Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Microsoft Canada celebrates the opening of its new downtown headquarters

On May 3, Microsoft welcomed the press and Toronto Mayor John Tory in the opening ceremony of its new Canadian headquarters located in the CIBC SQUARE building.

Spanning 132,000 square feet, the new headquarters offers an expansive view of the Toronto downtown core and Lake Ontario. Following a “Team Based Space design,” the hybrid office features a mix of open and private workspaces for employees and partners, as well as social spaces and event areas.

Prior to moving downtown, Microsoft Canada’s headquarters was located in Mississauga.

The office features semi-open cubicles on its open floor portion of the space. Each cubicle includes widescreen monitors, elevator desks, and ergonomic chairs. Credit: Tom Li
Next to the open cubicles, employees can immediately access fully-open lounge areas. Credit: Tom Li

“This office was designed to…capture the essence of Canada and bring it in to inspire: inspire us for innovation and inspire ambitions for not only the current generation, but the next generation of business leaders,” said Peesker during the office tour with media. “We also built this facility to be at the heart of such a vibrant ecosystem, which is critical for every aspect of our economy.

“As we digitize, we pull together technology and infuse it into each industry, regardless of organization size or regardless of its private sector or public sector. It’s also here to support employees, it’s here to support customers, it’s here to support our partner ecosystem, and it’s here to support the community.”

Gladstone Grant, national director of solution sales at Microsoft Technology Centres, showcased some of Microsoft’s latest Innovations. Credit: Tom Li

In addition to employees and staff, the space will also host the Envisioning Centre and Microsoft’s Data Innovation Centre of Excellence (DICE). The two centres will allow Microsoft to more closely collaborate with customers, partners, and academia to innovate future solutions.

Students in the Microsoft Data Innovation Centre of Excellence explain their ongoing projects. Credit: Tom Li

Toronto Mayor John Tory joined the celebration with Microsoft Canada president Kevin Peesker. After touring the space and trying out several Microsoft innovations, he welcomed the company’s new presence in downtown Toronto.

Toronto Mayor John Tory welcomes Microsoft Canada's new headquater in his closing remarks.
Toronto Mayor John Tory welcomes Microsoft Canada’s new headquarters at the CIBC Square. Credit: Tom Li

“Part of it is to find ways in which we can make sure the downtown of the city, first of all, reflects that hugely important message of innovation and creativity, and commitment to those things,” said Tory.

Tory emphasized that attracting more talent to the downtown area not only bolsters the economy at scale but also revitalizes the thousands of businesses that were hurt by isolation efforts during the pandemic. Additionally, the mayor noted that it also helps to increase ridership on the Toronto transit system (TTC), which saw ridership dip to 30 per cent capacity during the pandemic.

Kevin Peesker and John Tory demoing the Microsoft Hololens 2, Microsoft’s augmented reality headset. Credit: Tom Li.

“Whether it is companies that are homegrown here, or whether it’s global companies that have been around for decades, we need them all here,” said Tory, highlighting Toronto’s diverse talent pool and investments that will shape Canada’s future economy. “I think the offices, and of course, more importantly, the people who work in the office are hugely important to our future success.”

Microsoft currently employs around 5,000 people across Canada.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT World Canada. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at tli@itwc.ca.

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