With all the growth and activity from Invest Ottawa’s startups in 2019, the local economic development agency’s home at Bayview Yards is bursting at the seams heading into 2020. We brought some of Invest Ottawa’s executives to Techopia Live this week to look back at the year that was and look ahead to a potential expansion of Ottawa’s innovation centre.
Towards the end of 2019, Invest Ottawa got approval from city council to build an addition on-site at Bayview Yards. The designs are still being finalized, but the expansion should add roughly 6,400 square feet and 87 seats for startups and partner companies working out of Bayview Yards.
Michael Tremblay, Invest Ottawa’s president and CEO, said the level of activity at Bayview Yards since the facility opened up in 2016 has presented a series of challenges on how to grow the organization’s programming. He didn’t exactly seem discouraged, though.
“As you can see, looking around here, we’re pretty packed. And I’m thrilled with that,” Tremblay told Techopia Live.
The Bayview Yards addition is expected to be completed in 13-14 months, Tremblay said, adding that this is just the short-term vision for the site. The city has been talking about building the 16-acre plot of land into an “innovation village,” which could eventually see a community form between Bayview Yards and the adjacent LRT station.
As Bayview Station marks the intersection of the Trillium and Confederation light-rail lines, there’s untapped potential in developing the surrounding area into a well-connected hub for Ottawa’s business community, Tremblay said. He projected even further into the future, suggesting lines could eventually stretch north to connect the site to Gatineau.
To hear more about Invest Ottawa’s strategic vision for 2020, the response to 2019’s new initiatives such as the L5 testing site and the province-wide scaleup program, watch the video above.