Inside Slack’s new Toronto location, with a La Croix–stocked fridge and weekly massage therapy

Inside Slack’s new Toronto location, with a La Croix–stocked fridge and weekly massage therapy

What: The workplace communication platform’s Toronto office
Where: Three floors of the Quality Knitting Building at Queen and John
How big: 22,000 square feet for 23 people

By facilitating fewer meetings and giving daily compliments (niceties such as “You look nice today,” appear on-screen when users log in), it’s easy to see why three-year-old Slack already counts more than 50,000 companies as clients. The Vancouver-started, San Francisco-based brand recently set up its eighth global shop in Toronto, inside a former textiles factory. Like most of their locations, the company decided to highlight the history of the building rather than stack the place with tech-office staples like video games and scooters.

Slack worked with Dubbeldam Architecture and Design to create a space that plays up the platform’s pro-chat purpose, encourages productivity and—most importantly—has room for their rapidly expanding staff. Dubbeldam used “threads of communication” as the overarching theme, stringing colourful yarn between rooms and upholstering the entranceway walls in rows of felt. The mood is kept modern with vibrantly coloured nooks and streamlined lighting, while cozy lounges and a staff photo wall create a homey atmosphere—all without a single Ping-Pong table in sight.

The design team stripped back a lot of old features—except in the reception area, where they lined the back wall and ceiling with felt. The screen displays any positive feedback about Slack found on social media:


They kept the original flooring, but added carpet under the desks for acoustic purposes, and zig-zagging LED light fixtures above. All of the desks are standing-sitting, and the company switches around workstations every so often so that new employees get to know everyone:


Semi-private booths are used for casual meetings over coffee from a rotating roster of local roasters like Hale and Pilot:


Employee wellness is super-important to Slack. Perks include weekly massage therapy from Soothe, subsidized monthly gym memberships and up to $2,500 per year to spend on professional development. Staff work reasonable hours (“It’s not a competition to see who can stay the latest,” says one employee) and there are also plenty of healthy snacks and drinks on hand:


Board rooms are named after knitting fabrics. The largest is called “Jacquard”:


Offices that used to surround the edge of the space were turned into meeting rooms or lounge areas:


Here’s another one:


Half of the space is currently unoccupied. This floor will eventually hold the main kitchen and meeting area:


Staff take selfies with their teams and any visitors that drop by, and hang them on the wall:


Here are some of the colourful thread patterns that line the walls:


The massive logo is made out of tiny wooden pegs that can be rearranged to read anything:

Photograph courtesy of Slack