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Plus: Keywords buys Snowed In Studios, creating global gateway for local gaming sector page 4

July 30, 2018 Vol. 21, NO. 19

For daily business news visit

Making Ottawa a music city Entrepreneurs and city hall team up to build a stronger business case for the music industry Special report starts on page 17

RIDEAUSPORTSCENTRE.COM 1 D O N A L D S T R E E T (formerly Rideau Tennis Club)

6 1 3 • 74 9 • 6 1 2 6 o c key Te n n i s • ll • Fitness ek H D Ce Vo ba t • lle nt ke ge s r yb e a a l l • Ba • M a ss Soc m R e s t a ura ce g ra s & e o nt C r r am • Y us P o og ’s ps h @RIDEAUSPORTS a • Children • The Club









Beyond buildings: Why infrastructure design matters in Ottawa Architects DCA president Toon Dreessen takes a look at a missed opportunity on the Vanier Parkway – and explores how we can build a better city.


very year or two, Ottawa residents are treated to a feat of modern engineering as construction crews replace an aging bridge spanning the Queensway over the course of a single weekend. Using a process known as rapid bridge replacement, workers construct a new bridge near the existing one. Once complete, they quickly demolish the old bridge before slowly moving the approximately 600-tonne new structure into place. This is an innovative and efficient approach that allows the highway to reopen to vehicles quickly. But what are we, as a city, getting? We typically get a new bridge that is, for all intents and purposes, the same as the old bridge. Sure, it’s new and hopefully lasts as long as the previous bridge. But is it an improvement? Is the new bridge aesthetically attractive? Is it safer? Does it improve our shared urban environment? There’s growing recognition that welldesigned buildings create more liveable cities. But the value architects can deliver through their involvement in modern urban infrastructure is often overlooked.

MONDAY, JULY 30, 2018




Just east of the Rideau River, four lanes of traffic flow above Highway 417 across a relatively new bridge at the end of the Vanier Parkway. While the province replaced this bridge just four years ago, signs of the previous structure remain. Slip lanes – the technical term for the guarded turn lanes that allows motorists to make a right-hand turn without entering an intersection – were added to the area in the past, leaving the broken remnants of the original road. They’ve been maintained, even though we know slip lanes are hazardous and the city’s own guidelines state that “right turn slip lane designs are viewed as a negative.” Sure, you can argue that this is a highway on-ramp, and cars need the slip lane to get up to speed. But we’re sacrificing pedestrian and cyclist safety for the incremental effect on a driver’s ability to take a corner quickly and zoom from 60 km/h to highway speed.

Slip lanes around the Vanier Parkway overpass were maintained when the bridge was replaced, even though they are hazardous and the city’s own guidelines say they are undesirable. Note in this case the absence of tactile warning plates at the edge of the sidewalk and missing paint on the road to indicate that pedestrians are crossing, as well as a lack of signage to say that cars have to yield to pedestrians.

Architects DCA president Toon Dreessen, seen at the Vanier Parkway overpass, says the value architects can deliver through their involvement in modern urban infrastructure is often overlooked.

The sidewalks on the new bridge are about the same width as the old. They are about a metre wide, which doesn’t meet the standard for new sidewalks. The painted bike lanes that were an afterthought on the old 1950s-era bridge were replaced with – wait for it – new painted lane that looks like a bike lane, but tapers off to nothing, and a “walk your bike” sign that forces cyclists to share a high-speed road and negotiate across slip lanes. The guard walls of the bridge are solid concrete barriers, with no articulation, decoration or sense of beauty. The lighting is a row of standard metal lamp posts. The sidewalk has already buckled, creating unsafe walking conditions that violate accessibility requirements. The bridge is, in a nutshell, a purely utilitarian design. It meets the minimum functional design for drivers with, seemingly, no thought to anyone else, and no thought to long-term value for the community. You could argue that there aren’t very many pedestrians or cyclists on the bridge, so why spend money to make it better for them? As Brent Toderian, the founding president of the Council for Canadian Urbanism, once said, “It’s hard to justify a bridge by the number of people swimming across a river.”

Signage advises cyclists to get off their bikes and walk across the Vanier Parkway overpass. There is a suggestion of a bike lane that is painted on the road, but it trails off to nothing as cars enter the slip lane.


So, what could have been done differently with the Vanier Parkway overpass? For starters, the slip lanes could have been removed or altered to make the pedestrian and cyclist routes safer. The sidewalk could be wider, and incorporate a separated bike lane. The bare concrete walls could have been articulated to improve the aesthetic appearance and sense of place, incorporating pedestrian friendly lighting, landscaping or other features. And the lane widths could be narrowed, decreasing speed for vehicles and making the road safer for everyone. These are just some of the ideas, presented in hindsight. Imagine what could have been thought of if an architect was at the table from the beginning, much as provincial legislation – albeit passed after the Vanier Parkway overpass was replaced – requires of all infrastructure projects. Here is where design matters. When architects are at the table, we bring ideas, innovations and holistic thinking to the discussion. We work with all parties to help make our urban environments beautiful, functional and safe for all. We show that architecture

The sidewalk has already buckled, creating unsafe walking conditions.

matters because all of us are affected by our built environment. From bike lanes to buildings, design matters. Toon Dreessen is president of Ottawabased Architects DCA and past-president of the Ontario Association of Architects. For a sample of Architects DCA’s projects, check out the firm’s portfolio at Toon Dreessen is president of Ottawabased Architects DCA and past-president of the Ontario Association of Architects. For a sample of Architects DCA’s projects, check out the firm’s portfolio at DCA-portfolio. Follow @ArchitectsDCA on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

CONSTRUCTION ARTS AND CULTURE NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE Contractor: PCL Interior alterations Value: $12.4 million

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GOVERNMENT DND HEADQUARTERS Contractor: EllisDon Interior alterations to threestorey office building Value: $13.1 million



RETAIL PLACE D’ORLÉANS SHOPPING CENTRE Interior alterations to relocate food court Value: $13 million

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HEALTHCARE QUEENSWAY CARLETON HOSPITAL Interior alterations to third and fourth floors Value: $11.9 million

Where is Ottawa building? Value of construction permits up 3.7% in 2018


WARD NAME VALUE (in millions) (Jan.-June 2018) 22 Gloucester-South Nepean $235.8 6 Stittsville-Kanata West $162.5 4 Kanata North $108.8 14 Somerset $106.6 19 Cumberland $94 21 Rideau $93.4 17 Capital $85.8 3 Barrhaven $79.3 15 Kitchissippi $76.9 13 Rideau-Rockcliffe $39.9 7 Bay $39.2 12 Rideau-Vanier $33.2 8 College $31.3 20 Osgoode $28.2 2 Innes $27.6 5 West Carleton-March $24.4 18 Alta-Vista $20.5 1 Orléans $19.2 9 Knoxdale-Merivale $16.4 16 River $15.3 10 Gloucester-Southgate $14.6 23 Kanata South $10.9 11 Beacon Hill-Cyrville $10.2

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Ottawa’s homebuilding sector continued to drive construction activity in Canada’s capital during the first half of 2018, according to an analysis of city data. However, the centrally located condo towers that topped the list of largest construction projects in 2016 and 2017 are being replaced by new retirement homes and suburban apartment buildings. Overall, the city issued construction permits worth $1.37 billion in the first six months of the year, up 3.7 per cent from the $1.32 billion in construction intentions during the same period a year earlier. A ward-by-ward analysis, illustrated in the map above, shows the highest concentration of construction activity in the communities of Barrhaven, Riverside South, Stittsville and Kanata South.

RESIDENTIAL WATERFORD RETIREMENT COMMUNITY 125 Marketplace Ave. Contractor: Doran Contractors Ltd. Construction of a nine-storey apartment building and eight-storey retirement home Value: $60.9 million

TECHNOLOGY Irish gaming giant Keywords acquires Ottawa’s Snowed In Studios in $4M deal Studio’s co-founder has ‘been dreaming’ of bringing a bigger player to Ottawa’s gaming sector BY CRAIG LORD


MONDAY, JULY 30, 2018

ne of Ottawa’s up-and-coming studios has been acquired by an Ireland-based gaming giant in a move the firm’s co-founder says could elevate the city’s entire industry. Snowed In Studios, a 30-person firm co-founded by Tim Vito, Evan Hahn and Jean-Sylvain Sormany, was acquired earlier this month by Keywords Studios in a deal valued at $4 million. Keywords is a heavy hitter in the gaming industry, despite not producing its own games. The 5,000-person IT services firm has made a name for itself supporting other studios’ development over the past decade. Traded on London’s AIM Exchange, Keywords is valued at more than CAD $1.75 billion. It’s achieved that growth largely through acquisitions, and has been on quite a tear in recent weeks: Snowed In’s acquisition closed on a Friday and Keywords announced it had bought a Tokyo-based studio the following Monday. The Snowed In deal gives Keywords its first Canadian location. The Ottawa-based operation, which has supported large companies such as Bethesda and Electronic Arts on various projects, fits into Keywords’ recent efforts to develop an engineering services stream. Talks between the two companies began last December. “They were really interested in our business because it fits perfectly for what they’re doing,” Sormany tells OBJ.



For Snowed In, the deal allows the local firm to keep growing with access to a few extra resources. The full team is staying on post-acquisition and will continue to expand with the support of Keywords’ global reach and technical team. “We were at a size where growing would have come with a lot of overhead,” says Sormany, a 2017 Forty Under 40 recipient. “This acquisition allows us to go through that phase with the support of a company that knows how to build 100-person studios.” REACHING THE NEXT LEVEL The deal isn’t just about Snowed In’s success, Sormany says. Aside from building Snowed In, which was born out of the 2008 financial crisis when laid-off Fuel Industries colleagues banded together to form a new studio, Sormany’s goal has always been to grow Ottawa’s local gaming sector. Snowed In is the anchor tenant of an office on Wellington Street where, last September, five local indie studios started sharing space. The goal was to create a hub where groups such as the Ottawa Gamedev Collective and Girl Force could host events and where recent graduates from local post-secondary institutions could come to get a sense of Ottawa-Gatineau’s gaming scene. Part workplace, part classroom and part gaming pad, the space has since become a lively home for Ottawa’s indies, with room to expand to two other floors in the building.

