To get work done, sometimes all it takes is immersion with like-minded people.
That’s the ethos of WeWork, a worldwide provider of collaborative workspaces that just hosted their grand opening in Toronto.
The new building boasts six floors with over 60,000 square feet of space for creative-types and analytical-minds to co-mingle. There are single desks, shared common rooms, entire offices and more for everyone from startups to Fortune 500 companies to work out of.
WeWork first opened a Canadian location in Montreal in March 2016. The Toronto location was actually supposed to open in the same month after being announced in December of 2015, but the team ran into regulatory problems that forced them to push the official ribbon-cutting back. A Vancouver location is set to open soon as well.
Despite the troubles, WeWork Toronto’s first office is a massive success; so much so that it is the first ever WeWork location (out of 226 in 53 different cities) to ever open at 100 per cent capacity. That means every nook in the building is taken up by a company either from Toronto or looking for representation in the city.
With such success, why not open up another? Plans for a second WeWork spot in Toronto have been detailed with spots filling up just as quickly, although the new location will only be two floors.
In terms of what kinds of companies call WeWork home, the Toronto location is unique for a couple reasons. The entire second floor will be occupied by RBC, Canada’s largest bank. The space will actually function as a retail bank—if you have an account, feel free to use the separate entrance to meet with a broker or cash a cheque. This scale of a financial partnership is a first for WeWork.
Two-thirds of the third floor will belong to Techstars Toronto, which will help the startup accelerator stay close to the vibrant technology scene in the city. They are still accepting applications for their first Canadian cohort until October 15.
There are dozens of other companies in WeWork Toronto, from lawyers to accountants to niche startups. A notable name is Feedback, a Toronto company working on the fourth floor that picked up $24,000 from WeWork’s Creators Awards. There are plans for Toronto to host a Creators gala soon.
WeWork is all about fostering collaboration between companies sharing space together. WeWork ran a small survey within their offices and found that seven out of 10 companies have had some form of collaboration with another organization in their space. Even more impressive? Half the companies have had a transaction with another group in their space.
Events happen often at WeWork, with over 15 already planned from organizations like Wix and Brainstation. The People of Toronto series promises to be a favourite, as WeWork brings in industry leaders to make the city shine through its individuals. The first theme for Toronto’s location is education, with ideas like fashion, music and AI always a possibility.
Dedicated desks start at $700 a month, while private offices are around $1,000 a month or more, depending on the company size. You can also get a WeWork membership for $45 USD a month, which gives you two work days a month in any space worldwide. And yes, with all of the listed memberships. you get as much of WeWork’s famous fruit water you can drink.
WeWork received a massive $4.4 billion investment from Japan’s SoftBank Group in late August.