If you have ever visited the D2L office, you know what I mean.
The Tannery, a reclaimed factory, now home to D2L and various other businesses and tech companies was originally the largest producer of leather products in the British Empire. The Lang Tanning Company was founded in 1849 by Reinhold Lang and located on what is now Ontario street in Kitchener Ontario. After a fire destroyed the plant in 1853, the building was rebuilt on current day Victoria Street.
In its prime, the Lang Tanning Co. employed approximately 600 people and played an important part in both World Wars. During the First Great War, it supplied leather for soldier’s boot soles and saddles and in the Second World War, leather lining for aircraft fuel tanks. By 1954 the company was forced to cease production as competition from synthetic materials rose, but maintained its ownership of the property until selling it in 1974.
With such a rich history, it’s no surprise that its tenants have made every effort to maintain its originality – here is where the maze comes in.
Getting around the D2L office is an adventure. Original corkscrew staircases, doors, and wood flooring are paired with newly constructed modern offices, glass meeting rooms (named after every animal you can think of by the way), colorful abstract paintings by our talented resident artist, and winding hallways – which brings us to the fabled Narnia door.
Linking the main floors of the Tannery to the Artisan side of the building, the Narnia door is a more recent discovery at D2L. As the legend goes, previously hidden behind a couch, the Narnia door was thought to be a closet – much like the magical Narnia wardrobe in C.S Lewis’ “The Lion, the witch, and the wardrobe”. The passage between each side of the building was unveiled one day when the couch was moved and to our surprise there was more than a closet to be found. While there’s no lamp post or talking faun to greet you on the other side of the passage, you can still explore the multiple floors and hallways Artisan has to offer… just make sure you can find your way back to the wardrobe – eh, I mean door.
Sound interesting? Well why don’t you come in for yourself and see what it’s like to get lost in Narnia – don’t worry, we will guide you back out!
If you haven’t heard yet, our Kitchener D2L Headquarters is open for office tours, and has been for close to a year. Why? Because we love working at D2L, and want to share that with the public. In addition to exploring our history rich home, you get to learn more about why we love to work here and what we have done to build an exciting, collaborative, and creative company within this office! You’ll probably see some dogs, you’ll definitely see our awesome people, and you might get a glimpse into how we’re transforming education.
OK, I’m sold!
Sign up for an office tour at D2L today!
Well, it’s up to you. If you think this looks like the kind of place you’d want to work, then check out the rest of our openings. If not, but it looks interesting, tell other people that you think might be interested to come see for themselves. Or, you can just keep up with us on Twitter (@D2L or @D2L_Careers), Facebook, or Instagram for the latest about #LifeatD2L.