Toronto is Canada’s top tech sector city: CBRE

by Neil Sharma on 26 Jan 2021

CBRE has Toronto anointed Toronto Canada’s top tech industry city, giving it a score of 87.6 in its Scoring Canadian Tech Talent report for 2020 to beat out Ottawa and Vancouver, which received 76.4 and 72.8, respectively.

Toronto boasts 250,000 tech workers—108,400 more than Montreal, which has Canada’s second-largest tech workforce—growing by 36.5% over the five previous years.

“Nationally, tech talent has increased a staggering 22.5% over the last five years. However, this growth has been uneven with most of the jobs being added in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal,” stated the report. “While Toronto accounts for a quarter of Canadian tech talent, its tech job gains accounted for nearly half of the tech jobs added nationally over the period.

The report added that the 66,900 tech jobs added in the city between 2014 and 2019 could fill a 1 million sq ft office tower 10 times over.

“And, this doesn’t even include the administrative and managerial staff that would be needed to support them,” added the report.

Toronto is undoubtedly Canada’s tech sector epicentre, but other Canadian cities—namely Vancouver, Montreal and Edmonton—have also emerged as viable markets. Still, the technology sector comprises 8.8% of total employment in Toronto, and CBRE gave the city’s tech labour quality an A+.

“Today, Vancouver and Toronto continue to boast the lowest downtown vacancy rates in North America by wide margins,” said the report. “These conditions often forced growing tech companies to take space wherever and however available. Among major tech occupiers in downtown Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, 49% have two or more locations in a given market. This is true for nearly 90% of occupiers with footprints greater than 100,000 sq ft.

Toronto does, however, rank fourth in cost, with talent costing around $38.2 million and rent coming in at $2.6 million. Yet, with tech employees earning an average annual salary of $84,989, they’re well-positioned to rent in a city where the mean condo rent is $2,307 and where purpose-built rentals average $1,459. With a benchmark home price of $890,400, mortgages are also affordable for workers in this sector of the economy.

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