A diverse, talented and growing talent pool, and industry-leading research and development have made Toronto a global hub for technology and innovation. The city is home to the largest technology hub in Canada and third largest in North America, with 24,000 companies and 289,000 technology workers.

The Toronto Region’s technology industry is powered by over 285,000 skilled workers, making it one of the largest technology hubs in the world. The number of individuals working in tech-specific occupations has grown more than 25 per cent over the last five years, the highest growth in North America.

Large Technology Talent Markets (>50,000 Workforce)
Market Technology Talent Total Percent Change (2016⁠–2021)
San Fransico Bay Area 407,810 23%
New York Metro 371,030 11%
Toronto 285,700 29%
Washington, D.C. 265,240 7%
Los Angeles/Orange County 249,620 17%

San Francisco Bay Area, Toronto and Montreal were the standout markets for technology talent job creation, adding 75,020, 63,800 and 51,500 more technology talent jobs.

Technology Degrees and Jobs Added (2017⁠–2022)
Market Technology Degrees Technology Jobs Added Jobs Minus Degrees
Toronto 32,395 63,800 31,405
Vancouver 15,268 45,200 29,932
Seattle 26,252 51,500 25,248

Toronto was the top market in North America, with the creation of 31,405 more tech talent jobs than graduates.

Technology Occupations in the Toronto Region
Occupation Employed (2022) Growth (2017⁠–2022)
Software Developers & Programmers 101,800 58.3%
Computer Support, Database & Systems 126,100 26.2%
Computer & Information Systems Managers 33,900 25.1%
Technology Engineering-Related 23,900 -21.9%
Sales 70,000 -6.8%
Administrative & Office Support 194,900 -2.8%
Business Operations & Finance 160,800 30.9%
Marketing 90,200 55.5%

Source: Scoring Tech Talent 2023 by CBRE

Ontario’s publicly-funded colleges and universities are among the best and most innovative in the world. More than 400,000 students are enrolled across 18 institutions, accounting for 75 per cent of Ontario’s overall post-secondary enrolment. Governments at all levels are developing integrated strategies to prepare students to succeed in a fast-paced economy that demands talent for technology and knowledge-based jobs.

Canada leads the G7 for the most educated workforce and 67 per cent of Toronto Region’s population have a post-secondary degree. Students excel in programs relevant to knowledge-based and technology-intensive businesses, with more STEM degree holders than San Francisco, Boston, Austin and any other region in Canada.

Post-Secondary Programs & Training Opportunities

Hiring & Training Incentives

Major Recent Investments

  • Reddit announced plans to set up an office in Toronto with plans to hire engineering-related and other business services roles. (2021)
  • Groq announced it is expanding to Toronto to create new artificial intelligence opportunities. (2021)
  • HCL Technologies announced the opening of its digital acceleration centre in the Toronto Region with plans to hire 2,000 employees across Canada. (2021)
  • Wayfair announced the opening an engineering office in Toronto with plans to hire roles spanning software engineers, UX designers and data scientists. (2021)
  • Ripple, a crypto and blockchain start-up, opened its first Canadian office in. (2022)
  • Pinterest opened an engineering hub in Toronto. (2023)
  • Recursion, a biotech company, opened its first multidisciplinary hub in the city. (2021)
  • Flexport announced its Toronto office will serve as its Eastern hub, supporting small-and-medium size enterprises in the region through their logistics platform. (2021)

Canada has a long history of supporting research in artificial intelligence (AI). The Toronto-based Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) first introduced the Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Society program in 1983. Today, CIFAR is leading the Government of Canada’s $440M Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, the world’s first national AI strategy focused on supporting research and developing talent.

Ontario and Quebec are working together on the SCALE.AI Supercluster Initiative, which will leverage $260M in federal and provincial funding to build intelligent AI supply chains and better connect businesses and researchers.

In addition:

  • There are over 660 AI firms across Canada, with 273 AI firms in the Toronto Region alone.
  • Canada ranks 4th overall and 1st for government strategy in Tortoise’s Global AI Index.
  • Over 45 companies have invested in AI research labs in Canada. The Toronto Region is home to RBC’s Borealis AI, NVIDIA AI Lab, Samsung AI Centre and more.
  • In 2021⁠–22, 66 new AI-related patents were filed by Canadian researchers, a 61 per cent increase compared to the previous year.
  • Over $2.86B in VC funding and $2.75B in AI R&D spending was invested into Ontario’s AI ecosystem in 2022.
  • Canada ranks among the Top 7 countries in Stanford’s 2022 AI Index for AI skill penetration, looking at AI skills across industries such as finance, manufacturing, hardware, software and education.

AI in Toronto

The Toronto Region is rapidly expanding many programs in applied artificial intelligence to fuel its growing demand for AI talent. Major international companies are establishing R&D labs in the Toronto Region to take advantage of this deep pool of knowledge to develop new commercial applications.

  • The Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence established the Toronto Region as a global epicentre for R&D in AI backed by more than USD $120 M in public and corporate funding.
  • Samsung chose Toronto to host one of three new global AI research labs, the second in North America. The new lab is located in the MaRS Discovery District and headed by the University of Toronto’s Dr. Sven Dickinson, an expert in computer vision.
  • Etsy chose Toronto as the location for its newest Machine Learning Center of Excellence.
  • LG established a five-year, multimillion-dollar research partnership with the University of Toronto to build a new AI campus.

Pan-Canadian AI Strategy

In 2017, the Government of Canada launched a $125M Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy to support the advancement of AI in Canada. In partnership with the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), the strategy aimed to build a strong Canadian talent pipeline and ecosystem, through the establishment of centres for research, innovation and training. Through the first phase of the strategy, CIFAR worked with partners to establish Canada’s three National AI Institutes – Vector Institute (Toronto), Amii (Edmonton) and Mila (Montréal).

In June 2022, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry François-Philippe Champagne announced the launch of the second phase of the AI strategy with a $443.8M investment over the next ten years. The second phase of the strategy will continue to attract and retain talent but will also focus on the commercialization and standardization of AI. The strategy will support business-led innovation and commercialization, advanced AI computing capacity and AI standard development.

Funding Breakdown for Phase 2

  • $60M for Canada’s national AI institutes to help translate AI research into commercial applications and grow the capacity of businesses to adopt these new technologies.
  • $125M for Canada’s Global Innovation Clusters to accelerate AI commercialization by supporting Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises, attracting private investment from other public and private sources and developing made-in-Canada AI solutions.
  • $8.6M for the Standards Council of Canada to advance the development and adoption of standards and a conformity assessment program related to AI.
  • $208M for CIFAR to continue programs to attract, retain and develop academic research talent and maintain centres of research, innovation and training at Canada’s national AI institutes.
  • $40M to provide dedicated computing capacity for AI researchers across Canada.

The Toronto Region is alive with enablers of innovation and a network of innovation hubs ⁠– incubators, accelerators and coworking spaces that offer programs designed to advance entrepreneurial ambition and generate globally competitive enterprises. With over 2,000 technology startups spread across the region, Toronto is a magnet for entrepreneurs and has a growing ecosystem of networks that support R&D and commercialization.

View the City’s list of Accelerators, Incubators and Coworking Spaces located in Toronto.