Shopify announces $500 million presence in Toronto real estate development
Canadian e-commerce giant Shopify Inc. will announce that the company is making an investment of up to half a billion dollars as the anchor tenant of The Well, a new real estate development in downtown Toronto.
Shopify vice-president and GM of channels Satish Kanwar told the Financial Post that the investment represents a statement about the company’s commitment to Canada, and how they plan to remain a foundational part of the Toronto tech industry.
Toronto’s technology sector is extremely hot right now, with CBRE Group Inc. listing the city as the fastest-growing hub for tech jobs in Canada and the U.S — beating out Silicon Valley.
Earlier this week, at the Elevate tech conference in Toronto, CEO Tobi Lütke alluded to Shopify’s role in driving that trend, as an “anchor” tech company, but Kanwar was even more direct about it.“It definitely took Shopify to kick things off,” he said.“I don’t think any other major technology player can say that they’ve invested as much as Shopify has into the success of the Toronto ecosystem in that same timeframe.”
Shopify is headquartered in Ottawa, but has offices in Montreal, Waterloo and Toronto, as well as international operations in San Francisco, Germany and Lithuania.
Shopify’s core business is providing e-commerce services for online merchants, but in recent years it’s been expanding to provide essentially a retail dashboard for merchants, supporting shipping, customer service, advertising and other services.
Currently in Toronto they have three offices, but early next year they will move into a 178,000-square-foot space at 620 King Street West. But beyond that, Shopify is also planning to become the anchor tenant at The Well, a seven-building development project at Spadina Avenue and Front Street, just a few blocks from the King Street location.