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Toronto CRE Turns To Wired Certification To Future-Proof Offices

WiredScore's William Newton, Avison Young's Amy Erixson, Uber's Elizabeth Callahan, Ivanhoé Cambridge's Charlie Musgrave, Cadillac Fairview's David Hoffman and WiredScore's Phil Kanfer speak at a panel on WiredScore and the future of the Toronto office market.

Toronto’s growing prominence as a global tech capital has landlords and developers looking for ways to ensure their offices can keep up with the demands of a digital economy. Dubbed the Silicon Valley of the North, the city's tech workforce has increased 33% between 2011 and 2016, according to a CBRE report.  

The startup scene is not the only sector transitioning to digital services. As businesses of all types depend on technology, reliable internet infrastructure has become an office requirement

To better understand how companies use technology in the workplace and assess the quality of internet connectivity in their office spaces, WiredScore commissioned Addison Research to conduct a survey of 200 office workers in the Greater Toronto area. 

The survey revealed that reliable internet remains a significant issue for businesses across all sectors. Connectivity issues affected 90.5% of office workers, with 48.5% experiencing issues several times per month. Internet outages or poor connectivity negatively impacted 95% of workers' companies. 

“Toronto is a top North American tech destination and one of the most dynamic commercial real estate markets in the world,” WiredScore founder and CEO Arie Barendrecht said. “We are excited to bring the importance of connectivity to the forefront of the conversation and to partner with Toronto’s landlords and developers to improve and promote connectivity in commercial offices.” 

WiredScore CEO and founder Arie Barendrecht announces the first Wired Certified buildings in Canada at the Wired Certification Toronto launch event.

The rise of software as a service, or SaaS, and cloud products have increased the need for a reliable connection. Despite the intensive use of technologies in the workplace, Toronto’s professionals regularly encounter connectivity issues. Internet outages prevented 41% of employees surveyed from working.   

Connectivity issues have become a significant part of the office search process. Reliable internet is a priority for 92.5% of workers surveyed. More respondents categorised quality of internet connection and coverage through mobile networks as more important than location, price, proximity to public transit or environmental friendliness. 

Toronto landlords and developers Cadillac Fairview, Ivanhoé Cambridge, Canderel, Menkes, Hines, Kingsett Capital, Bentall Kennedy, Alberta Investment Management Corp. and Hullmark are the first CRE leaders to sign up for the launch of Wired Certification. Wired Certification is a commercial real estate rating system that empowers landlords to understand, improve and promote their buildings' digital infrastructure.

The system, which started in New York City in 2013, is operational in the U.K., France, Germany, Ireland and now Canada. More than 4 million tenants in over 1,000 buildings globally rely on Wired Certification as the benchmark for internet.

A majority of Toronto office workers said 75% to 100% of their job is done online. The near-total dependence on digital connectivity makes future-proofing offices an immediate necessity for the city’s continued growth and expansion

To read more findings, download the “Digital Connectivity in Toronto” report. To learn more about this Bisnow content partner, click here