Cosmopolitan Toronto is a bustling and successful city, fortunate enough to have a variety of sectors based in the city–as well as thriving businesses and hustler entrepreneurs. In recent years, its tech industry has been growing rapidly. Since2017, Toronto has added more tech jobs than the Bay Area, Washington D.C., NYC and Seattle combined, according to a study by CBRE. Access to a deep talent pool, as well asworld-class research centres like the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence, is attractingsignificant investments from companies like Uber, Microsoft, Shopify, Samsung and Alphabet.
Currently employing around 214,000 tech workers, Toronto is the fastest growing tech hub in North America. Here are some of the most exciting things happening right now.
Smart cities initiatives are transforming the city
Sidewalk Labs, Alphabet’s smart city subsidiary, has recently released a massive plan to transform a slice of Toronto’s waterfront into a high-tech utopia. Sidewalk Labs says it will spend $1.3 billion on the project in the hopes of spurring $38 billion in private sector investment by 2040.
Multinationals are setting up R&D labs
Companies like Microsoft and Shopify (the fastest growing SaaS company in history toreach $1 billion in revenue) have recently announced plans for state-of-the-art facilities in Toronto. At the same time, Samsung, Uber and LG are establishing research centres and engineering hubs. Access to machine learning and deep learning expertiseis key driver of the current influx of investments.
Innovation districts are booming
The Toronto-Waterloo region corridor, often referred to simply as the corridor, is the second largest tech cluster in North America–and one of the world’s fastest-growing innovation hubs. From start-ups with a team of ten to tech giants like Twitter and Amazon, there are over 20,000 companies in the ecosystem. Over the last decade, the corridor has become internationally recognised for its diverse talent pool, research-leading universities, and vibrant communities
Cutting edge AI research
Much helped by the city’s position as a global leader in AI research, Toronto is home to the highest concentration of AI start-ups in the world. The University of Toronto has confirmed plans to build a new innovation centre directly across the street from the MaRS Discovery District. Part of a longer-term development plan, the first phase of the project will consist of a 14-storey tower that proposes to house the Innovations & Partnerships Office and the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence.