Toronto Beats San Francisco in Tech Jobs Growth

CBRE Group just published their latest annual survey, where they found that Toronto is hot hot hot when it comes to tech jobs growth. CBRE , in their survey, ranked 50 markets across North America and took into account such things as talent supply, concentration, education and cost as well as outlooks for job and rent growth for both offices and apartments.

Toronto is so HOT that it had more job growth than the US cities of San Francisco Bay area, Seattle and Washington, D.C. combined. The city added  28,900 tech jobs,  14 % more over a year and now has over 241,000 tech workers. This is more than double of employed IT workers than 5 years ago in 2012.

But the news do come with caveat. Toronto only got 4th place when it came to competitiveness coming in after New York City, Bay Area, Seattle and the Washington, DC.

CBRE says that more than 5 million tech workers are employed in the US and 830,000 in Canada.

Paul Morassutti, executive managing director at CBRE Canada said:

“Companies looking to house operations are putting serious thought to locating in Canada. Toronto is among the best values for tech firms, due to cheaper labor and real estate and a well-educated workforce. The U.S. Midwest offers good value as well.”

Just to put it in perspective running 500 people company requiring 75,000 sq ft in Canada vs the US the cost of rent in US dollars would be:

  • $27.6 million in Montreal
  • $32.2 million in Ottawa,
  • $30.2 million in Toronto.
  • Rochester, New York, the cheapest U.S. market of those CBRE studied, amount to $36.3 million, while the Bay Area adds up to $57.4 million

Cities like Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver and Montreal provide exceptional value to US companies looking to stretch their US might dollar. As you can see on a graph below – most of the salaries in Canada are still half of what US employees get in cities like NYC and San Francisco.

Costco Starts Online Deliveries in Canada

It is a good day to be alive. Costco, the largest retailer in North America, has announced that it has started online deliveries in Canada. Unfortunately the debut is limited to people who live in Toronto area as well as Southern Ontario.

You can now stock up on hundreds of items such as non-perishable grocery items, beauty products and supplements. No matter what your heart desires those enormously large boxes of Costco products can be waiting for you at your door steps within days.

Costco says that delivery is now only available in the Greater Toronto area and southern Ontario and that they will be expanding their coverage in the future. So as long as you live in the hot and desirable postal codes of Toronto and Southern Ontario you can order and get it delivered for free. Barrie Ontario somehow made it on Costco delivery list even though it is officially in Central Ontario but places like Kingston and Ottawa and other provinces are not covered for now.

Costco delivery is free and guaranteed within two days, as long as your order is $75 or more. Deliveries unfortunately can not be done over the weekend.

Costco Canada’s Senior Vice-President and Senior General Merchandise Manager Andrée Brien said

“We are starting on a smaller scale to ensure that we provide the level of service that Canadian members have come to enjoy across all of our businesses and services.”

Andrée said that the service will eventually be rolled out to the rest of Ontario and Quebec.

Note deliveries do not include perishable items such as steak, fish and chicken. You would still need to get into your car and drive to go pick it up.



Amazon to Hire 600 in Ottawa

Amazon announced this week that they will be building a new sorting warehouse facility in Ottawa about 1 million sq ft, and will require 600 employees to operate it.

On your first day of work at Amazon you will eligible for nice hourly wages, medical / vision / dental coverage, a group RRSP, stock options, and performance-based bonuses.

Director of Amazon Operations in Canada , Glenn Sommerville, said

“Ontario continues to be a great place for Amazon to do business and we look forward to adding a fulfillment centre in the National Capital Region. Our ability to expand in Ontario and create more than 600 new jobs is the result of two things: incredible customers and an outstanding workforce. Amazon is committed to providing great opportunities for employment and creating a positive economic impact for the region.”

Amazon warehouse is set to open in few years, but they will be starting the hiring process soon to hire associates to “pick, pack, and ship large items like household decor, sporting equipment and gardening tools.”

You can watch video about what it’s like to work at Amazon warehouse below

Amazon has about 6,000 employees in Canada, and has announced opening of a big office in Vancouver recently as well.

Newly elected Ontario provincial Premier, Doug Ford, was pleased with the news as well

“We applaud Amazon for making this investment and, we look forward to doing our part to help other top employers create and protect good jobs in our province. Ontario is open for business.”


Not enough cyber security talent in Canada, Deloitte reports

A new report by Deloitte said that Canada is severely lacking cyber security talent , and shortage of talent is not being addressed enough by universities and colleges.

