Two days before its official opening, Kanata North’s Hub350 received an early housewarming gift from Premier Doug Ford on Tuesday.
Ford announced the province will be contributing $1.5 million to the new meetings and events space through its Eastern Ontario Development Fund. The 12,000-square-foot facility in Mitel’s former headquarters at 350 Legget Dr. is slated to open its doors to the public on Thursday.
The Kanata North Business Association is investing $3 million in Hub350, which was Designed by Ottawa architect Andrew Reeves’s Linebox Studio – the company behind trendy workspaces such as Shopify’s former Elgin Street headquarters – and is being billed as a “state-of-the-art global technology centre.”
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Invest Ottawa CEO Michael Tremblay, whose organization is a partner in the new facility, said Tuesday he thinks Hub350 will become a one-stop shop for some of the city’s brightest tech minds to gather, swap ideas and lay the groundwork for a new generation of startups.
“We have such a strong density of tech capability in Kanata,” he said. “Having a space where people can bump into one another and compare notes and do a little bit of future-hacking is a good thing.”
The new site will feature open-concept meeting rooms as well as smaller private offices and auditoriums with stadium-style seating where founders can pitch their businesses to potential investors. In addition, it will house a full-service studio where companies can produce and broadcast stories and promotional materials.
Other amenities, including an in-house bistro, bar and cafeteria as well as outdoor events space, are expected to be added over time.
“We have a vision for Kanata that will see Canada’s largest technology park transform into the preeminent region in the country to live, work, play and learn,” KNBA president and executive director Jamie Petten said in a statement.
Among Hub350’s major sponsors are Silicon Valley software giant Salesforce, which will offer seminars for KNBA members and help launch a new leadership council for chief information officers and chief technology officers at Kanata-based firms.
Other partners in the new facility include Mitel, Ross Video and investment firm Wesley Clover. The KNBA is relocating its office to the hub, and Algonquin College, Carleton University and uOttawa will also have classroom and meeting space at the site.