The city of Toronto and its northern suburbs continue to jockey for position as the country’s biggest information and communications hubs as measured by revenue, according to a research firm.
The Branham Group said 36 per cent of the country’s top technology firms – a total of 90 companies — are headquartered in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), which includes Toronto, the regions of Peel to the west, York to the north and Durham to the east.
Forty-seven are based in Toronto, while 29 are in York Region, which includes the cities of Richmond Hill and Markham.
From a revenue standpoint the City of Toronto’s top Canadian ICT firms contribute over $19 billion in revenues annually, with York Region’s contribution coming in at around $3 billion.
By comparison, the ICT companies in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, 90 minutes west of Toronto and home to BlackBerry and OpenText, had annual revenues of $20 billion, Andrew Bisson, Branham’s vice-president of consulting services, said in an interview.
Toronto has over 4,900 ICT firms, York has over 3,900, Vancouver has 3,300, Montreal has 2,900 and Ottawa 2,700.
“Toronto and York Region each have their respective strengths, which have allowed them to maintain solid positions as leading tech hubs in Canada,” said Bisson. Toronto has name recognition, he noted. York, with lower taxes, led all major Canadian ICT hubs with a growth rate of 23.3 per cent in 2012.
The GTA has over 13,000 ICT companies with over 200,000 employees generating over $52 billion in revenues annually, says Branham. It is now North America’s third largest centre for ICT, surpassing Chicago, Boston, and Los Angeles, with continued growth expected for the foreseeable future.
“As 2013 comes to a close it will be interesting to see whether York Region will maintain the growth levels it has experienced in recent years and how the City of Toronto will continue to adapt in efforts of supporting its already crowded tech community.”