Toronto, ON – MaRS Discovery District has announced that construction of its MaRS Centre Phase 2 will proceed. The 20-storey state-of-art convergence centre – a doubling of the facility’s size – will enable the organization to accelerate its role in supporting new science and technology businesses. To complete the development of Phase 2, MaRS says it is partnering with the Ontario government.
The current MaRS Centre is at full occupancy. Phase 2, directly adjacent to the existing facility near the University of Toronto and the University Health Network, will offer tenants co-located technologically advanced laboratory and office space; communications and information technology capabilities; access to a large multi-function conference centre; and collaboration opportunities with other MaRS tenants and partners across Canada and around the globe.
“The MaRS Centre has been at capacity since it opened six years ago, when we first started working with entrepreneurs building new growth companies,” says Dr Ilse Treurnicht, CEO, MaRS Discovery District. “This expansion of the MaRS platform offers a huge opportunity to accelerate that momentum and further strengthen our innovation economy for future generations.”
Founded in 2000 and opened in 2005, the MaRS Centre brings companies of all sizes, researchers and innovators from different disciplines, investors, professional service firms, community organizations, and policymakers together in a thriving urban facility.
Phase 2 will double the facility’s size to over 1.5 million sq ft, making it one of the largest urban innovation hubs in the world. Today more than 2,300 researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs and professionals representing more than 80 tenants work at MaRS.
Two major tenants have committed to leasing space in the new building. The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, with its translational cancer research and commercialization programs, presently in the south tower, will expand into MaRS Centre Phase 2. Public Health Ontario, a central player in public health research and policy and in infectious diseases management, will anchor its provincial network in MaRS Centre Phase 2.
“Public Health Ontario is thrilled to be a part of the MaRS Centre Phase 2 development,” says Dr Vivek Goel, president and CEO of Public Health Ontario. “As a hub organization dedicated to protecting and promoting the health of all Ontarians, renewal and advancement of our laboratories is essential for Ontario’s continued response to emerging public health threats. Location of our laboratories at MaRS will enhance academic, healthcare and private sector partnerships.”
The expansion has an anticipated completion date of September 2013.