Tag Archives: toronto

Sidewalk Labs Comes to its Final Adjourn

The urban subsidiary of Google has reached its final blow. The chief executive, Dan Doctoroff, recently revealed that he had been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. As a result, he announced stepping down from his position to dedicate his time towards raising funds for ALS research. 

This unfortunate news, along with the company’s detachment from a smart city-building project in Toronto a year and a half ago, leads to the eventual disbanding. Here is how it all started:

The Back Story

Sidewalk aimed to revolutionize design thinking and urban planning. Initially, the company hosted a contest among cities to see perfect new regulations.  

Sidewalk then signed a contract with Waterfront Toronto to build a small 12-acre community with high-profiled infrastructure near the downtown. However, it earned a bad reputation as the company kept defying the contract by utilizing more land and power than initially decided. 

Canadians also began having doubts about the data collection that could jeopardize citizens’ privacy. Moreover, people raised concerns about the policymaking process of Canada’s government after this debacle. It gained more negative traction when eminent Canadian urban planners, public service, and investment experts were fired or resigned from their jobs.

The beginning of the Downfall

All of this disarray did not serve well for the company. The global pandemic’s economic uncertainty and dictum from Waterfront Toronto led to the eventual Toronto smart-city project cancelation in May 2020. 

Moreover, developer Stephen Diamond got promoted as Waterfront Toronto’s chair during this challenging time. Diamond spent his tenure negotiating with Mr. Doctoroff, and he was disappointed to realize that Sidewalk Labs had a vision much larger than initially proposed.

Later, the company focused on developing individual products for cities such as smart parking-spot availability and a health care platform worth more than a billion dollars now. However, after Sidewalk fired most of its Toronto staff upon the project’s cancellation, it became lower-profile. The top deputies deserted their positions that sent the company spiraling into chaos.

Way Forward

Mr. Doctoroff revealed that there had been a shift of most of the Sidewalk’s products that are in the development stage under Google’s umbrella. Sidewalk’s remaining top two deputies will be overseeing their development from now. 

Another active project focused on constructing tall buildings made from wood was given to another company. But, unfortunately, there hasn’t been any news release about the urban products in the making yet.

Reddit Opens an Office in Toronto

Canadians, here is some good news for you— another famous social platform has now opened its office in Toronto. 

One of the leading digital forums, Reddit, is looking to expand its global presence to recruit a more diverse engineering and community team. So what could be a better place to do it than Canada, Reddit’s third-largest market.

This digital company began with a short-term hiring plan with ten employees. However, there are rumors that Reddit might be opening more job positions soon for skillful individuals to be part of the official team,

Reddit’s Competition in Canada

Recently, many digital companies have set up their offices in Canada and have contributed significantly towards providing employment. For example, Twitter Inc, Pinterest, and TikTok have boosted their hiring rate in Toronto. 

In addition, an Indian tech-consulting firm— HCL Technologies— has vowed to hire 2000 more employees in the next three years, while TikTok has promised to hire 500 more people.

Reddit has intense competition existing in Canada. As the company scales across Canada, it focuses on building the team quickly. To do that, they are hoping to set the bar for recruitment exceptionally high by hiring the top talent and building a strong talent brand.

Reddit Closing the Distances

Reddit’s new office’s purpose is to encourage a strong relationship between the company and Canada, where a large userbase of Reddit lives. The company recently released that Reddit’s Canadian user base is growing at a rate of more than 40% every year. 

According to the data collected by the company, not every Reddit user is part of other social media platforms. For example, more than 20% of Canadian Reddit users don’t use Facebook, more than 35% don’t use Twitter, and almost 70% said they don’t use TikTok.

The company did not reveal the number of Canadian userbases. However, Reddit is striving to increase the userbase in the country with the help of the Canadian community team.

A New Approach

Reddit has enjoyed being the “front page of the internet” for a long time. The subreddit threads have helped millions of people in all aspects of life— from students to teachers to Wall Street corporates. In addition, it helped in making public opinion matter.

However, public-led movements often have flaws. Reddit is now taking a new approach towards curbing the negative aspects of the website. The company’s chief operating officer, Jen Wong, said, “We take safely, harassment and misinformation really, really seriously on the platform.”

Reddit is dedicated to bringing a positive change to the world. By experimenting and trying new strategies, it is expanding, slowly but surely, around the globe. The hope is to leave its impact by working closely with communities.

Robots in Toronto: Future or Modern Distractions

In the past two years, the world has observed significant changes due to the Pandemic. Technology has taken a shift in paradigm with the help of continuous advancements and researches in AI, making people’s lives easier and bearable. 

New apps and gadgets have been introduced. Along with that, robots have also been seen quite a lot managing chores that were once manhandled. But due to some petitions in recent times, it feels like not many people are happy with this innovation—especially ones with disabilities. 

Petition Against Pink Delivery Robots

Tiny Miles – a company that deals with little pink delivery robots, is on the verge of losing its business. They have been accused of creating a menace on the roads with their robots. David Lepofsky is a retired lawyer and a teacher. He feels that these new robots running around on the pavements make it difficult to commute daily. As David has been blind most of his life, accessibility is a major problem for him. He fears that regardless of the laws created by the government, it’s not helping much since there is no implementation. 

