Inside the star-studded opening of the Netflix Canada headquarters
Ted Sarandos, Justin Trudeau, and stars from Stranger Things, The White Lotus, Ferrari, Never Have I Ever and more raised a glass to 10,000 square feet of premium CanCon
On Tuesday evening, a who’s who of Canadian screen talent joined Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to toast the opening of Netflix’s Canadian office. Located in the upper reaches of The Well—the shiny megalith at Front and Spadina that houses media brands, tech start-ups, restaurants, retail outlets and some 1,700 residential units—the new office covers 10,000 square feet and finally gives the super-streamer a physical foothold in the Canada. For Netflix, which has filmed productions in eight of Canada’s 10 provinces, it was an overdue development.
Canadian-themed cocktails (like the Sucre Royale—maple syrup, rye, cider—or the Arctic Mule—vodka, ginger beer, lime) in hand, guests listened to a panel discussion featuring young Canadian actors Maitreyi Ramakrishnan of Never Have I Ever, Anna Cathcart of the upcoming series XO, Kitty and Connor Jessup of Locke & Key. The trio discussed their affection for homegrown creators and their creations—as Ramakrishnan put it, “Canadian stories are so sick!”—and the radical transformation Netflix brought to their lives. Ramakrishnan, who went from high school student to international star virtually overnight, remains humbled by the experience. “Even today, here, I’m like, Why did you invite me? Did everyone else say no?” she said.
“You feel surprised to be here?” joked interim Toronto mayor Jennifer McKelvie—who was thrust into the role in the wake of John Tory’s sex scandal. “Think how I feel.”
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Later, Sarandos took the stage. Canada, he said, is a wonderful place to be. And, while he gets credit for Netflix’s steady stream of hits, he found the number of cranes dotting the Toronto skyline far more impressive. “[That] shows me the person really getting the job done is the minister of economic development,” he said, pointing to Vic Fedeli. Sarandos echoed Ramakrishnan’s enthusiasm for Canadian stories, praising local crews, casts and facilities for contributing to Netflix’s success. “I look forward to more,” he said, raising a glass to the packed room.
Below, the best scenes from the event.