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Inside PayPal’s new office, with communal bikes, cold brew on tap and catered lunches four days a week

By Jean Grant| Photography by Teddy Chau
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What: PayPal’s Canadian headquarters Where: The fifth floor of the Mars West Tower at College and University How big: 7,800 square feet for 25 employees

With a digital payment system that moves about $10,000 every second, PayPal is a massive corporate player. But its brand-new Toronto office channels a trendy startup vibe, and practically everything in the space is sourced from Toronto-based brands (who also happen to be PayPal merchants, of course). The move to the Mars tower was sparked by a desire to be physically closer to their customers, and with neighbours like Etsy and Airbnb, collaboration will certainly be a breeze.

The new digs are something of a status symbol for the nearly 20-year-old company, whose graffiti-splattered space is now filled with everything (Office bikes! Ping-Pong!) a choosy millennial worker could want. Staff, who have been working in the Toronto Stock Exchange building for the past year, are thrilled with the spacious corner plot’s natural light and panoramic views of Queen’s Park—and they definitely don’t complain about the free Station cold brew on tap and tasty catered lunches. “It’s all about the cool factor,” admits general manager Paul Parisi.

Most of the units in the West Tower are similarly designed, with open-concept layouts, sustainable lighting, floor-to-ceiling windows and incredibly high ceilings. Designer and architect LSC Design added playful touches wherever possible, like these bold hashtag logos. Ontario-grown flowers delivered weekly from Tecumseth Street florist Wild North bring the outdoors in:

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Walls and pillars are decorated by local street artists, including Jimmy Chiale who painted the abstract mural along the main wall. All artists were asked to incorporate PayPal’s values of innovation, inclusion and collaboration within their work:

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Victor Fraser, the chalk artist who’s responsible for the Alphabet on the Danforth, designed all of the pillars:

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Staff receive free breakfast on Wednesdays, and a catered lunch by Urbery four days a week. (The spread here, however, was for a press event):

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Most of the furniture, including ergonomic standing desks and chic sofas, was sourced from Toronto’s Steelcase. The bikes are communal, so staff can go for a spin around the city whenever they like:

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Breakout rooms are named after tiny Canadian towns with quirky names like Bacon Cove, Saint-Louis-Du-Ha! Ha! and Horsefly:

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