The term “disruptor” has become omnipresent over the last decade or so, applied to everything from peer-to-peer ridesharing companies that revolutionized urban transportation, to financial technology companies that seek to simplify the way we bank. But the term is equally applicable to less digitally-oriented endeavours, like the redevelopment of 300 Bloor Street West (a forward-looking plan to ensure the continued longevity of Bloor Street United Church and promote a modern community) and its neighbour to the south, the MaRS Discovery District.
Located on the southeast corner of University and College, just a short walk from 300 Bloor Street West, the MaRS Discovery District is a hub of industry disruption, “a launchpad for start-ups, a platform for researchers and a home to innovators.” Founded in 2000 by a group of 14 civic leaders with the support of the government, key corporations, and the Univeristy of Toronto, MaRS brings together members of the innovation community to grow the economy and make an impact. And that impact can be felt not only on some ofsociety’s greatest challenges, but on the community surrounding the campus itself.
The MaRS ecosystem, a curated community of entrepreneurs, investors, corporates, academics, and government partners, reaches far and wide, supporting Toronto’s position as a global tech hub and creating thousands of jobs and billions in revenue. The original building opened in 2005. 2016 saw a West Tower expansion, and plans are underway for a new space set to launch in 2021.
Occupying 1.5 million square feet, MaRS is North America’s largest urban innovation hub. More than 120 diverse tenants call this home – a curated mix of startups, global corporates, and leading research labs that form a community addressing some of society’s greatest challenges like the healthcare system, disease, urban infrastructure, clean water, and climate change. It’s a space that unites like-minded individuals looking to generate a collective positive impact on the world, a space that lends innovation and diversity to the neighbourhood, creating a stronger community. And a space that will continue to act as a magnet for the best and brightest, disruptors on a local, national, and global scale.
MaRS Facts & Figures
1,200+ startups in the MaRS ecosystem
12,800+ jobs created by MaRS-supported ventures in 2017
$4.8B capital raised by MaRS-supported companies since 2008
$3.2B revenue generated by MaRS-supported companies since 2008
$11.7B amount contributed to Canadian GDP since 2008
Photo credit: www.marsdd.com