As BlackBerry makes cuts to its workforce with around 200 employees from its hardware and design teams laid off last week, tech giants like Google and smaller companies like Shopify are increasing their presence in BlackBerry’s hometown of Waterloo, Ontario.

Shopify is being dubbed Canada’s newest tech love, as a public company valued at $2.75-billion.

Sources asked not to be named as plans are not yet public, but rumor has it that the e-commerce facilitator has leased space in Waterloo indicating that it could increase its size from about 20 people to a few hundred in the area, with the new space in Waterloo to be used mainly for expanding the Shopify Plus developer and sales teams.

Shopify Plus is the company’s premium product aimed at larger merchants.

Shopify has roughly 800 employees at its home base in Ottawa and in offices located in Toronto, Montreal and Kitchener-Waterloo and is now the preferred partner of, as the go-to company for smaller vendors seeking to sell products on who need to integrate their payment and inventory systems with Amazon’s.

As a result, Shopify saw its shares jump 23 per cent last Thursday in connection with the new tie-up.

The growth comes as Google is getting ready to move into a new 185,000-square-foot space in Kitchener this fall.

The new space is about three times the size of Google’s current space, and will allow the online giant to greatly expand its 300-person work force in the region.