Canada has been attracting top tech talent and the world’s biggest tech firms at a record pace.
Home-grown firms and international companies have been setting up and expanding in Canada’s largest cities but also in smaller markets where the tech industry is being properly nurtured.
Global brokerage house CBRE ranks Canada’s top 10 tech cities in its 2020 Canadian Tech Talent Report.
Here are the top 10 tech cities in Canada and their total score in CBRE’s rankings, which assessed markets based on talent availability, quality of labour and cost competitiveness.
1. Toronto, ON – 87.6
Toronto, no surprise, topped the list with 250,000 tech workers. It received an A+ for its quality of labour and has a tech concentration of 8.3 per cent. Between 2014 and 2019, the city experienced a 36.5 per cent increase in tech talent growth.
2. Ottawa, ON – 76.4
Ottawa stands out for its concentration of tech jobs as a percentage of overall employment. Nearly 10 per cent of Ottawa’s workers toil in the tech sector. That’s among the highest in North America and the capital has a total of 76,200 tech workers. Not bad for a government town.
3. Vancouver, BC – 72.8
Vancouver has just 84,900 tech workers, but that number is growing, fast. The arrival and expansion of marquee tech firms like Amazon and Shopify continues to stoke a tech market that received an A+ for quality of tech talent and has experienced a 50 per cent five-year growth rate in tech jobs.
4. Kitchener-Waterloo, ON – 69.9
The Waterloo region has 22,400 tech workers, high labour quality and has experienced over 50 per cent growth over five years in tech jobs.
5. Montreal, QC – 67.3
Montreal rounds out the top five. It has the second-most overall tech workers in the country with 141,600 but the city experienced only 19.3 per cent growth in tech talent from 2014 to ’19.
6. Calgary, AB – 59.5
While Calgary received an A for its tech labour quality and has nearly 45,000 workers in the tech sector, it experienced a nearly seven per cent decline in overall tech talent over five years.
7. Victoria, BC – 53.9
Victoria, the smallest city on the list, has roughly 10,500 tech workers and experienced a 15.7 per cent five-year growth rate, likely stimulated partly by Metro Vancouver’s shortage of office space and high living costs.
8. Halifax, NS – 52.6
Halifax rates high for its quality of labour with an A- and has a total tech talent pool of just over 13,000. Halifax’s Dalhousie University regularly see 1,000+ tech degree completions per year.
9. Quebec City, QC – 48.4
Quebec City received a B+ for its quality of labour and has a total tech talent pool of just over 35,000. Just under seven per cent of all workers there are in the tech industry and the city experienced a 27.4 per cent five-year growth rate.
10. Hamilton, ON – 45.4
Modestly sized, but certainly growing, Hamilton experienced nearly 35.7 per cent in overall talent growth, but still has fewer than 20,000 tech workers.