Apple to open facility in Kanata, sources say

Apple has leased space at a Kanata office complex in preparation for setting up a facility in the National Capital Region, several sources have confirmed to OBJ.

Although the California-based tech giant has yet to publicly announce it is establishing a presence in Ottawa, sources say they believe the 22,100-square-foot suite at 411 Legget Dr. in the Kanata Research Park will be devoted to research and development.

The space is located in the G. Best Building, which is owned by KRP Properties. The building’s main tenant is now DragonWave, but KRP’s website lists a 22,099.74-square-foot space at suite 300 as “currently vacant.” 

KRP describes the property as a “full-floor office suite with executive boardroom, meeting rooms, several offices, server room, lunchroom, showers, private balconies and lab space.” The building’s director of leasing did not respond to a request for comment.

The world’s largest technology company by total assets and its second-largest mobile phone manufacturer, Apple generated revenues of more than $233 billion US in 2015. 

The company has been boosting its R&D spending in recent years, investing more than $8 billion in research and development in fiscal 2015 alone – a 34 per cent increase over the previous year. In the past 12 months, Apple has opened or planned new research facilities in Cambridge, England, and Yokohama, Japan.

Business analysts have been speculating for some time that the tech colossus known for its personal computers, smartphones, tablets and devices such as the Apple Watch is branching out into the automotive sector. 

Last fall, reported rumours that the company was developing an electric vehicle, noting it had begun poaching high-profile automotive engineers. Sources told the website Apple was also considering construction of a new development centre in San Jose that could be used to assemble vehicles. 

Ottawa already has a major presence in the automotive software sector. Kanata is home to BlackBerry’s automotive division, QNX Software Systems, which recently unveiled a slate of new software for the rapidly evolving driverless car market.