Mayor John Tory says that Toronto and New York City can form a technology “powerhouse on the eastern half of the continent” that would bring jobs to both places and rival tech-rich regions like Silicon Valley.
Tory made the comment to CP24 from Manhattan, where he is the midst of a two-day trade mission that began this morning.
The trade mission includes a visit to Sidewalk Labs, which recently won a bid to help construct a high-tech community on Toronto’s waterfront. Tory is also taking part in a roundtable at the Grand Central Tech innovation hub with MaRS to “promote the strategic eastern alliance between New York and Toronto’s tech markets,” the city says. Tonight, he will also co-host a “Tech in Toronto” reception with a group of Toronto technology founders to promote the growth of the industry locally.
“The cost of doing business is lower in Toronto, we have very smart people and a very deep diverse talent pool, and we have a lot of startups here doing great things as they do in New York. Why not put this powerhouse together?” Tory told CP24. “We just want smart people to think about Toronto and to come and make their investments and to use their brains to create jobs.”
Tory says that he has brought the leaders of “a dozen or so” technology firms to New York in the hopes that some of them may be able to develop partnerships that could help create new jobs in Toronto.
He said that he is also meeting with several companies and doing his best to sell them on Toronto as “ideal location” for a second or third office, given the infrastructure that exists here and the “deep talent pool.”
“I think people who are Canadian and who live outside of the country know our quality of life and know how many smart people there are but what they may have thought in the past is that there wasn’t that breadth of opportunity in Toronto that you may have somewhere like New York or Silicon Valley. That is changing,” he said. “We have a fantastic startup community, we have globally recognized expertise in a lot of areas of technology that are hot right now so we are saying to people think Toronto, think jobs in Toronto, think investments in Toronto, think alliances with Toronto.”
On Wednesday, Tory, along with the mayors of Brampton and Mississauga, and the regional chairs of York and Durham, will host the New York launch of Toronto Global, a provincially and federally funded program aimed at promoting the Toronto region and attracting foreign investment.
The trade mission comes amid a time of increasing partnership between Toronto and New York City. In October, Tourism Toronto and NYC & Company signed a two-year agreement aimed at boosting tourism between the two cities.