Inside Shopify’s Toronto office (where there’s an all-dogs-allowed policy)
WHAT: E-commerce company Shopify’s marketing and product divisions
WHERE: A 100-year-old brick-and-beam building at King and Spadina
HOW BIG: 35,600 square feet over two and a half floors (plus a new 6,000-square-foot rooftop patio) for a staff of 160
When employees start at Shopify, first-day orientation includes meeting the office dogs (there are several), playing a game of Ping-Pong and, most importantly, getting barista training on the professional grade La Marzocca espresso machine. Staff rave about the catered lunches from restaurants like Khao San Road and Ravi Soups, full-breakfast Tuesdays (eggs, bacon, toast, the works) and the rotating selection of craft beers on tap. (They also complain about “the Shopify 20”—the phrase they use to describe how much weight they gain in the first few months on the job.) MSDS Studios designed the space for maximum flexibility: the tables in the cafeteria can slide away to make room for events, and all the desks and couches can be rolled around to suit whatever happens to be going on—whether it’s a big group project or a surreptitious nap (though that’s discouraged via the aforementioned barista training).
Visitors check in at reception via iPad. MSDS integrated elements of Shopify’s main business—retail—into the design.
The wood-slatted walls are meant to evoke shipping containers.
Employees eat for free in the cafeteria, catered from local restaurants Monday to Thursday.
For snacking, the place is well stocked with Doritos, Diet Coke, Clif bars, Skittles, M&Ms and other junky brain fuel.
All of the breakout rooms—there are 35 in total—were named by employees. The ones upstairs are famous villain’s lairs (Los Pollos Hermanos, Bowser’s Castle, etc.), while the ones downstairs are named after homes of the good guys (the Bat Cave, the Fortress of Solitude, etc.)
The rec room, just off the lounge, has guitars for the plucking.
“Almost everything that’s not chained down is on wheels,” says Satish Kanwar, the company’s product director and the point person on the renovation.
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Previously, this post stated that Shopify's Toronto office houses the company's marketing and sales divisions. It actually houses its marketing and product divisions. The information has since been updated.