Global co-working giant Spaces opens Zibi Ottawa location

Spaces Zibi Gatineau
Spaces Zibi Gatineau opened last year in former industrial buildings east of Eddy Street. Photo courtesy Spaces

Ottawa’s Zibi development continues to take shape, with the world’s largest provider of co-working space officially opening a new location at the waterfront site.

Spaces, a division of Switzerland-based International Workplace Group, unveiled the 26,000-square-foot property, which is housed in a four-storey former paper mill on Chaudière Island, this month. It joins a 29,000-square-foot Spaces location that opened last year on the Gatineau side of the Zibi project in former industrial buildings just east of Eddy Street.

Spaces’ second Zibi site marks the company’s latest expansion in the National Capital Region. The firm opened its first Ottawa location on Slater Street in 2019, and parent company IWG also operates three other co-working spaces in the downtown core under the Regus banner.

Wayne Berger, who heads IWG’s operations in the Americas, says the company has seen surging demand for its offerings during the pandemic as more employers embrace a hybrid model that allows employees to work from home or occupy short-term office space as needed.

“The pandemic has sped up the shift away from the traditional office towards a more flexible approach to the world of work,” Berger said in a statement.

IWG says it plans to add five new Spaces locations totalling nearly 175,000 square feet to its Canadian footprint in early 2022, with additional openings slated for later in the year.

The mixed-use Zibi neighbourhood, located just west of downtown on both sides of the Ottawa River, is a multibillion-dollar partnership between Toronto-based developer Dream Unlimited and Ottawa’s Theia Partners.

The developers anticipate that between 400,000 and 600,000 square feet of new office, retail and residential space will be added to Zibi each year through 2027. When complete, the site is expected to house 5,000 residents and employ 6,000 people in more than a million square feet of space.