Characters from Snowed In Studios’ independent project Monster Chase.

While some may raise concerns about an external giant squashing the capital’s indie culture, Sormany believes Keywords’ entrance into the Ottawa market won’t leave other indies under the shadow of a colossus. Rather, he sees Keywords’ presence in the city as a welcome port to the firm’s many international connections. While Ottawa has always had a healthy crop of indie studios in town, the local gaming sector hasn’t broken out like Montreal or Vancouver, which have seen big-name studios such as Ubisoft set down roots. In much the same way as Snowed In has sought to be a beacon for indies in Ottawa, Sormany believes Keywords will become the “anchor tenant” that will attract large gaming companies to the capital. “For me, that’s truly great news for the city. Finally there is an international player that can link Ottawa to any company in the world,” he says. “This is something I’ve been dreaming of for a while.”

“Finally, there is an international player that can link Ottawa to any company in the world.” – JEAN-SYLVAIN SORMANY, COFOUNDER, SNOWED IN STUDIOS

Ontario’s Construction Lien Act is changing. Are you ready? David Contant, a partner at Nelligan O’Brien Payne, breaks down what you need to know at David Contant Partner

TECHNOLOGY Mistral Ventures leads $1.4M funding round in Ottawa-based Relogix Technology developed by local firm is used by big-name clients including Amazon and Starbucks BY CRAIG LORD


he nature of work has changed and a glut of under-utilized real estate in office portfolios around the world has brought customers the likes of Amazon and Starbucks to the door of Kanata-based Internet of Things firm Relogix. Now, these enterprises are joined by Mistral Venture Partners, Ottawa’s own venture capital fund, as it leads a $1.4-million investment in the local firm. Relogix considers this a top-up to its previously-raised $1.4 million seed round roughly a year ago. That round was largely made up of angel investors, including Ottawa’s Capital Angel Network. Founded in 2010, Relogix has been on Mistral’s radar for a few years, but the startup’s recent traction with large enterprise

Relogix deploys sensors across the offices to collect data on how space is really used in buildings.

customers opened a window of opportunity for the local fund. “The momentum they’ve achieved over the past year or so is what caught our eye,” managing director Code Cubitt tells OBJ. Relogix deploys sensors across the offices of large enterprises and commercial real estate portfolios to collect data on how space is really used in buildings. These cheap, easily deployed devices can say whether a desk is

empty most of the time or if booked meeting rooms are going unused. CEO Andrew Millar says that with the rise of the internet and remote working, large office spaces are rarely fully utilized these days – a significant drain on a company’s ROI. With Relogix, he’s eyeing an opportunity to deliver valuable data to help companies get the most out of their real estate in the modern workplace. ‘THE PHONE IS RINGING’ In the past few months, Relogix has quietly been adding some big-name customers: the likes of Amazon, Starbucks and large banks such as Bank of America, Royal Bank and TD Bank. “The demand is just overwhelming in the industry right now,” he says. “The message is getting around extremely fast. The phone’s ringing at Relogix and it’s Fortune 500 clients.”

Cubitt says he heard a “similar story” from the global distributors and large banks on Relogix’ customer list when he was reaching out for due diligence. After these calls, it was clear to Mistral that under-utilized space was an industrywide issue, and Relogix is ahead of the pack. Cubitt says the firm must “continue to innovate” to stay ahead. Millar says that while software talent is scarce, he’s found plenty of great engineers to work for Relogix in Ottawa, which he notes is full of IoT potential. “IoT’s in its infancy, but we found a sweet spot and we found good fit in the market,” he says. Cubitt points to Relogix as part of a trend of Ottawa-based firms finding traction in IoT. “It’s another great example of an Ottawa company leveraging IoT and the power of the internet to make a really good enterprise solution.”

A Thousand Reasons to Ride 2018

Join us as we weave through the beautiful Thousand Islands region with its quiet roads, and scenic countryside. We have three different route options for you, so choose the one that best suits you.



September 16, 2018 KINGSTON, ONTARIO

Register by August 28th to receive a FREE TI Gran Fondo water bottle.

Route Option 3: Touching The Islands - 80KM Kingston – Tip of the Islands – Kingston

“One of the best events I’ve had the pleasure of participating in.” – John S.



Register Online:

Route Option 2: Kingston to The Islands and Back - 120KM Kingston – Thousand Islands – Kingston

MONDAY, JULY 30, 2018


Route Option 1: The Big Loop - 160KM Kingston – Thousand Islands – Brockville – Kingston

COMMENTARY It’s time to reconsider how we encourage women’s leadership Businesses need to focus less on potentially misleading metrics, writes columnist Mischa Kaplan.


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t the third annual Women, Wine and Wisdom evening, hosted by the West Ottawa Board of Trade, a panel discussed the challenging but relevant topic of women leaders in the workplace. One conclusion was particularly relevant: Women leaders face an almost immeasurable range of challenges that most men are barely even aware of. As one of the few men in the audience, I left the event asking: Why aren’t more of us men taking part in this conversation, and what can I do to better support my female colleagues in advancing as leaders in a world where women hold only 24 per cent of senior management roles? While the first question is likely beyond the scope of this article, a useful guide to answering the second question was recently published in the influential Journal of Management. In a study that covered 117,639 separate organizations, the authors offer a powerful suggestion: It’s time to reconsider how we measure and encourage women’s leadership by focusing less on potentially misleading metrics (such as the number of women leaders in an organization) and more on the structures and biases that create “gendered” organizational cultures. If this sounds to you like esoteric, academic theorizing, don’t be fooled. The lessons have far-reaching, practical implications for organizations struggling to find solutions for closing the gender gap. More importantly, the article offers a novel way of thinking about the value of women as leaders.



BEYOND THE BUSINESS CASE The authors position their research in relation to the so-called “business case” for women leaders, an academic theory that attempts to prove that firms with more women leaders enjoy greater success. The authors point out that there are in fact very few unambiguous examples in which the existence of women leaders can be obviously linked to a firm’s financial performance. Of course, such a finding does not mean we should abandon the broad


Hoobler, J.M., Masterson, C.R., Nkomo, S.M., and Michel, E.J. (2018), “The Business Case for Women Leaders: Meta-Analysis, Research Critique, and Path Forward,” Journal of Management, Vol 44, Issue 6, pp. 2473 – 2499.

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Rather than promoting women leaders simply to achieve gender parity, managers must identify the subtle ways women are being held back. project of advancing the role of women in the workplace. Rather, what is required is to understand why a “business case” for women leaders is such a complex and loaded concept, and why looking at it from a strictly financial perspective is so limited. Using a “bottom-line” approach to measure the value of women leaders misses a key point: “Value” in an organization is not always measured by income statements and balance sheets. For instance, women leaders might positively affect less quantifiable markers of organizational success, such as the ability to generate ideas or engage effectively with key stakeholders. Part of recognizing that the status quo is unacceptable is admitting that firm value is created via many different variables. Using a financially driven business case for women leaders is limited in two distinct but interrelated ways. First, it assumes a clear dichotomy between men and women in relation to world view and leadership style, suggesting that men and women consistently act and think differently, and that such differences form the defining driver in terms of a firm’s performance. Second, implying that such a separation exists also indirectly assumes that this dichotomy between men and women has a direct effect on outcomes, without ever identifying how this relationship works or what the “missing variable” is that would trigger this system of cause and effect. In other words, if we buy the idea that gender plays a dominant role in

determining outcome, shouldn’t we also question what exactly it is about gender that fuels this? It is this last point that leads to the authors’ most useful suggestion: Rather than focusing solely on the idea that progress in this space is best measured in dichotomous terms, managers and organizations need to recognize that gender is more of a social system than an easily adjustable metric. This system – what the authors call the “gendered subtext” – affects an organization in a wide variety of ways, from hiring practices and workplace policies to underlying organizational norms and behaviours. BENEATH THE SURFACE Consider the “iceberg” concept of culture, which states that most of what defines a culture exists below the surface, including unstated and unconscious behaviours. Similarly, what forms a “gendered subtext” won’t necessarily manifest itself through policies or practices that explicitly limit women – rather, such a subtext will exist below the surface, invisible to most participants. Continued on page 23 Mischa Kaplan is chair of the West Ottawa Board of Trade and the CEO of Cardinal Research Group, a boutique consulting firm focusing on organizational design and leadership. @mischakaplan

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Guy Lapierre (CEO / GAL Power), William ‘Bill’ Garbarino (HKGU Charity Golf Tournament Director), and Dal Bath (National Director of Sales / GAL Power). Photo: Jeff Hyacinthe

On-course to raise over $680,000 for children in need


his Summer’s 9th annual tournament, presented by Diamond Level Sponsor, GAL Power, was hosted July 10th at the renowned ClubLink Eagle Creek Golf Club in scenic Dunrobin, Ontario. The HKGU golf tournament and pre-tournament fundraising activities have generated nearly $77,000 in net proceeds to date, with another event still to come in the Fall. GAL Power is on-course to meet a 10-year commitment to raise over $680,000 for children in need.

Sunny skies prevailed as over 144 participating golfers displayed their prowess through nine on-course skill events including; chipping/putting contests, longest drive, straightest drive, closest-to-the-pin, and four ‘hole-in-one’ contests with large cash prizes. This year’s tournament saw the debut of a new pre-tournament longest drive event – won by DJ Parent.


The fantastic Eagle Creek staff and tournament volunteers treated participants to HKGU’s unique brand of hospitality, while the generous tournament sponsors provided the players and volunteers with breakfast (Vibra-Sil), BBQ lunch (CIBC Commercial Banking), a promotional ‘Beer Tent’ featuring the Labatt promotion team (DCT), Labatt beer on-tap (4Refuel), and a delectable dinner buffet provided by (Eaton & WESCO) served with complimentary wine by (Atlas Copco). All players received complimentary registration gifts, had the opportunity to participate in the silent/live auctions, enter a 50/50 cash draw and win donated raffle prizes with a total value of over $7,000. There were numerous opportunities to network throughout the day including a post-tournament hospitality hour (Jim Peplinski Leasing) with complimentary draft beer and finger foods. During the tournament banquet dinner, major tournament sponsors were recognized for their years of dedicated commitment to the tournament and Variety of Ottawa proudly presented a cheque to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada for $15,000 towards funding their charitable initiatives.



