Toronto Ranked as North America’s Fastest Growing Tech Market in CBRE’s Annual Tech Talent Scorecard

Toronto shoots up six spots from 12th to 6th in top 50 ranking

Toronto, ON – July 20, 2017 – Toronto is North America’s fastest growing tech market according to CBRE’s fifth annual Scoring Tech Talent Report, which ranks 50 U.S. and Canadian markets according to their ability to attract and grow tech talent. The city moved up six spots from 12th to sixth on the reports’ Tech Talent Scorecard thanks in large part to its talent employment base growing by the highest number of workers from 2015 to 2016, in which it added 22,500 tech jobs. Toronto also ranked as one of the best-value markets for tech firms to operate their business when it comes to cost and quality of talent, second only to Vancouver.

“Toronto is a becoming a leader in producing a world-class tech talent, particularly in the artificial intelligence field, and there had been an incredible rate of growth in our tech labour force in the past year. When you consider we’ve added more tech jobs from 2015 to 2016 than New York and the San Francisco Bay area combined, it shows just how vibrant Toronto’s tech industry has become. Tech companies now comprise over 20 per cent of all current office space demand in the city,” commented Werner Dietl, Executive Vice President and GTA Regional Managing Director of CBRE Canada.

The report, which can be viewed in detail by market in the interactive Tech Talent Analyzer, finds that strong demand for talent that offer specific skills, such as software development, coupled with a tight labor supply, is driving companies to locate in markets with the largest concentrations of high quality talent.

Toronto ranks as North America’s fourth largest tech talent market, with over 212,000 tech workers, representing an increase of 32% over the past five years. Tech talent comprises 8.0% of all workers in 2016, up from 6.9% in 2015. Toronto also ranked third among large markets in millennial population growth, an important source of tech talent, increasing its millennial pool 9.5 per cent from 2010 to 2015.

According to CBRE’s report, Toronto was also found to be the second-cheapest market in North America for a tech firm to operate in. The estimated cost of running a 500-person tech firm in Toronto, taking into consideration both talent and real estate costs, totaled USD$25.9 million, far lower than the cheapest US market of Oklahoma City at USD$33.9 million.

“Even if you remove the effect of a discounted Canadian versus US dollar, Toronto still remains one of the most cost effective markets in North America for tech firms to operate from. Regardless of currency differences, Toronto remains comparatively cheap for both talent and real estate costs when compared to major markets such as New York, San Francisco and Boston. Not only are we a cheaper market to operate in, Toronto also provides international firms access to both the city’s high-quality talent pool and Canada’s immigration policies that allow them to recruit and bring over the best talent from around the world,” added Dietl.

Fueled by tech industry growth, Toronto experienced the lowest downtown office vacancy rates on record during Q2 2017, dropping from 4.6% in Q1 to 3.8%.

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