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Microsoft steps up investment in Canada with new Toronto headquarters

Microsoft logo at Ignite
Microsoft logo at Ignite (Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft's Canadian arm today announced that it plans to open a new headquarters in downtown Toronto as part of a "massive new investment in Canada." The company says it will begin relocation to the new building, located at 81 Bay Street, starting in September of 2020 (via Thurrott).

Speaking on the move, Microsoft Canada President Kevin Peesker stated:

Canada is increasingly recognized as a world leader in technology, and the investments we make today and in the future will help ensure that Canada continues to be a pillar of innovation. By moving our headquarters to downtown Toronto, we will be able to better serve our clients and attract the best talent to continue to drive innovation and growth for our Canadian customers and our vast ecosystem of partners.

Currently under construction, the new building will eventually cover a total of 132,000 square feet on four floors at the 81 Bay Street location. Microsoft says it expects the new headquarters to accelerate job growth by the time it opens, generating an estimated 60,000 new jobs based around the "Microsoft ecosystem."

Apart from the plans for the new building laid out today, Microsoft set out several other investments it plans to make in Canada in the coming years. Those include:

  • Grow staff of more than 500 full-time employees, with 500 additional co-ops / internships by 2022
  • Investing $ 21 Million in Azure Credits for Canada's Superglue Initiative
  • Invest $ 10 million over five years in the Cascadia Innovation Corridor, created between Washington and British Columbia, to create new economic opportunities.
  • Invest over $ 570 million over the next three years in capital assets across the country, including the relocation and expansion of the Montreal Research and Development Laboratory, the relocation of the Vancouver sales office , renovation and redesign sales offices in Ottawa , Calgary and Montreal, and the relocation of its Canadian headquarters.

The move follows other major expansions and openings Microsoft has announced over the course of the past year. Most notably, the company is giving its Redmond, Washington, campus a major overhaul, totaling the addition of 18 new buildings and 2.5 million square feet of office space. More recently, Microsoft opened up a new €134 million campus in Dublin, bringing to completion a project that took more than two years.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

8 Comments
  • Damn. That's just the next block up from my office. Thought I saw something going on there. 500 new jobs? Interesting..
  • Where the new Microsoft Canada HQ is gonna be is part of something called CIBC Square, which will also encompass new CIBC office towers, a new GO bus terminal plus a elevated park called Bay Park. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIBC_Square?wprov=sfla1
  • Wonder what they will do with the building they recently built in Mississauga? It is likely bigger than this and has an MTC and conference center.
  • Probably either lease it out for additional revenue or sell it off for additional funds.
  • The rumoured MS Store in Regent Street, London never materialized...
  • Where are they relocating from? Is there another site in Toronto area? And if yes, will this be an easy move for existing employees? And if it is a farther move, are they going to relocate people?
  • Most of their employees would rather be in a central downtown location with amenities rather than a suburban office park with nothing to do. It's a move a lot of tech firms are doing: moving from existing suburban locations back to the core. MS already did the same with offices in Ottawa and other cities.
  • Four floors and 500 people. Wow?