Advertisement
Style

Inside AOL Canada’s airy office, where a boardroom doubles as a yoga studio

By Samantha Sobolewski| Photography by Kayla Rocca
Inside AOL Canada's airy office, where a boardroom doubles as a yoga studio

WHAT: The Toronto offices of AOL Canada WHERE: The second, third and sixth floor at 99 Spadina Avenue HOW BIG: 20,383 square feet for 137 employees

Roughly three years ago, AOL Canada ditched their fusty Toronto digs at Yonge and St. Clair for a downtown office with exposed brick interiors, nap rooms, a balcony with a barbecue and a boardroom that doubles as a yoga studio. The three-floor office was designed by architecture firm HOK to be, above all things, super comfy.

AOL Canada’s main floor (the second floor of the building) is home to Huffington Post Canada. No one—not even AOL Canada managing director Brad Cressman—has their own private office, but staffers are encouraged to personalize their workspaces. Employees also have access standing Varidesks if they want flexibility with their desk and posture.

002A8993
002A8998

 

A visual staff directory greets guests in reception. Next to it is a wall dedicated to fun photos of employees. Right now, it’s a collection of shots of staff taken at various charities around the city for Monster Help Day, AOL’s company-wide volunteer day off. In the past, it’s been used as the “Wall of Same,” featuring snaps of employees accidentally wearing the same pieces of clothing into the office:

002A8968

 

In the middle of the floor is a boardroom that seats 16 for meetings. The space also doubles as a weekly yoga studio on Wednesdays, a meditation space on Thursdays and the occasional dance floor for office parties (the furniture is fully collapsible):

IMG_9029

 

Advertisement

Here’s another view of the space, when it’s converted to accommodate a (very on-brand) yoga class:

002A9089

HOK put a staircase in the middle of the room to connect the media and sales teams, who sit on different floors but which work closely together, so they don’t have to rely on the elevator:

IMG_9047

 

For breaks, a miniature library tucked underneath the stairs uses the take-a-copy, leave-a-copy system. There’s also a staff Xbox nearby, as well as a few board games:

002A8994

 

Advertisement

The staff kitchen on the third floor has breakfast cereals, Pop Tarts, oatmeal and granola bars so staff can start their days well-fed. A beer cart is pushed around the office on Fridays, often by a new employee (handing out free brews helps with introductions):

IMG_9055
002A9002

A mailbox mounted to a beam by the kitchen for employees to ask Cressman anonymous questions—no topic is off the table—which he addresses in a weekly newsletter. One employee recently requested better toilet paper in staff bathrooms:

002A9032

 

A bell next to the mailbox is rung whenever a sales employee finalizes a big deal:

002A9035

 

Advertisement

The sixth floor has another boardroom space, with 10 seats and plenty of natural lighting. It’s also home to the AOL Swag Store:

002A9072

 

Employees are free to use the top floor balcony space to work out, or enjoy a drink and take in the view of Oxley Street:

IMG_9094

NEVER MISS A TORONTO LIFE STORY

Sign up for This City, our free newsletter about everything that matters right now in Toronto politics, sports, business, culture, society and more.

By signing up, you agree to our terms of use and privacy policy.
You may unsubscribe at any time.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Advertisement
Advertisement

More Cool Offices

Great Spaces: A tech investor's home office that doubles as a studio for jam sessions
Style

Great Spaces: A tech investor’s home office that doubles as a studio for jam sessions