An Introduction to 25OneCommunity

An Introduction to 25OneCommunity

What is 25OneCommunity?

25OneCommunity is a co-working space for progressive organizations and individuals who share space, resources and values. We are a non-profit organization that unites Ottawa-based progressive groups with shared office spaces and facilities in a dynamic and collaborative work environment. In other words, we seek to establish a community through three collective elements: communication, coordination and collaboration. By communicating amongst one another as individuals and groups, we coordinate ourselves based on our respective strengths and collaborate through those to stimulate an efficient and communal space.


Who...Who makes up 25OneCommunity?

On the second, third and fifth floors of 251 Bank Street, a variety of offices and desks can be found. Many of these are rented and utilized by the assorted members that populate and colour the space everyday. Our members themselves are a diverse bunch, ranging from solopreneurs to community groups to full-fledged NGOs. A more detailed list of our members can be found on our Current Members page.

Additionally, there are several 25One staff members who maintain the space and carry out administrative duties. From the front desk to their respective offices, the staff are always eager to lend a hand to all members and guests.


Who...How does 25OneCommunity work?

Internally, 25OneCommunity members rent flexible workspaces that work for them. Organization members rent their own private offices or permanent desks, and individual members rent their own dedicated desks, called “hot desks." Externally, we welcome all organizations and individuals to our community and provide opportune spaces for events, meetings and other social functions. All in all, 25One works by bringing together organizations and individuals to create and cultivate a vibrant community.


Who...Where is 25OneCommunity?

As you make your way down the spirited sidewalks of Bank Street, there exists a seemingly limitless amount of services, cafés, local shops, and more. Once you find yourself in between the streets of Cooper and Lisgar, you may notice the numbers "251" marking a particular building on the east side. This is where 25OneCommunity resides--251 Bank Street.

On the second floor (which is accessible via either stairs or elevator), you will find the welcoming front desk, Octopus Books, the communal lounge and kitchen, our spacious rooms, and an abundance of members who animate the space on a daily basis. The Council of Canadians make up the entirety of the third floor, and our remaining members and 25One staff occupy the fifth, all of whom bring their respective spaces to life.

If you would like to see the space yourself, please do not hesitate to contact us and book a free tour! You can also take a virtual tour of the space courtesy of Google Maps.


Who...When did 25OneCommunity start?

The vision for 25OneCommunity was born following a conversation between two women, Tonya Surman of Toronto’s Centre for Social Innovation and Diane Touchette, the Director of Operations at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), who later became 25One’s founder and first President. Inspired by the examples of successful co-workspaces in other cities, Diane saw the need for innovative and collaborative workspace in the nation’s capital that connected people and strengthened relationships amongst progressive organizations.

Diane set out to make her vision a reality with the support of friends, colleagues, community members, and the CCPA.

The second floor opened to members in March 2012 and the fifth floor in July of the same year. Renovations on the third floor began in February 2014, which were completed shortly after and became the communal home of the Council of Canadians. Plans are afoot for even more change in the building over the coming years.


Who...Why is 25OneCommunity important?

Membership in 25OneCommunity links you to an active and diverse community of nonprofit organizations, artists, community groups and entrepreneurs who come together to share resources, ideas and work space in a sustainable setting. We foster an environment of interaction, collaboration and movement for social change by sharing space, hosting events and offering learning opportunities.

People work best when they feel they are a part of a network of peers with the same social values. 25One provides a unique opportunity for NGOs and progressives to support and learn from each other’s work in a healthy, collaborative environment that contributes to the revitalization of the downtown core.

It all boils down to a communal space where organizations and individuals alike communicate, coordinate and collaborate as one to build progress.


Statement from Diane Touchette, Founder of 25One Community

“We created 25One to help progressive groups and freelancers meet their workspace needs and get them out of isolation. There’s an incredible array of benefits when people and groups work together – leadership capacity increases, learning and creative partnerships emerge and confidence is strengthened. We all share in the belief that serendipity and inspiration are more likely to occur around the kitchen table than the boardroom table. That’s why common space was built into the heart of our design. Our main space features a fully-equipped kitchen facility with chairs, sofas, and tables of various sizes. This is where tenants come to meet and greet guests. It is where the staff of different organizations get acquainted with each other. It is where union meetings are held, where activists gather before demos, where progressive groups of all kinds hold events and meetings. So we’re not just building a place to work – we’re building progress, we’re building community. See you there!”

Note: click here to see a visual infographic of who we (and our current members) are, what we offer, and when we started.