Mark Crawford, Business Events Toronto, writes about the tech boom taking place in Toronto, Canada.
Toronto has emerged as one of the world’s fastest-growing tech markets, and groups choosing the city for their meetings are poised to benefit from what’s happening here in the sector.
Not only is Toronto an appealing international destination to people from all over the world, it has a large proportion of the world’s technology companies, putting attendees within arm’s length of big names like Microsoft, Google and Amazon.
In total, the greater Toronto area has more than 14,000 companies in the technology sector, offering groups a rich community to draw from for collaboration, sponsorship opportunities, and guest speakers.
An ever-growing tech hub, from 2015 – 2016 Toronto added 22,500 new tech jobs – more than New York and San Francisco combined. And soon there will be more insight and ingenuity from which to draw inspiration. In late 2017, Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs announced plans to turn 750 acres of Toronto’s waterfront into a high-tech living laboratory that will become the continent’s largest urban redevelopment project.
Also driving innovation are Toronto’s 65-plus business incubators and accelerators. Take MaRS, for example. One of the world’s largest urban innovation hubs, the MaRS Discovery District offers physical space — a 139,354.6sqm complex in downtown Toronto — as well as a network of 1,000 high-potential-growth startups that collectively generated more than CAD$1.3bn (US$1bn+) in revenue between 2008 and 2015. Others include Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone, a combined incubator/accelerator programme that has helped more than 130 companies, and OneEleven, North America’s largest scaleup innovation hub.
Business Events Toronto recently announced the city won the bid to host Collision, North America’s fastest-growing tech conference for three years starting in 2019. Building on the Toronto region’s momentum as a hub for technology and innovation, the 2019 conference will take place at the Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place.
This is the first time the conference will be held outside of the US. Collision was created by the team behind Web Summit, the world’s largest and most influential tech event, attracting CEOs of the world’s largest companies, founders of exciting startups, leading investors and media, from more than 120 countries.
It’s important to note that part of what makes Toronto’s tech community so unique is its vastness and diversity. The sector is the third largest in North America, comprising 400,000 employees and accounting for 15% of Toronto’s jobs. It also played a big role in Toronto making the shortlist for Amazon’s second headquarters — the only city outside the US to do so.
Toronto offers a diverse selection of event venues throughout the city, including award winning hotels, restaurants, attractions and convention centres including Canada’s largest – the Metropolitan Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC). In total there are four major convention centres in the Toronto region, offering more than 278,709sqm of meeting and exhibition space. Toronto also offers more than 170 hotels with 36,000 hotel rooms.
Toronto is an ideal market for meetings looking to join the conversation that are happening here.