Toronto led North America in tech job creation last year, surpassing New York and the Bay Area. In fact, Toronto had more tech job growth than the Bay Area, Seattle, and DC combined, making the city North America’s fastest growing tech market for the second consecutive year.

These findings come from the CBRE Group’s annual Scoring Tech Talent Report, which ranked Toronto fourth overall, up two spots from last year and marking the first time a Canadian city has scored in the top five. Ottawa also scored highly, placing 11th.

Toronto offers the ‘best value’ at a ‘fraction of the cost’

Toronto’s rise in the ranks was spurred by the strongest tech job growth in North America. The city gained 28,900 tech jobs in 2017, a 14% increase. The city is now home to 240,000 tech workers in total, a 52% increase over the past five years. Toronto now ranks ahead of New York in tech talent.

“High-quality and well-educated tech talent, cost-efficiencies, and welcoming immigration policies are competitive advantages for the Canadian tech markets,” says Paul Morassutti, Executive Managing Director at CBRE Canada. “Toronto continues to outpace other North American markets.” Toronto also ranked as having the biggest “brain gain,” attracting more skilled tech graduates than any other city.

“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,” explains Morassutti. “In short, Canada provides access to very high quality labour at a fraction of the cost.”

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The cost savings are considerable. The report found that a standard 500-person tech company could expect business costs including rent and salaries in Toronto to be half that of San Francisco and 45% less than New York. In fact, Toronto and Ottawa have lower business costs than any American city included within the report.

Ottawa ranked top in North America for rapid tech employment growth

Ottawa made its mark this year as the top momentum market in North America, while also laying claim to having the highest tech worker concentration. 11% of employees in the city work in the tech sector, a rate three times the national average. Ottawa is now home to 1,700 tech companies and 70,000 tech workers, strengthening the region’s position as a global tech hub.