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Menkes to build high-tech Waterfront Innovation Centre in Toronto


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February 9, 2015 by STAFF REPORT

Artist's rendering of the proposed 350,000 sq.-ft. Waterfront Innovation Centre
Artist's rendering of the proposed 350,000 sq.-ft. Waterfront Innovation Centre

A new Waterfront Innovation Centre, custom-built to meet the needs of the expanding technology and data sectors, will be built on the shore of Lake Ontario in Toronto.

“The cutting-edge workplace represents the next evolution in commercial office development and will reinvent how employees work together in Toronto’s rapidly evolving creative and technology sectors – including advanced visualization and interactive digital media, film and TV production,” says Peter Menkes, president of Menkes Developments, who will be developing the project.

At the heart of the new 350,000 sq.-ft. building is the waterfront-wide ultra-high-speed broadband fibre-optic network – a private sector initiative that is delivering Internet connection speeds exponentially faster than the North American average.

The new commercial space will be built on former industrial lands, next to Canada’s Sugar Beach in the new East Bayfront community in Toronto. Designed by Sweeny & Co Architects Inc, the building will create a work environment that allows tenants to interact and share resources in a series of inter-connected private, semi-private and public spaces. State-of-the-art amenities for all tenants including a presentation theatre, sophisticated audio-visual and video conferencing tools and workshop facilities with digital production facilities will enhance productivity, the ability to network and exchange ideas.

As technology and creative sectors continue to merge, the Innovation Centre – and the ultra-high-speed broadband infrastructure it’s built on – will allow many different types of industries to collaborate. For example:

    • Film and TV production and post-production companies will be able to speed up production schedules and lower production costs by sharing media instantly.
    • Healthcare professionals can securely stream live medical procedures in the highest possible resolution for education or research.
    • Digital animators will work with companies designing user experiences to collaborate on next-generation interfaces and services.
    • Companies focused on advanced analytics and cognitive computing will access, work on and share very large sets of data in real time.

Construction is targeted to start in late 2016. The development of the Waterfront Innovation Centre is the next step in the implementation of the East Bayfront Precinct Plan. The Precinct Plan outlines the development of the former industrial waterfront lands east of Lower Jarvis Street into a dynamic, mixed-use community for over 10,000 residents.


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