On February 6th, 2020, Google announced the expansion of its presence in Canada with plans to build three new offices in Montréal, Waterloo and Toronto. The news coincides with the launch of new research about Google’s impact on the Canadian economy along with significant funding for digital skills programming for Canadians.
Google’s Growth in Canada
In 2001, Google opened its first Canadian office in Toronto. Nineteen years later, Google employs more than 1,500 people including engineers, game developers, sales leaders and AI researchers. Google has a long history of investing north of the border. By 2022, Google’s Canadian offices will accommodate up to 5,000 employees.
Google’s Growth in Québec
Google planted its roots in Québec over a decade ago when it opened its downtown Montréal office in 2004 with three employees. By the end of year, Montréal-based software developers, game developers, sales leaders, AI researchers and Cloud experts will move to 425 Viger West.
The new Viger space, which will have capacity to welcome up to 1000 employees, will span across 5 floors. Each floor, by way of interior design, will pay homage to Montréal by reflecting the essence of five of the city’s most beloved neighbourhoods – Little Italy, Le Village, Le Plateau, Chinatown and Old Port. A Google Montréal logo in comparable calligraphy to the iconic Farine Five Roses sign will adorn the reception area walls – greeting team members and visitors upon arrival.
Googlers in Montréal work on some of the most visible and influential work Google does:
- Safe Browsing – Montréal is one of the most avant-garde cities in terms of cybersecurity, an area that 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 – Just last year, Google recognizing the abundant talent-pool in Montréal chose the vibrant city to establish its very first Stadia gaming studio. This tech-forward, AAA-grade studio will live within the Viger space. And, as of now and through 2022 hundreds of new opportunities will become available within Stadia with the goal to build a team which will help propel gaming experiences to new heights.
- 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. Externally, Google has granted over 4.5M$ 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 which powers the business of some of Québec’s most beloved brands.
Google’s Economic Impact in Canada
Google’s investment in Canada extends beyond its growing offices. New data illustrates how Google is helping Canadian enterprises of all sizes unlock the prosperity of the internet. According to research released today from Public First, Google’s search and advertising products helped generate an estimated $23 billion CAD in annual economic activity for more than 500,000 businesses in Canada last year alone – a total impact equivalent to approximately 1.1 percent of Canada’s entire GDP.
“The open web allows any size company or individual creator in Canada to become a global business and reach customers ,” says Ruth Porat, Senior Vice President and CFO at Google. “Canada’s digital economy is now bigger than its forestry, mining and gas industries, and the transition to digital reflects incredible momentum for Canadian businesses leveraging data and online technologies.”
Google for Startups Accelerator Launch
As part of today’s announcements, Google will also be launching the first Google for Startups Accelerator in Canada. The Accelerator will be based in Waterloo, and will be Google’s 12th accelerator globally. Google has been working with Canadian founders and ecosystem partners to invest in their potential so more Canadian startups can grow, scale and reach global success.
Investing in Canada’s future workforce
To help Canada’s workforce leverage the opportunities presented by digital technologies, Google.org is also announcing today a $2.5 million grant for NPower Canada, a charitable organization that launches underserved young adults into meaningful and sustainable careers. The grant will go towards scholarships for the IT Support Professional Certificate and the IT Automation with Python certificate, to equip Canadians with in-demand tech skills to land new jobs in Canada’s booming digital economy.
Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation and Minister Responsible for the Lanaudière Region:
“Economic development and growing wealth are among the Québec government’s priorities and these objectives will be achieved by strengthening innovation, boosting exports and increasing foreign investment in this province. The opening of this Google office in Montréal, which will have capacity to welcome up to 1,000 employees, is extremely heartening news. Earlier in December, Québec Premier François Legault met with company executives at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View to praise all that Québec has to offer in terms of artificial intelligence and video gaming. Québec is an innovative society in the midst of rapid technological boom and has, once again, been able to attract one of the biggest players in the world.”
“Since Google’s arrival in Montréal more than a decade ago, they have become a key part of the Montréal ecosystem, steadily growing their footprint and identifying our city’s core strengths,” said Stéphane Paquet, President & CEO of Montreal International. “With the launch of Chrome Security, Google AI and Deepmind, Google has helped amplify two major Montréal industries: cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. Most recently, Google announced the arrival of Stadia Games, an original games studio in Montréal. Moreover, Google is committed to helping grow Montréal’s tech ecosystem and talent pool. They have partnered with local start-up organizations to increase opportunities for networking through their Google for Startups program; worked with all levels of school to help educate and expose the next generation to tech industry opportunities; and they actively help attract talent to the city. Google carefully considers expansion decisions and we are proud to see they have decided to grow their teams in Montréal, Toronto and Waterloo. Google is an important part of any world-class ecosystem and we look forward to working with them to continue strengthening Montréal and Canada’s tech ecosystems.”
About the Economic Impact Report
Google commissioned Public First to estimate the economic activity generated by Canadian businesses, content creators and developers that use Google services. Estimates of the economic activity are based on top-down and bottom-up approaches to provide a reasonable range of potential impact given publicly available data and Google’s privacy policies. The estimates in the study are based on data for the twelve month period between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019, and are referred to as 2019 estimates.
Source : Montreal International
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