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Real Estate National Portrait - Ottawa, Spring/Summer 2011

Vacancy Rates Fall as Corporate Activity Increases Across Country

Over the last two quarters of 2010 the Canadian economy continued to strengthen and in most cities the worst effects of the recession seemed to have passed. Unemployment figures showed steady improvement, declining to 7.8% by January of this year, compared to 8.7% at the height of the recession in mid-2009, and investment in commercial real estate in the country's major cities generated robust returns, averaging just over 11%.


  • Vacancy rate continues to climb in downtown Ottawa
  • Kanata market to benefit from one-time boost as tenants vacate Nortel campus
  • Over 1.5 million square feet of new space being built in Gatineau
  • Downtown tenants' leverage should increase significantly in coming quarters


Downtown Ottawa Vacancy Rate Increasing

For at least the last decade, the vacancy rates in downtown Ottawa's office buildings have been among the lowest of those anywhere in the country. Indeed, overall Class "A" and "B" vacancy rates plunged as low as 1.6% at the end of 2008. As the nation's capital, the city is home to federal government departments and a range of ancillary businesses, professional firms, associations and diplomatic missions. As a result, Ottawa is protected to some extent against most of the economic ups-and-downs that affect many cities. The corporate real estate market in the city generally reflects this.


NKF Devencore, Real Estate / National Office Market Report - Spotlight on the Greater Ottawa Area, Spring/Summer 2011

Real Estate National Portrait - Ottawa, Spring/Summer 2011
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