Yesterday, Microsoft announced a substantial new investment in Canada, with plans for a state-of-the-art new headquarters located in the heart of downtown Toronto. With a move-in date set in Sept 2020, the facility, located at 81 Bay Street, is just one of a series of significant investments Microsoft is making. These investments will enable an expansion of Microsoft’s Canadian operations, including increasing staff, modernizing its real estate, and growing its research lab in Montreal that is focused on artificial intelligence.
Microsoft says moving to a new facility at 81 Bay Street (CIBC SQUARE) will enable the company to better serve its customers, collaborate with its technology partners and to attract top talent to a central location, one well served by transit and more accessible to universities and innovative new tech start-ups.
“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.”
Comprising 132,000 square feet over four floors of the 81 Bay Street building now under construction, the new Microsoft Canada headquarters is a significant investment in Toronto’s tech cluster. Currently, Microsoft employs more than 2,300 employees across Canada, and supports an extended ecosystem of more than 14,000 trusted partners who sell, service or deploy Microsoft products. The company expects that given the pace of technology and the investments it is making that the Microsoft ecosystem could account for more than 60,000 new jobs by the time its new headquarters opens in two years.
“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. 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,” said Justin Trudeau, Prime Minster of 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. By choosing South Core as its new home, Microsoft is embracing one of the hottest new areas of downtown and Toronto welcomes them with open arms,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory.