According to a U.S. consulting firm that did a study to find what cities have the highest office space rates, they that the Toronto and GTA (Greater Toronto Area) is fast becoming Canada’s most expensive place to operate corporate headquarters. Like most major Canadian cities, Toronto faces a shortage in Class A commercial office space. The vacancy rate in downtown Toronto is only 4.5% compared to 8% national average. This should change as there is a good deal of new office towers under construction.
Many years ago, large North American companies had their Canadian corporate headquarters in Montreal office space, but moved them to Toronto. Now, Toronto office space for lease is getting out of reach in terms of cost and availability for new firms looking for corporate headquarters. Large companies are not looking to move their headquarters away from Toronto, but some other cities and communities are still looking for ways to woo them away or at least attract the corporations that are considering Toronto as a location for their corporate headquarters.
While Toronto is also very affordable by global standards, Toronto office space is still quite high-priced by North American standards. Yet, large multinationals that would have to choose between New York, Toyko, London or Toronto, would find that Toronto office space is the best deal for them. With a high Canadian dollar, and incentives being offered by cities south of the border, some companies (even Canadian companies) are starting to look into cashing in on these incentives. Some of the attempts have worked and have successfully attracted Direct Energy and Hot Brands to move their headquarters to the USA.
One benefit of having a downtown Toronto office space is that with the increasing number of condo developments in the city core, companies are finding that a lot of their workforce is looking to live and work downtown. Many downtown dwellers are also choosing to give up their cars and SUV’s in favor of bicycles, public transit and the occasional car rental. This has increased the membership in care services like Zip cars and Auto Share. The newest car service to come to Toronto is Car2Go – you may have seen them parading their fleet of Smart Cars around the city this summer.
Another trend for large businesses that want a presence in Toronto (while only having minimal office space and less overhead) is to open an office in a Toronto office business centre like those offered at Telsec Business Centres Inc. and other Alliance Business Centres around the world. The company can maintain a downtown Toronto office space for rent at a business center for a few employees for a fraction of what it would cost them to have a traditional office space. They simply have office space Toronto for executives and sales staff who deal face-to-face with clients and customers in Toronto, while all the administrative functions and administrative staff remain at the head office.