Property Biz Canada

Urbacon building second Richmond Hill data centre


Urbacon Data Centre Solutions Inc. (UDCS) has broken ground on Data Centre Two (DC2), the second of five it plans to build at the Barker Business Park Digital Campus in Richmond Hill, Ont.

An artist's conception of the Urbacon DC2 data centre being constructed in Richmond Hill, Ont.

An artist’s conception of the Urbacon DC2 data centre being constructed in Richmond Hill, Ont. (Rendering courtesy Urbacon)

“We’ve commenced site servicing with underground installation of storm and sanitary sewers, water and electrical,” said Urbacon vice-president of properties and development management Peter Russell. “Building foundation and structural steel will follow shortly.

“We’re targeting end-of-year occupancy.”

What DC2 offers

DC2 will be a 95,000-square-foot, 16-megawatt facility offering a variety of end-user service alternatives, from powered shell to rack-ready solutions. It will offer a design to ensure an uninterrupted power supply. With a power usage effectiveness of 1.2 annualized or better, end-users will benefit from significant power savings.

The Ontario climate offers further cost savings in the way of free cooling during colder months. The Greater Toronto Area is also a prime location for data centres because of its proximity to Fortune 100 companies, six million consumers, superior infrastructure and a highly skilled workforce.

Barker Business Park Digital Campus’ Data Centre One (DC1) opened in June and was 50 per cent occupied by a tenant that can’t be identified due to confidentiality agreements. The client, a cloud service provider with a global Fortune 50 ranking, has since exercised its option for DC1’s remaining available space.

Summit Industrial Income REIT (SMU-UN-T) entered a joint venture with Urbacon to develop, own and operate data centres across Canada in December (see Summit buys into data centres). It launched the partnership with the purchase of a 50 per cent stake in DC1 and has an option to participate in DC2, which is available for pre-leasing. 

“Our intention is to have at least one facility under construction and available to respond to short-term market demands,” said Russell. “Increased demand, or specific user requirements, will accelerate delivery of DC3, DC4 and DC5. DC3 is in the final stages of municipal approval.”

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Toronto-based Urbacon has been involved in the Canadian construction industry for more than 30 years and has completed numerous projects in a variety of markets for a range of clients.

Other UDCS data centres

Urbacon’s UDCS subsidiary is a wholesale co-location provider, with data centres in Richmond Hill, Toronto, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. and Montreal.

“We’re continuing to work with a number of potential users at 544 Inspecteur in Montreal,” said Russell. “The purpose-built nature and technological features of that facility make it unique in the market, so we need to get the right fit of tenant to maximize the utility and efficiency.

“The downtown Toronto site is available to develop in response to a specific user that needs intimate proximity to the financial core and other services.”

Russell said UDCS is identifying opportunities to build more data centres in Canada and internationally.

“By leveraging our more than 25 years experience in designing, building, operating and maintaining data centres, we’re positioning UDCS to be able to respond to demand with new leading edge facilities that exceed client expectations for uptime, connectivity, security and efficiency.”

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Steve McLean

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Steve is a veteran writer, reporter, editor and communications specialist whose work has appeared in a wide variety of print and online outlets. He’s the author of the book Hot Canadian Bands and has taught reporting to college students. He is based in Toronto.

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