Deloitte says that demand for cyber security professionals is climbing up by a rate of 7% annually with 5,000 of roles expected to be filled by 2021.

Deloitte said that total cyber security employment around the world by 2022 will be around 1.8 million.

This shortage needs to be fixed as soon as possible report states, due to pace of global technological innovation by more than $3 US trillion are expected in lost economic value in 2020 if not addressed.

Report states that universities and colleges in Canada are trying to address the shortage but find themselves in a tough spot as there are not enough qualified professors and instructors.

Deloitte recommends hiring consultants to address the demand, keep up with rising pay, and increase recruitment efforts by using recruitment agencies or consultants to help with hiring.

Report concludes

“For the foreseeable future, Canadian businesses, educational institutions, and governments that look at the cyber talent shortage through a human-centric lens, and take bold and deliberate steps to overcome the challenges will push ahead of their peers.”

Montreal the worst airport in North America for Wifi

Internet metrics service Speedtest by Ookla published a report of fastest and most reliable free internet at airports across North America. In Canada Calgary took the first spot at #3 after Seattle #1, and Denver #2 in the United States.

The report looked into upload and download speeds over a period of 4 months earlier this year. Calgary got 67.23 megabytes per second (Mbps) and upload speed of 87.99 Mbps. Montreal Trudeau airport got very slow download speed of 6.41 and upload speed of 6.81 Mbps.

Toronto Pearson airport did not fare much with download and upload speeds of 7.14 and 8.99 Mbps respectively.

You can see list of top airports when it comes to internet speeds below:

  1. Seattle
  2. Denver
  3. Calgary
  4. Atlanta
  5. San Francisco
  6. Philadelphia
  7. Vancouver
  8. Boston
  9. Orlando
  10. New York – LaGuardia
  11. Chicago
  12. Newark
  13. Dallas Fort Worth
  14. New York – JFK
  15. Los Angeles
  16. Houston
  17. Las Vegas
  18. Miami
  19. Charlotte
  20. Phoenix
  21. Detroit
  22. Minneapolis
  23. Toronto
  24. Montreal

Hackers Might Be Listening to Your Phone

This might not come as a surprise to many people but your phone (well more accurately your office VoiP phone) might have been hacked and hackers on the other side of the world are listening in.

Many VoIP office phones (sold by such online stores as in Canada) and produced by such companies such as Cisco, Yealink, Grandstream and Snom might be vulnerable to hackers due to lack of software updates.

The video below features  Ang Cui, cybersecurity expert and founder of Red Balloon Security, who goes over how you can protect yourself and your company from hackers and espionage.

Basically to summarize the video , Ang says that hackers can hack pretty much any VoIP phone due to vulnerable software.

Once hackers take ahold of your phone they can “… certainly listen to you when you’re making phone calls. They can probably figure out who you’re calling and when.”

Due to the way phone works , the microphone never turns off, so you do not even have to be talking on a phone for hackers to hear what you are saying.

The hackers do not even have to be in the same room as the phone, most VOIP phones are on the internet and hackers sitting in China for example, can hack into your phone via your router or firewall or even printer.

stevepb / Pixabay

Another problem Ang says exists that even if companies such as Cisco patch up the security issues, some of the VoIP phones on the market has been around for 5-10 years and only have the firmware update from say 2010 (8 years ago) and therefore last 8 years of patches were not applied.

So basically if you want to make sure your phones are safe – better run those firmware updates right now. What are you waiting for?

Facebook Canada to Fight Fake News

Facebook Canada announced this week that it will be fighting fake news on its platform.

The initiative will be part of Facebook’s Elections Integrity Initiative, in collaboration with Agence France-Presse. Each piece of news will be reviewed in English and French and rated according to its accuracy.

Facebook is trying to shake off its image as fake news provider ever since Russians have interfered with US presidential elections in 2016. Russians have created divisive content on Facebook and Instagram to steer elections. Russian government has denied any wrong doing in this case.

Facebook Canada said that if story is rated as false, it will state so under the article. The articles will be defined as being true, false or offering inaccurate or misleading information. Facebook users “will be informed if a story they shared on Facebook has been rated as false.”

Facebook Canada’s head of public policy, Kevin Chan, said

“The AFP fact-checkers could find [misleading stories] by themselves. They will also rely on individuals, Canadians who are on Facebook, reporting these things to us. The third way, over time, will be [artificial intelligence] tools that will be able to proactively identify them.”

Facebook stock have recently reached an all time high of $201 while Instagram if valued by itself is valued at $100b+.