University of Waterloo plans to build new $35M health facility in Kitchener

The University of Waterloo has proposed to develop a new 90,000 square foot innovation health facility in Kitchener. A report on the project is set to go before Kitchener city councillors on Monday.

Facility to be built in partnership with city with Kitchener picking up 25 per cent of the tab

A sign outside a university in Ontario reads University of Waterloo.

The University of Waterloo has proposed building a new 90,000 square foot innovation health facility in Kitchener.

The costs associated with the development of the proposed facility are estimated at $35 million.

According to the proposal, which is in the agenda for Kitchener's finance and corporate services committee meeting on Monday, the facility is to be built in partnership with the city.

It will focus on health innovation, medical technology and deep science on the UW Health Sciences campus, located in Kitchener's downtown innovation district.

The proposed facility would include:

  • Refurbishment of a 90,000 square foot vacant warehouse already owned by UW on the Health Sciences Campus.
  • The new home for the UW's Velocity program, Canada's most productive incubator, expanding from their current size of 36,000 square feet.
  • Multi-use biosafety, clinical, instrumentation, product development and wet lab space for small and medium-sized enterprises, entrepreneurs and innovators.
  • Co-location with the Waterloo Region Small Business Centre to support health-related companies grow their business.
  • Co-location with various health-related, interdisciplinary research from UW's main campus.

With a focus of technology and innovation based solutions to health challenges, the proposed facility would be unlike any in Canada, according to the proposal.

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Staff proposed the city would provide a contribution of up to $8.5 million or 25 per cent of the capital costs.

It is anticipated that the balance of the capital costs would be shared by the university, and senior levels of government.

As part of the partnership, UW would lease 5,000 square feet of space to the city for $1 for use by the Waterloo Region Small Business Centre.


  • An earlier version of this story indicated the city's share would be $48.5 million. It's actually $8.5 million.
    Oct 29, 2020 3:52 PM ET