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Inside Uber’s new Toronto Engineering Hub, with indoor mini putt, e-scooters and kombucha on tap

By Jean Grant| Photography by Gabby Frank
Inside Uber's new Toronto Engineering Hub, with indoor mini putt, e-scooters and kombucha on tap

What: Canada’s first Uber Engineering Hub Where: Five floors of an office tower at Bloor and Church Size: 80,000 square feet for over 250 employees

Uber’s gigantic new Toronto office is more than just a satellite space to house local employees. It’s one of 10 Engineering Hubs around the world, and it’s more like a north-of-the-border flagship that rivals the brand’s Silicon Valley headquarters in terms of perks and design. Employees at the new space will expand Uber’s engineering department and build up the brand’s back-end systems so that new modes of transport like bikes and e-scooters can be instantly rolled out when they’re ready. Each floor is branded in LED-backlit logos, with a decor scheme full of stylish matte-black details and playful pops of colour. The standard start-up hallmarks have gotten a makeover, too: instead of just beer and ping pong, there’s also kombucha on tap, indoor mini putt and a tricked-out meditation room with medicine balls and Muse headsets.

Staff moved in over a few weeks last summer. The lobby is on the highest floor of the building (Uber occupies floors 12 to 16). Uber has an internal design team based in San Francisco, who worked with B+H on the design. The aesthetic choices included introducing a more vibrant colour palette than Uber’s previous monochrome space at King and Dufferin:

Inside Uber's new Toronto Engineering Hub, with indoor mini putt, e-scooters and kombucha on tap

 

The 16th floor is also home to the office cafeteria, which serves a catered lunch every day. The menu was Greek-inspired when we visited, with beef and chicken souvlaki, grilled vegetable and tofu skewers, braised potatoes and garlic-steamed broccoli.

Inside Uber's new Toronto Engineering Hub, with indoor mini putt, e-scooters and kombucha on tap

 

While blending a smoothie in a Vitamix, employees can ogle Uber’s championship trophies from the Extreme Toronto Sports Club:

Inside Uber's new Toronto Engineering Hub, with indoor mini putt, e-scooters and kombucha on tap

 

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The bar, called “U-bar” has fridges full of wine, beer on tap and all the fixings for a caesar:

Inside Uber's new Toronto Engineering Hub, with indoor mini putt, e-scooters and kombucha on tap

 

Up here is also where the games are kept. There’s ping pong, foosball, mini putt and a video game lounge:

Inside Uber's new Toronto Engineering Hub, with indoor mini putt, e-scooters and kombucha on tap

 

Plus a box full of board games like Cranium and Anomia:

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Inside Uber's new Toronto Engineering Hub, with indoor mini putt, e-scooters and kombucha on tap

 

This is where the office holds global all-hands meetings every week, which get streamed in live from San Francisco. Every floor also has a quote from a famous Canadian. This one is by Michael J. Fox:

Inside Uber's new Toronto Engineering Hub, with indoor mini putt, e-scooters and kombucha on tap

 

An internal staircase connects the top three floors:

Inside Uber's new Toronto Engineering Hub, with indoor mini putt, e-scooters and kombucha on tap

 

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Each floor has its own mini kitchen:

Inside Uber's new Toronto Engineering Hub, with indoor mini putt, e-scooters and kombucha on tap

 

There are flexible working hours, which means staff can come and go as they please. Though the place is open-concept, there a numerous soundproof booths for taking private calls:

Inside Uber's new Toronto Engineering Hub, with indoor mini putt, e-scooters and kombucha on tap

 

Staff are encouraged to write what inspires them on a chalkboard wall in this lounge area:

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Inside Uber's new Toronto Engineering Hub, with indoor mini putt, e-scooters and kombucha on tap

 

There’s no shortage of trendy neon signage:

Inside Uber's new Toronto Engineering Hub, with indoor mini putt, e-scooters and kombucha on tap

 

Here’s one of Uber’s dockless e-scooters, which were rolled out in a few cities earlier this year:

Inside Uber's new Toronto Engineering Hub, with indoor mini putt, e-scooters and kombucha on tap

 

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A library functions as a quiet place to get some work done. It has a gas fireplace:

Inside Uber's new Toronto Engineering Hub, with indoor mini putt, e-scooters and kombucha on tap

 

The wellness room has everything you need for a peaceful meditation or mid-afternoon stretch session:

Inside Uber's new Toronto Engineering Hub, with indoor mini putt, e-scooters and kombucha on tap

 

After, you can grab a kombucha on tap:

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Inside Uber's new Toronto Engineering Hub, with indoor mini putt, e-scooters and kombucha on tap

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