Google will open a new Montreal office along with two other new offices in Toronto and Waterloo as part of a planned Canadian expansion.
Moreover, the company’s new Montreal office at 425 Viger Ouest will be able to house 1,000 people. With a current staff of about 200, that means Google could feasibly bring on 800 new hires as it fills out its Montreal real estate.
Google opened its first office in Québec over a decade ago in 2004 with three employees. The move to the new office is expected by the end of this year. Those moving will be software developers, game developers, sales leaders, AI researchers and Cloud experts.
The new Viger space, which will have capacity to welcome up to 1000 employees, will span across five floors.
The interior design on each floor “will pay homage to Montréal”. They’ll do so by “reflecting the essence of five of the city’s most beloved neighbourhoods”. They are: Little Italy, Le Village, Le Plateau, Chinatown and Old Port.
It will also sport a Google Montréal logo with similar font from the Farine Five Roses sign.
Google currently employs more than 1,500 people in Canada, including engineers, sales leaders and AI researchers.
Per CTV News, Google’s interest in Canada comes as the country is experiencing a tech office boom. Shopify Inc. said last week that it will open its first permanent Vancouver office in 2020. There it has plans to hire 1,000 people. The Ottawa-based e-commerce company announced last year that it will lease about 23,597 square metres of space at The Well complex in Toronto.
Meanwhile, Mastercard and the federal government will partner to open the Intelligence and Cyber Centre in Vancouver. Storytelling platform Wattpad will bring an office to Halifax. And finally, Amazon Inc. will bring its first fulfilment centre in Quebec — and 12th in the country — to Montreal’s Lachine neighbourhood by the end of 2020.
What Google Montreal works on, and what will continue or change:
Safe Browsing – Google says Montréal is a leading city in terms of cybersecurity. This area affects all business sectors, including higher education, banking, health technologies, aerospace and video games. Several Québec universities have developed programs intended to meet this growing demand for digital security professionals. Google’s Safe Browsing team in Montréal provides one of the most crucial services the company offers worldwide – it protects over 4 billion devices worldwide each year sending well over 250M security alerts monthly.
Stadia – Last year, Google chose Montreal to establish its Stadia gaming studio. The AAA-grade studio will live within the Viger space. Google noted that as of now and through 2022, “hundreds of new opportunities will become available within Stadia.”
Google AI – The local Google AI team is led by one of the most respected minds in the AI space, Hugo Larochelle. “Under his supervision, Marc Bellemare, Nicolas Le Roux and Danny Tarlow are just some of the world-recognized talents focused on promising work in areas such as of reinforcement learning – tackling challenging, high-dimensional decision-making problems, and few-shot learning – looking into methods that could reduce the gap between how quickly humans learn concepts compared to machines,” wrote Google.
Google has granted over $4.5 million to eight faculty professors across a number of Montreal academic institutions through Mila and plans to continue supporting the AI community in the short and long term.
Cloud – Montréal is the only Google Cloud Region in Canada, noted Google.