BDO Canada cuts the ribbon on new downtown Ottawa office

New space at 180 Kent St. consolidates accounting firm's consulting, insolvency and assurance practices

BDO Canada LLP welcomed more than 200 clients, business contacts and colleagues to an open house it hosted Thursday to show off its gleaming new downtown office space, located in Minto Place.

The full-service, bilingual professional services firm has consolidated two of its three Ottawa offices into one 20,000-square-foot space at 180 Kent St. It has transformed the 17th floor — previously home to Brookfield — into a place of work that boasts cutting-edge technology, modern design and an open-space layout.

BDO Canada
Attendees mingle at an open house hosted by BDO on Thursday, January 24, 2019, to show of its new office space in the downtown core. Photo by Caroline Phillips
bdo canada
Attendees mingle at an open house hosted by BDO on Thursday, January 24, 2019, to show of its new office space in the downtown core. Photo by Caroline Phillips
bdo canada
Attendees mingle at an open house hosted by BDO on Thursday, January 24, 2019, to show of its new office space in the downtown core. Photo by Caroline Phillips

Guests were seen touring the floor, and checking out such interesting features as the stylish soundproof phone booths, jokingly dubbed "sanity rooms." They're perfect for having private phone conversations.

BDO Canada
Paul Downey, senior manager with BDO Canada, in one of the soundproof phone booths during an open house hosted by BDO Canada on Thursday, January 24, 2019, to show off its new Ottawa office space in the downtown core. Photo by Caroline Phillips

What captured the eye — and approval — of Ian Faris, president and CEO of the Ottawa Board of Trade, were the standup desks intended for those who want to avoid spending too much time sitting. "I have one at home and they're fantastic," he told OBJ.social.

BDO Canada
From left, Mayor Jim Watson presented BDO Canada CEO Pat Kramer with a framed letter of congratulations during the firm's open house an ribbon cutting held on Thursday, January 24, 2019, to show of its new office space in the downtown core. Photo by Caroline Phillips

From the non-profit sector were: OSEG Foundation executive director Janice Barresi, Patti Murphy, executive director of the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa Charitable Foundation, and Algonquin College Foundation acting director Peggy Austen, wearing the school's signature colour — green.

Also seen was Canadian Chamber of Commerce chief economist Trevin Stratton, who formerly founded and led BDO's national economic development consulting line.

On hand for the reception were BDO Canada's Ottawa office managing partner, Stéphane Savage, and such partners as Robert Rhéaume, last seen by OBJ.social raising thousands of dollars for charity by tenting it outside and overnight in sub-zero temperatures during the YSB SleepOUT for Youth.

BDO Canada
From left, Peggy Austen and Patti Murphy with Robert Rhéaume, partner and assurance practice leader with BDO Ottawa, and Janice Barresi at an open house hosted by BDO Canada on Thursday, January 24, 2019, to show of its new Ottawa office space in the downtown core. Photo by Caroline Phillips
BDO  Canada
From left, Ian Faris with David Gourlay,  new senior manager of major gifts with the OSEG Foundation, at an open house hosted by BDO Canada on Thursday, January 24, 2019, to show off its new Ottawa office space in the downtown core. Photo by Caroline Phillips
BDO Canada
From left, Kelly Campbell, an associate in the Ottawa office of BDO Canada, with Trevin Stratton at an open house hosted by BDO Canada on Thursday, January 24, 2019, to show off its new Ottawa office space in the downtown core. Photo by Caroline Phillips
BDO Canada
From left, BDO Canada internal auditor Melissa Fournier with Defence Construction Canada clients Richard Danis, Juliet Woodfield and James Paul, who is the president and CEO of Defence Construction Canada. Photo by Caroline Phillips

The move to the new location started last summer and wrapped up in November. The firm’s consulting and insolvency teams are now under one roof, along with certain members of its tax team and half of the assurance team (the other half remains at BDO Canada’s existing office at 1730 St. Laurent Blvd).

The firm has been growing in Ottawa at a rate of 10 percent-plus over the last four years and currently employs more than 225 employees, said Rhéaume. According to OBJ’s 2018 Book of Lists, it’s the fifth-largest accounting firm in the region.

BDO Canada
From left, BDO Canada's Ottawa office managing partner, Stéphane Savage, with Nicholas Leroux, Desjardins Entreprises, and Denis Beaudry, Caisse Populaire Rideau-Vision, at an open house hosted by BDO Canada on Thursday, January 24, 2019, to show off its new Ottawa office space in the downtown core. Photo by Caroline Phillips
BDO Canada
From left, Han Wang, Sarah Rahme, Alexandra Bisson and Francois Laurence, all with BDO Canada LLP,  at its open house held Thursday, January 24, 2019, to show off its new Ottawa office space in the downtown core. Photo by Caroline Phillips

Company chief executive Pat Kramer was up from Toronto to extend his congratulations. “The fact that we’re actually investing in this place today shows the confidence that we have in the partners of Ottawa. They’ve got a great business plan for growth, not only in the city but in the outlying communities. We’re really excited about this and with what’s happening in Ottawa.”

He was also part of a a ribbon-cutting ceremony involving Mayor Jim Watson, who joked that he could only stay for a few minutes because he had snow to clear, due to Wednesday’s huge dump.

“I’m plowing the streets,” he told the room. “Please don’t complain; we have 6,100 km of roads, and your street can’t be plowed first.”

Each guest received a parting gift bag containing a 600 ml-bottle of Beau's beer customized with a BDO label. It also came with a BDO bottle opener for the non-twist-off cap.

— caroline@obj.ca