The tech industry has descended on Toronto. From Microsoft expanding its footprint to Pinterest showing interest by setting up its first office outside the United States, Toronto is now arguably a global tech hub. But that’s not all, this stylish and vibrant city has the enviable tag of being Canada’s largest city.
In terms of tech talent, Toronto is ahead of Washington D.C., at number three. Only San Francisco and Seattle have the bragging rights for the title of the most technologically advanced cities in North America.
But what’s fuelling this tech boom in Toronto? According to the Vice-chairman of CBRE, Paul Morassutti, the growth of the tech industry in Toronto has largely been fanned by “the growing influence of tech talent” and the “impact of tech companies.” In short, techies are descending on Toronto in huge numbers while tech companies are entrenching themselves in this metropolis.
Why is this happening? Let’s look at a significant facts that could explain the Toronto tech boom:
1. The Growth of Toronto’s Economy Is Unmatched
In a study that targeted cities with the fastest growth in the last five years, the Toronto tech industry came out on top among the fifty fastest-growing tech markets. Its talent pool increased by 54 percent (by 80,100 workers)! Compare this impressive growth with that of other cities. For instance, the second-fastest-growing tech market was San Francisco with a talent pool growth of 33.4 percent, followed by Denver and Atlanta at 30.9 and 29.1 percent, respectively.
2. Toronto Is a Tech Job Creator
Graduates often get their degrees in one city and move on to a different labour market.
That Toronto is leading in “brain gain” is incontestable. This explains the rapid growth of tech talent in this city. However, Toronto is known as a job creator. Between 2013 and 2018, Toronto added 57,634 more jobs than graduates. Much of its talent is coming from elsewhere after getting their degrees.
Most of these techies are young, perhaps at the beginning of their careers, and they are helping to fuel the Toronto tech boom.
3. The Cost of Doing Business in Toronto Is Significantly Lower than in Other Markets
If you are a cost-conscious company, the place to set up shop in is Toronto. Here’s why: at an estimated $30,562,702 single-year market costs, which include wages and rent, Toronto is more affordable to do business in than other cities, the exceptions being Vancouver and Montreal, which have market cost estimates of $29,789,176 and $28,591,358, respectively.
Despite disparities in currency, the huge difference in overhead compared with other cities makes Toronto an irresistible tech market to invest in. Take for instance markets such as the San Francisco Bay Area with a staggering $59,720,973 cost of doing business, and New York’s and Washington’s $55,261,762 and $51,690,786, respectively. Combine this with the unmatched quality of talent and you would understand why Toronto has become such a robust tech economy.
4. Rent Is Lower in Toronto than in other Tech Cities
The average apartment monthly rent in New York stands at a staggering $4,129. The Bay Area comes a distant second at $2,856 while Los Angeles comes third at $2,239. Toronto, however, takes the title of the most affordable city to work and live in with average apartment rents of $1,069! Besides, in terms of average rent-to-wage ratio, Toronto still comes tops at 20 percent compared to 43.6 percent for New York! San Francisco comes second at 26.4 percent, while L.A. comes home at 25.8 percent. This means that wage percentage-wise, workers spend less on rent in Toronto than in the other three tech cities.
Another plus for Toronto is the fact that wages are on the rise if the CBRE report is to be believed. According to the study, tech workers saw their wages grow by 9.7 percent, which is quite a jump compared to the 5.9 percent increase for non-tech jobs. It’s, therefore, a no-brainer that a tech worker would choose Toronto as the place to live and work in.
5. Toronto Is a Favourite Choice for Conferences
Toronto tops the list of the most popular conference destinations. Most international organizations are drawn to this vibrant tech city when considering conference destinations. Toronto provides industry networking opportunities, a pool of thought leaders, local sponsorship, and tools for encouraging attendance, which make it a destination built for conferencing.
You can add to this geographical and technological convenience the fact that the city has a culturally diverse population, has a record of acceptance and openness, and hosts major sporting events such as the NBA, NHL, and CFL. Besides, if you are into theatre, Broadway in Toronto is right up there with the best in the world. And for the culinary-inspired, Toronto has a wide array of foods and beverages for every palate. Add to this a vibrant nightlife and you have a city that’s built to please.
6. Toronto Has One of the Most Connected International Airports
Toronto’s Pearson International Airport is among the top five most connected airports in the world. In North America, this airport comes in at number two. Why this is important? Wherever in the world you want to travel, it’s a breeze connecting from Pearson International Airport. From Toronto, you can launch into any part of the world with ease. But I guess once you land in Toronto, you won’t have to leave since everything you ever needed in a big city is within your reach.
At the rate it’s growing, Toronto may soon be the leading tech city in the world. It’s not hard to see why going by the vast number of companies setting up shop in this bustling city.