Toronto is having a big tech moment

After promising to search North America for the perfect home for its next headquarters, Amazon has narrowed its list ...

Posted: Jan 21, 2018 12:20 PM
Updated: Jan 21, 2018 12:20 PM

After promising to search North America for the perfect home for its next headquarters, Amazon has narrowed its list to 20 cities - 19 of which are in the United States. The one exception? Toronto.

An outlier on Amazon's list, Toronto has earned the attention of the technology world due to its diverse population, talent pool and welcome stance on immigration.

"It's got this incredible aspiration for inclusivity," Dan Doctoroff, CEO of Sidewalk Labs, the urban innovation arm of Google's parent company which is developing a Toronto neighborhood, said at an event Wednesday. "If Amazon sees what we see here, it won't even be a close call."

Toronto is the fourth largest city by population in North America, with 2.8 million people. Its percentage of foreign-born residents in the region - 39.7% - exceeds every other city on Amazon's list. Its population has grown by more than 400,000 people in the last five years.

Toronto's appeal to the tech sector, which relies on foreign workers, has grown amid diverging stances on immigration from the U.S. and Canadian governments. Last year, Canada launched a program to process work permits and visa applications for skilled workers within two weeks.

Three Amazon finalists are inside the Beltway. What gives?

The Trump administration has moved to tighten access to H-1B visas, a popular route to tech jobs for foreign workers. Its 2017 travel ban for six majority-Muslim countries also rattled the tech industry, triggering foreigners to give more serious consideration to education and work outside the U.S.

"The more inclusive we are, the more we will win against communities that are trying to exclude any group of talent," Karen Greve Young, vice president of corporate development and partnerships at Mars, a Toronto organization that supports startups, told CNN Tech.

In 2017, the University of Toronto's computer science program saw a 50% increase in graduate school applicants, according to its director of professional programs, Matt Medland.

The university is also home to a superstar in the world of artificial intelligence, professor Geoffrey Hinton. Tech giants such as Google and Amazon see artificial intelligence as essential to the future of their companies.

Related: Google's parent company to build futuristic neighborhood in Toronto

In its bid to host Amazon's second headquarters, Toronto promised to boost the number of the students graduating with STEM degrees. Toby Lennox, CEO of Toronto Global, which organized Toronto's submission, believes talent is why Toronto was the only non-U.S. city to make Amazon's list.

"We're able to meet their needs across the board," Lennox said. "Once you match that with an immigration system and an education system that is so welcoming, it makes for large employers a real opportunity."

Lennox said he heard from a company interested in Toronto because it needed workers who could speak four different Portuguese dialects.

"We've just made the playoffs," Toronto Mayor John Tory told CNN Tech. "But it's a long way to the prize."

West Lafayette
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 54°
Kokomo
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 58°
Rensselaer
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 52°
Fowler
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 52°
Williamsport
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 53°
Crawfordsville
Clear
51° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 51°
Frankfort
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 54°
Delphi
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 53°
Monticello
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 53°
Logansport
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 54°
Mainly Dry and Warmer Rest of the Week.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 112626

Reported Deaths: 3520
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20832759
Lake10292318
Elkhart6415109
St. Joseph6156102
Allen6029200
Hamilton4724109
Vanderburgh344530
Hendricks2673122
Monroe247436
Tippecanoe226913
Johnson2268123
Clark215056
Porter207845
Cass19329
Delaware188261
Vigo178123
Madison159575
LaPorte137739
Floyd131461
Howard128563
Kosciusko120217
Warrick119936
Bartholomew115357
Marshall98924
Dubois95418
Boone95146
Hancock91143
Grant89133
Noble89132
Henry77024
Wayne74414
Jackson7409
Morgan70038
Shelby66529
Daviess64427
Dearborn63228
LaGrange63111
Clinton59212
Harrison56024
Putnam53710
Lawrence50528
Montgomery50521
Knox5019
Gibson4854
White48114
DeKalb45611
Decatur45439
Miami4263
Fayette41813
Greene41835
Jasper3862
Steuben3707
Scott35610
Sullivan33012
Jennings31212
Posey3060
Franklin29925
Clay2935
Orange28524
Ripley2838
Carroll27013
Wabash2618
Washington2611
Starke2537
Whitley2526
Wells2482
Adams2453
Jefferson2443
Fulton2342
Huntington2223
Tipton21722
Spencer2153
Perry21413
Randolph2087
Jay1730
Newton17111
Owen1651
Martin1640
Rush1524
Pike1401
Vermillion1260
Fountain1182
Pulaski1151
Blackford1133
Crawford1030
Brown1023
Parke941
Benton880
Union770
Ohio767
Switzerland700
Warren391
Unassigned0225

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events