prototypeD's CloudLab launches in Vanier

A vacant lot in Vanier came to life Wednesday with the official launch of CloudLab Studios, a mobile makerspace created by local design firm prototypeD.

And the Quartier Vanier BIA is hoping the makerspace, which was announced in April, will do more than revitalize just the lot at 250 Montreal Rd., where it will be stationed for the next four months.

“This is exactly the kind of business that Vanier needs to be attracting; Innovative and creative businesses such as prototypeD will help to transform Vanier into an exciting, vibrant and positive community for artistic and entrepreneurial development,” BIA executive director Jamie Kwong said in a statement, adding she feels Vanier has the potential to become a creative haven.

While stationed at its Montreal Road location, protoypeD will use the CloudLab to host community events aimed at developing a new vision for Montreal Road and other key spots in the neighbourhood. It will also help the BIA by providing design consultation for businesses who receive funding through the BIA’s Façade Improvement Grant.

BIA chair Mark Kaluski said the grant is just one example of the many initiatives the board of directors is offering to beautify the area.

“This grant aims to incentivize the property owners to invest in building façade improvements,” Mr. Kaluski said in a statement. “Also, on a more macro level and with prototypeD’s assistance, we will be able to identify a variety of under-utilized spaces in the Vanier area which can be transformed into exciting temporary or permanent social uses.”

prototypeD CEO Janak Alford, himself a Vanier resident, said there was no better area to launch the project.

“CloudLabs are wonderful testing zones for new ideas, and we hope that this will be the first step to launching a permanent social enterprise hub in this community,” Mr. Alford said in a statement.

protoypeD is leasing the space from the Association of Teachers and Franco-Ontarian Teachers (AEFO). AEFO president Carol Jolin said CloudLab’s innovation and social approach will benefit the whole community.

“The AEFO is proud to assert its social leadership by partnering with prototypeD,” he said in a statement.