Technology company IBM officially opened their brand new downtown Toronto office this week with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Mayor John Tory. The new three-storey office space, located inside 16 York Street in Toronto's entertainment district, spans a whopping 63,000 sq. ft and will be a new home base for hundreds of IBM employees.

Previously, IBM operated four Toronto-based offices, but announced last year that they would merge at the new York Street location. With employees working from home and virtual work environments having become the new norm, former IBM Canada President Claude Guay said at the time that transitioning to a hub design with flexibility became a priority.

As to be expected from a technology company, the office space is outfitted with innovative, high-tech features including an AI and hybrid cloud client showcase centre, and a space for IBM Garage -- a multidisciplinary collaborative framework used by IBM to enable high-speed innovation. The space is also equipped with Internet of Things sensors to allow for easy monitoring of how spaces are used and gathering building maintenance data.

IBM TorontoBen Rahn/A-Frame

Ibm employee cafe and loungeBen Rahn/A-Frame

Employee wellness and engagement were at the forefront of the design, with a variety of gathering spaces created for employees to take meetings, talk with coworkers, or even play a game of pool. There's also a meditation room, a nursing room, gender-neutral washrooms, and a reflection room.

"The new workplace was designed in response to the needs of employees, many of whom contributed their input on the ideal working environment," said Charbel Safadi, business transformation services leader - consulting for IBM Canada. "We prioritized the creation of a safe, open, flexible workspace that prioritizes collaboration -- with many choices of break-out spaces, meeting areas and dedicated focus rooms. By providing multiple work setting options and a focus on purpose-driven activities, employees are empowered to decide how and where they want to work, further supporting IBM’s flexible return-to-work model."

Ibm employee cafe loungeBen Rahn/A-Frame

IBM TorontoBen Rahn/A-Frame

Since announcing the new office space, the company has been on a hiring spree, filling roughly 800 GTA-area jobs in the past six months alone -- well above the initially anticipated 500 new employees that IBM announced it intended to hire last June.

"We have a 100+ year history of innovation here, thanks to the extraordinary talent that Toronto has long attracted," Safadi said. "Creating a modern new experience for both employees and clients is a great way to capitalize on the growing opportunity as firms invest in AI and cloud technologies. Bringing together the Toronto-based IBM employees who can develop those solutions alongside our clients benefits both our clients and our teams."

Ibm showcase cafeBen Rahn/A-Frame

IBM TorontoBen Rahn/A-Frame

Tory praised the hiring efforts following the ribbon cutting event, tweeting, "This is a vote on confidence in our economy and testament to the returning energy of our downtown core. As we rebuild from the pandemic, this office will help create new jobs and foster new industry opportunities for our city."

Ibm reception cafeBen Rahn/A-Frame

Ibm meeting space plex collage brandingBen Rahn/A-Frame