Toronto emerges as a key global innovation centre

15% of all 2016  jobs in city were tech- related 

Toronto Tech1TORONTO – While technology companies are often hailed as the future of the economy, that future may have already arrived in Toronto. A new report from TechToronto, an organization supporting the city’s technology community, produced in collaboration with PwC Canada, the Innovation Policy Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, and CareerBuilder identifies that over 400,000 jobs in 2016 were related to technology.

The report, How Technology is Changing Toronto Employment, found that:

  • The Toronto tech ecosystem has a total of 401,000 jobs, making up 15% of all Toronto employment
  • Over the last 5 years, Toronto has grown tech-related jobs by 14.6%, which is 2x faster than the rest of the country
  • Tech-related jobs earned $24 billion in salaries in 2015, making it one of the highest hourly wage sectors in the city
  • Toronto’s tech ecosystem is projected to add an additional 20,000 jobs by 2020

“I believe that Toronto is in an exciting transition from a startup hub to a globally competitive centre of innovation, where companies are born and can scale effectively,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory. “We are the keystone of Canada’s knowledge economy, and have the right ingredients for success including exceptional talent, access to capital, and support services.”Toronto tech growth

Ben Zifkin, CEO of Hubba, a B2B product information network for retailers, is confident in Toronto’s innovative capacity. “This report corroborates what we already know and what the rest of the world is learning – thatToronto excels in technology and that we can develop globally disruptive companies.” said Zifkin. “What we can work on is developing an even more supportive innovation community, so that technology companies and jobs can flourish.”

Technology growth demonstrates clear benefits to the city. As companies grow, they pay more taxes and attract highly skilled global talent. Technology companies also yield benefits for urban development, as evident through trends such as ‘smart cities’ that improve infrastructure efficiency and value.

The report also identified that, while Toronto and Canada are effective places for the growth of technology companies, different levels of government can take action to improve their success.

Mike Katchen, founder and CEO of Wealthsimple, a fast-growing automated investment service, believes that government can take steps to improve how startups can scale. “Regulators wanting to further support innovation should set industry-specific standards that facilitate experimentation as well as open opportunities for Canadian companies to pilot in other countries,” says Katchen.Toronto tech2

The report made public policy recommendations including the following:

  • Make the TorontoWaterloo corridor world-renowned for fintech and machine learning.
  • Introduce fast track immigration visa for tech talents.
  • Increase enrollment and diversity in post secondary STEM programs.
  • Re-distribute government funds from incumbents to scale-ups and start-ups.
  • Solve civic problems and strengthen local tech companies via procurement.

Andy Yang, Founder and CEO at 500px, a photography community and photography on-demand platform, believes that the region’s talent is a clear indicator of its unique value. “The talent coming out of Toronto andWaterloo is second to none around the world today,” says Yang. “There are incredibly strong startups coming out of Canada and a high demand for our talent from the rest of the world.”

About TechToronto

TechToronto helps Toronto’s technology ecosystem thrive. TechToronto is part of an emerging national infrastructure to grow the Canadian technology ecosystem through awareness, talent and connectivity.  Find out more by visiting us at techtoronto.org.

About PwC
At PwC Canada, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. More than 6,500 partners and staff in offices across the country are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax, consulting and deals services. PwC Canada is a member of the PwC network of firms with more than 208,000 people in 157 countries. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at www.pwc.com/ca. © 2016 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an Ontario limited liability partnership. All rights reserved. PwC refers to the Canadian member firm, and may sometimes refer to the PwC network. Each member firm is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.

About the Innovation Policy Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs
The Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto unites people who are passionate to address the problems of a fast-changing world. Our aspiration is to create a unique, world-leading research, teaching and public engagement site that builds the new field of global affairs from Canada. The Innovation Policy Lab is a hub within the Munk School whose mission is to study, teach, and apply novel methods and disciplines to the study of innovation and its impact on society. For more information, please visit: munkschool.utoronto.ca.

About CareerBuilder
CareerBuilder is the only end-to-end human capital management company covering the entire candidate lifecycle and employee lifecycle for businesses. As the global leader in its industry, CareerBuilder specializes in cutting-edge HR software as a service to help companies with every step of talent acquisition and management. CareerBuilder works with top employers across industries, providing solutions for talent and labor market analytics, job distribution, candidate sourcing, tracking, onboarding, HRIS, benefits administration and compliance. It also operates leading job sites around the world. Owned by TEGNA Inc. (NYSE:TGNA), Tribune Media (NYSE:TRCO) and McClatchy (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com. – CNW

Related Posts

Leave a Reply