A wet lab is a specialized laboratory space designed with unique features (equipment, ventilation, storage, etc.) to support cutting-edge life science research.
The Toronto Region does not have enough capacity to keep up with demand for wet lab space and planned construction is insufficient, constraining the growth of the life science industry.
Record levels of venture capital plus increased government investment in the life science sector in Ontario - such as the Government of Canada's recently committed CAD $2.2 billion funding toward life sciences and bio-manufacturing through to 2027 - has accelerated demand for wet lab space.
Interviewees warned that companies looking to "graduate" and scale up their operations in the Toronto Region are being forced to make difficult decisions, including potentially relocating to other cities to find affordable and adequate wet lab space.
De-risking the dual challenge to wet lab space development caused by high development costs and pre-revenue life science companies is key to growing our domestic life science capacity, possibly through the use of targeted incentives and programs to support private sector development.
Addressing the underlying factors constraining wet lab construction requires a coordinated, multi-stakeholder approach from various levels of government, academic and health institutions, and industry.