OBJ's top stories of 2021

From a Quickie sale to a billionaire e-commerce baron, we've got the biggest business topics of the year covered
Top stories of 2021
Clockwise from top left: Shopify co-founder Tobi Lütke, shown with his wife Fiona McKean, solidified his status as Ottawa's richest person in 2021; Place de Ville changed hands for $350 million; and Quickie co-founder Arnold Kimmel sold his company to MacEwen Petroleum. File photos

With 2021 winding to a close and last-minute shoppers scrambling to find that perfect gift, we at OBJ are getting into the spirit of the season as we count down the days to Christmas.

And like everyone else, the staff at OBJ are looking forward to a holiday break. To that end, we will be taking a hiatus from Dec. 23-Jan. 3 to celebrate the season.

As a result, the OBJ Today newsletter will be on pause until the first Monday in 2022. But don’t fret, dear readers: before we start to partake in Yuletide traditions like sipping eggnog by the fire and binge-watching holiday classics from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation to Die Hard (yes, it’s a Christmas movie), we’re leaving you with a special editorial gift.

Our staff has compiled a list of OBJ’s most popular stories from 2021 to help you relive the year that was in Ottawa business. From e-commerce to real estate, these articles run the gamut. We hope you enjoy them, and we look forward to resuming our regular daily coverage of the region’s business scene on Jan. 3. Happy holidays!

BLACKBERRY SQUEEZED: In a blow to one of Kanata’s best-known tech companies, Ford Motor Co. said it’s ditching BlackBerry QNX’s infotainment software from its vehicles in favour of a new platform from Google.
Read more

SHOPIFY EXODUS: Three of Shopify’s highest-ranking executives caused a stir when they left the Ottawa-based e-commerce giant earlier this year.
Read more

WORKPLACES OF HONOUR: Already named one of the capital’s fastest-growing companies earlier this year, Noibu can add another honour to its impressive list of accomplishments in 2021: the title of Ottawa’s best workplace as chosen by its employees.
Read more

FAB FORTY: A pair of executives from a global e-commerce powerhouse, a founder of one of the capital’s fastest-growing companies and business leaders from the construction, real estate, retail, tourism and communications sectors were among the 40 rising young business stars recognized in the 2021 Forty Under 40 awards.
Read more

NOW THAT’S RICH: As his company surged ahead of RBC to become Canada’s most valuable publicly traded firm in 2020, Shopify co-founder Tobi Lütke’s net worth experienced some hockey-stick-like growth of its own.  
Read more

PRICEY PLACE: The Place de Ville office complex was sold last month fall to a pair of Toronto real estate firms for $350 million in the second-largest commercial real estate transaction in Ottawa history.
Read more

RUCKIFY SHAKEUP: Serial entrepreneur Steve Cody was looking for his next venture after stepping down as CEO of online rental marketplace Ruckify early this year.
Read more

MARRIAGE OF CONVENIENCE: Iconic local retailer Quickie’s five-decade run as an independent entity came to an end this fall when the convenience store chain was acquired by MacEwen Petroleum. 
Read more

BUILDING ANTICIPATION: A Toronto-based hotel developer filed a proposal to build three apartment buildings and nearly 200 stacked dwelling units on two parcels of land between the Kanata Golf and Country Club and the Kanata Centrum Shopping Centre.
Read more

NEW KID ON THE (AUCTION) BLOCK: Six years after launching auto auction site EBlock and helping build it into a firm with nearly 700 employees, Ryan O’Connor unveiled his newest startup: Unreserved, an online platform that allows prospective homebuyers to bid on properties in real time while guaranteeing sellers a minimum price.
Read more