The financial district loses another big-name company to the south core

The financial district loses another big-name company to the south core

So long, financial district? (Image: Tyler. Chris Tyler)

The Globe has dug up a little more evidence that the financial district’s centre of gravity is slowly shifting south. The paper reports that Sun Life Financial is moving out of the King Street West skyscraper that has been its head office for three decades in favour of a new building on York Street, near the waterfront.

The Globe says Sun Life will be taking a one-third stake in the $375 million building, which it plans to move into in 2017. The company will get 300,000 square feet of space out of the deal (as opposed to the 150,000 it will be vacating on King). It expects to save money in the long run, because new buildings are typically more energy efficient and less maintenance-intensive than older ones.

And Sun Life will be in good company. The so-called “south core” is already home to a handful of financial-district refugees, including Telus and PwC. RBC’s new building is in the works. More than one trend piece has been written about the southward shift, which is seemingly being driven at least partly by a desire to lure talented young employees with swanky new office spaces.

All of this new construction is happening despite analyst predictions that the supply of vacant office space in Canada will exceed demand within one or two years. And why not? New-building smell, a nice lake view, plus proximity to some of Toronto’s better dim sum and the option of scalping a quick Jays ticket after work all seem like good enough reasons to drop a few hundred million on a one-kilometre move, if you’ve got the money to spare.