Google continues to invest in Toronto and Waterloo, here's why you should too.
As Google's footprint continues to stretch across the globe, there is no better time for the heavyweight tech giant to up their Canadian presence than now. Google revealed Thursday that it will build three massive facilities; one being in Toronto at 65 King Street E, another in Waterloo, across from its current space on Breithaupt Street, and lastly in Montreal at 425 Viger Ave.
Once construction is complete, these new offices will accommodate 5,000 Google employees while Waterloo's location will exclusively serve as Canada's first Google Startup Accelerator. The move by Google to expand in the GTA and Montreal shows the tech sector here is globally significant in addition to the spokesperson for Google Canada's Engineering, Steve Woods, calling Waterloo one of the densest start-up ecosystems on the planet.
If you haven't been following the growing tech industry in the GTA, it might seem like Google has shown up on local soil out of the blue. However, they have been in Canada since 2001 with their first office in Toronto. Not to mention, Googe's sister company, Sidewalk Labs, recently reached an agreement with the Quayside Project to create the world's first technology-driven community along Toronto's Eastern Waterfront.
The GTA's tech scene has been expanding for several years but not without the help of the Federal Government. Initiatives like the Global Talent Stream have provided a number of tech offices with the support they need to keep expanding in Canada. According to recent reports, the tech sector is estimated to need 216,000 workers by 2021 which is why the Global Talent Stream initiative reduces work VISA applications from ten months to two weeks-- allowing some of the greatest minds from around the world to work at the forefront of companies like Google Canada. Not only is the sector creating local and international jobs, but it is also creating opportunities for real estate investors too.
Toronto alone added almost 80,000 tech jobs in the last 5 years, that's a growth of 54% and it has had an immense impact on real estate markets and the economy. The number of tech talent keeps increasing and at a pace more than twice the national average. Today’s tech workers are fueling innovation and adapting technology within non-traditional tech sectors, which is proven to increase productivity, and strengthen the national economy.
Federal and provincial plans like the 2006 Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and ToCore have been created through the use of extensive research and are updated almost annually. Each plan has prioritized job creation, community and economic growth and Google is one of the many global tech brands taking advantage of this rigorous planning.
According to the CBRE 2019 Tech Analysis, "the typical 500-person tech company needing 75,000 sq. ft of office space can expect a total annual cost (labour and real estate) to range from $29 million in Montreal to $60 million in the San Francisco Bay Area", meaning that it costs far less to establish tech offices here in Canada.
So let’s take a minute to take stock:
- Google is investing in real estate and opening up shop here in the GTA-- at a fraction of the cost of opening an office back home in the U.S.
- The Canadian government has established initiatives to accelerate the employing process through programs like the Global Talent Stream.
- Google will bring 5,000 high-income earning tech jobs to Toronto, Waterloo and Montreal by 2022.
- An additional 216,000 tech workers needed by other employers by 2021.
If you are a real estate investor wondering where to invest next, a good idea is to invest where Google invests.
There are a number of pre-construction condos going up within a 5 km radius of their new offices, in areas these workers will be vying to live. And based on the previously mentioned analysis by the CBRE, "if we were to compare the annual average apartment rent with annual average tech-worker salary, tech salaries generally can cover the cost of living in even the most expensive markets, based on the affordability standard of 30% of income to housing".
Check out the maps below to find pre-construction condos going up next to Google's new office in Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo.