Toronto will play an integral role in building the Metaverse.

Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, is developing an engineering hub in the city that the tech giant estimates will create 2,500 jobs over the next few years. In a news release, the company stated that recruiting has already begun.

Toronto’s Meta hub will develop what the firm refers to as “extended reality experiences and Meta technologies.” Meta is also establishing its first WhatsApp, Messenger, and Remote Presence engineering teams in Canada, with an eye on growing its Canadian Reality Labs and AI Research teams.

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Additionally, Meta announced that 17 Canadian research labs are eligible for $510,000 in grants towards helping build the metaverse, a digitally immersive social experiential platform that will, among other things, advance economic opportunities.

Meta already has four offices in Canada that employ hundreds, and given the country’s emergence on the global technology scene, the company draws from a deep pool of talent.

“Canada is poised to have a critical role in building for the next evolution in social technologies, so we plan to help further establish the country as a global leader in this effort,” the news release said.

Meta also declared that it is investing in the Canadian tech ecosystem in the near future, “from opening Meta’s AI Research Lab in Montreal and Reality Labs Research hub in Toronto to the funding of high-performance computing capability for the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research’s chair in AI research. As we’ve built out the Reality Labs Research teams in Canada over the last several years, we have spent more than $30M with local suppliers. In addition, we’ve committed nearly $1M of unrestricted funding to Canadian universities from coast to coast.”

The announcement follows the recent launch of the Canadian Web3 Council, which has the goal of establishing the metaverse industry in Canada, and helping companies collaborate with all levels of government. A number of organizations active in the metaverse have representatives on the council, including Aciom Zen, Wealthsimple, and ETHGlobal. It's the first official organization of its kind in the country, advocating "for responsible public policy and trust framework to unlock the development and growth of Web3 in Canada." It remains to be seen whether Meta will participate.