Shopify to open Vancouver office, hire 1,000 employees

Ottawa tech giant Shopify Inc. plans to hire 1,000 workers in Vancouver in the coming years for its new downtown office | submitted

What happened: Ottawa-based tech company Shopify plans to open its first permanent office in Vancouver by late 2020

Why it matters: The firm will be hiring 1,000 workers for the new R&D centre

Canadian tech giant Shopify Inc. (TSX:SHOP) has set its sights westward with plans to open a permanent office in downtown Vancouver.

The Ottawa-based company, known for offering entrepreneurs e-commerce platforms to sell their own products, says it will be hiring 1,000 workers in the city for its new research and development centre.

“The team will be shaping products from scratch to help over 1 million businesses around the world and their hundreds of millions of customers,” Lynsey Thornton, Shopify’s vice-president of user experience, said in a January 28 blog post.

“I was Shopify’s first employee in Vancouver and it’s always been clear to me that there’s a huge local talent presence here. What’s unique about our announcement is that we’re committing to building a top tier R&D team. This won’t be an office where career growth is limited. It’s our intention to build the best R&D team in the city.”

Thornton is leading the Vancouver post, which will be taking up four floors and more than 70,000 square feet at Four Bentall Centre on Dunsmuir Street.

The office is set to open in late 2020.

A spokeswoman working on behalf of Shopify said the 1,000-person roster would be built “over the next few years.”

Meanwhile, the company said in the blog post its own R&D spending increased more than 70% in 2018, and that it will be in the market for Vancouver-based backend developers, data engineers, mobile developers, web developers, product designers and product managers.

Shopify is at least the third tech firm so far this year to announce significant plans to expand in Vancouver.

Last week Silicon Valley’s Tipalti Inc. revealed plans to hire 50 workers in Vancouver by the end of the year for a new office set to open next month.

Mastercard Inc. announced the following day that it was investing $510 million — with $49 million in help from Ottawa — to launch a new cyber security centre in the city and hire about 300 workers.