Ottawa office market shows signs of stabilization following pandemic shock

Ottawa office

Ottawa’s office market recorded its smallest vacancy rate increase last quarter since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data from commercial real estate services firm CBRE.

The citywide vacancy rate rose 20 basis points in the second quarter of the year, climbing to 9.8 per cent from 9.6 per cent in the first quarter.

Downtown, the central business district office market broke a string of five consecutive quarters of rising vacancy rates by dropping to 9.6 per cent at the midyear mark, a decrease of 10 basis points. CBRE attributes the tightening to the National Dental Examining Board of Canada leasing 18,000 square feet inside Constitution Square as well as two subleases in Performance Court at 150 Elgin St. The building is the former headquarters of Shopify, which vacated several floors and put its space on the sublease market roughly a year ago.

Looking ahead, CBRE says there are “multiple large users” seeking roughly 30,000 square feet of space in Ottawa, with  expected move-in dates of between 2023 and 2025.