Idea Quarter Waterloo is home to world changing ideas; the focal point where academia, industry, and people collide, collaborate, and excel.


Create a vibrant epicentre for world changing ideas by bringing together the brightest people, most innovative companies, and best resources.



With the success of the David Johnson Research +Technology Park as a starting point, in 2015 the City of Waterloo and a group of progressively minded real estate developers embarked on a rebranding of Phillip Street and vicinity. With this, the Idea Quarter was born. The common vision was for a district transformation that could attract hundreds of technology, retail and service based businesses, with tens of thousands of workers and residents.

The catalyst for this rebranding was the sale of Blackberry’s real estate portfolio to San Francisco-based commercial real estate firm Spear Street Capital and subsequent purchase of six Blackberry buildings by Bay Street financier Michael Wekerle’s Waterloo Innovation Network (WIN).

Key original stakeholders include the City of Waterloo from Famous Pairs website, the R+T Park, the Accelerator Centre, property developers the Cora Group, Spear Street Capital, WIN and the Marsland Centre.

Re-development efforts within the new Idea Quarter started immediately with several new companies moving to the area, including Stantec, Auvik, Axonify, Magnet Forensics and TrustPoint Innovation

The R+T Park has plans for the construction of two new buildings adjacent to the LRT ION
Station and Spear Street Capital is also in the process of renovating 451 Phillip Street – now branded Factory Square, a mixed use facility inclusive of creative workspace, retail and restaurants. An adjacent pedestrian walkway will allow for easy connection to the LRT ION station situated in the R+T Park.


The founding members of the Idea Quarter Community are the David Johnston Research + Technology Park, Cora Group, Marsland Centre Ltd, Spear Street Capital, The Waterloo Innovation Network, City of Waterloo, and The Accelerator Centre. 


My company is not tech-focused. Can we still join?
Absolutely! Idea Quarter is open to a wide diversity of businesses. From financial, to real estate, to production, your business can always find a place in the Idea Quarter.

My company is not tech-focused. Is it still beneficial for us to join?
Yes. All types of companies have and will continue to find success in the Idea Quarter.

My company is not Canadian. Can we still join?
Yes. We encourage globally expanding businesses to find success with us in Waterloo Region!

My company is a small startup. Can we still join?
Yes. We encourage companies of all shapes and sizes to join the community.

What is the exact location of Idea Quarter?
The Idea Quarter’s parameters are flexible in order to allow for growth and fluctuation. The hub’s general location is centered around the R&T Park LRT stop, and it stretches through Phillip St and Columbia St in Waterloo, Ontario.

How many office buildings are in the Idea Quarter?
Currently, there are seventeen office buildings, with over 3 million square feet of space. And these numbers will continue to grow over time as more and more businesses take part.