Monday, May 29, 2017

Silicon Valley North: the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor

 Silicon Valley North: the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor

By Sahra Togone
WES Global Talent Bridge

The Toronto-Waterloo region, often referred to simply as the corridor, is home to thousands of tech startups and multinational companies. The Toronto-Waterloo strip spans 112 kilometers, making it the second largest global innovation technology cluster in North America. 


The corridor is now competing for top talent around the world with billions of dollars of support from both the private and the public sector. The federal government of Canada recently announced funding of more than $752 million for infrastructure upgrades to the GO transit line.

Even though the corridor has access to a talented pool of professionals and new graduates from some of the best universities in the world like University of Waterloo and University of Toronto, it is still not large enough to meet the demands of a growing economy. For the region to be a world leader in tech, it must attract and retain top talent to address the skills shortage in this sector. As the tech industry rapidly expands, Canada is predicted to have 216,000 tech positions filled by 2021 according to IT World Canada.

The Express Entry immigration program intends to address this shortage.

Skilled Immigrant Agencies and Programs in the Tech World
The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is a not-for-profit Canadian center providing knowledge for the digital economy:

ACCES Employment is a nonprofit agency dedicated to connecting employers to job seekers who face employment barriers.
  • IT connections assist internationally trained information technology professionals in obtaining career in Canada by providing job search strategies and connections to IT employers. 
MaRS Discovery District is a nonprofit innovation hub located in the heart of Toronto. Their areas of knowledge and opportunities include:
Bridging Programs:
  • Humber College’s .NET Bridging program offers a 24-week bridging program for internationally trained IT professionals who possess experience in computer programming. The program intends to equip participants with the knowledge and skill to work as software developers in the Canadian job market. 
  • York University's Bridging Program for Internationally Educated Professionals works with small and large local businesses, not-for-profits, professional associations, and accreditation bodies to help IEPs transition into a position that matches their education, credentials and experience.
With this kind of growth and investment, it is no wonder that the corridor is being promoted as the Silicon Valley of the north.
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Sahra Togone is a research assistant at WES Global Talent Bridge Canada.

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