14 Mar Under One Roof Properties
If you were looking for proof that Ottawa’s hip factor is on the rise, look no further than this blog post. Ottawa peeps, meet Under One Roof, our newest social mission “hub.”
So here’s the scoop: Under One Roof is modeled after the Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto – it is another example of a growing trend of not-for-profit “hubs.” “You can be a for-profit business or a non-profit, but in order to be accepted here you have to have a social mission,” says Diane Touchette, Under One Roof President and Founder.
In the beginning
The whole idea for Under One Roof came out of a meeting that that Diane attended at the Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto. When Diane asked them to open a building in Ottawa and they declined, she knew she had to take the project on.
One year after opening its doors, Under One Roof leases two fully renovated floors at 251 Bank Street in Ottawa, and boasts a 95% occupancy rate. With the total number of tenants reaching past 25, Under One Roof already has plans to add another floor next year. “We have accountants, feminist lawyers, policy groups, non-profit organizations, and community groups. Our largest tenants are Volunteer Canada and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Many groups have expressed interest in joining us. They’re just trying to finish off their leases right now,” states Diane Touchette.
“We animate the space,” says Diane. “We don’t just share office space. We have workshops, we invite the community in. It’s a public place, a gathering place.” There are meeting rooms where tenants can have a party, host a 10 person board meeting, present a workshop, or show a film to 50 people. All of these configurations are made possible by moveable wall dividers that expand or contract, depending on the size of the event. Check out this month’s list of events here.
A desk for everyone
Under One Roof prides itself on being the new generation of workspace for everyone – big and small. Organizations (or individuals) can rent a “hot desk” which includes 20 hours of desk space, for as low as $150. Permanent desks start at $500 per month, and permanent office rents range from $1,000 to $3,000 per month. Each option includes meeting room space. The reception desk at Under One Roof is manned by volunteers; your guests coming in for that important meeting will be greeted, and taken care of. (I know THAT can be challenging with a home office environment). And because of the flexibility in the space itself, gaining or losing project funding doesn’t mean an organization has to leave their space – Under One Roof prides itself on being extremely flexible.
“People share their ideas, they share their dreams”
At Under One Roof, the future is bright; plans include an upgraded Media room where tenants can record video posts, audio files and upload directly to their websites, and an increased selection of lunchtime workshops.
They even have plans for a hypo-allergenic office dog! How cool is that!
The final word goes to Diane Touchette who is not only the visionary that singlehandedly brought Under One Roof to Ottawa; she is also the heart and soul of the space. Diane says, “You’re not just sharing photocopiers and office equipment. You’re also buying into flexibility, you’re buying into sharing of ideas, having coffee with peers, possibly collaborating on grant applications, and you’re part of a community that cares. “
Find out more about being a part of this amazing community that cares through the website. And thank you Diane and your team for bringing this amazing space to Ottawa.