This tournament is made possible by the tremendous support of GAL Power. They have made a 10-year commitment to raise over $680,000 through this event. GAL Power, one of Canada’s leading providers of power and temperature control rentals solutions has earned leadership status by consistently supplying high-performance generators over the past 30-years. Visit

Next year’s 10th Annual HKGU Charity Golf Tournament is Tuesday, July 9th, 2019 at the Eagle Creek Golf Club.


As a result of this year’s tournament, the net proceeds will enable Variety of Ottawa and Canadian Foundation for Children with AIDS (CFCA) to continue to fund critical children’s care programs. Over its first nine years, total net proceeds support from the HKGU tournament has now reached the $577,000 plateau. Variety of Ottawa will continue to support programs in partnership with CHEO, Children’s Wish, School Breakfast Programs and many other individual child support organizations and families. CFCA will continue to use its portion of the funds to expand AIDS relief programs in the subSaharan area of Africa, including building additional livestock and greenhouse programs to increase the nutrition levels of the communities that it supports.

SILVER LEVEL: KPMG, Allan Snelling LLP, Triangle Pump, Rhodes & Williams, Gervais Towing, Leystone & GWL Assurance, Max Bounty, 4Refuel, AC School of Business, Darcy McGee’s Orleans, Safety House, OSEG. VIBRA-SIL

Advanced Vibration & Sound Control

Thank you to our BRONZE LEVEL, TEE BOX, PRIZE sponsors, and VOLUNTEERS. See the complete list of sponsors on the HKGU tournament website sponsor section.


Visit the tournament website for more info about this year’s event and the 2019 tournament at Contact Bill Garbarino, tournament director, at for available sponsorship opportunities.

MONDAY, JULY 30, 2018

Shanda White (Community & Fund Development Manager at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada), Mike Brennan (President / Variety of Ottawa), and Anita Wilson (Executive Director / Variety of Ottawa). Photo: Jeff Hyacinthe

In addition to the on-course skill events, each year a ‘top team’ that achieves the lowest score for the day, using a shamble format, is crowned. This year’s winning foursome was Gervais Towing with a score of 127.


Canada Lands Co. is proposing to preserve some of the buildings on the Booth Street campus that show the area’s growth in the early 20th century into a semi-industrial lab. Others, such as those that have been heavily altered or were used primarily as offices, will be demolished.

New towers, preservation of heritage buildings, planned for Booth Street Developers expected to have opportunity to bid on land parcels as early as 2020 BY PETER KOVESSY

MONDAY, JULY 30, 2018




he federal custodian of a disused laboratory complex in central Ottawa plans to rezone the property to permit a handful of new towers, rising up to 24 storeys, in advance of selling the land to private developers. The 6.5-acre Booth Street campus on the edge of Little Italy is located just south of the Queensway, east of Rochester Street. Once home to the Mines and Resources Branch of Natural Resources Canada, parts of the complex have been vacant for nearly two decades. A cluster of the existing heritage buildings – as well as the property’s landmark smokestack – are proposed to be preserved and restored. Meanwhile, a new public garden, square and park are slated to replace large portions of the asphalt parking lots that currently run through the property. The vision is to create a new mixed-use

community that connects the Glebe Annex with Little Italy and is animated around the clock. “I see people on this site 24 hours a day,” says Marie Jarvis, the real estate director for the National Capital Region at the Canada Lands Co., which owns the site. Once fully redeveloped, Jarvis says she envisions a range of uses: “People living there, working there, coming for dinner (and) coming for breakfast.” Private developers are anticipated to ultimately purchase the property and construct the new buildings in what is quickly becoming one of Ottawa’s hottest central neighbourhoods. Homebuilder Claridge is constructing a 45-storey condo tower at the corner of Preston Street and Carling Avenue, and a new luxury rental tower is being built on Rochester Street. Additionally, the Booth Street complex is less than 500 metres from the Carling O-Train station on the Trillium Line, which the city is preparing to expand in the coming years.

PROJECTED TIMELINE Spring 2019: Rezoning approved 2019-20: Environmental remediation 2020-22: Marketing and sale of properties to private developers

ENVIRONMENTAL CLEAN-UP REQUIRED The Canada Lands Co. is a federal Crown corporation that’s responsible for selling surplus government properties to maximize both the community value of the land as well as the financial return to taxpayers. Locally, its recent projects include the former Rockcliffe Airbase and a 10.4-acre property at 800 Montreal Road, across from the Montfort Hospital. After several months of public consultations, CLC recently filed a rezoning request with the city to allow for the taller buildings, in addition to removing setback requirements.

Jarvis says she’s hopeful that the rezoning will be approved by spring 2019. CLC will then commission an extensive environmental remediation of the property, which is polluted from years of industrial use. Jarvis says the cost of cleaning up the property has not yet been determined. One remediated, the property will be sold off in parcels to private developers, likely between 2020 and 2022, Jarvis says. How each of the new and restored buildings will be used – be it residential units, office space or retail shops – has not been defined at this stage. Jarvis says the number of heritage buildings and features being preserved as part of the Booth Street redevelopment makes the project unique for Ottawa. She adds that she hopes it will spur additional developments in the surrounding area. “(We want it to) be a catalyst and (make) a positive contribution to the redevelopment of the Glebe Annex and Preston East corridor,” she says.

The Ottawa Real Estate Show is a new online broadcast dedicated to commercial property in Canada’s capital. Watch the show at The Ottawa Real Estate Show is sponsored by Mann Lawyers and CBRE Ottawa.

Restaurants, service centres expected to open near Amazon distribution centre


onstruction of Amazon’s new Ottawa distribution centre has yet to officially begin, but the developer behind the project is already fielding inquiries from businesses interested in setting up shop near the massive facility. Broccolini, which will construct the one-million-square-foot facility and lease it to Amazon, says there are signs that new coffee shops, restaurants and truck service centres will be constructed to service the 600 full-time Amazon employees working at the facility as well as the steady stream of transport truck traffic. “Already I’m hearing rumblings and getting phone calls about developments occurring within the vicinity,” said James Beach, Broccolini’s director of real estate and development, speaking on the Ottawa Real Estate Show. The developer is currently clearing the land on its 96-acre property at the interchange of Highway 417 and Boundary Road in advance of starting construction on

Site work has started on Broccolini’s 96-acre property on Boundary Road in advance of construction on a new Amazon distribution centre.

the distribution centre this summer. Broccolini says the project is expected to cost up to $200 million and will be completed by the fall of 2019. Construction of the distribution centre – which will specialize in packing and shipping large items such as household

Lacey Miller

practices in the business law and real estate service groups at Mann Lawyers.

HOW CAN LANDLORDS MEET THE UNIQUE NEEDS OF OTTAWA’S INDUSTRIAL TENANTS? Hear from the experts in the latest episode of the Ottawa Real Estate Show:

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furniture and decor, sporting equipment and gardening tools – comes as Ottawa’s industrial market continues to tighten. The availability rate of industrial space has declined for 12 straight quarters and is approaching record lows, real estate services firm CBRE recently reported. At the

end of the first quarter, the availability rate stood at 4.3 per cent. While tenants looking for between 2,000 and 10,000 square feet of industrial space can still find options, securing large warehouse premises of more than 30,000 square feet is becoming difficult – a situation CBRE said could encourage developers to launch speculative builds. Beach said he’s seen no indication that the Amazon distribution centre will be a catalyst for more large-scale industrial developments in southeast Ottawa. However, Shawn Hamilton, managing director of CBRE Ottawa, noted that the shortage of industrial land means developers will have to look at areas outside the Greenbelt to support the growth of Ottawa’s warehousing, distribution and logistics sector. “Over the passage of time, Boundary Road could certainly become more than it is today,” he said. – Peter Kovessy



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SMALL BUSINESS A new look: Husband-and-wife team shutter bridal boutique for hair salon Ember Hair Retreat opened late last year in the same Hintonburg location as the entrepreneurial couple’s previous venture, Yen’s Bridal BY REBECCA ATKINSON

The decision to pivot to an entirely new business model came after the couple witnessed major changes in customer tastes and habits in the bridal fashion industry.


MONDAY, JULY 30, 2018

fter operating a bridal-wear boutique for nearly 25 years, Greg and Lisa Horner have traded in their fabric shears for scissors of a different sort. Late last year, the husband-and-wife business partners opened Ember Hair Retreat, a salon at the corner of Somerset Street and Wellington Street West – the same Hintonburg location where their previous store, Yen’s Bridal, used to be. “I never thought that, one day, hairstyling would be a full-time job of mine,” says Lisa. Their decision to pivot to a new business came after the couple witnessed major changes in customer tastes and habits in the bridal fashion industry over the past decade or so. The Horners say the growing trend toward online shopping cut into sales at Yen’s Bridal. But the couple also noticed a shift in attitude among many clients. Greg usually worked the main floor of the bridal shop, assisting customers looking for dresses, while Lisa, a seamstress who studied fashion design, did the alterations. Towards the end, Lisa says 90 per cent of the women who came into the store weren’t interested in having alterations done. “People nowadays are more realistic,” she says, explaining fewer customers were interested in altering an item of clothing they’d be wearing only for a few hours. Instead of closing up shop and retiring, the Horners started anew with the help of their daughter, Elisa, who now works in the salon part-time and plans to



