As you may already be aware, Cockroach Labs has had a presence in Toronto for several years. Today however, we’re happy to announce that we’ve signed the lease for our first dedicated Toronto office at 33 Yonge Street. We’re very excited about this milestone, as it's the culmination of a lot of hard work we’ve been doing in the city over the last few years.
Cockroach Labs has always had a deep connection to the Toronto area. Two of our earliest employees were Torontonians who graduated from the University of Waterloo. Since then, a significant number of our engineering interns and new grads have been from the area or have gone to University of Waterloo (or both!).
While these early employees worked out of our NYC headquarters, it was only a matter of time before someone chose to return to Toronto to work here longer term, and that’s exactly what happened in 2019. The Toronto office had its humble beginnings as a private office inside a WeWork, staffed by two new grad database engineers with occasional visitors from New York. The co-working setup worked best for our small scale at the time, and was flexible enough to meet our evolving need for space in Toronto.
A year after opening, the office (by then a virtual office because of the pandemic) had grown to 5 full-time employees. Around that time, our current site lead, Adam Storm joined us (you can read more about his decision here). And now, one full year later, our team is much larger, and growing rapidly.
We realized pretty quickly that this growing team needed a permanent home, which we’re announcing today!
The team in Toronto is focused on building the best distributed SQL database the world has ever seen, and as a result, most of us are software engineers. That being said, we’ve got a diverse team in Toronto that works on all areas of CRL’s software stack. This includes people who maintain our managed service - CockroachCloud, keep our developer infrastructure up and running, as well as make our database more resilient, reliable, and observable. Maintaining a broad team here in the city allows us to deal with a vast array of issues locally, while still maintaining close connections to our other development hubs (New York and San Francisco) for larger initiatives.
While we’ve got a great team right now, we’re not resting on our laurels. We have a mission to grow the presence in Toronto significantly, and hope to double the team over the next 12 months. It’s for this reason that we’re in a space large enough to accommodate this growth, while at the same time allowing us the opportunity to host community events where we discuss the work we’re doing locally, as well as host guest speakers from the broader database community.
Additionally, our proximity and connections to local universities such as the University of Waterloo and University of Toronto will continue to be a great asset to our company-wide recruitment efforts. Interns are critical to Cockroach Labs’ success, and we've hosted sizable (and growing!) numbers of them since our earliest days. When life returns to normal after the pandemic, we expect to give interns the choice to work from our NYC office, the Toronto office, or fully remotely, if that’s most convenient for them.
Cockroach Labs has reimagined the future workplace experience with the aim to create a long term, scalable, distributed workplace model. The model will be centered around three employee location classifications (full-time in office, part-time in office, fully remote) that establish meaningful connections and community, giving employees the freedom and flexibility while inspiring productivity, collaboration and focus. When sourcing space in Toronto, the team focused their search on a space that would complement this new flexible workplace model.
The space that the team landed on, and will be occupying in the Fall following the completion of a premium fit out, is a spacious suite that’s centrally located in downtown Toronto - just steps from Union Station. This will make us one of a rapidly-growing number of tech companies that are south or east of Toronto’s financial district, and will put us one train ride away from the majority of Greater Toronto’s population, and its largest airport.
The space itself has large windows on all four sides, which bathe it in natural light, and give us a view of Yonge Street and the Santiago Calatrava-designed Allen Lambert Galleria. With collaboration a key focus of the new workplace model, there are ample opportunities to connect for events and meetups including a large multi-use town hall area, food service space, library and a variety of soft seat working areas.
Now that the city is gradually opening back up, we’re looking forward to the days in the near future where we can welcome you to the office at a meetup or community event. Of course, there’s always an opportunity to visit before then. If you’re passionate about databases, love living in Toronto, and are interested in joining our team, drop us a line. We’d be happy to give you a tour of the office when you stop by for your interviews.
Interested in our open roles? We're hiring in Toronto and elsewhere. Check out our open roles here.