Confirmed: Collision conference relocating to Toronto in 2019

Last month, BetaKit was first to report that Collision, one of North America’s largest tech conferences, would be coming to Canada next year. Today, Paddy Cosgrave, CEO of Web Summit, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau officially announced that Collision will be hosted in Toronto in 2019.

As first reported by BetaKit, the conference, which brings together tech CEOs, founders, and investors from over 120 countries, will be held in Exhibition Place at the Enercare Centre in Toronto from May 20, 2019 to May 23, 2019. Originally hosted in Las Vegas, Collision then moved to New Orleans for three years. This year’s conference, currently taking place in New Orleans, is expected to attract 25,000 attendees.

Cosgrave said Collision’s organizers chose Toronto because of its unique conference facilities, its strong AI-hub, and the size of its tech sector, which currently employs 401,000 people in 18,000 tech companies.

“Right now feels like a special moment for Canada, and for Toronto. There is such energy in the city, such an open, cosmopolitan and global atmosphere.”

“We are delighted to announce that Collision is moving to Toronto,” said Cosgrave. “Right now feels like a special moment for Canada, and for Toronto. There is such energy in the city, such an open, cosmopolitan and global atmosphere.”

Cosgrave added that Toronto was also chosen because of Canada’s commitment to diversity and inclusion through initiatives like the fast-track visa and work permit program.

“A new wave of Canadian founders are building companies not just out of Canada but all over the world,” he said. “At the very moment when some countries around the world seem to be shutting their borders, when intolerance is on the rise, Toronto stands for diversity and inclusion. It’s true that some international tech entrepreneurs have been denied visas to attend Collision in New Orleans in recent years. At the same time, Canada now fast-tracks international work visas.”

Collision — which will address topics including AI, automated and connected vehicles, data, software development, and investment — is expected to bring over 90,000 attendees to Toronto over three years, with an economic impact of $147 million.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he is happy Collision’s organizers chose Toronto to host the fast-growing conference, but he was not surprised by their choice given Toronto’s position as a global tech hub.

“Toronto is a key global tech hub and an example of the diversity that is our strength,” Trudeau said. “Here in Canada, we know innovation and inclusion go together and the rest of the world has taken notice. Tech talent is coming to our country in record numbers and with our skills and innovation plan our government is making it easier for innovators to succeed and for investors to support them.”

Earlier this month, Collision’s organizers asked the world to vote for the conference’s next home. If you were one of the voters, check your email: you should get 75 percent off the ticket price.

Photo courtesy Collision.

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi is a staff writer at BetaKit. As a fourth-year journalism student who has written primarily about entrepreneurship, Amira has developed a growing interest in Canadian startup, business, and tech news. In her free time, Amira enjoys reading, baking and watching legal shows.