Two international tech companies have announced Toronto expansion plans.
Indian IT services, consulting, and business solutions firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Melbourne-founded, San Francisco-headquartered PDF document management and e-signature software company Nitro are expanding their presence in Canada with new hubs in Toronto.
Nitro founder and CEO Sam Chandler described the quality of Toronto’s talent pool as a draw for the US software firm.
TCS, which already has a significant presence in Canada, is launching a new “Pace Port” in Toronto to help Canadian companies develop, trial, and adopt new technologies. The facility will mark the firm’s fifth global centre of its kind. TCS CTO Ananth Krishnan described the move as part of the company’s long-term strategic plan for Canada, which includes innovations labs, hiring, and work with schools to support STEM education.
TCS aims to hire 5,000 tech workers across Canada by 2027—an ambitious goal that comes as other companies, including Facebook owner Meta, have dialed back their Canadian expansion plans amid the market downturn. It’s also a sizable number given that many Canadian startups are making layoffs, slowing or freezing hiring, or doing some combination of the three, while also finding it tough to compete for tech talent, especially against larger firms.
Canadian tech talent remains in demand, and for his part, Nitro founder and CEO Sam Chandler cited the quality of Toronto’s talent pool as one of the key reasons why the company opted to establish a physical presence in Toronto.
For Nitro, the company’s Toronto office represents the firm’s first in Canada, and will house approximately 20 percent of Nitro’s 350-person global workforce. Nitro already has about 60 employees in Toronto and five in remote roles across Canada, after it began hiring in the city last year during the pandemic.
Nitro and TCS are far from the only international companies that have sought to dip into Toronto’s tech labour market over the past two years, joining a list that includes Snowflake, Ripple, HubSpot, IBM, Wayfair, DoorDash, Uber, and Pinterest. According to CBRE, Toronto has one of the fastest-growing tech talent pools in North America.
“Ontario’s deep talent pool, strong postsecondary institutions, vibrant innovation and tech ecosystem and competitive business costs make our province an ideal place for investment,” said Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s minister of economic development, job creation, and trade, who called Nitro “a welcome addition” to the province’s tech sector.
François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s minister of innovation, science, and industry, described TCS’ new hub as “an incredible addition to the city’s flourishing tech landscape.”
According to TCS, the company’s new Toronto Pace Port is a 16,000 square foot research and co-innovation centre that will provide companies with access to “the latest technologies and breakthrough thinking” from TCS research labs and partner startups, VCs, entrepreneurs, and academic institutions from across the world.
The company has also committed $1 million CAD towards the University of Toronto’s Data Centre at the School of Cities, “earmarked to support the building of smart cities.”
The news comes just over a year after TCS announced plans to expand its presence in Montréal with a new IT delivery centre and 500 hires. TCS, which is also leading the integration of Canada’s Real-Time Rail system, currently employs over 7,000 people across Canada between its Montréal, Toronto, Calgary, Regina, and Vancouver offices.
While Nitro’s initial Canadian employees focused on sales, the company has since expanded across other areas like marketing, customer service, human resources, and finance. In addition to growing in Toronto in these functions, Nitro also plans to begin doing some engineering in the city.
The company’s new 8,350 square foot office in Toronto’s financial district has space for 80 to 90 people. The company did not disclose its exact hiring goals. The new office will help support Nitro’s Canadian customers, which include Canadian Tire and World Vision Canada.
“The opening of our Toronto office is a clear demonstration of our growing commitment to the Canadian market – both to serving our existing customers and to attracting new business,” said Sam Chandler. “We are excited to be a part of the Toronto region’s vibrant entrepreneurial culture, with its deep bench of tech talent and commitment to technology research and innovation.”
Feature image courtesy Nitro.