adjustable electric work surfaces and ergonomic furniture.
Renovating the complex
The renovated commercial level will include amenities for employees, like:
- a multi-faith centre
- a digital lounge
- a fitness centre or wellness room
The renovated complex will also include:
- an entire floor dedicated to meeting rooms of varying sizes. The floor will span from the easternmost tower (Tower A) to the westernmost tower (Tower C);
- an expanded and renovated bicycle parking area to accommodate more bikes;
- a new locker room with showers and lockers.
Making the complex more accessible
We will install accessibility features such as:
- accessible entrances to the atrium at the heart of the building, which will also reflect the principles of the Accessible Canada Act
- fully accessible counters in kitchenettes and washrooms
- workspaces equipped with assistive listening systems for those with a hearing impairment
- power activated doors and tactile signage for people with visual and physical disabilities
- accessible washrooms and gender-neutral universal washrooms throughout the building
Making the complex more sustainable
We will make the complex more environmentally sustainable by adding the following features:
- LED lighting
- low-flow plumbing fixtures
- modern high efficiency heating, cooling and ventilation systems
- smart building features
- intelligent energy optimization systems controlled depending on needs
Outside the building, the project includes the following elements.
A new accessible entrance and the complete revamping of the main entrance
We will build a new accessible entrance at the northwest corner of the Laurier Street and Maisonneuve Boulevard intersection. The main entrance on Laurier Street will be completely revamped to be accessible from street level.
Landscaping around the complex and between Portage III and Portage IV will improve mobility and allow for better integration into its immediate environment.
A new energy-efficient building envelope
We will install a new energy-efficient building envelope. We will be increasing the insulation in the walls and roofs, and will install new bird-friendly triple-pane windows. These features will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 24% compared to 2017 levels.
New exterior lighting
We will install exterior lighting as part of the project.
- Planning and design activities for the Portage III AWR Project started in 2018.
- Selective interior demolition work of the western towers began in 2019 and was completed in fall 2021.
- Construction activities started in early 2022.
- The project is expected to be completed in 2027.
Benefits to Canadians
Over the span of eight years, the project is expected to generate about 13,300 direct, indirect and induced person years of employment.
- direct jobs (for example, engineers, architects, interior designers and various trades in the construction sector that participate in the project);
- indirect jobs (for example, production, manufacturing and transportation of materials such as windows, office furniture, and other equipment required for the project);
- induced jobs (for example in restaurants where workers buy lunch).
Once renewed, the complex will integrate with its downtown surroundings. It will facilitate mobility, transit, and access to nearby businesses and municipal facilities.
Accommodate more workers
The Place du Portage complex was built in the 1970s. Due to the age of the building, its base building elements need to be replaced.
Before modernizing, the Portage III complex accommodated 4,773 full-time employees from PSPC and Shared Services Canada. The Portage III AWR project will transform the complex to accommodate at least 8,845 people and to meet the needs of a modern workplace.
Inspired by the Government of Canada’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we are leading by example by greening our own operations. Specifically, once renewed, the Portage III complex will be net-zero carbon and meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold requirements.
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