For the past few years’ people have been keeping an eye on Toronto in the technology sector. The city has already earned the reputation as the ‘Silicon Valley of Canada’. Now Toronto has officially outpaced San Francisco in terms of technology job growth.
According to a new report by CBRE Group, Toronto has added the most technology jobs in the past five years in Canada and the US. The city added 82,100 technology-related jobs between 2012-2017. The San Francisco Bay Area lost the top spot by 4,270 jobs.
The CBRE Group based their rankings of 50 cities based on 13 metrics. These metrics included tech job growth, education levels, office rents, population trends, and housing costs.
Toronto was also ranked number four in terms of tech talent markets. The San Francisco Bay Area came in first, with Seattle, WA and Washington D.C. in second and third. Toronto ranked seventh for tech degree completion, with 6,200 people graduating with technology degrees in Toronto.
A few other Canadian cities managed to score spots on the list too. Ottawa ranked 13th overall, Montreal at 14th, and Vancouver at 25th. Ottawa was number one for the highest concentration of technology jobs, with 11.2 per cent of all jobs in the city being tech rated. By comparison, 9.8 per cent of jobs in San Francisco are tech related and 8.9 per cent in Toronto.
Montreal, Ottawa, and Vancouver have also seen the number of tech jobs grow. In the past five years, Montreal has added 22,300 tech jobs, Vancouver 16,100, and Ottawa 9,700.
Housing is a concern on many workers’ minds, especially millennials fresh in the tech industry. Toronto’s housing market continues to be high, especially for renters. However, there are many condos currently in development that will hit the market soon.
Some experts say Toronto needs to copy what other high-tech cities have done, like San Francisco, Boston, and Seattle, which faced a similar housing shortage. Single-family homes and low-density sprawl in Toronto’s suburbs are protected by zoning restrictions, but as housing demands rise these restrictions will need to be altered so that more high rise condos can be built to meet the needs of the growing city. Montreal is one Canadian city that has successfully mixed newer high-rise buildings with older low-rise dwellings.
Toronto’s growth in the tech sector has been evident for a while. In downtown Toronto, tech companies take up more than a third of office spaces. The city also made Amazon’s short list for their HQ2 headquarters, the only city outside of the US to do so. Even with office and home rental prices rising, Toronto’s technology sector shows no signs of slowing down.