Nokia to transform 26-acre Kanata campus

Three levels of government are planning to pitch in more than $70 million for a massive expansion of Nokia’s Kanata campus.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Doug Ford joined Nokia President and CEO Pekka Lundmark and Nokia Canada President Jeffrey Maddox for the announcement on Monday.

“This is an exciting announcement that will help us advance 5G technology,” Trudeau told reporters. “This is a project that will build a world-class R&D hub that will transform the wireless technologies we rely on every day.”

Nokia said in a news release the hub will expand the company’s capacity in next-generation information and communications technology (ICT) and cyber security innovation. It will add 340 jobs and help the company attract high-end talent to Canada, the release said.

“This project will transform Nokia Canada’s 26-acre campus at the Kanata North Business Park into a sustainable, accessible mixed-use corporate, residential and commercial hub,” the news release said.

“The new R&D hub will help secure Canada’s position as a global leader in the green digital future by broadening Nokia Canada’s expertise in 5G, cyber security, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, accelerating growth in cloud software, and enhancing digital identity management and security for devices connected to critical networks.”

Ottawa is already home to one of Nokia’s largest research and development sites, with more than 2,300 employees working at its campus on March Road.

Development application documents show a new 500,000-square-foot complex would include retail and commercial stores along with two office towers. Nokia would also replace its existing office buildings with 11 residential towers featuring a total of 1,900 units.

The Ontario government is contributing $30 million to the project. The federal government is “finalizing plans” to contribute up to $40 million, Nokia said in the news release. The city of Ottawa will contribute $2 million via Hydro Ottawa upgrades.

“The Kanata North technology hub will compete as a global tech leader for decades to come,” Premier Doug Ford said on Monday. “Watch out Silicon Valley: we’re coming.”

Nokia says construction will begin next year, with the facility opening in 2026.

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