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‘Orléans is the place to be’

A talented workforce, relatively high household income and a strong sense of community are among the reasons several Ottawa entrepreneurs say they chose Orléans as the location to launch and expand their ventures.

“We need smart people and Orléans has smart people,” John Liptak, president and CEO of OakWood. The firm designs, builds and renovates high-performance homes and buildings and is increasingly adding high-tech services to its offerings and opened a new multimillion-dollar facility in Orléans in 2016.

“Orléans is the place to be,” he said.

Liptak was joined by Brian Dagenais of Black Sheep Developments and Chantal Hackett of Sing House Studios during a recent panel discussion to launch the 2018 Orléans For Your Business campaign, a multichannel effort highlighting entrepreneurship, innovation and business opportunities in east Ottawa.

Speaking at a breakfast event at the Camelot Golf and Country Club, the panelists discussed some of the reasons to do business in Orléans.

“Orléans is such a supportive community,” says Hackett, the founder of the vocal, piano and guitar school. She saw an opportunity to provide a professional music environment with a “big downtown feel” to the growing number of families that call Orléans home.

“The best talent is here in Orléans,” she said.

Similarly, Brian Dagenais – the president of Black Sheep Developments, a boutique real estate company – is also building a business model around family and fun.

His firm is planning a 100,000-square-foot world-class recreational and multi-use facility, dubbed Fortitude, next to Montfort Hospital’s Orléans Health Hub on Mer Bleue Road.

“This was the best place to build, by far,” Dagenais said, adding the extension of Ottawa’s light-rail line into Orléans will help bring even more clients to the area.

“LRT is going to be a game changer,” he said.