Workspace of the Week: Inside Canada Goose’s Museum-Like Waterfront Office in Toronto
For a decade, Canada Goose had called a sprawling manufacturing facility in north Toronto its global headquarters. During that time, the company grew rapidly, opening over 50 retail stores, launching new categories like footwear and knitwear, and surpassing $1 billion in annual sales for the first time in 2022. Even after a few expansions and renovations, it became clear that they had outgrown the place—both in terms of space and style.
Canada Goose started exploring a move before Covid hit, but eventually signed a deal for four floors of a shiny new downtown waterfront building in the summer of 2022. CEO Dani Reiss loved the prime location and thought the state-of-the-art, platinum LEED–certified building would be more reflective of Canada Goose’s status as a global maker of luxury goods. Plus, it’s not far from the company’s very first warehouse that Reiss’s grandfather opened more than 65 years ago, back when the brand was called Metro Sportswear. “It feels like a full circle moment to bring our brand back to where it all began,” says Reiss.
Staff were involved in the design of the new space through surveys, focus groups and individual meetings. After an intensive year designing the office with Toronto-based architecture and interiors firm M Moser Associates, the Canada Goose team finally moved in June this year. Everyone signed the outside of one of the brand’s Snow Mantra parkas (allegedly the warmest winter coat in the world) in permanent marker to mark the occasion, which will soon be on display at the new office.
The aesthetic of the space is inspired by the brand’s Arctic wilderness roots with walls printed in Northern landscape photography, rugs with patterns that mimic snow-covered mountains and an illuminated ceiling in the reception area designed to look like the Northern Lights. Creative inspiration was important, too: Wandering the halls, employees encounter museum displays showcasing various parts of the brand’s history and an impressive collection of art from Indigenous creators like visual artist Ningiukulu Teevee and sculptor Couzyn van Heuvelen.
Functionally, the new workspace facilitates collaboration. There are 52 small focus rooms (for up to two people), 17 huddle rooms (for up to four people) and a grand total of 36 boardrooms, which can accommodate anywhere from four to 20 employees. With 500 staff members and counting, these spaces were much needed. Plus, Canada Goose is still keeping parts of its old office, and using it as another space to design, sew and store their endless collections of outerwear, apparel and accessories.
The workspace is full of other amenities to foster well-being, like a library, nursing room and yoga space with monthly classes. Even so, Reiss says the location has been his favourite part of the office so far. “It creates a different type of culture I can see people are enjoying,” he says. He notices people are leaving the office to grab lunch, commuting in together and taking offsite meetings now that it’s more convenient to nip out to a chic café or meet external brand partners at their own downtown offices. “I feel a renewed sense of energy when I walk the floors.”
One of the company’s goals is to be as sustainable as possible—its current motto is “keep the planet cold and the people on it warm”—and aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2025. To help with this, the building’s roof is outfitted with solar panels, and cisterns collect rainwater and groundwater for reuse. Inside, fixtures are energy-efficient, from low-water toilets to responsive sensor lights. And the downtown location helps achieve this, too: “We wanted the space to not only have sustainable policies but to also champion a sustainable lifestyle,” says Reiss. The location scores extremely high on all walk, bike and transit measurements, and there’s even an on-site bike service run by the building that lets cyclists get regular tune-ups and repairs while they work.