Inside Facebook Canada’s colourful, art-filled office

Inside Facebook Canada’s colourful, art-filled office


What: Facebook Canada’s HQ
Where: The 12th floor of the Mars Discovery District’s west tower
How big: 20,000 square feet for 75 employees

At the end of April, Facebook Canada ditched its Yonge and Eglinton digs for the environmentally friendly Mars innovation hub at College and University. The sprawling new workspace, designed by the San Fransisco–based architecture firm Gensler, is more than twice the size of Facebook’s previous office, and lined with 15-foot floor-to-ceiling windows that provide a panoramic city view. It’s a serious upgrade for Canadian employees, whose quirky-cool headquarters (funky murals! a ping pong table! hoverboards!) now rival the social media giant’s New York or Silicon Valley offices.

Despite working long hours, the staff stay in peak mental and physical condition thanks to height-adjustable desks for standing or sitting, breakout rooms stacked with meditation pillows, daily catered vegetarian breakfasts and lunches, and occasional mornings off to go for a run or take a yoga class. Instagrammable spaces are everywhere—a printer activated by a secret Instagram hashtag event allows employees to print fresh shots and hang them on a designated wall.

The kitchen can be easily transformed into a 200-person event space when the company hosts community functions (like a recent party for top Toronto Instagrammers):


Local caterer Toben Food by Design provides daily breakfasts and lunches, served in the Maple Leaf Garden Cafe. Here’s what was served on the day of our visit:


The snack station isn’t too shabby, either. In addition to a wide roster of sweet and savoury bites, there’s a juicer for fresh-squeezed OJ:


The hockey penalty box is regulation-sized, and is stocked with jerseys, helmets, sticks and pucks (though apparently no one has given themselves a self-imposed “time-out” yet):


The company collaborated with four Toronto artists, selected from the Facebook Artists-in-Residence program, to create original works for the new space. One of them, Justin Broadbent, painted all the office’s pillars, including this one:


Three members of the Montreal art group En Masse painted this piece, which spans two walls and a ceiling. They completed it with zero planning in about 12 hours:


The phone booth, painted by local artist Uber5000, was one of the few items brought in from the company’s old office:


Breakout rooms are named using distinctly Canadian cultural references, like “Hotline Bling” or “Degrassi Junior High.” This one’s particularly relevant at the moment:


The office is LEED Gold–certified. The workstation pods, which have six desks apiece, are based on the Frank Gehry–designed pods in Facebook’s Silicon Valley office:


Staff celebrate work anniversaries (what they call “Faceiversaries”) with balloons. This one is for managing director Jordan Banks:


Here’s the selfie station, next to a private, functioning phone booth from the brand’s old office:


The office has 14 conference rooms, plus plenty of communal space for chatting, brainstorming—and hanging out with Big Bird:


This breakout room features a mural by Toronto artist Bareket Kezwer (of the #365DaysofSmile project) that represents the company’s belief in work-life balance: staff are encouraged to take downtime to fuel up or make use of the meditation pillows on the floor:


This is where employees hang memorable Instagram photos printed using that top-secret hashtag:


Everyone who visits the office is invited to write something on Facebook’s wall (we were sure to leave our mark):


Even Kathleen Wynne:


More of Toronto's coolest offices