The fact that Toronto provides a more than favorable setting for careers in various sectors is hardly a secret. After a sharp decline during the worldwide financial crisis at the end of the last decade, the region has managed to bounce back very quickly.
Being employed in Toronto for a number of years is a great career option for people in the financial sector, as the city is home to one of the world’s largest financial districts (located mostly on Bay Street). The city is also a major entertainment and media hub, particularly for the advertisement and film industries. Many Hollywood movies are actually produced by companies with offices and subsidiaries in Toronto. While many industrial operations have moved out of the city proper, a lot of companies make a point out of maintaining their Toronto-based headquarters.
Toronto has to be seen as part of a larger economy that goes beyond the city limits: the Greater Toronto Area, or GTA for short, contributes a large share to the national GDP (around 10%) and is home to almost 40% of Canadian corporate headquarters. The GTA prides itself of having a diverse and varied economy, and the many employment opportunities for expats in Toronto’s neighboring areas confirm this.
If you are looking for employment in the finance sector, your number one option will still be working in Toronto, but many other industries have relocated outside of the city limits. Toronto’s adjacent municipalities hold great opportunities for people looking to work in fields such as IT, communications, software development, automotive manufacturing, and many more. The information technology and software sectors in particular have steadily grown for a number of years. Almost half of the nation’s manufactured goods are produced in Toronto and its surrounding area.
Opportunities for working in Toronto as an expat are plentiful — if you are lucky enough to work within a field where there is a skill shortage in the area. If not, things will quickly become a bit more complicated. Competition is fierce, and the influx of Canadian citizens, immigrants, and expats with hopes of working in Toronto is considerable.
As we have highlighted in our article on working in Canada and part two of this article, a very convenient and safe method of securing a job in Toronto is the intra-company transfer. Chances are that if you are employed with a large multinational company, they will either have an office or subsidiary in Toronto, or might be thinking of making the move there. The Ontario government offers a number of highly attractive incentives for companies interested in investing in the GTA and the rest of the province. To further sweeten the deal, statistics have shown that, with trimmed and leaner bureaucracy involved, setting up shop and working in Toronto and Ontario has gotten a lot easier.
As the Temporary Foreign Worker Program — see the second page of this article — is the preferred option for expats interested in relocating to Canada, your first step is to find an employer who is willing to offer you a contract. However, as many an expat in Toronto will be able to tell you, the best jobs are often not available to those coming to the city from abroad. The reason is quite simple: If you have not been working in Toronto, thus establishing a network of business contacts around town, chances are that you will not even hear of the employment possibilities advertised on a word-of-mouth basis.
Many of the most lucrative jobs are not publicly advertised. Time is money, and putting up ads for new openings consumes both. If you happen to have connections in the city, whether they are friends, former colleagues, or business partners, it might be a good idea to ask them about possible opportunities to start working in Toronto.
If this option is not open to you, you will have to tackle the task of working in Toronto the “old-fashioned” way: browsing the internet editions of large local newspapers (e.g. Toronto Sun) or checking various online job portals (e.g. Workopolis, Jobsin Toronto and craigslist).
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