Employers Chase Top Talent In Toronto

Posted by Alex Wilson on Wednesday, July 24th, 2019 at 9:00am.

In the last blog we listed some of the buildings being developed in Toronto’s core. This week we’re taking a closer look at the companies moving in. These companies have high paying jobs that are going to be employing the individuals that will be renting or purchasing your investment properties.

Who's Moving In?

Think Research will be an anchor tenant in a building called The Shift at 25 Ontario Street. They are a leading digital health care platform provider and are moving their headquarters into this building, occupying almost 90,000 square feet with over 500 staff members. The CEO has accredited the exponential growth they’ve been experiencing to being based in Toronto.

Shopify, a massive e-commerce company, will be moving in at Spadina and Front with a 15 year lease for 434,000 square feet. This will bring hundreds of well-paying jobs, such as developers, analysts, designers, and product managers. They’ve mentioned that the best part of their global impact is that it originates from North America’s fastest growing tech centre and multicultural city in the world, Toronto. Index Exchange, a global advertising marketplace firm, will also be moving into the same building taking about 200,000 square feet. They’ve said that though they’ve grown at a rapid place globally over the last few years, they’re commitment to Toronto hasn’t wavered. 

Scotiabank will be moving into the north tower of the Bay Adelaide Centre. They’ll be taking over 400,000 square feet, which is over 50% of the building, for 15 years. Fun fact, this is also where the show “Suits” is filmed. 

Universal Music will be relocating into a cool new wood beam structure at 80 Atlantic Avenue. They’ll be taking 40,000 square feet of this already fully leased building with their staff of 150 people. Universal will be using the ground floor which will include recording facilities and a hub for artists as well. The Canadian music scene has really been growing over the last 10 years with artists like Drake, Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, The Weeknd, who gave all worked with Universal, and will become a hub for upcoming artists as well. Then we have CIBC, one of Canada’s largest banks, will be located at 81 Bay Street as the primary tenant taking 1.75 million square feet, which is 60% of the leasable space. They’ll be consolidating approximately 15,000 staff from several of their other CIBC tenement buildings in the Greater Toronto Area. Though both companies may not cause an net increase in jobs, there will be a concentration of jobs into the core of the city which will still benefit us as condo investors. 

TD Bank will be moving into 160 Front Street, taking abut 840,000 square feet over 33 floors. They’re focusing on creating a free range, open concept campus experience to reimagine the working experience for their employees and colleagues. The Ontario Teachers Pension Plan will also be relocating their head office from North York to this building. Though the name may sound boring, the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan is one of the largest investors of infrastructure around the world.  HSBC, another financial services company, will be occupying about 115,000 square feet over 6 floors at 16 York Street. 

The interesting aspect with these high paying jobs is that these employees tend to work very long hours, busy schedules and want to live close to work to reduce hours of traveling in traffic. For example, I have a client who works for a company moving their office space into the same building at 16 York Street. He’s currently located in a suburban area outside of the city and is looking for a “crash pad” close to work to accommodate for late work nights or for when he wants to catch a Raptors game. It simply isn’t feasible for him to deal with the heavy Toronto traffic going in and out of the city on a daily basis. Another great opportunity for condo investors in Toronto’s core. 

Boston Consulting Group, a large management consulting firm, will be filling 85,000 square feet for its Canadian headquarters with over 300 employees. Another significant investment management company moving into this building is AGF Management Limited taking almost 100,000 square feet. They’ve mentioned that, though they know that this move represents significant changes, they saw that this location would meet the needs of their business and employees.

Microsoft, one of the largest software companies in the world, will be relocating their headquarters from Mississauga to downtown Toronto. They’re investing 570 million dollars into this new space and will actually be adding net gain as they’ll be adding about 500 more full time employees and 500 more interns by about 2022. They see this office creating around 60,000 jobs.

LCBO will be filling 200,000 square feet of the building located at 100 Queens Quay, at Sugar Wharf, and the Toronto Regional Board of Trade will be taking 90,000 square feet in the same building. Moving to 130 Queens Quay East, Daniels, the actual developer of this building, will be moving its headquarters there. Core Architects will be taking 20,000 square feet for their 85 person team in this building as well. They’ve said that the playfulness of the waterfront combined with the creative inspirational space within the development will give them the workplace balance imperative to their firm’s success. House of Cool, a leading animation studio, will also be located in this development. They’ll be using about 240,000 square feet for post-secondary educational space, adding not only employees to the downtown core, but students as well.

The Waterfront Innovation Centre at 125 and 155 Queens Quay East, WPP, a multinational advertising and public relations company, will be moving 19 offices that are currently scattered across Toronto under one single roof. That’s about 2,000 employees and taking 260,000 square feet. 

If the Sidewalk Labs development gets built, it will be the site for the new Google Canada headquarters and they are looking to create 44,000 direct jobs as part of that development, and 93,000 total jobs including all the spin off and indirect jobs. They want to transform this area into a global hub for urban innovation, which is very exciting.

Hudson Properties has just announced that they will be building a $3.5 billion dollar mixed use complex. This development will be located north of the Toronto Roger Centre and the CN Tower. It will be 4.3 million square feet over 4 acres and includes two large office towers at 58 and 48 stories. They’re definitely betting on the increasing demand for offices in the city’s booming technology and financial services industry. This development would be similar to the Hudson Yards development in New York City. You’d have the office towers mentioned above, 800 residential rental units, and a public Rail Deck Park space. 

Looking Back

Let’s take a look at which companies have already moved into Toronto’s core that you may recognize.

Starting with Apple, who moved downtown several years ago to 120 Grand Boulevard. SAP opened a new Canadian headquarters in 2018 on Bay Street and Tim Hortons moved their head office from downtown Oakville to King Street. Postmedia Network moved from Don Mills to 365 Bloor Street East a couple years ago, Coca Cola moved from East York to downtown Toronto. Deloitte consolidated 7 offices they had across the GTA to Adelaide. Visa, PWC, Tensing, Colliers, Cushman, and Wakefield have all opened new downtown Toronto offices in the last couple years. 

Making Big Moves

We’re seeing a huge trend of companies in construction, real estate, finance, professional and technology services, IT, and even a little bit of manufacturing, moving to Toronto’s core. The main reason being consolidation of their operations to better serve their customers and clients. Another trend continuing to come up is collaboration, especially around technology. Companies want more accessibility to universities, innovative new tech startups, and different incubators throughout the city. And of course, creativity and growth are the driving factors for many of these companies.

With so many massive companies moving to the GTA, along with thousands of new jobs coming to the city, people are going to want to easily access these new developments and the rest of what the city has to offer. Living near work makes it easier for their day to day but also allows infinite opportunity to network and participate in more events. 

This blog was to show you all the people coming into the city that will need a condo to rent in a city with very limited residential developments. People are coming to Toronto because it is Canada’s city of opportunity. When you're making the investment in the residential aspect of real estate you’re making a bet on yourself that you can’t lose. 

Interested in investing? You know I’m here to help you achieve your goals. Email me at contact@alexjwilson.com or you can give me a call/text me at (416) 996-5181.We’ll work together to make your real estate dreams come true in helping you build generational wealth and financial freedom.



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