Toronto is a unique and growing community. There is a wealth of local tech talent and companies already established, giving it a strong backbone. It is, however, the rare combination of qualities offered in Toronto that is drawing in all sorts of new and rising tech stars to the area. The cost of living options, star-studded entertainment, and a robust community spirit make for an enticing opportunity for the upcoming CEOs. Here are just a handful of reasons that Toronto is poised to become the new Silicone Valley.
Vast housing options are available for all lifestyles and price ranges. In addition, the downtown districts are incredibly diverse and offer everything from the historic St. Lawrence area to the booming financial district. Attached to the financial district are a highly effective transit system for commuting needs and the Path, a complex network of underground shopping and pedestrian tunnels.
Toronto is more affordable with the same or higher quality of life. Toronto offers a significantly more affordable cost of living than some of the big city counterparts that have been popular for start-ups in the past. For example, overall, Canada is much cheaper to live in than California. Generally, grocery shopping and eating out in Toronto is around twenty percent lower than in Silicon Valley.
Some areas have a more suburban feel with fantastic access to some of the incredible community parks and recreational amenities the city features. One such feature is the immense high park. High Park features a pond, hiking trails, picnic areas, a large playground, and even a small zoo. It sits on 398 acres, so there is an immense space to go and get away from it all yet still be just moments away from where most start-ups are centered.
There is never a dull moment in the city. Fine dining has never been more accessible. Any type of cuisine anyone could want can be found somewhere in the city from a highly-rated establishment. The town is a haven for foodies from French-themed, fine dining options like Alo to the Japanese-themed Ki Restaurant and Lounge. The cuisine options alone are enough to make people never want to leave.
Toronto boasts epic levels of entertainment options. There are multiple theaters, including the Princess of Whales theater, where Hamilton made its Canadian debut and will return in 2023. Around Toronto, there are art galleries, museums, sporting venues, the Canadian opera company, and the Toronto symphony orchestra. So it does offer world-renowned entertainment opportunities for just about everyone.
Another drawing point for tech start-ups is that even during the 2020 pandemic, most were able to grow their businesses. Overall the tech industry in Toronto has been booming and has experienced a growth rate of 12.6 since 2015.
Another primary reason tech teams are turning to Toronto is the fact that they have strong community support and networking system. Toronto is investing time, money, and energy into growing the technology world. Some of the events include iTech Toronto, SecTor, and Elevate, all massive networking opportunities for those wanting to break into the tech community.
Another massive asset Toronto has – its supportive community for STEM education. With the government supporting tech education and research. There are multiple programs backed by the government, including programs to help scale and commercialize projects.
On top of the general benefits of living in Toronto and the high support from the government, the tech community offers something that the other big tech hubs seem to lack, and that’s a community spirit. Academic and businesses work together to help one another. Former start-ups turned giants mentor happily, wanting to encourage the growth of the industry and assist others the way they were supported when they got started. Rather than a cut-throat approach you might find in Silicon Valley, everyone wants the community to succeed and doesn’t mind boosting others to get there. The community’s positivity may be the biggest secret to the successful growth of their new tech industry.
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