Digital Realty will soon be unveiling a 46MW data centre on the site of the former Toronto Star newspaper printing plant.

Set to be officially opened a week from today, the data centre, named TOR1, is located on a site that was purchased by DuPont Fabros Technologies (DFT) in 2016. Digital Realty later acquired DFT in a deal worth $7.8 billion (approx. £5.9 billion).

The company’s third foray into Toronto came about as a result of the city’s strong business credentials, accessibility to the larger North American market and Canada’s data management and privacy laws, according to Scott Mills, a Digital Realty Global Vice President.

Speaking to The Stack, Mills explained the advantages of setting up the facility in Toronto. “It’s a fantastic market, one of the top North America business hubs, it’s dynamic and diverse,” he said.

“Canada, in general, has a similar temperament to Europe in terms of the importance of data – they take data privacy very seriously. Therefore, it’s important to have a presence in Canada. And the business climate of Canada makes it very exciting.

“We are seeing strong demand signals across all of our sectors, from global, network and enterprise customers. We do have pre-selling underway and the expected sell rate is what the business hoped for.”

Digital Realty’s digital realities

According to Mills, the site will allow Digital Realty to serve a range of customers, including the “most sophisticated and demanding,” as well as providing retail colocation space within the facility.

The firm says that TOR1 will bring more than 711,000 sq. feet, including approximately 50,000 square feet of colocation space. Questioned on what those numbers mean in terms of Digital Realty’s priorities for the site, Mills was keen to make it clear that the site is flexible. “It’s a starting point,” he said.

“It’s not indicative of what we think the colocation space is worth. There’s elasticity in terms of that. We have the ability to scale and we have room to grow. It’s not a lack of confidence in the Canadian colocation market.”

Following Microsoft’s recent underwater data centre stunt, Mills assured us that Digital Realty has no plans to be taking the plunge any time soon but did say that the company is always on the lookout for “evolutions and revolutions.”