Google’s ongoing commitment to Québec

To read this blog post in French, please click here.

Today we are announcing our intention to acquire property in Beauharnois, Québec. Upon completion of various conditions and receipt of government approvals, Google will be able to use the property for a future data center facility.

This will be an important addition to our long-standing presence in Québec. We planted roots in the province in 2004, with our first downtown Montréal office and only three employees. Nearly two decades later, our new Viger office space will have capacity to welcome up to 1000 employees when construction is complete. We look forward to welcoming back our Montréal-based software developers, world class cybersecurity team, sales, Chrome and Cloud experts, as well as our AI researchers.

Our support of digital innovation in Québec doesn’t stop at our own offices. Google Canada has been a long-time partner in the world-leading artificial intelligence ecosystem in Montréal. Just last fall, we renewed our relationship with Mila - the research institute with the largest concentration of deep learning academic researchers in the world. In addition to collaborating on research projects, Google has donated 3 million USD over three years, to fuel the important work Mila does, for the benefit of all Canadians.

By 2030, we aim to run our entire business on clean electricity every hour of every day. As one of the world’s largest producers of hydropower, Québec is an important region for helping us achieve this ambitious sustainability goal. 

“I am very proud to announce today a future major project for the region. Here, in Beauharnois, once the proposed project commences, it is estimated to generate well-paid jobs, both during construction and in the operation of the future data center. The growth of a company the scale of Google in Québec confirms our status as one of the world’s most dynamic and greenest technology hubs,” said Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation.  

Based on industry standards for data center builds and our own experience, once construction begins on a data center, that construction phase at its peak can provide work for 300-500 people and ultimately an operational data center can employ dozens of people, at least 20-30 in skilled roles. And upon completion of all necessary conditions and receipt of government approvals for this specific site, and in line with similar investments we have made elsewhere in North America, we anticipate our initial investment for the new data center would be around $735 million CAD ($600 million USD).

Every day, demand for Google services is increasing and our physical infrastructure follows the same rhythm. Once acquired, this site in Beauharnois will ensure we have options to expand our data center infrastructure into Canada, when our business requires it.