The physical work environment as we know it has entered a Pandemic-driven state of flux.
A renewed emphasis on employee flexibility and wellbeing—largely powered by Covid’s mass hybrid-work movement—is somewhat at odds with the timeless wisdom that virtual alternatives cannot replace the real thing, whether it’s collaboration, creativity, or productivity.
This wisdom has not yet been proven false.
Who can forget all-important company culture, which paves the way for such things as collaboration and productivity? Established firms may have cultures that can survive a transition to the digital realm, but newer companies seeking to cultivate fresh corporate culture know it’s harder to achieve online.
And of course there are still people who simply prefer to work in an office setting, at least part-time, for a plethora of reasons.
Firms continue to establish offices throughout Canada. Why? They act as permanent physical anchors for talent and innovation, fuelling regional ecosystems. Hubs don’t exist without them.
And given that all of these hubs involve the hiring of local talent, TechTalent.ca has highlighted some of this year’s new corporate expansions to celebrate the growth of innovation in Canada.
Nokia R&D in Ottawa
Nokia Canada is transforming its Ottawa offices into a world-class research and development hub. The company intends to significantly expand its current tech centre in Ontario in order to advance next-generation information and communications technology and cyber security innovation.
Nokia Canada plans to begin site construction in 2023 at its 26-acre campus at the Kanata North Business Park and expects to open the new facility in 2026.
“Nokia is helping to drive Canada’s tech leadership,” stated Nokia CEO Pekka Lundmark. “This world-class, sustainable R&D hub will be one of Nokia’s most dynamic developments—and I’m proud that it will benefit the people of Ottawa also.”
The new R&D hub will secure Canada’s position as a leader in the digital future by broadening Nokia Canada’s expertise in 5G, cyber security, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, as well as accelerating growth in cloud software and enhancing digital identity management and security for devices connected to critical networks, according to a statement from Nokia.
The transformed campus is expected to enable Nokia Canada to grow its Ontario-based team by more than 300 positions to 2,500—most of which will be based in Ottawa. Co-op and intern positions for university and college students in STEM fields will also increase and participants will gain access to cutting-edge lab space and equipment.
Globant Expands to Canada
The global tech firm has opened its first Canadian office in the city of Toronto. According to Globant, this new business hub will consolidate the footprint of Globant in North America, where the company has seven offices in the US and four offices in Mexico.
Over the next three years, Globant plans to invest more than USD$20 million in the country. Part of this investment includes recruiting 200 professionals in Toronto with backgrounds in the latest technologies, including AI and machine learning, data analytics, and blockchain.
John Tory, Mayor of the City of Toronto, said that Globant will be able to “benefit from the highly skilled technical talent, booming business ecosystem, and competitive economic advantages the region offers.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Globant’s globally-renowned, digital-first company to our city, and know the company will be a perfect fit for the diverse, innovative, and committed spirit of Toronto,” Mayor Tory stated.
This year, Globant was certified as a “Great Place to Work” in every country to which it applied, including the United States, Argentina, and India.
Ripple Opens Engineering Hub
San Francisco blockchain and crypto company Ripple this year announced plans for a new office in Toronto that will serve as a key engineering hub.
The new office will be Ripple’s first in Canada.
“Crypto and blockchain present an incredible opportunity for engineers to tackle difficult problems, with the potential for these solutions to impact the movement of value around the world,” stated Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, in June.
“We are continuing to scale and invest in our business by expanding our presence globally with our first office in Toronto,” he added.
Ripple has ties to the Toronto community through its University Blockchain Research Initiative and working with universities and colleges such as the University of Waterloo and Toronto Metropolitan University.
PointsBet Sets Up Headquarters
Located in downtown Toronto steps away from the centre of the Canadian entertainment industry, PointsBet Canada has opened new headquarters to anchor local operations. The office will serve as an innovation hub, maintaining a focus on product development and technology recruitment moving forward.
“Our mission since the very beginning has been to build a Canadian sportsbook, with Canadian employees, for the Canadian market,” said Scott Vanderwel, Chief Executive Officer of PointsBet Canada. “We believe that Ontario has the talent and workforce that can help us be at the forefront of iGaming in Canada.”
PointsBet Canada made a “sincere commitment” to the Canadian market with partnerships rooted in Canadian sport, including Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, the Ottawa REDBLACKS, NHL Alumni Association, and Curling Canada.
Over the past year, PointsBet Canada has continued to grow and invest in Ontario. It is now home to over 50 employees who directly support the company’s business in Canada, as well as the larger global technology team.
“PointsBet Canada is not just talking the talk, we’re walking the walk,” said Nic Sulsky, another chief executive at PointsBet Canada. “Whether it is supporting the sports and teams that are synonymous with Canada’s identity or investing in the jobs of tomorrow, we are Team Canada and proud to wear the maple leaf.”
Sanofi, Quincus, and More
Other recent tech space launches in Ontario include the Artificial Intelligence Centre of Excellence from Sanofi, an AI research hub for Quincus, and an engineering office for global marketplace Faire.