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Microsoft Canada announces new headquarters in Toronto

Microsoft Canada's new headquarters will be located at 81 Bay Street. Google Maps.

Microsoft Canada is building a new base of operations downtown Toronto that will lead to 60,000 new jobs and even more collaboration with partners, the technology company announced today.

“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 Kevin Peesker, president of Microsoft Canada, in a statement. “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.”

The new 132,000 square-foot headquarters – still under construction – is expected to open its doors September 2020, and will span four floors of the new CIBC Square on Bay Street. Microsoft’s Canadian subsidiary has been headquartered in Canada since 1985, and in recent years, opened two data centres in Toronto and Quebec, an innovation hub in Vancouver and an artificial intelligence lab in Montreal.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau credited the federal government’s Innovation and Skills Plan for the Microsoft Canada’s latest announcement.

“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,” Trudeau said in a statement.

Toronto Mayor John Tory described the city as a desirable home for major corporations such as Microsoft.

“[Toronto] is a magnet for companies from around the world,” Tory said after the announcement. “I think it says the combination of the homegrown firms and the startups that we’re so proud of and have created so many jobs, that’s an appeal, and so are the talented people. I think the whole thing will mushroom into something that’s even bigger and better for everybody.”

In addition to today’s announcement, Microsoft Canada says it intends to grow staff by more than 500 full-time employees with an additional 500 internships by 2022. The company says it also plans to invest $21 million in Azure credits to Canada’s Supercluster initiative, in addition to another $10 million over five years into the Cascadia innovation corridor, formed between Washington and British Columbia. Lastly, over the next three years, Microsoft Canada says it will invest more than $570 million in fixed assets into the 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.