Greg and Lisa Horner operated a bridal boutique for nearly a quarter-century before packing it in and opening a hairstyling salon. PHOTOS BY REBECCA ATKINSON

eventually take it over. Ember Hair Retreat opened in October 2017, four months after Lisa and Greg closed Yen’s Bridal. “I’m glad it’s over,” Lisa says of the bridal business. “Because for the last few years, it was nothing but frustration.” A NEW TRADE Launching a new venture from scratch hasn’t always been smooth sailing, she concedes. The store is slowly building a clientele, and the couple hopes to see a bump in traffic over the warmer summer months. Lisa and Greg say they’d been mulling over the change for some time, in part due to the influence of Lisa’s various family

members, who run seven independent hair salons in the Ottawa area. When the bridal business started suffering, Lisa’s family encouraged her to go back to school to earn her hairstyling diploma. Because she grew up around salons, Lisa had experience cutting hair, but was still reluctant to embark on a whole new trade. “The first few years of a business are the hardest, and I didn’t want to go through that again,” recalls Lisa. Eventually, though, she and her husband realized they needed to take action. In 2014, Lisa enrolled in Algonquin College’s twoyear hairstyling diploma program. “I wasn’t sure,” she says. “I started telling myself and Greg, ‘I’ll give myself two weeks,

fully paying attention to school, and after that, I will know if I will continue with the class or not.’ Well, I loved it after two or three days.” From there, the couple started reducing their bridal-wear inventory. As soon as Lisa got her haircutting licence, they announced the business was shutting down. NEW CHALLENGES With the dresses gone, the floors were changed, and the front window bridal displays were replaced with a photo of a model with swooping, coloured hair. And of course, shears were swapped for scissors. For Lisa, the new business wasn’t a huge leap. Continued on page 23

— S P O N SO RE D CO N T E N T —


Luxury living

in Canada’s capital

INSIDE 1451 Wellington poised to become Ottawa’s newest landmark PAGE 14


What homeowners want PAGE 16

MONDAY, JULY 30, 2018

Surging consumer confidence driving high-end home sales in Ottawa


— S P O N SO RE D CO N T E N T —

1451 Wellington creates five-star living in the heart of Ottawa Mizrahi Developments preparing to break ground on Westboro site

MONDAY, JULY 30, 2018




f Westboro is the best neighbourhood in Ottawa, then 1451 Wellington is its crown jewel – and construction on the boutique condo, a Mizrahi Developments project, is closer than ever to breaking ground. Construction of the 12-storey luxury condo tower is scheduled to start in early 2019, though the project has been in the works for years. In 2012, Sam Mizrahi, the firm’s president and founder, set out to find a location for his first build in Ottawa. The goal was to find a site fit for a landmark, the likes of which has never been seen in the nation’s capital. “It really has no rival. It’s one of a kind,” says Mizrahi. The building, which is slated for completion in June 2021, has distinguished itself from other condo developments around the city with its prime location, one-of-akind architecture and luxurious amenities and design.

OTTAWA’S BEST NEIGHBOURHOOD Located on the north-east corner at the intersection of Island Park Drive and Wellington Street West, the condo tower will stand on a gateway site between Westboro Village, Wellington West and the scenic driveway leading to the Ottawa River and into Québec. The surrounding area is rich with restaurants and boutiques, as well as lush, waterfront green space. The development is a stone’s throw from the downtown core and LeBreton Flats, which was recently announced as the future home of the Ottawa Senators NHL team. And for homeowners looking to go beyond central Ottawa, the Queensway is located just down the road. “We’re very excited to be in a neighborhood like Westboro that’s really transformative and changing, and to be part of that transformation with anchoring a landmark building,” says Mizrahi.

— S P O N SO RE D CO N T E N T —

During the application and consultation process, Mizrahi Developments ultimately earned a “landmark” designation for 1451 Wellington – an honour rarely bestowed on a building that had yet to be constructed. When completed, 1451 Wellington will feature a copper mansard roof with a spire, an ode to Parliament Hill’s iconic Peace Tower. “We hope that it inspires other developers to do more types of buildings like this,” says Mizrahi.

SUPER LUXURY In addition to the architecture and location of the development, the interior of the building – including its amenities and design – also stands to set it apart from other condos in Ottawa. Residents will be able to enjoy the features of a five-star hotel from the comfort of their own homes. Amenities include and valet parking, a saltwater swimming pool, a highend fitness retreat and an on-site car wash, among other things. A 24/7 concierge will also be available to receive deliveries on behalf of homeowners and to assist with other hospitality services, including making dinner reservations, purchasing tickets to performances or sporting events as well as scheduling housekeeping or other in-home services. All condo units will be equipped with smart home technologies, which will be used to control both climate and security features. “It’s a home in the capital which gives you the amenities of a five-star boutique hotel, but you don’t have the issues you’d otherwise have with homeownership,” says Mizrahi. The developer has placed a great deal of emphasis on ensuring the building feels like a true home for its residents. As Mizrahi explains, condominium developments across Canada typically only offer buyers a handful of cosmetic finishes for customizing their units. However, Mizrahi Developments is going a step further in allowing 1451 Wellington residents to customize their new homes. In addition to offering expertly-designed floorplans, it also offers custom suites that allow homeowners to customize their floorplans and perform a full fit up of their space to their liking.

“One of the most important things for us is that we collaborated with the community to build something. The building evolved, in response to the voice of the city.” — Sam Mizrahi


MONDAY, JULY 30, 2018


Now in its 10th year, Mizrahi Developments has established itself as a firm that cares about the communities it builds in. From the outset, the developer placed significance on consultations with neighbours and other local residents and businesses. “One of the most important things for us is that we collaborated with the community to build something,” says Mizrahi. “The building evolved, in response to the voice of the city.” Among the highest compliments Mizrahi has received is from those who have already bought homes in the building encouraging their friends to follow suit. And though many of the 95 units in the building were snapped up during the soft launch and pre-sale, there are still homes available at 1451 Wellington. The presentation gallery is open on the future site of the building, at 1451 Wellington St. West. Contact Jonny Cracower (613.798.4663 or jonny@ for more info. You can also peruse the development online at

MARKET DRIVERS What’s the most important factor in a luxury home purchase? Location 70% Condition of property 10% Price 8% Home amenities 6% View 6%

Source: Luxury Institute / Coldwell Banker

AMENITY TRENDS Which residential amenities are growing in importance to buyers?

Surging consumer confidence drives increase in Ottawa luxury home prices: report With threat of government cutbacks in the past, buyers returning to market

MONDAY, JULY 30, 2018




ent-up demand for high-end housing in the nation’s capital is rapidly pushing up prices as well as sales of luxury detached houses, according to a report by Royal LePage. The real estate firm found the median price of a luxury detached home increased 6.3 per cent year-over-year, rising to $1.54 million for the first four months of 2018. The median price of a luxury condominium, meanwhile, increased four per cent to $1.01 million during the same period. “While overall price appreciation in the luxury home market is in the single digits, price appreciation of luxury detached homes in select pockets, such as Westboro and the Glebe, soared over the past few years,” said Charles Sezlik, a sales representative at Royal LePage Team Realty, in a statement. Sezlik added that ongoing price appreciation is the result of pent-up demand created while the previous Conservative government was in office. The ongoing threat of cutbacks meant interest was strong, but consumer confidence was low. “Ottawa’s luxury home market has benefitted from a surge in consumer

confidence,” said Sezlik. “While many luxury homebuyers are employed outside of government, government positions make up half of the local workforce and drive the economy alongside our thriving technology sector.” Royal LePage found that luxury detached home sales in the first four months of 2018 rose 9.1 per cent compared to the same period in 2017. Luxury condominium sales, however, declined due to a surplus of units on the market. Looking ahead, Royal LePage forecasts that the median price of a luxury home in Ottawa will increase five per cent year-overyear to $1.61 million, while the median price of a luxury condominium increased three per cent to $1.04 million.

DEFINING LUXURY In Ottawa, Royal LePage categorizes luxury homes as detached houses that sell for more than $1.36 million and condos that sell for more than $901,000.


Open floor plans


Fully automated/wired home environment



4. Outdoor kitchen 5. Home gym 6.

Home theatre


Green or LEED certified


Wine cellar / wine room


Separate guest house

10. Four or more garages 11. Safe room 12. Separate catering kitchen 13. Tennis court or other sports court 14. Staff quarters Source: Luxury Institute / Coldwell Banker


RESILIENCY The strength of the luxury housing market in Ottawa and other major Canadian markets comes despite the introduction of a new federal mortgage stress test implemented at the beginning of 2018, which Royal LePage said created market turmoil as buyers moved to the sidelines in order to gauge the impact on luxury home prices. “Home prices in Canada’s luxury real estate market have remained remarkably resilient when you consider the economic headwinds that serial government interventions have created,” said Royal LePage president and CEO Phil Soper. “The resilience of home values reflects the strong aspirations of luxury buyers to reside and work in cities that are consistently ranked among the most desirable on the planet.” Despite the recent softness in Ottawa’s high-end condo market, Soper said simple demographics mean these types of homes will grow in popularity. “Baby boomers are finally exiting their large family homes, and luxury condos, with their low maintenance lifestyles, are the favoured destination,” he said.

Absorbed homeowner and condominium units in Ottawa and surrounding area (May 2018) $200,000-$249,999:






















Source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

MAKING OTTAWA A MUSIC CITY Taking care of business: Making music work in Ottawa City leaders taking note of Ottawa’s music scene


ew people have had a better vantage point from which to witness the maturation of Ottawa’s music industry than Mark Monahan. When the artistic director of Bluesfest launched the event on a shoestring budget of $100,000 in 1994, it was touch and go as to whether enough local music fans would shell out the $5 admission fee to ensure the three-day festival wouldn’t drown in a sea of red ink. But headliners Clarence Clemons, Buckwheat Zydeco and Randy Bachman drew big enough crowds to Major’s Hill Park to make the venture succeed. Year after year, the festival grew, gradually attracting bigger and bigger crowds to see bigger and bigger acts. This year’s edition of what’s now a 10day event drew more than 300,000 music lovers to LeBreton Flats to rock out to the likes of the Foo Fighters, Beck and Bryan Adams. Bluesfest is now a mini-industry in itself, with 15 full-time employees and an annual budget of more than $17 million. So when the man behind Bluesfest’s meteoric rise says Ottawa is coming into its own as a music city, it’s an opinion worth listening to. “I think that what’s happening in Ottawa right now is that non-music industries and people are taking note of how important the live music scene can be ​– not just in supporting local musicians,

ECONOMIC IMPACT The music industry’s total impact on Ottawa’s economy is hard to pin down, but an economic analysis of live music in Ontario three years ago pegged the industry’s contribution to the province’s economy at about $1.2 billion, including more than $430 million in taxes. Here in Ottawa, research firm Acuity estimates that Bluesfest alone pumps $30 million into the city’s economy each year, money that festival-goers spend on everything from hotels to restaurants to taxis and retail outlets. Monahan says city leaders are waking up to the industry’s importance. He points to city council’s recent adoption of a three-year music strategy designed to cut red tape and fund advocacy groups in an effort to better promote local artists and the businesses that cater to them. “These are things that I think with the development of the (music) strategy and some of the resources, we’ve really helped to convince city council, businesses, Ottawa Tourism all to start to look at (the industry) in a different way,” he says. “Ten years ago, that never would have happened.” Still, cutting a bit of red tape won’t change the fact that running a live music venue in Ottawa is a tough go at the best of times, says one local nightclub owner.

