Toronto firm hopes to break ground on multi-tower Kanata North project in 2025

Main and Main Kanata project
A rendering from SvN Architects shows the proposed design for Main and Main's multi-tower project in Kanata North.

A Toronto firm behind one of downtown Ottawa’s biggest mixed-use developments says it hopes to break ground next year on another project that could see thousands of housing units built in Kanata North.

Main and Main Developments wants to transform a 13.6-acre site at the corner of March Road and Terry Fox Drive into a cluster of mid- and highrise buildings that would include more than 2,000 residential suites.

The firm’s current application to subdivide the properties at 555, 591, 595 and 603 March Rd. calls for a series of buildings ranging from six to 30 storeys, including buildings of 24, 25, 26 and 30 storeys that would feature a mix of residential units and ground-floor commercial space. 

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The concept plan also includes office buildings of seven and eight storeys as well as a public park and bicycle paths. 

The three buildings that currently occupy the properties – a one-storey commercial building at 555 March Rd., a single-storey strip mall at 591 March Rd. and a two-storey office building at 603 March Rd. – would be torn down to make way for the new development.

Main and Main president Daniel Byrne told OBJ earlier this month the company hopes to start construction on the project next year, with the first component likely to be an eight-storey apartment building containing about 150 units.

The development is expected to take up to a decade to complete. Byrne said that while the company’s current concept calls for a mix of mid- and highrise buildings, the exact configuration remains a work in progress and could change over time.

Downtown project underway

The proposal is Main and Main’s fourth potential development project in the National Capital Region. 

The company is already constructing 23- and 29-storey residential highrises connected by a mixed-use podium at the corner of Albert and Lyon streets. 

Byrne said the development, which includes 567 residential units and 20,000 square feet of retail space, should be ready for occupancy next year.

Main and Main is also building three highrises ranging from 22 to 32 storeys on Montreal Road in Vanier that will contain about 1,100 residential suites and more than 25,000 square feet of retail space. 

Byrne said the company expects the 22-storey tower, which includes 300 units, to be completed in 2025. Work on the second building, a 28-storey highrise, is due to begin later this year.

In addition, the firm has submitted a proposal for a nine-storey building with 75 luxury suites overlooking the Rideau Canal on a 0.73-acre parcel of land currently occupied by the Canadian Nurses Association’s former headquarters. Byrne said the project is still in the planning stage.

Meanwhile, Kanata North appears poised to become a construction hub as the city attempts to encourage more mixed-use development along a planned bus rapid transit corridor on March Road.

In 2022, the City of Ottawa adopted a new Official Plan that allows for greater density along major corridors such as March Road and eliminates rules that require a certain percentage of dwelling types on such properties, paving the way for proposals such as Main and Main’s.

Other developers looking to capitalize on the new planning guidelines include Gatineau-based Brigil, which recently filed an application to construct more than 1,900 residential units in a series of buildings as tall as 15 storeys just northwest of the Marshes Golf Club.

Just east of the Main and Main site across March Road, tech giant Nokia is set to launch a long-term development project that will see it demolish its existing campus and replace it with a new 500,000-square-foot office complex, including about 35,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial and retail space, and as many as 11 residential highrises containing up to 1,900 units.

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