One of technology’s biggest names has unveiled plans for a huge new Canadian headquarters in the country’s largest city.
Microsoft today announced plans for a state-of-the-art facility in downtown Toronto to be located at 81 Bay Street. The company plans to have the new location ready for September 2020 and it will span four floors with over 132,000 square feet of space. Right now, Microsoft employs more than 2,300 employees across Canada while supporting an extended ecosystem of over 14,000 partners.
With the pace of technology and the further expansion of Microsoft’s services and partners, the Seattle-headquartered company states they could see up to 60,000 new jobs created by the time this new headquarters opens, according to a statement from Microsoft themselves.
Microsoft will make a total of $570 million worth of investments in Canada over the next three years as part of the announcement. This also comes with 500 new full-time jobs (and 500 co-op and student placements), a $21 million investment of Azure credits for Canada’s Supercluster initiative, an investment of $10 million over five years into the innovation corridor between Washington and British Columbia, and more.
“Our Government’s Innovation and Skills Plan is working. Leading tech companies are setting up offices across Canada, hiring Canadian talent, and investing in Canada’s enormous potential as an innovation and tech hub,” said Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada. “Microsoft’s latest investment in Canada – totaling $570 million – will create hundreds of new jobs and benefit several cities, from Vancouver to Toronto to Montreal. I know our highly-skilled, diverse workforce will continue to attract tech investment in record numbers – growing our economy and creating new opportunities for Canadians across the country.”
The new facility at the CIBC Square office complex will better help Microsoft collaborate with the rising stars of the Canadian tech world along with other customers and clients. The tech giant has had its eyes set on Canada’s innovation scene recently as the Canadian project SmartARM won Microsoft’s 2018 Imagine Cup. Microsoft has also recently collaborated with Zoom.ai to integrate the smart assistant into their Teams platform along with building out their already-bustling mixed reality team in Vancouver.
“Increasingly, Canada is being recognized as a global leader in technology and the investments we are making today and into the future will help ensure Canada continues to be a hotbed of innovation,” said Microsoft Canada president Kevin Peesker. “By relocating our headquarters to downtown Toronto, we will be able to better serve our customers and attract top talent to continue to drive innovation and growth for our Canadian customers and our large partner ecosystem.”
Microsoft has had a headquarters in Canada since 1985 and also has an innovation hub in Vancouver, two data centres in Toronto and Quebec, and an AI lab in Montreal. The $570 million will go towards these fixed Microsoft assets within Canada.
“This announcement by Microsoft offers yet more evidence of the strength of Toronto as a global technology centre, and as a desirable home for major corporations,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory.