Toronto Is your Next Hiring Hotspot
Toronto is probably the city that comes to mind when non-Canadians think of Canada. The city has produced international celebrities including rapper Drake and comedians Samantha Bee and Mike Myers. And most recently, the city’s basketball team the Toronto Raptors dethroned two-time defending Golden State Warriors to become the first team from outside the United States to win an NBA Championship. But aside from being Canada’s largest city and the economic powerhouse of the country, Toronto and the GTA – that’s Greater Toronto Area for you, not Grand Theft Auto – offers much more than eye-candy landmarks.
Toronto is Canada’s largest city, with 2.7 million residents in its city limits and over 6 million in the metropolitan area. It is also the capital of Ontario, the largest province in the country in terms of population. According to Macleans Magazine, the Greater Toronto Area currently accounts for about 20% of the entire population of Canada and similarly generates a fifth of the country’s economic activity.
Toronto is a growing hub for remote workers, whether operating out of one of the city’s numerous coworking offices or from their homes, and it’s a candidate market you can’t afford to ignore.
Here are 7 reasons you should hire remote in Toronto:
A Booming Tech Sector
When people think of tech jobs, the first place that comes to mind is Silicon Valley in California. What they may not know about are the pair of burgeoning tech hubs located in Canada. With over 241,000 employed in the technology sector, Toronto is the fastest growing city for tech in North America as of 2019, having added more tech jobs than Silicon Valley and New York combined. The Region of Waterloo – located just outside the GTA – is Canada’s third largest tech hub dwarfed only by Toronto and Montreal. Combined, these two regions form the Toronto-Waterloo corridor which is quickly gaining the reputation as “Silicon Valley North.”
The area is home to world-renowned tech firms such as RIM of Blackberry fame and OpenText, and has attracted the attention of international investors. Thanks to this, it has been ranked as one of the top 20 tech corridors worldwide. Although officially two regions in their own right, the distance between Waterloo and Toronto is not much different from, say, the distance between San Francisco and San Jose or from Baltimore to Washington DC. Unlike many others, these two tech hubs sit right next to one another in the same province and cooperate with one another. In fact, there are long-term plans to eventually create a high-speed rail line connecting the two tech hubs.
According to Axios, the policies of incumbent US president Donald Trump has resulted in an “exodus of U.S. tech workers to Canada” and has even resulted in Silicon Valley entrepreneurs relocating to Toronto. This has been described as a “reverse brain drain” – or a “brain gain” on the part of Toronto.
Toronto also offers top notch tech talent at some of the lowest prices. In their Scoring Tech Talent in North America 2018 report, CBRE ranked Toronto as #4 in the list of top tech talent markets and listed their Labor Quality as “Very High.” Rather surprisingly, operating costs of running such businesses in Toronto were ranked as the third lowest of all cities listed – well below average and well below any US city on the list regardless of labour quality.
Toronto is also quickly gaining a reputation in the field of artificial intelligence, or AI. According to the Canadian government, Toronto has the highest concentration of AI startups in the world. The Toronto-Waterloo corridor has also attracted much of the world’s top talent. The Vector Institute received $150 million in funding from various parties including Google, who decided to open up a branch of their Google Brain in Toronto. Samsung and Uber have followed suit and opened up their own AI labs in the city.
Hire Remote from a Big and Growing Financial Sector
If you’re in the financial sector, you might want to consider looking beyond the Big Apple and start considering The 6ix.
Not only is Toronto the financial heart of Canada, it is globally-renowned as a major financial center – routinely breaking into the top 10s. Toronto is the second biggest financial center in North America and 9th globally as of 2018. One in every 12 jobs in the Toronto area is a finance job. The financial services sector is the second largest employment sector in the area, making up a larger proportion of the area’s jobs (8.3%) than New York (6.4%) or London (6.5%) and second globally only to Luxembourg (11.6%).
Despite its common misperception as a mere regional power, Toronto is a major global financial centre – a fact that is sorely understated by many. The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) is the number one stock market in the world for mining, having the highest number of mining companies listed and equity raised. According to a 2013 report by The Conference Board of Canada, Toronto is home to four of the world’s top 50 banks, three of 40 of the world’s top pension funds, two of the 15 world’s largest life and health insurers, and one of the top ten global equity markets. While much of the world suffered in 2008, Toronto defied the Great Recession and continued to grow.
Toronto’s reputation and perception as a global financial center tends to lag behind New York, London, and even other smaller financial centers in the world economy. But, data suggests that this may well be a misperception that is not grounded in reality.
Big Name Employers Mean a Better Pool of Candidates
The Toronto area hosts a growing number of major corporations – both headquarters and branches. Some examples of global companies headquartered in the Toronto area include Hudson’s Bay Company (owner of Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor) and life insurance firm Manulife. Microsoft Canada is located in the suburban city of Mississauga. Thomson Reuters – owner of the renowned news outlet Reuters – is headquartered in Toronto. Those big names have helped to produce a highly qualified, competitive talent pool – one that is increasingly turning toward remote work.
High Commute Time? Hire Remote
Big cities tend to have very hectic commutes, and Toronto is no exception. In fact, a 2018 study by Expert Market indicated that the Toronto area has the worst traffic in North America – worse than New York City and Los Angeles – and the sixth worst in the world.
That’s one of the reasons that so many Toronto workers value flex time and remote work. By allowing your team to forego the costs of commuting, telecommuting – or remote work – employers can save people in Southwestern Ontario (the region in which Toronto is located) up to around $17,000 a year and up to around $26,000 a year in rural areas. Caledon – a rural suburb of Toronto – has at least one remote worker in 57% of households.
Similarity to the USA
Beavers and eagles may have little in common, but that doesn’t stop Americans and Canadians from being culturally similar. After all, both nations are offshoots of what was once the same British colony.
Wherever you are in the United States, the time is not going to differ significantly from Canadian time (unless you’re in Hawaii or other remote outliers). In fact, Toronto shares the same time zone as New York City, Atlanta, Miami and Philadelphia. The Eastern Time Zone is home to about half of the American population. Even if your company isn’t on the East Coast, the time difference between you and your Canadian employee would be no greater than about three hours. You won’t have to worry about starting your day just as your employee is about to finish theirs.
Hire Remote to Increase Diversity
According to Syed Balkhi, hiring remote workers is a prime means of promoting corporate diversity. And what better way of starting off than looking into the city that as been labelled as the “most diverse city on Earth” by the BBC?
Toronto is one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse cities in the world, with approximately half of its population being born outside of Canada and over half being members of a minority group. Diversity is built into the city’s core, with over 2.5 million residents in the GTA having a mother tongue other than English and the city’s emergency services being equipped to handle 150 languages and counting. And as a city hyper-connected via internet, it has the potential to be a hub of diverse remote workers.
High-Skilled, Highly Qualified Workers
Toronto is a highly educated city. About 70% of all Toronto-area residents aged 25-64 hold a post-secondary certificate, and over half of the population has a degree or certificate higher than a Bachelor’s degree. 61.3% of Toronto residents aged 20-24 have attended school in the past 6 months leading up to the 2016 Census. To make matters even better, more than half of all recent immigrants (aged 25-64, arrived between 2011-2016) to the Toronto area (CMA) hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. All in all, Toronto has more highly qualified workers than its employment sector can absorb.
The Toronto area has far more to offer on the global stage than meets the eye. From its diversity, its highly educated workforce and its rapidly-growing tech sector, Toronto and its surrounding suburbs is a potential talent pool that global recruiters and employers can’t afford to ignore.
Contact us today to learn more about how you can take advantage and hire remote in Toronto.