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 289,000 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 40 per cent over the last five years, the highest growth in North America.
|Market||Technology Talent Total||Percent Change (2016-2021)|
|San Fransico Bay Area||378,870||13%|
|New York Metro||344,520||3%|
|Los Angeles/Orange County||235,800||10%|
Toronto, Vancouver and Seattle were the standout markets for technology talent job creation, adding 59,588, 30,419 and 24,587 more technology talent jobs than graduates.
|Market||Technology Degrees||Technology Jobs Added||Jobs Minus Degrees|
|Occupation||Employed (2021)||Growth (2016-2021)|
|Software Developers & Programmers||109,200||98.5%|
|Computer Support, Database & Systems||133,600||42.3%|
|Computer & Information Systems Managers||19,000||-26.1%|
|Administrative & Office Support||205,200||22.8%|
|Business Operations & Finance||159,800||7.0%|
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Toronto Region is alive with enablers of innovation and a network of innovation hubs – incubators, accelerators and co-working 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 and Incubators located in Toronto.