MaRS announces plans to open new space on Toronto’s waterfront

waterfront innovation centre

The MaRS Discovery District is in the final stages of securing a lease within the planned Waterfront Innovation Centre in Toronto.

The Waterfront Innovation Centre is a tech hub under construction by Menkes Development with a planned opening date in 2021. The 400,000 square-foot development is set to house 3,000 workers. MaRS plans to take 24,000 square feet of space, and will partner with the University of Toronto on the real estate project, which will be located on Queens Quay next to Sugar Beach.

The Waterfront Innovation Centre is close to Sidewalk Labs’ planned smart city Quayside development, though MaRS indicated that there was no planned collaboration at this time when asked by BetaKit.

“Our startups and partners need more space to scale, and this new development is the ideal location for that growth.”

“As Toronto becomes a destination for global talent, venture capital and tech corporations, demand for space is at an all-time high. It’s imperative that we develop new innovative and entrepreneurial hubs in communities across the city,” said Yung Wu, CEO of MaRS. “The Waterfront Innovation Centre is the next destination for the city’s growing innovation sector—one that will further solidify Toronto’s standing as a premier tech centre.”

MaRS will be open in the Hive Tower—one of three planned sections within the building, which also includes The Nexus and The Exchange. The Hive will be the main workspace for tenants.

In 2015, U of T invested in the MaRS West Tower, taking a 20 percent equity share in the building. The 780,000-square-foot tower—which received $290 million in private funding to repay government loans—is over 99.8 percent full, and is currently home to more than 50 startups.

“Toronto is experiencing its lowest commercial vacancy rate ever (three percent), making the city the most sought-after market in North America,” said Wu. In July, CBRE named Toronto North America’s fastest-growing tech market for the second year in a row. “Our startups and partners need more space to scale, and this new development is the ideal location for that growth.”

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang is BetaKit's News Editor. Follow her on Twitter @jessicagalangg or send her pitches to