The IT Factor: What Ottawa must do to brand itself as a true national tech hub

For most of the past 15 years — ever since Nortel began hemorrhaging jobs — the morning rush hour traffic in Kanata has largely been outbound, heading into downtown Ottawa or other parts of the region. Office buildings had floors of unused space.

That’s changed in the past few years. Both office space and talent are scarce in the Kanata tech park and, if there’s still traffic heading east, there’s an equal amount of it heading into Kanata, says Jenna Sudds, the outgoing executive director of the Kanata North Business Association.

There are now more than 500 companies in Kanata — the highest concentration of tech companies operating within Ottawa’s 2,778 square kilometres.

“It’s the full parking lots, it’s the full restaurants, it’s the traffic on our roads, it’s the congested buses,” Sudds says. “All of those may sound like a negative, but they’re actually the biggest positive indicator of the health of what’s happening here.”

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Victoria Krisman
Victoria Krisman is Interactive Media Specialist and Communications Manager for the Intelligent Community Forum.
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