The booming Toronto tech industry has been giving Silicon Valley a run for its money in recent years by attracting global tech talent to the city. Experts have cited Canada’s viable immigration policies and the instability and restrictive immigration laws in the United States as the main contributing factors to this trend.
The “2021 Scoring Tech Talent” report by the Commercial Real Estate Services (CBRE), named Toronto as the leading Tech Market that Gained the Most Talent in the past year and the fourth Top Market for Tech Talent and Investments.
Thousands of immigrant tech workers have flocked to Toronto recently, making it the fastest growing tech hub in North America and soon to be a tech superpower.
In the past five years, Toronto attracted 81 200 tech jobs and produced 26 338 tech degrees, meaning it attracted a net of 54 862 tech workers, according to an immigration.ca article.
The CBRE report calls it the city’s “brain gain”.
“That shouldn’t be a surprise, given how much Toronto relies on international immigration,” said Marc Meehan, the CBRE’s director of research in Canada.
25% of Canada’s overall workforce are immigrants, and in the tech space that number is even higher — approximately 40%, according to Business Insider.
Canada had a net gain of 5 000 STEM (science, technology, engineering, or mathematics) workers in the past 12 months (from 2020 – 2021) alone.
In 2019, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told hundreds of attendees at a conference in Toronto that Canada’s thriving technology sector is a result of the country’s openness to immigrants and he hopes Canadians will continue to view immigration positively.
This is clearly evident with Toronto’s proliferation in the number of startups, venture capitalists investors and global tech giants calling the city their home such as Amazon; Google; Shopify Inc., Wealthsimple, etc.
“As the United States has tightened immigration and become less welcoming, Canada has made shrewd policy moves to attract top global talent and capital,” wrote venture capitalist Chris Albinson, the incoming CEO of Communitech, in an opinion piece in The Globe and Mail.
Also known as a AI (Artificial Intelligence) prowess, Toronto’s exponential expansion in the tech industry is on an upward spiral with no intention of slowing down any time soon.
There are many programmes for highly-skilled tech workers to gain permanent residency in Canada, including the Global Talent Stream (GTS) of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) under which Canadian work permits and visa applications are processed within two weeks.