‘AN EXTREMELY DIFFICULT BUSINESS’ Former touring musician Luke Martin, the owner of Capital Rehearsal Studios, echoes those thoughts. The 10,000-squarefoot venue, which has been operating in the City Centre complex since 2012, offers practice space to about 100 musicians who rent rehearsal rooms by the month.

“There have been months where it wasn’t as good as the month before and then you do all right the following (month),” says Martin, who also publishes a monthly newspaper devoted to the local music scene called Ottawa Beat. “There’s not a ton of money in this particular industry, so it’s really a matter of figuring out what works. To be honest, I’m still figuring that out. If I have a very slow month, my teeth chatter a little.” Most clubs that rely on live shows for most of their revenue are struggling, he says, while those that are bars or restaurants first and music venues second such as Bar Robo or House of Targ fare better. Continued on next page






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“There’s some months where we’re doing pretty well and some months where we’re not,” says Jon Evenchick, who opened Live on Elgin three years ago with his father, Lawrence, a local actor. “I definitely wouldn’t suggest going into the business expecting to be making a profit quickly.”






but what it means to the city in terms of quality of life, what it means to tourism, what it means to economic development,” Monahan says.



“People started realizing that (music) could actually be an industry in Ottawa.”

MAKING OTTAWA A MUSIC CITY “Non-music industries and people are taking note of how important the live music scene can be … in terms of quality of life, what it means to tourism, what it means to economic development.” – MARK MONAHAN, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, BLUESFEST

“It’s an extremely difficult business,” says Martin, who estimates there are about 100 establishments that offer live music within a 45-minute drive of the city. “There’s a lot of competition.” Monahan, who was in the nightclub industry in the late 1980s and early ’90s, agrees the business is more a labour of love than a path to fame and fortune. “No one is making any money running a live music venue,” he says flatly. “So these venues exist because of the will and emotional attachment of individual entrepreneurs.” Evenchick says industry players need to do a better job of working together to

promote local establishments. To the end, he’s proposing that major festivals such as Bluesfest feature more off-site programming at local clubs, including daytime artist workshops and evening performances curated by festival organizers. He says he’s reached out to Bluesfest officials, who’ve expressed interest. “There’s not enough people going out to shows most of the year,” says Evenchick, who works at a shoe store and books acts at other venues to help supplement his income. “It’s an ongoing struggle. I think this would be one idea that would help with that.”


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On July 10, the Foo Fighters drew a sell-out crowd of 30,000 spectors to Bluesfest – an event estimated to pump $30 million into the city’s economy annually. PHOTO COURTESY OF RBC BLUESFEST

CITY HIRES ‘MUSIC OFFICER’ The music strategy was one of three key recommendations from a provincially funded 2015 report called Connecting Ottawa Music: A Profile of Ottawa’s Music Industries. The study concluded that although the city was blessed with an abundance of musicians, the local industry as a whole wasn’t living up to its potential. In addition to a municipal strategy to grow the city’s music business, it also called for an industry-led organization to bring together various players in the local music scene as well as a point person to help spearhead the music strategy at City Hall. All three recommendations have since been implemented. Formed in 2015, the non-profit Ottawa Music Industry Coalition now has more than 180 members who work with the city to promote the industry and run programs and seminars to help musicians and music-related businesses boost their skills in everything from accounting to booking shows. In April, the city hired Sabra Ripley, the founder of the House of PainT festival, as its new “music officer” to act as a liaison with the industry. Evenchick says the 2015 report was a catalyst for growth because it put music on the map as an economic driver in Ottawa. “People started realizing that this could actually be an industry in Ottawa,” he says during an interview at his downtown club, which seats about 70 people and hosts three to four music acts each week in addition to comedy shows, musicals and other live performances. DOWNTOWN VENUE One of the music strategy’s key planks – a special permit issued to live venues that will allow musicians and technicians to park on the street and unload equipment without being ticketed – is expected to launch in August. Although the permit might not sound like a big deal, it sends a message to club owners that the city is taking the music

business seriously, Evenchick says. “For us, it’s great because it means artists aren’t going to have to lug their gear up the street,” he says. “They have the sense of security they’re going to be able to pull up right away and be able to unload their gear and not have to worry about it all day. It does represent a change in mentality at the city, that they’re willing to work with us on that.” The city’s music strategy also urges industry officials to explore the viability of a mid-sized downtown venue that could seat about 1,000 people and be configured for a variety of types of performances, saying the lack of such a facility is “an obstacle for Ottawa’s growth as a music city.” Martin says he thinks such a concert hall could hold its own in the capital, but says the proprietor would probably need to own the building outright to retain as much incoming revenue as possible. “I think it’s doable, but I think ultimately it would take somebody that is willing to invest three or four years of their time and money to make sure that it ends up being something good,” he says. “You need deep pockets and you need to be passionate – and get the right people involved.” Evenchick, however, says the jury is still out on whether Ottawa could support such a venue. “I think we’re a long way from being able to program enough events in a room that size for it to actually be sustainable financially, unless the city were to help out with grants or subsidies,” he says. Still, the passionate music fan says he believes Ottawa’s appetite for live shows at smaller clubs is healthy and, given enough encouragement, will expand enough to keep his business viable. “Now’s a great time to get into the industry in Ottawa, because I think it’s just going to grow from here,” he says. “When you come in here on a night when there’s 70 people in there and the band’s having a great time and the bar is selling lots, it sort of reinvigorates you and reminds you why you’re doing it.”



Sabra Ripley is the City of Ottawa’s new cultural industry development officer. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

‘Music has the ability to change the way people see Ottawa’ BY DAVID SALI







OBJ: How would you describe your role at the City of Ottawa? SR: I’m the steward for the music strategy. What does that mean? The music strategy for me is about changing the way that we look at music in the city of Ottawa and acknowledging the powerful and important role of music in our city in terms of economic impact, in terms of quality of life, in terms of heath, in terms of all the indicators, the positive impact that music can have ​– taking that acknowledgement and then figuring out the ways to open up space and opportunity for music to happen more freely, more easily, more enthusiastically, and to be celebrated and elevated as much as possible in the city of Ottawa. In a way, the music officer’s position is really kind of doing the unfun stuff that makes it possible for the fun music to happen. It’s all about … making sure that there’s a point person people can come to so they don’t have this monolith at the city – that they have one person with a face and a name that they can contact and say, ‘I’m trying to figure out this. Where do I go?’ and I can direct people. Continued on next page

MONDAY, JULY 30, 2018

abra Ripley is getting good vibes about Ottawa’s push to become more of a music city. The face of the city’s new music strategy comes by her passion for performing arts honestly. An Ottawa native, Ripley is a former breakdancer and founder of the all-girl group DeCypher Cru who launched the capital’s House of PainT urban arts and culture festival in 2003. After running the event for more than a decade, she moved to southern Ontario to become a cultural co-ordinator for the City of Toronto, where she helped manage economic development projects focused on arts and culture. This spring, Ripley returned to her hometown to tackle what might be her biggest challenge yet. As the City of Ottawa’s new cultural industry development officer, she is the point person when it comes to all things music, acting as a liaison between City Hall and the industry. Her hiring was one of the key planks in Ottawa’s music strategy, a three-year plan unanimously approved by city council in April to help boost the local industry. Ripley recently sat down with OBJ to talk about her new role, the

opportunities it presents and what music really means to the capital, both as a business and as a creative endeavour. What follows is an edited version of that conversation.



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OBJ: How important is the music industry to the quality of life in Ottawa? SR: It’s a really broad ecosystem, but music has the ability to change the way people see Ottawa. One of the things that I have fought against for a very long time is the idea that nothing happens in Ottawa. The reality is, as long as I’ve been here, there have been people doing interesting and exciting things in Ottawa. There are so many events happening on any given day, and when people have that information, they go to these things, they experience Ottawa in a different way and they walk away seeing (the city) in an entirely new way. OBJ: What role can other groups and city organizations play in helping to promote the industry? SR: I know there’s definitely interest at Ottawa Tourism in terms of being able to celebrate Ottawa and Ottawa music. I can’t say specifically what we’re working on yet for that – I’m still too new to this. I know that, for example, OMIC is doing podcasts to feature local artists, and we have existing programs at the city like #ottmusik, where you get local musicians as your hold music when you call the city. It’s an interesting question – is it the role of the city to promote all of the music shows that are happening in Ottawa? We already

have really strong independent groups like Apartment613 that are doing that. I don’t think it’s the city’s role to come in and take over on that. We’re not trying to become the one-stop shop. But certainly the city can do a little more to celebrate what is happening here.

