Microsoft announces significant investments in Canadian presence


Microsoft Canada announced plans to create a new headquarters in downtown Toronto, and investments totalling $570 million into the company’s Canadian presence.

The office is set to open September 2020 on 81 Bay Street, and will comprise 123,000 square feet over four floors. Microsoft has had a headquarters in Canada since 1985, which is currently located in Mississauga.

In addition to the new office, the global tech has committed $570 million in developing fixed assets across Canada, including the relocation and expansion of its research and development lab in Montreal; relocation of its Vancouver sales office; and the renovation and redesign of its Ottawa, Calgary, and Montreal sales offices. Microsoft opened its R&D lab in Montreal after the acquisition of Maluuba in early 2017.

Other notable planned investments include:

  • $21 million in Azure credits to Canada’s Supercluster initiative.
  • $10 million over five years into the Cascadia Innovation Corridor—which sits between Washington and British Columbia—to create new economic opportunities.
  • Growing staff by over 500 full-time employees, with an additional 500 co-ops and internships by 2022.

Currently, Microsoft employs more than 2,300 employees across Canada. The company also noted that since 2015, it’s brought $111 million in Azure credits into the startup ecosystem by supporting 5,700 startups, and donated over $178 million in cash, software, and technology services to Canadian non-profits.

“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,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “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.”

Microsoft claims that the investments it is making in Canada could account for more than 60,000 new jobs in the Canadian tech ecosystem (including that of the company’s partners) by the time its new headquarters opens 2020.

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Freelance tech writer. Former BetaKit News Editor.

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