Ottawa Co-working Spaces, for Ventures in the Capital
In Ottawa – a city with Victorian architecture, Canada’s parliament hill and a collection of valuable indigenous art – startups, makerspaces and social enterprises have grown to rival those of Toronto, Ontario’s entrepreneurial brainchild (and a much larger city). Ottawa is not to be dismissed, in part thanks to a group of community-oriented thinkers who have turned a handful of spaces in the city into hubs for innovators who are affecting change locally and across the world.
What used to be a city with a stock of bland rental offices has, over the past three or four years, become a hot spot for co-working in Canada. Time and time again, we hear that co-working is about the collective exchange of energy that makes problem solving better. Here are five co-working spaces in Ottawa, where you’ll find just that.
Co-founded by eclectic Carlton University engineering graduate Vinod Rajasekaran who first discovered the HUB co-working brand during his master’s studies in Bristol, England, HUB Ottawa is now one of 73 co-working ‘HUBS’ across 48 countries. This means, you’re connected to a global membership base of over 11,000, as 19 more ‘HUBS’ are currently in the making. HUB Ottawa’s mandate is to house people with social purpose; “collaborating for a better world,” they say. Their membership options are suited to needs at each end of the spectrum. You can join starting with just five hours of workspace time, or move up to 25, 50, 100 and unlimited whenever you please. Costs are $30, $85, $175, $275 and $375 per month, respectively.
71 Bank St, 6th Floor, 613-680-3506
My ByWard Office
One of the newest additions to Ottawa’s co-working scene is My ByWard Office, which opened in summer 2015. A space with intricate lighting fixtures, exposed brick and immense wall paintings featuring the work of local artists, My ByWard Office is a polished and comfortable space for thriving small businesses and freelancers alike. If you're looking for a co-working office where you'll be amongst an intimate group of entreprenuers – or where your presence will really make an impact on culture of the space (since it doesn't seem to have a lot of members yet) – this is it. My ByWard Office offers day passes ($25), as well as specific monthly rates for freelancers ($229), business members ($375) or startup teams ($425).
78 George St., Suite 204, 613-680-6805
The Code Factory
Yes, the Code Factory is a co-working space, but it’s also very similar to an incubator in that it's a setting that takes a holistic approach in assisting growing startup needs. Services at Code Factory include everything from SEO best practices and web analytics to content creation and social media management. They also run programs like “Employee to Entrepreneur,” which is a learning program designed by current company leaders who’ve had to get their businesses off the ground, and “Students and Startups,” a networking event that links university students to some of the most exciting startups in the region. There are no unlimited co-working options at the Code Factory – rates are $19.50 per day or $175 for a 10-day pass. You’re also able to book meeting rooms for $25 per hour.
100 Gloucester St, Suite 300, 613-808-3890
Based on a survey, members join Collab Space for two main reasons: strategic networking and access to experienced mentors and educators. You’ll find members from a vast array of industries including food and beverage, film and web development. By far the most cost-friendly option amongst the bunch, with three memberships options (basic, standard, and corporate), Collab Space can’t be beat in terms of value for money. A basic membership ($99/month) gives you 30 hours a month of any-time access plus five hours of conference room time, standard membership ($199/month) allows you unlimited access and 10 hours of meeting room time and corporate (starting at $399/month depending on the number of employees you have) gets your staff unlimited access also.
70 Bongard Avenue, 613-276-2168
Makerspace North is linked to an impressive number of startups, including Habit, a health-tracking hardware and app that allows you to manage your stress levels, as well as Printearth, a company that makes 100% biodegradable 3-D printing materials. The space is essentially bare bones, equipped with ample workshop areas, a keg that refrigerates itself – and 3-D printers, of course. With three membership options (the maker package, desk package or office package, which cost $50, $350 and $700 per month, respectively), you could soon be making your own drone during Drone Night or taking a much-needed break from creating at the foosball table.
250 City Centre, Bay 216