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Microsoft is Opening Toronto Headoffice, 60,000 New Jobs Projected

Big news for Toronto today, Microsoft has announced that it will be opening a huge office downtown Toronto.

Microsoft is committed to Toronto, so much so, it will be investing $570 million dollars into the city and the province of Ontario. At first they want to hire 500 employees as well as 500 students, but they have also announced that with this new office they can see an estimated 60,000 new jobs to be created around the “Microsoft ecosystem. by the time they open at the end of 2020.  Right now Microsoft employs 2,300 employees across Canada.

Microsoft’s new office will be at 81 Bay Street taking over  CIBC Tower 132,000 sq. ft. with opening date in 2020.

Now that Microsoft has made this big decision, Amazon needs to make up their mind as well, and choose Toronto as well for their HQ2.

Some were dissatisfied with the announcement:

Microsoft also has offices in Vancouver where they they have development centre and Montreal where they have AI research lab. In a recent announcement they said in Vancouver they will be adding 50 employees, and 75 more employees in Montreal.

Why Amazon Picked Toronto as Their Top 20 HQ2 Finalist

Toronto, the only Canadian city , was picked as top 20 contender for Amazon second head quarters. John Tory, Toronto’s mayor, was very happy to hear the good news:

We are excited to have this opportunity and to be able to tell Toronto’s unique story. The Toronto Region has emerged as a global centre of innovation and technology because of our talented, diverse and inclusive workforce. There is no other city region in North America that can boast the same talent, the same quality of life, the same vibrancy and economic strength,” he said.

However at this point it does not matter if win or lose, Toronto has established itself as a major tech hub in North America that can take on Boston, Chicago and even New York City.

Toronto’s Advantages

Toronto is already booming with tech with major players have established their offices here. And unlike in Montreal, a city in the neighbouring province of Quebec, most of the Fortune 500, have hired not just handful of developers but thousands.

Free-Photos / Pixabay
  • General Motors is hiring 1,000 software engineers to build a smart car
  • Thomson Reuters is hiring 1,500 software engineers for their tech hub
  • Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft is hiring 1,000s of developers to get their AI / machine learning going
  • … and last but not least Google is building a high tech city of tomorrow downtown Toronto

Toronto and its residents have 3 big things going for them that no other city in North America can rival:

geralt / Pixabay
  1. Immigration policy is better than in the US. Recently introduced tech visas can be obtained in less than 2 weeks. There is also no limit on # of visas issued.
  2. Ontario has publicly funded universities. High rated universities such as University of Toronto and Waterloo produce thousands of smart engineers.
  3. High tech salaries while high for Canadian salary standards are very low when compared to US salaries most software engineers make in most of the cities in United States.

Toronto’s Disadvantages

paulbr75 / Pixabay

The only thing that Toronto might be lacking is high cost of real estate where many detached houses are sold for over $1m in Toronto and the suburbs such as Mississauga, Richmond Hill and Oakville. Toronto is still not as high as San Francisco or New York real estate and salaries earned in Toronto are higher when adjusted for cost of living.

Toronto Mayor John Tory discusses making the cut on Amazon’s list of potential cities to build its second headquarters.

Toronto Mayor John Tory: Amazon would be a great addition to Toronto economy from CNBC.