Cannabis grower Tweed opens Kanata North office One of the country’s largest cannabis producers now has a home in the Kanata North Technology Park. This spring, a large sign bearing
the stylized name of Tweed – a subsidiary of Smiths Falls based Canopy Growth – was affixed near the top of the office building at 555 Legget Dr., where the company has
Algonquin College pitches new DARE District to Kanata tech firms President Cheryl Jensen says she wouldn’t rule out eventually establishing a footprint in Kanata By Kieran Delamont
lgonquin College’s president travelled to Kanata this spring to share her vision of an “education city” and invite members of the country’s largest technology park to collaborate with the school in creating a new cohort of skilled workers. Cheryl Jensen’s presentation at Tech Tuesday – a monthly Kanata meetup spearheaded by Terry Matthews – came just ahead of the opening of Algonquin College’s DARE District, a $44.9-million multi-use facility designed to stimulate incubation, innovation and entrepreneurship. DARE – which stands for discovery, applied research and entrepreneurship – serves as a multidisciplinary space for students, faculty, researchers and businesses, and includes a makerspace,
Algonquin College’s $45-million DARE District opened earlier this year. cybersecurity centre and multimedia production facility and more. For Jensen, the DARE District is more than just a building. She argues it’s a bricks-and-mortar manifestation of the college’s identity and mission as it looks towards the next century. “We’re not just saying something about what we think this new and exciting building will become,” Jensen
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told the standing-room only audience at the Brookstreet Hotel. “We’re making a profound statement about who we are as a college. DARE effectively encapsulates the goal and purpose of Algonquin College.” In a nutshell, the DARE District aims to bring students and researchers from different disciplines together, stimulating a cross-pollination of ideas, some of which will hopefully evolve into viable businesses.
leased a full floor on the ninth storey. A spokesperson said that approximately 60 administrative employees were expected to move in this spring and that Canopy Growth is looking to fill “hundreds” positions across the company ahead of the expected legalization of cannabis for recreational use later this year.
Algonquin College, like Ottawa’s other post-secondary institutions, is an important source of skilled graduates for Kanata North companies. This was an underlying theme of Jensen’s presentation: By investing in the school’s infrastructure, Algonquin College is investing in the sustainability of Kanata’s tech sector. Some, of course, would like to see Algonquin College or another postsecondary institution establish a physical satellite campus in Kanata, especially since the school owns a parcel of westend land that it’s reserving for “future development.” However, Jensen preferred to outline a more pan-Ottawa vision of “the education city” that emphasizes collaboration between the city’s schools and economic development agencies. Working with the other postsecondary institutions, as well as with Invest Ottawa, the schools are looking at new initiatives such as pop-up learning centres that would allow them some flexibility when it comes to working directly in Kanata. When asked if there were plans to invest in the area, she didn’t rule out the idea of eventually establishing a Kanata footprint. “We’ve been asked many times, ‘Could we have a presence in Kanata?’” she said. “I wouldn’t want to say what might happen, but there’s interest.”
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18 KANATA NETWORKER SUMMER 2018