For those that follow me on social media, you’ll know that I love to take sunrise photos. So when Facebook Canada invited me and a handful of other Instagram users for a #SunriseEmpty look into their new headquarters in downtown Toronto, I took to the chance immediately.
The event, which expands on the #empty movement pioneered by American Instagrammer Dave Krugman, brings together photographers in the city to capture various locations after-hours, often yielding in a different mood to the location.
Having to get to the offices of Facebook Canada and Instagram before sunrise meant waking up shortly before 5am. Thankfully I’ve been used to getting up early for my Toronto Sunrise Series shoots—although I have to admit, this time was a little more difficult.
Their office almost took over an entire floor, providing a sweeping 270 degree view of the city. With windows all around, there would have been plenty of light coming in—had it not been overcast during the sunrise hour.
Far into the distance though, the clouds opened up to let the sun shine though, bringing with it some strikingly red-pink glow throughout. It was short-lived, and you had to act quickly to capture this moment. I hear the reflection of this light off of the city buildings were quite nice; although I wouldn’t know as I only captured a sliver of this light off of this building.
Facebook Canada opted for the open-concept office space, making it a spacious and inviting place to work in with murals spray-painted by a local artist giving it a boost of colour. I was told the office furniture was selected to complement the colourful murals.
Each room has an association to something Canadian and is proudly displayed beside the door, adding to the playfulness of the office.
And for those that follow politics, here’s a room just for you too.
Scattered throughout the space, I spotted various items of inspiration (?) like stuffed Sesame Street dolls dressed in Facebook tees that were randomly placed on sofas, hover boards (now I know where all the banned hover boards went), and vibrantly decorated booths.
A pillar and booth are colourfully decorated. If only I knew what these booth were used for!
Along one side of the office were eight pillars all decorated by a local artist. Up in the fully stocked cafeteria, one pillar tells us to “look” with an arrow pointing outward, giving us a great view of the CN Tower when we look there.
And along the walls were various posters with words of inspiration to help you work through the day.
The morning wouldn’t be complete without a barista on hand to make you a hand-crafted cappuccino, mochacchino, espresso, café au lait, or even a chai tea latte. I was told he is not always there, and was present for this event only. The staff can enjoy the Starbucks machine on the counter, with three different Starbucks roasts to please their palette.
While the invitation mentioned a “light” breakfast, it was anything but, with freshly squeezed orange juice and blended smoothies, sandwiches, scrambled eggs (and egg whites!), mini-scones, potatoes, thick-cut bacon, pea meal bacon, and fruit. I don’t have pictures of this though—I must have been too busy eating it all up.
Besides enjoying the space, it was also a great chance to meet new Instagram faces and catch up with old ones. I knew a handful of people there, while many were new to me. It’s always nice to be able to meet the faces behind the accounts you follow, further enhancing that #CommunityFirst experience.
Kael (@punkodelish), made it to the event despite her busy travel itinerary.
She even brought another fellow Instagrammer along for the ride. Here she is with Christoffer Collin (@wisslaren).
The clouds moved away, bringing in more sunlight to the floor. This allowed for some more “fun-in-the-sun,” although it seems like I just relegated to taking silhouettes of people.
Here’s Taha (@tahaphoto) in the sun.
And Taha (@tahaphoto) contemplating life on the bench.
I also caught a quick snap of Victor (@veeceecheng) doing what he does best.
A couple of reps. from Facebook Canada joined us and gave a few words on their new headquarters.
It was an enjoyable morning filled with some great city views, great company, good food, and good times at Facebook Canada and Instagram headquarters. Thanks for the tour!