Saturday, October 17, 2009

435 Ellice Avenue - NRC Institute for Biodiagnostics

Place: Institute for Biodiagnostics (IBD)
Address: 435 Ellice Avenue Map
Opened: 1985 (IBD established 1992)

17,739 sq m
GBR / MMP Architects


St. Paul's College c 1939:

From the
late 1930's to 1964 this site was home to St. Paul's College, (which at the time included St. Paul's High School). In 1964 it relocated to the U of M and the building was torn down.

Soon after the first Core Area Initiative was signed in 1981 talks began to find a new use for the site, now owned by the CBC. In July 1983 then Manitoba senior minister Lloyd Axworthy announced that construction would soon begin on a $41m NRC facility that would include an Institute for Manufacturing Technology and be called Science Place Canada. (WFP July 21, 1983).


During the early stages of construction the government changed and the recession of the 1980's took hold. The feds announced that the planned institute, which would cost $20m per year to operate, was cut from the budget, though construction would continue.

The building opened in 1985 and for years had no major tenant. There were a handful of NRC employees
called the Canadian Institute of Industrial Technology and that was it.

Attempts to lease space to private companies and organizations dragged out and by 1987 the building had ten tenants, but was still below 50% capacity.

NRC building

Fast forward to 1992 and the building became the
National Research Council's Institute for Biodiagnostics. The IBD's goal is to create and commercialize health diagnostic technologies. Areas of research at the Winnipeg location include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), spectroscopy and other optical imaging techniques. The largest of the spin-off companies to come out of the IBD is NovaDAQ Technologies Inc.

There are also satellite centres of the IBD in
Halifax and Calgary.

Related Media (Wpg Free Press Archives):
Nobody's Lined up at NRC - Sept 28, 1986 p 3
NRC Building Occupancy Rate Nears 50% - Sept 26, 1987 p14
High Tech Centre Offers New Image for City - Mar 14, 1992 p B15

Manitoba's Biotech Industry
NRC Centre for the Commercialization of Biomedical Technology (the neighbouring building)

UPDATE April 2012:
The NRC complex is to be "vacated and sold off"

1 comment:

  1. Things look pretty grim for the NRC in Winnipeg:

    Looks like the Feds want to vacate the two Ellice Ave bldgs and sell them off.