Suncor making big move into Calgary

Some of the 700 working in Ontario offices will be transferred west to a “more efficient, effective and integrated” location by 2021

Western Investor
October 27, 2020

Cutline: A Suncor heavy hauler in the oilsands. | Suncor Energy
— Cutline: A Suncor heavy hauler in the oilsands. | Suncor Energy

Calgary-based Suncor Energy will move the headquarters of its downstream operation, which includes Petro-Canada, from Ontario to Calgary over the next year, the energy giant announced October 27.

“ The decision supports work to ensure Suncor remains competitive for the long term and we see an opportunity for our downstream business to be more efficient, effective, and integrated with the rest of Suncor,” said Sneh Seetal, head of Suncor communications in an email to Western Investor. “The driver of the relocation is an effort to see better integration with the rest of Suncor – our headquarters are [in Calgary] and so it makes sense.”

There are about 700 employees located in the Mississauga and Oakville offices. Not all of the positions will be relocated; some will need to remain in Ontario in order to be close to their customers and businesses, Seetal explained.

She said Suncor’s Ontario employees were informed of the transition on October 26. The move will take place by 2021, she added.

Seetal refused comment on whether the move, which could presumably require additional office space, was influenced by the lower lease costs and Canada-leading vacant office space available in downtown Calgary.

As a comparison, the average Class AA office lease rate in Mississauga is $36.48 per square foot and the city has about 450,000 square feet of vacant space downtown. Calgary’s average Class AA lease rate is $24.60 per square foot and there is more than 12 million square feet of empty space in its core, nine million square feet of which is prime headlease space, according to surveys by Colliers International and CBRE.

Mary Moran, CEO of Calgary Economic Development, said the Suncor move is great news for the city.

“It’s especially significant when our own companies recognize the value proposition that our city has to offer. It’s a real endorsement for Calgary,” said Moran in a statement.

“The fact Suncor is locating its downstream head office and the vast majority of those jobs here is important for Calgary because it helps us in our efforts to grow and diversify within the energy industry along with growth in other sectors.”


Frank O'Brien is the editor of Western Canada's biggest commercial real estate newspaper, Western Investor, as well as a contributing editor at West Coast Condominium, real estate contributor to Business in Vancouver and a regular media commentator on real estate investment.
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