When the Brookstreet Hotel opened in 2003, much of the Kanata North Business Park was still ringed by farmers’ fields.
The area has since steadily grown into a thriving community that now includes hundreds of companies spanning a diverse range of industries, numerous residential developments as well as a full suite of services, shops and leisure activities.
Throughout it all, the Brookstreet’s location in Kanata North has been critical to the hotel’s success, says general manager Nyle Kelly, a long-time employee who took the reins last summer. He replaced former general manager Patrice Basille, who announced last year that he planned to retire.
Kelly’s career at the Brookstreet started with a two-year stint as executive housekeeper. He later served as guest services director, operations director and eventually assistant general manager
He takes over at a key time for the hotel, which is growing as it diversifies into new markets – particularly serving the Kanata North community and beyond.
“2017 was our best year ever,” Kelly says. “We are optimistic that growth will continue into next year.”
The technology sector was booming in the late ’90s when planning for the hotel began, says Kelly, who has worked at Brookstreet since just before it opened.
Owner Terry Matthews, who is well-known for founding and funding many of Kanata’s tech firms, was looking to develop a flagship property within the business park he founded, Kelly recalls.
“The vision was to support the many corporate offices in the area at that time and to provide a place for business travellers that was close to the companies with whom they worked,” he says.
The tech downturn in the early 2000s presented challenges for many businesses and landlords in the area, and pushed Brookstreet to expand its reach into other sectors.
“When corporate traffic declined, it encouraged us to strategically pursue new markets,” Kelly says.
While corporate travellers are the foundation of Brookstreet’s business, the hotel has found growth opportunities in other segments, including conferences, events and leisure travellers.
“We have developed a new market niche with staycations, weddings, family travel and romantic packages; so much so that Saturdays are really lively and busy here now,” Kelly says.
To support increased demand, Brookstreet recently added 10,000 square feet of additional meeting space – for a total of almost 30,000 square feet – and is looking at increasing its number of guest rooms as well.
Collectively, this will allow the Brookstreet to hold theatre-style events for up to 800 guests, easily handle 500-person sit-down dinners and be better equipped for product launches, trade shows, galas and parties.
Part of the community
The Kanata North location continues to be a boon for those who work at Brookstreet as well.
“Many of our staff live fairly close by,” Kelly says, adding the growing number of nearby businesses adds to the community’s already strong quality of life.
He notes both his doctor and dentist are relatively close, and that it’s easy to get a haircut or fit in a quick bike ride or trail walk during a midday break.
And while Kelly is obviously partial to the food served at Options and Perspectives restaurants inside the Brookstreet, he concedes he has a particular fondness for Papa Sam’s pizza.
“It’s legendary throughout Kanata North and beyond,” he says.
Kelly says he believes that the evolution and growth of the wider community has been a key part of his hotel’s success.
“The changing face of Kanata North has absolutely helped us at Brookstreet,” he says. “The diversification of industry here now stabilizes the market overall. With so many residents plus over 500 companies, including a resurgent manufacturing sector, there is a lot happening.”