The technology sector is continuing to view Toronto as a great place to be based, driving demand for offices and other CRE units, while also supporting employment in the city.
A report from CBRE shows that 28,900 technology jobs were added in 2017, a rise of 13.6% from the previous year.
“High-quality and well-educated tech talent, cost-efficiencies and welcoming immigration policies are competitive advantages for the Canadian tech markets. Toronto continues to outpace other North American markets, having added more tech jobs in 2017 than the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Washington, D.C. combined,” commented Paul Morassutti, Executive Managing Director at CBRE Canada. “Canada’s tech markets are booming. In downtown Toronto alone, tech demand sits at 36% of all current office space demand.”
Toronto ranks fourth in the top 5 markets for tech talent in 2018, which also includes San Francisco Bay Area (1), Seattle (2), Washington DC (3), and New York (5).
Ottawa, Montreal increasingly appealing
While Toronto is a top 5 tech town, two other Canadian cities are climbing the ranks; Ottawa and Montreal are ranked 13th and 14th respectively in CBRE’s scorecard.
Ottawa beats North American peers for concentration of tech talent; while Toronto is third at 8.9%, Ottawa’s 11.2% means it has more than three times the US national average of 3.5%.
“Ottawa is shedding its government town image. It is home to over 1,700 technology companies and employs over 70,000 tech talent employees,” said Shawn Hamilton, Managing Director of CBRE Ottawa. “In the last five years, urban tech has grown to be the second largest user group in downtown Ottawa, bigger than the accounting and legal sectors combined. Shopify continues to be our homegrown success story and has the international appeal to encourage tech clustering.”
Toronto ranks as North America’s fourth largest tech talent market, with over 241,000 tech workers, representing an increase of 51.5% over the past five years. Tech industry growth has accelerated demand for downtown Toronto office space, pushing vacancy down to 2.9% in Q2 2018, the lowest on record for the city and across North America.
“Companies looking to house operations are putting serious thought to locating in Canada. Compared to cities such as New York, Washington, D.C., Newark and Los Angeles, Toronto is among the best value for quality options for tech firms thanks to less expensive access to labour and real estate, but also high educational attainment levels. In short, Canada provides access to very high quality labour at a fraction of the cost,” said Paul Morassutti, Executive Managing Director at CBRE Canada.