“Businesses in Ottawa are changing rapidly, and more and more are embracing creative industries.” OBJ: Austin, Texas, really got a big buy-in from the business community to promote its music industry, something critics say is lacking here. How can we change that? SR: It’s an area we can work on. Businesses in Ottawa are changing rapidly and there are more and more businesses coming in that are embracing creative industries, that understand the role of culture. A lot of businesses understand that talent flight is tied to how people see


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ydro Ottawa is giving its commercial customers a full picture of how their property is consuming power and offering solutions to help reduce their consumption. The utility recently launched Envari, an offshoot of its Energy Ottawa affiliate, in recognition that the energy sector is evolving. “The energy sector is undergoing transformational change that is being driven by technological, political and socio-economic factors,” says Adnan Khokhar, Envari’s Chief Energy and Infrastructure Services Officer. Now in its 17th year, Energy Ottawa has grown to become a leader in Ottawa’s energy management sector. As an evolution of Energy Ottawa, Envari’s mandate is to help commercial customers – whether businesses, municipalities or other utility companies – manage energy usage using data and smart technology. Its goal is to minimize both the cost and environmental impact of its clients’ energy demands. “Having a strategy combined with solid execution is one thing, but don’t forget to use a data driven approach,” says Khokhar. NEW TECHNOLOGIES Though the brand’s main focus is electricity, Envari also has the capacity to measure and manage consumption of other utilities, including water and

gas, through digital dashboards and meters. “Our objective is to empower the commercial customers similar to how the Hydro Ottawa app empowers a residential customer to understand what’s going on,” says Khokhar. Currently, several businesses, including KRP Properties and Morguard, are employing Envari’s dashboard services. Along with its energy monitoring offerings, Envari is also a provider of CableQ, a non-destructive tool for testing underground cable without the need to dig down to access the infrastructure. CableQ was developed by the National Research Council, and stands to revolutionize the way utilities manage underground assets. Last summer, before Envari’s inception, Energy Ottawa was called upon by Oakville Hydro to help assess the utility’s underground assets. “It was perfect because we have a lot of underground development, similar to Ottawa, and it’s at the age where we really don’t want to wait for failures to occur and create outages; we’d rather have more predictive capability,” says Mike Brown, the utility’s Chief Operating Officer. SMART CITIES Beyond large companies, Envari’s scope also includes municipalities and their respective

utilities. In recognition of this mandate, Hydro Ottawa launched Envari in May at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference in Halifax. Though Envari itself is relatively young, it’s already making headway in establishing itself as a preferred partner for municipalities. In Ottawa, Envari is working in partnership with the City to replace more than 60,000 streetlights with highly efficient LED systems that consume two-thirds less energy. The upgrade is expected to save the City of Ottawa $6 million annually.

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the city they’re living in or considering living in and how arts and culture impact the way people see that. As that kind of understanding grows, I hope that we’ll see more investment from the business sector. OBJ: You’ve talked about giving mid-career musicians more tools to succeed. What are you planning there? SR: Artists and arts businesses a lot of times have almost fallen into being businesspeople and have never gone through business training. So the idea of creating a business plan might be something entirely new to somebody who has been running a recording studio for years. If we don’t create opportunities at the mid-level, then what we lose is those young professionals who’ve developed five to 10 years of experience as emerging artists, as emerging arts professionals. They’re moving elsewhere because they’re not finding enough employment opportunities. OBJ: One of the music strategy’s longerterm recommendations is the creation of a high-quality, mid-sized venue in the downtown core. How big a priority is that for you? SR: There’s not a full consensus on the need for a larger venue, although it’s something that comes up pretty frequently.

What I think it would be wonderful to see would be a larger multi-use venue, because music is only one piece. Do we have the capacity to fill a 500-seat venue on a regular basis without putting a lot of other smaller venues out of business? I’m not sure that we’re quite there yet population-wise. Do we have events that need space, whether they’re theatre events, dance, visual showcases and all of the new multimedia arts that are coming out? I think we could probably fill a larger space, but I feel like it would be in the next few years. You’re definitely seeing more and more venues popping up. It would be interesting to see if promoters might move their events to a larger space and be able to do them more sustainably. You see these smaller events spaces pop up, last a few years, and then go under. And part of that is the challenge of bringing in bigger-name artists that would actually draw people out, because you can’t bring in enough people – unless you’re going to be charging $100 a head – to cover the cost of those artists. (A public-private partnership) is being discussed, but there are no firm plans at this point. It’s nice to know that (discussion is) happening because that’s part of a beginning of a change in culture that needs to happen if Ottawa is going to start opening up more spaces for creative entrepreneurs, music and beyond.

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From left, Roman Borys with French Ambassador Kareen Rispal and Chamberfest co-chairs Patti Blute and Vineet Srivastava.


France’s Quatuor Danel performs for guests at a reception held for Ottawa Chamberfest on Wednesday, July 25, 2018, at the French Embassy.

Ottawa Chamberfest marks 25 years with celebration at iconic French Embassy Music lovers got a little sneak listen of what’s to come at Ottawa Chamberfest in one of the most stunning embassies around. On the eve of the opening night of the world’s largest chamber music festival, the embassy of France hosted a lovely reception. Guests enjoyed drinks and canapés inside the splendid art decostyle building on Sussex Drive. But, it wasn’t the fancy decor nor the calming view of the Ottawa River that captured everybody’s attention; it was France’s Quatuor Danel performing music by 20th-century French composer Claude Debussy. The energetic string quartet is just one of the many talents to play at the chamber music festival, which runs for 15 days until Aug. 9 in churches and venues throughout downtown Ottawa. French Ambassador Kareen Rispal formally welcomed the crowd to

the reception, held in celebration of Chamberfest’s 25th anniversary. City councillor Jeff Leiper stood in for the mayor to publicly announce Chamberfest Day in Ottawa. He was the right guy for the job; the representative for Kitchissippi Ward has earned the title of “music councillor” for his commitment to promote a more vibrant local music scene. “One of the most important festivals in Ottawa is Chamberfest,” said Leiper, acknowledging that the festival probably doesn’t get “nearly as much credit as it deserves” in our region. Among this year’s highlights are: Romani-Hungarian Gypsy-inspired violinist Roby Lakatos, Israel’s Ariel Quartet with Canada’s Rolston String Quartet, the Prague-based Pražák Quartet, and Ottawa’s most beloved concert pianist, Angela Hewitt. And, just to shake things up, the

programming features the folk-andbluegrass-loving string quartet The Fretless, as well as Sounding Thunder, a musical journey into the life of renowned Ojibwe military officer and sniper Francis Pegahmagabow. On hand to accept the framed proclamation was Gryphon Trio cellist Roman Borys. He’s both the executive and artistic director of the Ottawa Chamber Music Society, which organizes the summer festival, as well as a fallwinter concert series and community engagement and education programming throughout the year. The arts organization, he said, puts tremendous effort into getting the community involved. “This is our goal, that every day should in fact be Chamberfest Day,” he told the crowd. Attendees included Chamberfest board members, including co-chairs Vineet Srivastava, COO of Cistel Technology, and

long-time volunteer arts fundraiser Patti Blute. Also seen were such cultural leaders as Marco Pagani, president and CEO of the Ottawa Community Foundation; Tom d’Aquino and his wife, Susan Peterson d’Aquino, of private venture development and strategic consulting company Intercounsel; and former record label owner Harvey Glatt. Award-winning businesswoman Marina Kun, head of a global manufacturer of shoulder rests for violins and violas, and Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP partner Janice Payne both attended and are among those involved with Chamberfest’s inaugural gala taking place Thursday, Sept. 20, at the Infinity Convention Centre. The $165-a-ticket evening is to be hosted by Ottawa award-winning singer Kellylee Evans with long-time arts patron Jean Teron as honorary chair.

MONDAY, JULY 30, 2018


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Women’s leadership Continued from page 6 Managers – particularly men – should attempt to better understand the areas in which gender biases are affecting real-world decision-making and workplace culture. Rather than focusing on promoting women leaders for the simple goal of achieving gender parity, managers must engage in self-examination of both themselves and their organizations, identifying subtle ways that women are being held back. It’s up to managers to recognize unconscious biases and to challenge them in a way that invites an organization to flip such assumptions and practices upside down. Further, it is equally important for managers to reflect on how much existing models of workplace behaviour are based on antiquated notions of leadership effectiveness. In practice, this means recognizing that effective leaders come in all shapes and sizes – and, of course, genders. Returning to my original question about why more men aren’t engaging in this conversation, I am optimistic that the situation results more from a lack of tools than from a lack of empathy. Perhaps if more male managers could understand why gendered environments exist, or how they can work to counter the negative impact of such environments, they would be better equipped to help remove gendered barriers to workplace advancement. Undoubtedly, there is a strong case for women in leadership roles, and it must not be left to women alone to advance this case.

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Continued from page 12 “It came very naturally,” she says.Now, the pair face a new challenge. “We have to prove to people we’ve come here and we are going to stay,” says Lisa. “That’s the way it was when we first opened in Hintonburg 20 years ago,” adds Greg, who opened the couple’s original bridal store on Rideau Street with his wife in 1993. “It was not the desirable neighbourhood it is now when we came in.” Lisa recalls people back then wondering how long the shop would survive. “We stayed,” she says. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t last, though.” Recently, Greg also decided to return to school to study hairstyling at Algonquin College. “While she was studying, guess who was studying along with her?” he says. “I didn’t know anything about hair. But now I was helping her.” The Horners are no strangers to working together and toughing it out. Raising four children and now operating their second business, they’ve been side-by-side through it all. “We’ve been working together for so long. A lot of people thought it was weird a husband and wife can so work well together,” says Greg. “We’ve been through thick and thin, the good years and bad years and the in-between years. Here we are again, on a new venture.”

