Google has had a presence in Kitchener-Waterloo area since 2005, but when they opened up their new engineering office there, even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau showed up to express his excitement and support. He also made it known that his government has promised to invest in the innovation and the infrastructure Canada needs to stay on the forefront of mobile and wireless technology. With the new facility, Google’s Canadian arm has signed a 10-year deal to occupy the 185,000 square foot building that will host more than 400 engineers. They will work on both hardware and software products for Google. The facility is part of a glass and steel building in downtown Kitchener and is part of a row of factories first built in 1902 – known as the Breithaupt Block – that were redeveloped into offices.
The tour of the facilities showed that while they have a Canadian influence (moose heads on the walls), they also have that inspirational Google look about the building. There was much fanfare and customer participation – such as the group of ‘junior coders’ that took part in a VR (virtual reality) demonstration. Even Prime Minister Trudeau took part in the VR demonstration in what is dubbed the ‘Google Canada Development’ headquarters. The new Google office, as do others, has a full-size climbing wall for employees to take a break and sharpen their minds. Speaking of sharpening minds, there is also an all blue library – complete with a fireplace, a large carved moose head above the mantle and even a secret room behind the library.
Google has their headquarters in California, but being an international company it behooves them to spread themselves around the world – close to its customers. It not only strengthens their ties with the country as they hire many people to work for them, but also increases sales as they endear themselves to its citizens. Some countries, like our northern brethren in Canada, has had a Google presence for years, but Google recently announced a new two million square foot office in Hyderabad City in Telangana, India where Google hopes to increase their Android presence. After viewing the new Google facility in Canada, we cannot wait to see this $160 million building in India.