The Financial District has a glittery tech playground
→ The Deloitte Greenhouse sets up big businesses with problem-solving toys, gadgets and robots
The Deloitte Greenhouse might be the most fun you can have in the Financial District. Housed in the firm’s office at Yonge and Adelaide, the space teems with high-tech gadgets: drones, 3-D printers, a real-life Star Trek tricorder, VR headsets that let you tour the International Space Station, and an adorable AI customer-service robot named Pepper. The space looks like a Toys ‘R’ Us of the future, but it has weighty ambitions: when C-suite types at Canada’s biggest corporations—including TD, the Toronto Blue Jays and Infrastructure Ontario—need to solve impossible business problems, they pen up inside the Greenhouse for visits that last anywhere from a few hours to two days. Deloitte staff plan sessions tailored to the issue at hand, showing off tech and strategies that might help solve it—wearables that measure vitals and track location, for example, were a good fit for a mining company concerned with workers’ safety. The end goal? To introduce game-changing gizmos, spur inventive ideas, and pair slow-moving megafirms with nimble start-ups that can help them code, data-crunch and 3-D print their way out of any problem.