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Canada: It’s Official - Toronto Is One of the World’s Best Tech Cities
Source: itbusiness.ca
Source Date: Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs, Knowledge Management in Government
Country: Canada
Created: Apr 24, 2017

2016 apparently proved to the world that Toronto is a premium destination for technology, with a second report this year listing the Canadian metropolis in the top 10 of tech cities worldwide.

Similar to a report by an Australian firm that placed Toronto 8th in its annual index of best digital innovative cities, U.K. firm Savills World Research has ranked the city at number six on its “Tech Cities 2017: The cities at the forefront of global tech” report.

Out of 22 cities, Toronto was the only Canadian city to make the list. The top five, in order, were Austin, Texas; San Francisco; New York; London; and Amsterdam.

To create its list, Savills ranked each city across five categories: business environment, tech environment, city buzz and wellness, talent pool, and real estate costs.

While Toronto doesn’t rank at the top of any categories, its consistency across all five push it ahead of cities that may do well in one category while dropping in the others. The city does best in buzz and wellness, mostly due to its café culture. Savills took into account how easy it is to get a “decent brew and free WiFi for on the go work and networking.” The average cup of joe in Toronto is $2.48, compared to the $3.23 in other ranked cities.

Out of the 22 cities ranked, this is where Toronto fell in each category:

- Business environment: Toronto ranked 11 – Composed of investment environment, business costs and regulations, start-up culture, R&D and innovation, and linkages with other cities. Toronto’s city GDP per capita is $44,907 million, compared to the tech cities’ average of $51,119 million. The city sees 43.4 million annual passengers across its airports compared to the 48.5 million average.
- Tech environment: Toronto ranked 11 – Assesses digital infrastructure, broadband networks, and consumer engagement. Toronto’s broadband download speed is 20.9 MBPS compared to the average 19.4 across the other ranked cities. When it comes to startups, Toronto has 1.1 per 1,000 people compared to the 2.3 startups per 1,000 average.
- Buzz and wellness: Toronto ranked 5 – Looks at factors like pollution levels, quality of parks, crime, healthcare, and equal pay for wellness, and entertainment, nightlife, retail, and cultural experiences offered to determine how healthy and vibrant the city is. Toronto’s average tech commute is 40 minutes, compared to the 32 minutes average, while the cost of living for transportation on average is $2.30 compared to the $2.13 average in the other cities.
- Talent pool: Toronto ranked 7 – Looks at a city’s youthfulness, tech education credentials, and ability to attract talent. Toronto’s millennial to boomer ratio is 1:1 compared to the average 1.3:1. The future is bright for youth in Toronto, with Savills’ population growth forecast of 2016-2026 putting the city at 16 per cent compared to the 10 per cent average.
- Real estate costs: Toronto ranked 11 – Combines office and residential prices for the overall real estate costs bracket (USD).
Mainstream weekly residential rent (for tech employees and household): Toronto – $344, Tech cities average – $368.
Prime weekly residential rent (for tech employees and household): Toronto – $968, Tech cities average – $1.196.
Established tech firm office rent (per square foot): Toronto – $25, Tech cities average – $53.
Scale-up tech firm office rent (per square foot): Toronto – $33, Tech cities average – $34.

(By Alex Radu)
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