Tiny Miles Robots Are Safe And Tested

CEO-  Ignacio Tartavull has made sure that his robots are safe after hearing Lepofsky’s concerns. They do malfunction sometimes, but those issues are efficiently resolved. Also, a team is designated to pick up the robot if it malfunctions. 

In addition, the robots used for food delivery weigh only 4.5 kg. They also have a friendly speed of 6 km/h, which prevents pedestrians from getting into accidents. He has personally tested these robots to ensure maximum protection. 

Pilot project for robots on the street

The Ministry of Transportation in Canada initiated a pilot project. This project allows companies to operate their robots in public for delivery services and snow shoveling. This project will be monitored by cameras at all times. 

The pilot is supposed to measure the safety of putting robots out in the open. These robots are instructed to be labeled clearly with the company’s name. Also, they should have a speed limit of 10 km/h on sidewalks and 20 km/h on bike lanes. They must weigh less than 125 kgs with 74 cm width. But before the pilot project even ran, pink robots were already operating and are now petitioned to be banned. 

Final Word

According to the city council’s votes, Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee will make final decisions regarding the ban of pink delivery robots. Tiny miles has asked to file a petition. Now only the people can decide the fate of these little robots.

Amazon Will Be Hiring 2,500 Employees in THESE 2 Cities in Ontario

If you were thinking of moving west and living in Hamilton – right now might be a good time to move there. Amazon has announced that they will be hiring 2,500 employees in Hamilton as well as Ajax areas.

Amazon mentioned that they would like to have people hired in 2021. Amazon is currently employing over 21,000 of people in Canada.

We’ve had great success with the talented workforce in Ontario, and we look forward to creating an additional 2,500 full-time jobs with competitive pay and benefits starting on day one.

avatar

Sumegha Kumar

Amazon Canada’s customer fulfilment operations director

These fulfillment centers will have about 1,500 people working in Hamilton while 1,000 will work in Ajax. Fulfillment centers are big warehouses where Amazon holds most of the products and ships them out to customers, sometimes the same day you place an order.

Right now, Amazon has 10 fulfillment centers in Ontario and 6 in the rest of Canada.

Amazon continues to hire people around the world, topping 1 million employees, and is now only second to Walmart for number of people hired.

10 Tips to Get A Job At Companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon

Since many big tech firms are moving recently to Canada to cities like Toronto, Montreal Calgary and Vancouver, you will need the following 10 tips to get a job at one of these big tech firms.

1. Prepare To Wait

Millions of candidates apply to big tech firms every year. On average it takes about 8-12 weeks to receive a job offer if you are selected. Let that sink it – that’s 2-3 months after you start your interviews to get your offer. So make sure you have a job otherwise you will wait for a long time to pass all the interviews. Some of our bigger clients average 8 interviews where it starts with HR interview, and then goes to another 6-7 interviews with developers, leads, managers, VPs, etc.

2. Apply, apply, apply

Even if you do not meet all the requirements, apply anyways. Big tech firms go above and beyond to find a diamond in the rough. So even if you do not have that GoLang requirement but been developing with python apply anyways. If you are good at what you do, hiring manager will try to find a way to hire you.

Be open with recruiter of what you want, and be ready to explain what you have achieved so far in your career.

3. Keep it Simple

Most larger tech firms invested millions into their HR / AI software. However if your resume is illegible , has tables all over the place, or over 3 pages long, sometimes that automatic CV parser would not be able to auto read it and most likely mark it as spam or trash. Make sure you use PDF and or Word resume. Use bullet points for the ease of reading the resume. Your formatting has to be easily understood as most recruiters only spend 10-15 seconds before deciding whether to give you a call or discard your resume.

4. Many Interviews

Be prepared a lot of technical testing. On average bigger tech firms do anywhere from 5 to 8. On top of technical coding challenges you will be asked to “grab a coffee” so the hiring managers and leads can get to know you. Good idea would be to research the person who will be interviewing you to try to estimate what questions will be asked. And most importantly, make sure you go in refreshed and ready to adapt and react.

5. Common Interview Questions at Big Tech Firms

These three questions always come up – so be prepared with an answer:
a) Why are you interested in the job?
b) What are your biggest accomplishments? Explain
c) What are you passionate about? Time to talk about that Fiji hiking trip you did.

6. Dream big, no no even bigger

Big tech loves big dreamers. Your eCommerce idea about selling shoes online might be a good one, but you need to make it 100 or even 1000 times bigger. Big tech caters to millions and billions of users, they want you to think big also. So make it big.

7. Hobbies anyone?

Have a cool hobby? Big tech firms want to hear about your passions. Do you build drones in your spare time? Tell them about that – but do not show off too much. Be modest.

8. Show Interest and Take notes

Buy notepad! and take some notes when doing interviews with big tech. That will show to the hiring manager that you are paying attention and curious. Ask questions – be curious!

9. Social Media

All big tech will do a social media search on you. So be prepared with updated LinkedIn profile, make sure you contribute to GitHub, and share some interesting ideas on Twitter, and for god-sake remove those skinny dipping pics from Facebook.

