Shopify expands to accommodate 100 new hires

Courtney Symons
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When Shopify moved into the Market Organics building at 126 York St. in 2011, the company had about 60 employees that filled the second floor and part of the third storey.

Harley Finkelstein, Shopify's chief platform officer.

The local e-commerce platform provider kept on hiring, and expanded into the former Capital Music Hall space in November 2011. That added 5,000 square feet to Shopify’s existing office space of 12,500 square feet.

By the end of 2012, the company was up to 145 employees

But that growth hasn’t slowed down, and the company is quickly running out of space – especially since it plans to have 250 employees by the end of 2013, according to chief platform officer Harley Finkelstein.

“We keep outgrowing our space,” he said. “It’s a really good problem to have.”

That’s why the company just took over the remainder of the third floor of 126 York St., with renovations currently taking place so that Shopify can move in within the next few weeks. The additional 7,500 square feet on the third floor will bring the company to a total of 25,000 square feet.

The space was previously occupied by Magmic Games, which consolidated its offices onto the fourth floor where it was also leasing space. The floor also previously housed Storm Internet, which recently relocated to Courtwood Crescent, as well as some other small businesses that moved to new offices, Mr. Finkelstein said.

Adding on the additional floor space likely makes Shopify one of the largest tenants in the ByWard Market, he said. Though the company will continue to grow, it has no plans on leaving the downtown area.

“It’s a necessity for us to stay in the Market,” he said. “It’s a big part of our culture. We want to provide a certain lifestyle for our staff.”

He said he continues to notice more and more tech companies moving into the area, which further cultivates the downtown tech startup community.

“It’s great because you go into a coffee shop and you see a bunch of guys who are hacking and hustling,” he said. “It creates a really great environment.”

Shopify currently has 18 job postings on its website – further evidence that the company plans to keep growing. Mr. Finkelstein said he is also looking to hire 25 gurus, or internal e-commerce experts, to the team.

The new space will be used for offices and meeting rooms, and will adopt the quirky, eclectic vibe within the rest of the Shopify office.

On Wednesday, the company hosted its first internal annual general meeting for staff members at the Ottawa Convention Centre.

“The people we want to explain and provide our vision to are our staff,” Mr. Finkelstein said. “For some reason, most companies don’t do that. They discuss it with their investors. But the guys that are there every day, day in and day out, pushing Shopify forward – those are the people we thought really deserve to know what’s happening.”

Organizations: Ottawa Convention Centre

Geographic location: York

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Recent comments

  • Dave Marsden
    February 01, 2013 - 18:31

    I don't get the lifestyle comment... Shopify offers their employees free meals so the employees are kind of obliged to eat and stay in their offices (because it is free or because it is provided to them) so how is residing in the Byward Market a Lifestyle choice for the company. You might as well be in Kanata...