TD’s technology hub to innovate banking

 Photo by Jessica Dik

Photo by Jessica Dik

TD Canada Trust is bringing banking to the next level as it turns its attention to innovative technology that will provide their customers with better digital experiences. Those developments in technology will be happening right here in the Waterloo Region.

The TD Tech Centre had its grand opening on Oct. 22 and is set to bring 120 new jobs to the Region. The goal is to turn the centre into a space for the development of the future of banking.

“The hope is that we’ll continue to attract talent who really want to be part of the bank of the future and really help us create great experiences for our customers,” explained Jeff Martin, senior vice-president and chief information officer, direct channels technology solutions at TD.

Martin explained that they connected with Communitech a year and a half ago to tour the space as they were interested in what kinds of innovation and technology were grounded in the Region.

“We decided when we were there that it made sense for TD to create a technology outpost and really build what is the TD Lab in Communitech,” Martin said. “That really got us engaged in the Waterloo community.”

Following this decision, they toured facilities in the area to find an appropriate location, landing at 55 Columbia Street. Following renovations, they had employees working in the building by September.

While TD has tech facilities in a handful of locations in Ontario as well as one in Montreal, the Tech Centre is the first of its kind.

“The facility itself is really the first time we’ve designed something from the ground up thinking about a developer and software development, and building great digital experiences,” Martin said. “We were a little bit more visionary in where we wanted to go with this space.”

Beyond its tech culture, Martin said another reason for picking Waterloo was its proximity to Toronto. This will allow them to access a new range of talent located in the region while still being close to their headquarters.

“I think it’s a testament to our business and our technology background that we have here from an education standpoint, that TD is coming all the way to our area to invent the future of banking,” said Dave Jaworsky, mayor of the City of Waterloo.

Jaworsky pointed out that TD’s decision to come to Waterloo indicates a possible reinvigoration of the finance and insurance industry in the region.

He explained that in the 1950s, Waterloo was referred to as the Hartford of Canada because a number of major insurance companies were located here. This is the next step in that heritage.

“The days of brick and mortar are sort of the current status,” Jaworsky said of businesses. “But having virtual businesses with some people is what’s going to be the future and that’s what they’re going to invent here.”

By this time next year, they are aiming to have hired 120 employees at the Tech Centre. They will be actively recruiting these employees throughout the year.

Martin said the grand opening last week went well and had a particularly good turnout from students. Those in attendance were able to participate in a challenge involving engineering paper airplanes.

“We had a lot of great conversations with TD executives and hiring managers and students,” Martin said.

Martin continued that he is excited to start seeing their collaborative space get put to by larger teams.

“For me, personally, it’s actually getting a good cohort of people into the facility and seeing our mobile development team and our web development team working in that collaborative space.”

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