By: Pat Kakar & Pam Team

Google Announces Major Canadian Expansion

Tags: property, residential , commercial , real estate


Tech Giant Plans to Triple Workforce, Open Offices in Toronto, Montreal and Waterloo

Google will more than triple its workforce to 5,000 employees in Canada by 2022 and has plans for three new offices in Toronto, Montreal and Waterloo, Ontario.

The technology company, which already has a workforce of 1,500 in the country after opening in Canada with one employee in 2001, has offices planned for 65 King St. E, a third building within Breithaupt Block in Waterloo just 100 kilometres west of Toronto and an office at 425 Viger Ave. W in Montreal.

"When Google looks to Canada, we see the potential of technology to drive business and change lives. We're committed to helping Canadians deliver on that potential," said Ruth Porat, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Google and parent company Alphabet, in a blog post about the expansion and new investments in the country.

Google released data to coincide with the announcement, which maintains that the company's search and advertising products helped generated about $23 billion in economic activity last year for more than 500,000 businesses in the country.

The study from Public First maintains Google's impact is the equivalent of about 1.1% of Canada's entire gross domestic product.

"Canada's digital economy is now bigger than its forestry, mining and gas industries, and the transition to digital reflects incredible momentum for Canadian businesses leveraging data and online technologies," Porat said in a statement.

Ruth Porat, Google's chief financial officer, said Canada's digital economy is bigger than its forestry, mining and gas industries. (Google)
Google also announced a $2.5 million grant for NPower Canada, a charitable organization aimed at helping underserved young adults establish careers. The grant will go toward scholarships.

The 400,000-square-foot lease at 65 King St. E is with Carttera Private Equities and will have the technology company occupy all 18 floors.

Dean Cutting, partner at Carttera, said 100% of the office floors of 65 King are now leased to Google.

"Our vision has always been to combine innovative office architecture and an employee-centric workplace design with a dynamic, forward-thinking organization," he said in a statement.

The building is owned by Carttera in conjunction with institutional co-investors: OPTrust, the Manitoba Civil Service Superannuation Board and the Investment Management Corporation of Ontario, which will be the long-term holders of the property.

Google’s space in Montreal, which has capacity for up to 1,000 employees, is being developed by Allied Properties REIT, which has plans for a 300,000-square-foot office building at the site. Allied said separately this week that the property at 425 Viger is 95% preleased, and Google is set to take five floors and 100,000 square feet.

Google's Montreal location is set to open this year. (Google)
In Waterloo, Google will locate in an 11-storey, 294,054-square-foot building, another Allied project.

Jenny Ma, an analyst with BMO Capital Markets, said the Google expansion could influence office demand, and she expects rents to rise in downtown Canadian office markets.

"Tech companies continue to be a key driver of office space demand in downtown markets across Canada, gobbling up space and bringing vacancy to nearly zero in Toronto and Vancouver," she said in a note to investors.