Microsoft Announces New Canadian Headquarters in Downtown Toronto
On Tuesday Microsoft announced a massive 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.
Investment in Canada
Microsoft has had a headquarters in Canada since 1985, and during that time has injected billions of dollars into the Canadian economy including, most recently, the opening of two datacentres (Toronto and Quebec), an innovation hub in Vancouver, and an artificial intelligence lab in Montreal. Other investments since 2015, include:
• $111M in Azure credits into the startup ecosystem by supporting 5,700 start-ups
• donating more than $178 million in cash, software and technology services to Canadian non-profits; and
• enabling employees to contribute up to 100,000 person-hours annually of volunteer time in support of worthy causes, representing an equivalent dollar value of $10million
In addition to the announcement, Microsoft Canada intends to:
• grow staff by more than 500 full-time employees, with an additional 500 co-ops/internships by 2022
• invest $21 M in Azure credits to the Canada's Supercluster initiative
• invest $10M over 5 years into Cascadia innovation corridor which is formed between Washington and British Columbia to create new economic opportunities
• invest more than $570M in next 3 years in fixed assets in the country, including relocation and expansion of its research and development lab in Montreal, relocation of its Vancouver sales office, renovation and redesign of its Ottawa, Calgary and Montreal sales offices, and the relocation of its Canadian Headquarters