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Toronto overtakes Washington, D.C. as the No. 3 tech talent city in North America

Content marketing team at work after lunch at Shopify's downtown Toronto office. (Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

With Toronto’s tech market adding more than 80,000 jobs over the last five years, the city has overtaken Washington, D.C. as the third top-ranked city for tech talent in North America, according to a new report.

CBRE’s annual Scoring Tech Talent report, released Tuesday, says Toronto jumped up one spot to become the third top-ranked tech talent market out of 50 cities in the U.S. and Canada, behind the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle. The rankings are based on 13 metrics, including the tech talent supply, growth, concentration, the industry outlook for tech job growth and market outlook for both office and apartment rental cost growth.

“Toronto, San Francisco and Seattle are comfortably mentioned in the same sentence and are attracting the best in the industry,” CBRE Canada vice chairman Paul Morassutti said in a statement.

“Tech talent workers are fuelling innovation and adapting technology within the non-traditional sectors to increase productivity and strengthen the Canadian economy.”

According to the report, 228,500 people worked in Toronto’s tech sector in 2018 earning an average wage of $81,828. Over the last five years, the city has added more than 80,000 tech jobs, a 54 per cent increase that makes Toronto the fastest growing market of the 50 cities analyzed by CBRE.

Despite concerns that Toronto is experiencing a brain drain – in that the city’s top tech talent is fleeing the country to work elsewhere, largely for companies based in the U.S. – the report said the city is experiencing the opposite.

“Toronto and the San Francisco Bay Area stand out as strong tech talent job creators, each adding at least 54,000 more tech talent jobs than graduates,” the report said.

Toronto wasn’t the only Canadian city to make CBRE’s list in 2019.

Vancouver jumped 10 spots year-over-year to No. 12, as the city saw 74,700 people employed in its tech sector. Montreal was ranked No. 13 and Ottawa came in at No. 19.

The report also flagged Hamilton, Ont. and the Waterloo, Ont. region as “up and coming” tech markets, with both markets growing by 52 per cent and 40 per cent over the last five years, respectively.

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