10. Thank you

Over 80% of candidates do not do this! Send thank you emails to all the interviewers you’ve met. Do not wait – send it the same or next day. Highlight your experience and express your interest in the job. It is so simple, and will give you a definite boost over many other candidates.

Toronto Startup BagAway Helps With Your Luggage Storage

Bagsaway is a Canadian startup based in Toronto that offers on-demand luggage storage for travelers all over the world through their online booking platform. Think of BagsAway as an AirBnB for your luggage, so that whether you have a late checkin or early checkout, you’ll never have to be tied down by your luggage. The idea for BagsAway came from our co-founders’ love of travel and the difficulties they experienced missing out on opportunities for adventure while having to babysit their luggage.

Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?


BagsAway was started by friends Eugene Veeden and Irina Zusman. Eugene was a software engineer who loved to travel and saw an opportunity in a problem anyone could see upon arrival to destinations across the world – why were all these people lugging bags around?! Irina’s has been heavily active in the startup community since graduating from college, working as a Manager of Operation and Product Development for Touch Taxi Media and acting as a marketing executive for Locomobi and the “Have a Heart for Down Syndrome” Foundation.

How are you being financed?


So far, BagsAway has been bootstrapped, but is proud to be a member of Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone, the top business incubator in Canada.

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?


The biggest obstacle for BagsAway is letting people know we’re here! Many travelers don’t know that this service even exists and feel relegated to lugging their suitcases around town with them before checkins or late departing flights. Once people know we exist and have the chance to experience the freedom and security of leaving your baggage with one of our storage partners, they’ll never travel without booking luggage storage again!

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?


With Eugene’s background in software engineering, he is the primary developer for the site, but we also work with an agency that helps advise us on technical SEO, design, user experience, and other elements of our website.

Bagsaway Team

Who is your biggest competition?


Our biggest competition greatly depends on where travelers are headed. There are smaller companies that cater only to specific locations, and there are larger companies that have widespread reach in a handful of locations. The goal for BagsAway, however is to be a global solution so that no matter where travelers go, they have a company they can trust to safely and securely store their luggage – and help local small businesses along the way.

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in revenues? In what markets?


Right now, we’re focused on improving our website, growing our number of partner locations to include top destinations on all the major continents, and providing excellent service to our customers. Shoring up each of these elements of our business while simultaneously spreading the word about our service will help us achieve our revenue goals. With travel still being restricted in many areas of the world, we’ve had a great opportunity to take a step back and start looking at the changes that we want to make for greater success in the future.

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project.


Our biggest lesson came very early – and maybe a touch harshly. In order to succeed, you have to be able to scale and adapt at a rapid pace. BagsAway actually started out as an on-demand pickup and delivery service for travelers. But we quickly realized that this model would be incredibly difficult to scale to areas outside of our local region. With all our investments tied up in this venture we had to quickly figure out how to make the idea work while completely rethinking our business model. Although it was tough to make major changes so quickly, it taught us to always keep listening to our customers in order to continuously improve our offerings. And that is a lesson that has paid for itself 10x over.

Toronto Startup Tazwiz Helps with Local Hiring

Tazwiz is a personal assistant for Startups, Entrepreneurs and SME to ease daily operations. On the platform, post a task that you need help with, set your budget and requirements. Tazwiz will take care of the rest from connecting you to local students and taskers to handling the payments.

Who started the company? Do you / team members have a tech background? 

Tazwiz was started by Parth Patel while pursuing his computer engineering degree. With many successes and failures in his past startups, Parth never gave up the entrepreneurial dream. When it came to Tazwiz, Parth risked it all and dropped out of college to pursue his passion full-time.

How are you being financed? 

Tazwiz was able to secure an angel investment early on to bring the MVP to life, and recently secured a seed round from a Houston based VC to help Tazwiz expand across Canada and into other parts of the world.

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome? 

The biggest problem to overcome for any market place is the classic chicken and egg problem. In other words balancing supply and demand. We are growing daily and need to make sure that we have enough taskers (students/professionals) on the site to match the requests of customers. 

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company? 

When building a good product with a strong vision, you’ll attract developers from where you least expect it. For instance Parth and Orlandson (now Co-Founder and CTO of Tazwiz) had met each other in a summer marketing class. Of course, the rest is history. 

Who is your biggest competition? 

Upwork is our biggest competitor, but unlike them, Tazwiz has uniquely focused on providing our customers with local support of young talented students. We want to corner the niche market of student and freelance employment which is growing by leaps and bounds in this uncertain job economy. Also, there are tasks that people just don’t want to do or would rather pay someone else to do, we offer that service. 

How are you intending on taking your company to million of dollars in revenues? In what markets? 

To reach a million dollars in revenue, our main focus has been in providing value at a community level by collaborating with incubators and government agencies. One of Tazwiz’s core values is that by working together as one, no challenge can be unsolved. 

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project.

Investing in a team that has genuine care for your product is the biggest asset for any startup. Throughout the journey, you will be faced with a lot of hurdles but when you have a team that cares, they will sacrifice without you asking; work hard without you asking; and dig deeper without you asking.