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is vancouver still the biggest tech hub in canada?

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Feb 21, 2013
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Yukon

is vancouver still the biggest tech hub in canada?

i've been reading some of the papers in vancouver and they call call vancouver the silicon valley north of canada. is this true? seems like vancouver is the place to be if you are in the IT sector.
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Jun 25, 2011
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Alberta
hipster wrote: i've been reading some of the papers in vancouver and they call call vancouver the silicon valley north of canada. is this true? seems like vancouver is the place to be if you are in the IT sector.
Vancouver is not a silicon valley but it is certainly Chinese real estate heaven. But if you are Canadian, you will be better off avoiding this place.
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Nov 6, 2010
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Local papers aren't very indicative as they tend to be biased to gloss their local area. For example, I know Ottawa is also still using the whole "Silicon Valley of the North" title from the Nortel days.

I have friends from SFU in software/systems engineering as well as CS and they said job market in Vancouver isn't really that hot hence why they were in Toronto with me interning at the time.
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Nov 2, 2013
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In an environment where common university education fields are oversaturated, in that relative sense, yes. In the recent years there have been a bunch of new post-grad and diploma programs developed just to cater to these jobs. UBC even made a 2-year Bachelor's degree for CS and it's quite popular.

But I would hardly call it a Silicon Valley north- you'll find an OK paying job of around 40-50g, 50-60 maybe after some experience or if you land a job on the upper end, but don't expect to fly. Those numbers sound decent but note you are in the most expensive area in Canada subject to foreign speculation and investment, so your real income is hardly much. People in Vancouver often see Toronto area as a heaven for industry (beyond just CS, IT) and then you have people there complaining.

Problem with these things is 1 guy raves about it, then his buddies and family members hear and decide that they can get a job in it too if they just went to school for it. Then it becomes a multiplier effect and a cycle.
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albertaguy wrote: Vancouver is not a silicon valley but it is certainly Chinese real estate heaven. But if you are Canadian, you will be better off avoiding this place.
Common joke there is
(a) you went to school but it didn't work out. Then you decided to become an RE agent and lease the cheapest Mercedes
or
(b) you smoke weed in your mom's basement and work at starbucks
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Vancouver the high tech capital of Canada?

Absolutely not.

Go through a job site, filter on city and tech jobs, and compare results for Vancouver Ottawa and Toronto. That'll show where they're looking for future employees.

Ontario has hundreds, maybe even a few thousand, buildings filled with high tech employees.
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FirstGear wrote: Common joke there is
(a) you went to school but it didn't work out. Then you decided to become an RE agent and lease the cheapest Mercedes
or
(b) you smoke weed in your mom's basement and work at starbucks
Not a joke to Vancouverites, but a very common occurrence.
[OP]
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Feb 21, 2013
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RxMills wrote: Vancouver the high tech capital of Canada?

Absolutely not.

Go through a job site, filter on city and tech jobs, and compare results for Vancouver Ottawa and Toronto. That'll show where they're looking for future employees.

Ontario has hundreds, maybe even a few thousand, buildings filled with high tech employees.
how about hootsuite?
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Didn't mean to imply there are no purple Ferraris in Vancouver. Only that most Ferraris in Vancouver are not purple.
hipster wrote: how about hootsuite?
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Nov 6, 2010
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hipster wrote: how about hootsuite?
Just because there's some tech startups there doesn't mean it's a tech hub. Ottawa has Shopify; Toronto has Buytopia; Montreal has Outbox; hell one of the founders of Uber is from Calgary. Tech jobs are literally everywhere, but what makes it a "hub" is more the abundance of them moreso than just the presence. As far as I can tell, there's some conglomeration in some of the major Canadian cities, but I don't think enough to qualify any of them as "Silicon Valley of the North". Seattle probably outclasses any Canadian city and it's just south of the border.
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Among world best 20 tech startup locations, Canadian cities ranked as follows:

8. Toronto
9. Vancouver
16. Waterloo

http://betakit.com/three-canadian-citie ... fographic/

How good this ranking methodology is can be questioned but overall i'd agree.

[edit]Corrected #9 London -> Vancouver. thanks.
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markom wrote: Among world best 20 tech startup locations, Canadian cities ranked as follows:

8. Toronto
9. London
16. Waterloo

http://betakit.com/three-canadian-citie ... fographic/

How good this ranking methodology is can be questioned but overall i'd agree.
Just a quick correction, #9 is Vancouver not London according to your link.

What's interesting about that link is that Waterloo has the most "ex-Silicon valley" workers.
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Sep 16, 2012
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I think that the idea of Vancouver being the main hub for tech in Canada is slowly changing, seems like the KW-Toronto corridor will be a important location in terms of innovation and the continued support of start ups.
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RxMills wrote: Not a joke to Vancouverites, but a very common occurrence.
Wow, I must be living under a rock.
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Vancouver is definitely not the hub for tech.
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Vancouver ain't the hub for any big industry except for foreign real estate investment.
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Vancouver is mostly good for Overseas Chinese to buy Real estate , BC weed and Starbucks Barista jobs. They have NO real economy as such.
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May 11, 2008
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The only large tech and fx companies I know that've opened up offices in Vancouver are Microsoft, Sony Pictures Imageworks and Industrial Light & Magic in the last couple of years.
Amazon and Alibaba also have offices here now but none of those are tech companies.
I'd say Vancouver's big industry is probably film and tv.
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Nov 19, 2011
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Vancouver nice place to live wether wise but with how crazy the housing market is I would expect real Canadians who were not established before this crazy house market there to leave sooner or later since wages are not really keeping pace with cost of living. Think of it this way, generally younger new graduates are more able to make start ups (take risks, no family an such). These guys need to pay back quite a sizable student loan as well so they need to have a minimum a job that they can have food shelter and pay there loan. Wages in Vancouver do not reflect that cost of live all that great and will probably get worse since people who actually buy home there and rent them out will need to charge more (house cost is extremely high compared to rest of Canada). From a purely financial stand point a smart cs graduate that doesn't care to stay in Canada can easily find a job in US with big company get paid more and have lower cost of living (yah don't include silcon valley in this that is a place were wages are high and cost of living is to match for this industry). This just my opinion I expect to see Vancouver to basically become a place were the younger generation start to export from. Basically in the future watch out if we increase the interest late by a few percent many Canadians will probably lose there homes in Vancouver and rich international buyers will have a hay day since interest means very little to them.

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