Shopify to invest up to $500M in Toronto expansion

Sep 28, 2018 | Biz/Tech

Brandon Maron

Shopify, the Ottawa based e-commerce platform, announced on Friday that it plans to develop its Toronto presence by injecting up to $500 million into expansion.

Shopify is a cloud-based, multi-channel commerce platform that allows merchants to design, set up and manage their stores across multiple sales channels such as web, mobile, social media and pop-up shops.

Its platform was released in 2006, and currently powers over 600,000 businesses in over 175 countries, generating a total of $72 billion since its inception. They currently employ just over 3,000 people across all of their offices.

Large companies like Nestle, Red Bull and Kylie Cosmetics use Shopify to manage their business.

With offices in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Kitchener and San Francisco, Shopify now plans to expand in Toronto take advantage of the city’s growing tech industry.

“We’ve sort of kept a low profile here until now,” Shopify’s CPO Craig Miller said in an interview before the company’s announcement of the deal Friday.

The company has been quietly adding staff to its office in Toronto, growing from 400 employees just a couple of years ago to 700 today. With the announced expansion, they plan on creating thousands of new jobs in the coming years.

“We’re talking about thousands and thousands that we’re looking to bring on in the Toronto area,” said Miller. “I think this gives Canada a really good shot at being able to push the envelope in terms of commerce and retail technology.”

The company announced earlier this month that they will be tenants of a new office space when The Well complex opens in 2022. The Well complex is a 38-storey building that is being built at the corner of Front Street West and Spadina Avenue.

On Friday, the Shopify confirmed that they will occupy a massive 253,000 square foot office space in The Well once it opens, with an opportunity to expand even more.

This push by Shopify to make a splash in the city’s tech scene can help propel both Toronto and Canada into the conversation of global technology leaders.