The RA re-developed 37,000 square feet of space to create an innovative, creative, open office environment called the House of Sport. The House of Sport brings a diverse collection of sport organizations, the majority of which are National Sport Organizations (NSOs) and Multi-Sports Organizations (MSOs) under one roof to share a facility where their individual needs are considered but also their co-location can result in positive energy and support. The House of Sport encourages the NSOs and MSOs to leverage their shared experiences to deliver increased quality in sport and improved performances nationally and internationally. Co-location of these organizations creates opportunities for knowledge sharing, provides a critical mass to leverage operational efficiencies and offers a synergistic platform for growth. In addition, the presence of these organizations in the House of Sport gives the City a leg up on attracting major events like the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the Brier, fueling the local economy. Finding a way to entice NSOs and MSOs to stay in Ottawa required out of the “box thinking”.
The House of Sport has been a resounding success thus far and is by no means the end of the development. The success of the House of Sport has left some organizations on the outside, wanting to find a way to join the community. Some of the more qualitative benefits of the House of Sport are only just starting to come to fruition. For example, part of the House of Sport includes the development of a CEO table for shared learning on topics of great relevance to all the organizations. Other wrap-around services include Lunch & Learns and other workshops. These shared conversations are helping NSOs, MSOs and local groups develop administrative excellence, allowing them to focus on the delivery of their programs. The House of Sport has created a community of support and practice within Ottawa that does not exist anywhere else in Canada.