Toronto: Next Big Startup Hub?

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An interesting article on TechCrunch suggests that Toronto could become the Canadian Silicon Valley—provided the city continues to support local technological development.

Josh Guttman, the partner at SBNY (formerly Softbank Capital) who authored the piece, has a vested interest in Toronto’s tech evolution, as his firm is looking to actively fund startups in the city. Nonetheless, he points out how Toronto’s government has launched several initiatives to encourage startup growth, including financial support through FedDev Ontario and a tax incentive via Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SRED).

Startups already present in Toronto include FreshBooks, Wattpad, Soapbox, and Figure 1. The recent implosion of Research In Motion (RIM), headquartered in nearby Waterloo, has also unlocked hundreds of talented technologists to pursue careers at smaller companies, benefiting Canada’s tech ecosystem as a whole.

According to Robert Half Technology’s 2016 Salary Guide (PDF), tech-pro salaries in Canada have been on the rise, with Big Data engineers, database managers, and applications architects pulling down as much as $152,500 (Canadian dollars) per year on average. Software engineers and developers can earn nearly as much.

Fortunately, if Toronto doesn’t appeal as a place to live and work, North America abounds with tech-centric cities. In Silicon Valley, according to Dice’s data, the average tech salary hit $118,243 in 2015—a year-over-year increase of 5 percent. New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Seattle likewise pair high salaries with lots of amenities. Those who don’t want to deal with the cost of living in a big city can also look forward mid-sized burgs such as Minneapolis and Austin, which host a growing number of tech firms.

Image Credit: Maurizio De Mattei/Shutterstock.com

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