Toronto technology market third largest in North America

Toronto comes in ahead of Montreal and Ottawa as having the largest concentration of private information and communications technologies (ICT) facilities in Canada, and places third in North America after San Francisco and New York, according to a new study.

The study, entitled The Information and Communications Technologies Industry in the Toronto Region, was commissioned by The City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance and was done by E & B Data Inc. The results of the study were released during a TechAction Town Hall event at Toronto’s City Hall earlier this month.

Comparing the Toronto region with other top metro areas in North America, Montreal-based E & B found that the city is strong in many aspects, including manufacturing and software and systems development.

The study also found that Ontario’s capital city is home to strong electronic components manufacturing, and computer and communications equipment manufacturing industries.

“The world’s leading high-tech companies are drawn to Toronto,” said Toronto’s Mayor David Miller while presenting E & B’s findings during the TechAction meeting. To solidify this fact, Miller noted that 65 per cent of ICT firms plan to invest this year in their Toronto region operations.

Almost 90 per cent of the firms polled expect to grow at least as fast as the economy in the next five years, Miller reported, 39 per cent of which expect to grow faster.

According to the report, the Toronto region has a large ICT presence employing 148,000 people in more than 3,300 facilities. Those firms record annual sales over $32.5 billion and more than $6.2 billion in annual exports.

The city of Toronto proper has more than half of all ICT companies in the Greater Toronto Area, according to the report, which accounts for over 1,680 facilities. These facilities are broken down into 95 manufacturing, 386 systems development, 322 software development and 412 service facilities. The remaining 427 were not classified.

Toronto’s location also gives it a strong advantage, according to the report, which states that Toronto businesses have one of the best access entry points to consumers compared to all other metro areas in North America.

As well, Toronto’s labour force is competitive in all key areas, which include availability, expertise, costs and creativity.

E & B’s report indicated that Toronto-region ICT firms target three different markets. Twenty-four per cent target other ICT companies, 24 per cent target consumer markets and 49 per cent of firms target financial services, business services and industrial markets.

The final version of E & B’s report, which will include all metro areas throughout North America, will be released later this month.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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