The largest technology innovation hub in the world is getting a little bit bigger.
MaRS Discovery District has unveiled a new expansion that will see the hub open a 24,000-square-foot space at Toronto’s Waterfront Innovation Centre. The new location will create office space for Toronto’s quickly-growing technology industry and act as an extension of MaRS itself. This new location will be opened in partnership with the University of Toronto.
“As Toronto becomes a destination for global talent, venture capital and tech corporations, demand for space is at an all-time high. It’s imperative that we develop new innovative and entrepreneurial hubs in communities across the city,” says Yung Wu, CEO of MaRS. “The Waterfront Innovation Centre is the next destination for the city’s growing innovation sector — one that will further solidify Toronto’s standing as a premier tech centre.”
The Waterfront Innovation Centre will open in 2021 and boast more than 400,000 square feet of space for the local tech industry to build upon and grow with. It will be developed by Menkes and over 3,000 total workers will call the new spot home.
“Toronto is experiencing its lowest commercial vacancy rate ever (three per cent), making the city the most sought after market in North America,” Wu says. “Our startups and partners need more space to scale, and this new development is the ideal location for that growth.”
MaRS’ new space will be in the HIVE tower and has the opportunity to double its current footprint in the near future due to expected demand. The Innovation Centre itself is in a prime location, as it is just down the road from the proposed Quayside neighbourhood from Sidewalk Labs.
“The University of Toronto is excited to partner with MaRS to help expand Toronto’s rapidly growing startup scene on the city’s waterfront,” says Meric Gertler, University of Toronto President. “It’s a winning combination — MaRS’s world-class suite of innovation programming and expert support for entrepreneurship with the incredible depth and range at U of T.”
MaRS and the University of Toronto have partnered before when it comes to planning new real estate options. In 2015, University of Toronto invested in MaRS’ west tower, taking a 20 per cent equity share, and more recently, also announced a brand new massive innovation hub of their own right across from MaRS.