Toronto Office Space Post Pandemic: Demand Starting to Increase

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CBRE Market View: Reestablishing the office on the road to recovery

Back in 2008, Toronto, like every other major city across the globe were hit with the financial crisis dubbed the Great Recession. Still, with well over 10 years to recover, some incredible investments in Class A construction and the rebuild of “brick and beam” space created strong interest in Toronto as a great place to set up or expand a business.

You could see finance, insurance, legal and a growing tech-hub move and expand to Toronto so their employees, who wanted to live in a big city, had the ability to take transit or ride their bike to the office and enjoy an incredible dining, arts and culture scene.

Unfortunately, this rapid growth and buzz of working in downtown Toronto came to a halt when the Covid 19 virus started a global pandemic and the work from home revolution became a reality.  

As the world is now starting to get back to a somewhat normal way of life thanks to vaccines, social distancing protocols, flex hours, and remote workspaces, the Toronto commercial real estate market endured some of the highest office vacancies rates of all time.


Lately, the office space lease numbers are on an upswing. More good news continues as IBM Canada announces a new office in Downtown Toronto. This new space will include an AI and hybrid cloud client showcase centre, collaboration spaces for use by both employees and clients, and space for IBM Garage, a globally recognized design approach to innovation and digital transformation. This space will be located at 16 York Street Toronto.

Recently CBRE, one of Canada’s largest commercial real estate firms released their Q1 2021 report which highlighted the Downtown Toronto core. Included in this report (which can be found here) is news about CIBC Square, a flagship development by Ivanhoe Cambridge and Hines completed construction in the first quarter of 2021 bringing 1,500,000 sq. ft. of Class A space to the Downtown Toronto market with CIBC being the anchor tenant. More info on CIBC square can be found here.


CBRE also reported Scotiabank renewed for approximately 560,000 sq. ft. at Scotia Plaza which represented one of the largest transactions in 2021 and reinforces Scotiabank’s commitment to the downtown core.

Pinterest, the image and idea-sharing software app company is moving into a huge new office space equaling 3 floors occupying 50,000 sq/ft of located at 85 Richmond St. West. This new office will be designed to promote collaboration and inclusivity. The entire third floor will be dedicated to open meeting spaces and foster a collaborative working environment.  

The downtown core of Toronto will be leading the road to economic recovery. If you are interested in expanding to the Toronto Region please connect with Toronto Global today!