Toronto's Tech Scene Beats Vancouver's, Report Says

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Vancouver loves to hold up its tech sector as a bright light of its economy.

The Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) brags that the city is "rapidly evolving while drawing global attention and the world's top talent."

It boasts of hosting companies such as Hootsuite, Avigilon and Slack (which has a Vancouver office, but is based out of San Francisco).

But the city doesn't rank very highly when it comes to tech hubs across North America. Heck, it isn't even Canada's top city for tech talent, according to a Scoring Tech Talent report out of CBRE, a commercial real estate company.

hootsuite
Hootsuite, a Vancouver tech company. (Photo: Zi-Ann Lum/HuffPost B.C.)

Toronto ranked 12th among 50 North American markets cited in the report, with a score of 55.89. Vancouver came in 20th with a score of 50.90.

The cities were scored based on 13 metrics that gauged each market's competitive advantages and their ability to attract talent.

This included factors such as local wages and operating costs.

slack
The front doors to Slack's office in Vancouver's Yaletown neighbourhood. (Photo: Jesse Ferreras/HuffPost Canada)

Vancouver is used to topping lists of most expensive real estate. But it ranks at the very bottom when it comes to what it costs to operate a tech company.

The cost to rent office space there was highest among all cities at $2,994,750 per year (CBRE arrived at this figure by multiplying average rent by 75,000 square feet).

But Vancouver wages ranked lowest in every category that CBRE examined, including low-level and management-level tech jobs.

All told, it would cost $29,184,572 to operate there, less than any other city among the 50 examined in the report — and all because its workers make less money.

toronto skyline
Toronto's skyline. (Photo: Andrew Rowat/Getty Images)

Toronto, meanwhile, ranked second-to-last when it came to the cost of operating a tech firm. The total cost was pegged at $30,919,100 — and that, too, had a lot to do with comparatively low wages.

Neither city, however, ranked near the top of the list. That spot was reserved, unsurprisingly, for California's San Francisco Bay Area, which had a score of 84.62.

It was followed by Washington, D.C., with a score of 67.24.

Much higher average wages are attainable in both cities.

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