This may seem like an odd topic to raise in the early days of August. After all, it was a story that first broke in January and doesn’t seem to have garnered much media attention in the months since. But after my recent trip to Kitchener-Waterloo and immersing myself in the environment of the Communitech Hub, it seems that some discourse should be attempted on a subject that has perhaps provoked too little attention so far from mainstream media.
I am referring to plans by the City of Ottawa and Invest Ottawa to construct at Bayview Yards west of the Canadian War Museum an “innovation complex” that would repurpose an old 150,000-square-foot city workshop (pictured). According to a city staff report from January, the complex “would help to meet the growing demands of new entrepreneurs in Ottawa” and be modelled after Communitech and the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto.
The site is nestled in a rather forlorn light industrial area characterized by weeds growing from cracks in the concrete. However, this area is the focus of the city’s Bayview Community Design Plan.