THE LIST Company / Address Phone / Fax / Web

Year established in Ottawa


Notable current clients

Services offered

1 2

McMillan 541 Sussex Dr., 2nd floor, Ottawa, ON K1N 6Z6 613-789-1234 / 613-789-2255



Gordon McMillan CEO and chief creative officer Robert Hyams president

Commvault; Donnelley Financial Solutions; HUB International; IP Value; Privacy Analytics; Schneider Electric; Telepin; TrendMicro; United Rentals

Brand and go-to-market campaign development for B2B global enterprises

Banfield Agency 35 Armstrong St., Ottawa, ON K1Y 2V4 613-722-6832 / 613-722-7151



Timothy Jones president

Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp., Export Development Canada, Health Canada, Nokia, Public Safety Canada, RB Canada, SES, The Royal Canadian Legion

Branding, creative, media, public relations, social, video, digital


Acart Communications 600-171 Nepean St., Ottawa, ON K2P 0B4 613-230-7944 / 613-232-5980



Al Albania president

Elections Canada; The College of Family Physicians of Canada; Egg Farmers of Canada; York Region Transit; Grand River Transit; Canadian Science and Technology Museum; Ottawa Senators Hockey Club; Tanger Outlet Malls; Ontario Public Service Employees Union; Mi-Way (Mississauga Transit)

Strategic planning; integrated ad campaigns; media planning/buying; direct marketing; branding; creative; digital media; public/media relations; social marketing


Xactly Design & Advertising 204-311 Richmond Rd., Ottawa, ON K1Z 5H8 613-745-2225 / 613-745-3861



Denis Sabourin owner Steve Harding director

Palladium Insurance, Craig & Taylor Associates, Perley Robertson Hill & McDougall, Carlingwood Mall, Ringette Canada, 6fusion, Escape Manor, Goldbar Whisky, NRML, Burovision, Horizant, Boyd’s Moving & Storage, LMR

Branding, graphic design, strategy, social media management, website design & development, search engine optimization, content development


Mediaplus Advertising 103-141 Catherine St., Ottawa, ON K2P 1C3 613-230-3875 / 613-230-1458



Don Masters president and creative director

Ottawa Tourism; Canada Post; National Arts Centre; OSEG; OC Transpo; Tartan Homes; Ottawa International Airport Authority; Glebe BIA; Bluesfest; CityFolk; Invest Ottawa

Advertising, content, branding, interactive


Orkestra Marketing 37 St-Joseph Blvd., Gatineau, QC J8Y 3V8 819-205-1782



Colin Laramée-Plouffe Alex Van Dieren co-presidents Dominic Faucher, creative director

Oxford; Cominar; City of Gatineau; Mont Cascades; University of Quebec Outaouais; Outaouais Tourism; Canadian Museum of History; Canadian Museum of Nature; City of Brossard

Advertising; event specialists; street marketing; branding; design; strategic planning; media buyer

7 8

Alphabet Creative 401-80 Aberdeen St., Ottawa, ON K1S 3J5 613-244-0858



Tony Lyons, president and CEO Cathy Kirkpatrick, partner Regan Mathurin, vice-president

Minto Communities; The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists; Kingston Tourism; Travel Nunavut; Iguassu Falls, Brazil, Regional Tourism Authority; Canadian Real Estate Association; The Ottawa Hospital Foundation

Brand visioning; creative strategy; advertising campaigns; content marketing; digital marketing; lead generation and inbound marketing; web design and development

Stiff 101-9 Gurdwara Rd., Ottawa, ON K2E 7X6 613-683-4100



James Hanington CEO

Veterans Affairs Canada; OpenText; Hamilton Insurance Group; Argo Group; CARE Canada; Saatchi & Saatchi; University of Ottawa; CCMTA; Cavanagh; CRTC; Policy Horizons; Innovation Canada; CIRA; Office of the Privacy Commissioner

Builds and manages brands, develops communications strategies and go-tomarket through traditional, digital and social communication.


blackiron agency 400-300 Richmond Rd., Ottawa, ON K1Z 6X6 613-236-5444



Karen Moores general manager

Ottawa International Airport Authority; Ottawa Tourism; Hard Rock Casino Ottawa; Windmill Developments; Ottawa Senators; Brookstreet Hotel; Luxe Magazine; Paramount Properties; Shaw Centre; Invest Ottawa; Wabano

Branding; graphic design; advertising; lead generation; video; printing; signage; web design and development; SEO, SEM, digital, social, traditional media strategy, planning, purchasing, management.

TrueCourse Communications 104-1285 Teron Rd., Kanata, ON K2K 0J7 613-270-1008



Veronica Farmer CEO and president

Kanata North Business Association, Invest Ottawa, Barrhaven BIA, City of Ottawa, Tomlinson Group, Instant Pot, T24 Defence, Regional Group, Intouch Insight, T-Base Communications, Tree Canada, Your Credit Union

Branding and marketing strategy, and graphic design, web development and e-commerce, SEO, SEM, social media, digital marketing, videography, photography

Nexus Digital 305-100 Gloucester St., Ottawa, ON K2P 0A4 613-276-5452



Rob Barber president and CEO Brady Rynyk vice-president

Ford Carleton University CHEO Foundation Canadian Propane Association, Fullscript

100-per-cent digital custom strategy, creative, digital media and analysis. Branding, awareness and conversion.

Excentric 390-300 Earl Grey Dr., Ottawa, ON K2T 1J4 613-435-8552 x101



Victoria Adams creative director Kristy Smith technical director

CAA, Camcloud, Edjuster, Fairtrade America, International Irradiation Association, Martello, MDS Aero, Nordion, Phoenix Homes, Sterigenics

Managed marketing services including branding, graphic design for web and print, web development and email campaigns.


Cayenne Creative 1343 Labrie Ave., Ottawa ON K1B 3M2 613-288-2121



Carl Poirier owner and creative director

Cedarview Animal Hospital; Montfort Hospital; Tumblers Gymnastics; Mondeau

Bilingual full-service brand and advertising agency. Design and graphic production from messaging to deployment (print, web, display, social and more).


inMotion 891 Boyd Ave., Ottawa, ON K2A 2E2 613-723-5800 / 613-723-5803



Jamie McIntosh

Hinterland Who’s Who; Ottawa International Airport; Medical Council of Canada; Egg Farmers of Canada; Kinaxis

Digital and video marketing


MediaStyle 131 Bank St., 3rd floor, Ottawa, ON K1P 5N7 613-369-5006



Caitlin Kealey, Allyson Chisnall, Ian Capstick

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami; Assembly of First Nations; McConnell Foundation; Genome Canada; Universities Canada; Canada’s Nurses; Egg Farmers of Canada; Canada’s Building Trade Unions; Moose Hide Campaign;

Communications audits, plans and strategy; media relations, graphic design, digital strategies, social media, communications workshops and training, speech writing.


B Media Shop 342 MacLaren St., Ottawa, ON K2P 0M6 613-237-5757



John Bishop president

Bushtukah; The Ottawa Train Yards; Bel-Air Toyota & Lexus; A-1 Mini; Upper Room Furniture; Métis Nation; Trillium College; Slush Puppie Canada; Bell Media; Glenview Ottawa; Athletic Club; Ashley Furniture

Strategic planning; integrated ad campaigns; media planning/buying; direct marketing; branding; creative; digital media; public relations; media relations; social marketing


Baytek 801-250 City Centre Ave., Ottawa, ON K1R 6K7 613-759-4423



Sébastien Belley executive director

Ashcroft Homes, Canadian Electricity Association, Espial, Federation Law Society of Canada, Fertilizer Canada, Field Effect Software, MacEwen, Multiview Software, Regional Group, RogueWave Software, Royal Ottawa Golf Club

Website design, web app development, branding, marketing


spark*advocacy 6-71 Bank St., Ottawa, ON K1P 5N2



Perry Tergas president Adrian Jean executive creative director

CP Rail; Mining Association of Canada; BC Lumber Trade Council

Full-service boutique agency offering public affairs strategy, marketing, branding, advertising, design, digital media, social media and media buying.


Pondstone Digital Marketing 203-1339 Wellington St. W., Ottawa, ON K1Y 3B8 613-667-2422



Duane Kennedy president


gordongroup (Division of OTREX Communications) 108-55 Murray St., Ottawa, ON K1N 5M3 613-234-8468



Robert Chitty founder and president


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Number of local employees




Export Development Canada; Lianne Laing; Compute Canada; Macdonald-Laurier Institute; Canadian Public Health Association; Canadian Bureau for International Education; The Mensour Agency; University of Ottawa; Kiwanis Club of Ottawa

Web Design and Development; Search Engine Optimization; Digital Marketing; Branding

Government of Canada; Canada Lands Co.; Nav Canada; CHEO; RCMP; Ottawa Chamber of Commerce; BioTech Canada; Grand Council of the Crees; Cree Nation Trust; York University; Nautical Lands Group; Algonquin College

Strategy development; creative direction; brand and visual identity; graphic design; content creation; campaign execution; web; digital; social media; video

Should your company be on this list? If so, please send details to This list is current as of July 30, 2018. © 2018 by Ottawa Business Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced by any method in whole or in part without written permission by Ottawa Business Journal. While every attempt is made to ensure the thoroughness and accuracy of the list, omissions and errors sometimes occur. Please send any corrections or additions by e-mail to OBJ lists are primarily compiled using information provided voluntarily by the organizations named. Some firms that may qualify for the list are not included because the company either failed to respond to requests for information by press time, because the company declined to take part in the survey or because of space constraints. Categories are drawn up in attempt to gather information of relevance to the Ottawa market. Research by Rosa Saba. Please send questions and comments to

FOR THE RECORD People on the move Aimee Deziel is joining the Ottawa Senators as the organization’s new chief marketing officer effective Aug. 13. A graduate of Carleton University, Deziel most recently served as chief operating officer of Momentous, a holding company with expertise in digital marketing, domain name registration and web services. Earlier in her career, she led marketing for the Ottawa Rapidz minor league baseball team. Nik Nanos has been appointed chair of Carleton University’s board of directors. Nanos, the chief data scientist and founder of Nanos Research, conducts market and public opinion research and provides counsel to diverse organizations, including Fortune 500 companies and non-profit groups. Dan Fortin, a Carleton alumnus and the former president of IBM Canada, is the university’s new vice-chair. Momentum Business Law has appointed Rukaiya Bhegani as marketing coordinator and brand ambassador for the firm. Bhegani recently moved back to Ottawa after living in London for

the last 11 years, where she worked at both the Bar Council of England and Wales and the Law Society of England and Wales as an international projects officer and a business development executive at Allen & Overy LLP. Gusto Worldwide Media has hired industry veteran Jeremy Clark as its new general manager. Clark brings 20 years of executive and management experience in television and digital media to his new role, having previously worked at the Cable Public Affairs Channel and Rogers Communications. Livewell Canada has named Peter Geimer as vice-president of sales and marketing and Jean Bernard as vicepresident of information security and technology. Geimer had stints as a manager at various health-care firms, including Roche, Bioventus and Ondine Biomedical, while Bernard was previously a group manager at aerospace company Avanade. Bruce Townsend has been named chief technology officer at Nanometrics. Townsend joined the company in 2003 as director of hardware engineering before serving as vice-president of engineering and most recently vicepresident of products. Before joining

Nanometrics, he held various positions at Nortel Networks, including director of research and development in Nortel’s advanced technology investments group.

