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Google plans to keep growing and hiring here in Kitchener

Last Updated Oct 22, 2017 at 8:00 pm EDT

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes part in a virtual reality demonstration at the new Google Canada Development headquarters in Kitchener, Ont., on Thursday, January 14, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

One of the key jewels of our Region’s tech sector is staying put.

Google Canada is moving its current Toronto Canadian headquarters to another spot in that city and tells 570News this move will not impact the company’s engineering operations based in downtown Kitchener.

Google Canada will be the anchor tenant of a new development — by its sister company Sidewalk Labs — to transform Toronto’s eastern waterfront into a digital technology hub.

It says Google’s Engineering operations in Kitchener are not part of the move. A recent Toronto media report had mentioned a move down the 401.

“I think where the confusion came from is that what they’re moving there is their corporate headquarters,” says Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “Their [Kitchener engineering headquarters] will continue to be here and will continue to grow, with more staff planned to be hired in the months ahead.”

A spokesperson with Google Canada said in an email the Sidewalk Toronto project will only affect their current Toronto office, and not “impact our growing engineering presence in Kitchener-Waterloo.”

“If anything, I think what this speaks of is the strength of the Toronto-Waterloo Region corridor as an entity,” Vrbanovic says. “So that companies that have headquarters on both ends of the corridor can move people to both ends.”

Vrbanovic adds he thinks the optics of this are good for getting Amazon to take us seriously.

“This corridor is very much becoming a super-cluster in terms of tech and innovation,” says Vrbanovic, “and I think that makes companies like Amazon and others think that this is very much a place that they want to be in.”


* This article was updated.