Hats off Ottawa-based FarmLead has been named one of Forbes magazine’s 25 most

Contracts The following contains information about recent contracts, standing offers and supply arrangements awarded to local firms.

innovative agtech startups for 2018. Ottawa-based global IT company Pythian has won the 2018 Microsoft Canada Application Innovation IMPACT Award. The annual awards recognize Microsoft partners who demonstrate excellence in innovation and implementation of customer solutions based on Microsoft technology.

Foreign language training services Buyer: DND $7,243,425

EllisDon 2680 Queensview Dr. LBP Security upgrades construction Buyer: PWGSC $15,796,975

Cache Computer Consulting 1502-275 Slater St. Informatics professional services Buyer: Treasury Board of Canada $6,973,230

Johnson Controls 108-30 Edgewater St. Federal Buildings Initiative Project-CSC Alberta Buyer: PWGSC $10,630,913

S.i. Systems 300-170 Laurier Ave. W. Informatics professional services Buyer: DND $6,592,058

CMI Interlangues 710-130 Albert St.

Pylon Electronics 147 Colonnade Rd.

Calibration of test equipment/ electrical and electronic properties measuring and testing instruments Buyer: DND $5,980,000 Systematix IT Solutions 920-333 Preston St. Informatics professional services Buyer: Treasury Board of Canada $5,705,370 Systematix IT Solutions 920-333 Preston St. Informatics professional services Buyer: Treasury Board of Canada $5,554,656


NOVEMBER 30, 2018


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MONDAY, JULY 30, 2018


no longer neutral – Rogers bought it about five years ago. It appears OTTIX maintained some of its operations for a number of years after the acquisition, but seems to have folded in recent months. Attempts to reach OTTIX representatives for this story were unsuccessful. The solution, then, is to find a different data-neutral environment to host the IXP.



OTTAWA DOESN’T HAVE AN INTERNET EXCHANGE POINT – HERE’S WHY THAT’S A PROBLEM Local organizations are seeking a new home for the internet in Ottawa


That’s proven really tough. There are many data centres and co-location facilities in Ottawa, but none have emerged as obvious contenders for an IXP. A fitting location may already be out there, but if it is, OGIX doesn’t know about it yet. The winning candidate would need to be carrier-neutral, allow secure, 24/7 access, have high power availability, the ability for dark fibre connections and a permanent enough location to last for the next 100 years. CIRA has helped groups in more than 10 cities establish their own IXPs in the past few years and has never had as much trouble finding a location as in Ottawa. “This is a unique Ottawa challenge,” says CIRA’s senior communications director Tanya O’Callaghan, referencing smaller communities such as Moncton that haven’t had this issue.

by Craig Lord


here’s a hole in the capital’s internet infrastructure and a new organization’s efforts to solve the only-in-Ottawa problem could mean an opportunity for a local business. The problem revolves around an Internet Exchange Point, or IXP for short. I’ll get into what exactly they are in a moment, but they can be an important piece of a city’s local internet. They help keep local data local, enable lightningquick transfer speeds and maintain crucial connections in the event of an outage. Ottawa doesn’t have one, but a new organization is looking to change that.

MONDAY, JULY 30, 2018




You can think of Internet Exchange Points as a city’s local connection to the internet, a hub where the networks of networks that comprise the information superhighway meet. These nodes reside in heavy-duty data centres called carrier hotel facilities that act as hubs for internet traffic to flow in and out through carriers such as Bell or Rogers. It’s a local access point for the internet, which you can imagine offers valuable direct access to the net. They’re used mainly by these internet service providers, content distributors and other large enterprises to keep data fast and, importantly, local. “When you build an IXP, it’s the core of the internet. You interconnect different networks together,” says Jacques Latour, chief technical officer of the Ottawa-based Canadian Internet Registration Authority. (CIRA, if you need a refresher, is the group behind the .ca domain and a number of other internet-related initiatives in Canada.)

That’s the goal of the Ottawa-Gatineau Internet Exchange, a group of local stakeholders and service providers looking to establish a new IXP in Ottawa. Invest Ottawa, the Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks, TekSavvy Solutions, Storm Internet and CIRA itself are among the representatives on the board of OGIX. CIRA’s especially interested in getting an IXP set up in Ottawa because it would let the organization move its critical infrastructure – currently set up at Toronto’s IXP – closer to its home base in the capital. “I can’t wait to do that,” says Latour.



When you send an email through your ISP, instead of that information going out to an exchange point in the United States, ISPs can send it through a local IXP and keep that data in Canada, so as not to subject it to U.S. privacy laws. For ISPs that peer with an IXP, their users can also achieve bigger bandwidths and lower latency (heavier and faster traffic). They can also protect against internet outages in geographically isolated areas such as Charlottetown where CIRA is currently helping to set up an IXP. Say, for instance, that the pipe supplying internet to the whole of Prince Edward Island was suddenly interrupted: that exchange point could maintain local

connections for crucial users such as government services. Large businesses and universities can also benefit from IXPs this way.


We used to, kind of. It was called OTTIX, and it launched back in 2001. It moved a few times over its lifespan but kept running into the problem that its facilities were acquired by an ISP – a no-no for operating an IXP. All IXPs are hosted in vendor-neutral facilities. This ensures that no single internet service provider (and its users) benefits disproportionally from the IXP. Ottawa no longer has a proper IXP because the former hosting data centre is

If a public data centre or co-location facility isn’t available in Ottawa, there might be a business or other organization that could fill the IXP role. While ISPs such as Rogers and Bell would be restricted from operating an IXP, there’s nothing that says a government agency, private business or local university couldn’t do so – and there are plenty of opportunities that come with hosting an IXP. Say, for example, Shopify wanted to host the exchange point in its data centre. That would give the local e-commerce giant a direct plug to the internet, providing a cheap and efficient path to process terabytes of data. That kind of capability can foster innovation, Latour says, and whomever steps up to the plate would be the only organization in Ottawa with that power. “It would be bringing the internet to whoever wants to host it,” he says. “Hopefully we’ll be in a fight with people who say, ‘We want it in our backyard.’”


Techopia Live brings Ottawa’s hottest startups and coolest tech execs to your screen on Techopia’s Facebook, YouTube and Twitter channels. Check out our ever-growing video archive of 80+ Ottawa tech interviews at And if you’re reading our digital edition, click play below.

Ottawa’s MDS pushing ‘the art of the possible’ with new Rolls-Royce test facility by Craig Lord


old on to your hats: Ottawa-based MDS Aero Support recently dropped byTechopia Live, where vicepresident of business development Joe Hajjar shared the high-powered details of what the local firm is planning for the world’s largest engine test facility for customer Rolls-Royce. Slated for completion in 2020, the 1.85-acre facility in Derby, England will push “the art of the possible,” Hajjar told Techopia Live. The test cell, as it’s called, will be home to Rolls-Royce’s nextgeneration jet liner engine, a powerful, 12-foot diameter gas turbine. “They want to put it through its paces. They want to test it, they want to break it, they want to push the envelopes of testing to develop the data they need to produce a better product,” he said. That’s no easy task. The test cell will have to run Rolls-Royce’s engine indoors at full power as though it were about to lift a jet off the runway. The turbine will be suspended from the ceiling, surrounded by equipment that will be able to restrain the engine’s powerful thrust while also measuring its performance. One of the ways the facility will test the engine is by throwing debris at the spinning blades and intentionally breaking parts of the device to see how the turbine would react. While all of this is going on, Rolls-Royce will also be x-raying the engine, necessitating extra layers of security throughout the facility. MDS’s Ottawa engineers are responsible for making sure every aspect of the facility is up to the job. The

Joe Hajjar is the vice-president of business development for MDS Aero Support.

Slated for completion in 2020, the 1.85-acre Rolls-Royce testing facility will be located in Derby, England. 250-person aerospace firm has not only made Ottawa its home, but Hajjar noted that half of the company’s engineers are graduates of Carleton University. This team of engineers has worked with Rolls-Royce’s crew for the past year to establish a working concept for the test facility. Also on board was MDS’s long-time partner the National Research Council, which helped to construct scale models for the facility. Hajjar said that because a test cell of this scale has never been constructed before, MDS had no existing data to draw on. NRC’s labs helped to ensure that what MDS and Rolls-Royce are attempting is, in fact, possible. “You’ve got to spend a lot of time and money convincing yourself that you’ve got it right,” Hajjar said. “I think we do, and the future will tell us.”

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MONDAY, JULY 30, 2018

The NRC isn’t the only Crown corporation that MDS has leveraged. The global firm has worked for clients in 27 countries, an international scope that Hajjar said wouldn’t be possible without the Canadian Commercial Corp. “Without CCC, MDS wouldn’t be in existence today,” he said.

The CCC helps Canadian companies to enter foreign jurisdictions with the support of its trade commissioners. These well-placed sources can help Canadian firms facilitate contract negotiations, connect them to supply chains and bridge cultural barriers, even going as far as to put Canada’s reputation behind a national company. “They sit with a customer and say, ‘Canada will deliver this project to you,’ and they offer a sovereign guarantee that a Canadian company will perform,” Hajjar said.



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Ottawa Business Journal July 30, 2018  

Local Ottawa business news, start ups, technology, real estate, marketing, tourism, entrepreneurship, local commentary, reader comments, peo...

Ottawa Business Journal July 30, 2018  

Local Ottawa business news, start ups, technology, real estate, marketing, tourism, entrepreneurship, local commentary, reader comments, peo...