Do U.S. tech job-seekers really prefer Ottawa over Toronto?


The battle of Ontario took on a new dimension this week with the release of new data by job search website Indeed that took a closer look at which Canadian cities are most appealing to U.S. tech workers considering a move abroad.

It’s been a particularly hot topic ever since the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, whose divisive victory led many Americans to explore immigrating to Canadian cities – including Ottawa – and coincided with a big uptick in U.S. job applicants at local e-commerce firm Shopify.

The Indeed statistics, released Tuesday, looked at the number of clicks Canadian tech job postings received from within the United States.

The findings?

“Ottawa is the most appealing metro area for U.S. tech-job seekers,” the report said. That message was quickly repeated by Invest Ottawa, local media outlets and Bloomberg.

However, Ottawa only comes out on top after Indeed attempted to factor out the relative size of Canadian cities.

Indeed ranked metropolitan areas by comparing the number of clicks on tech job postings with clicks on all tech and non-tech positions in a city. By this metric, Ottawa placed first, meaning the city’s tech sector is disproportionately popular compared with all other local industries among U.S. job-seekers.

But what about the big question? Where do U.S. tech workers want to live in Canada?


Indeed says Canada’s largest city accounts for 46 per cent of U.S. job seeker clicks on Canadian tech jobs. Ottawa doesn’t even crack the top three, which is rounded out by Vancouver (15 per cent) and Montreal (seven per cent).

Indeed’s findings do suggest that tech is Ottawa’s major draw for foreign workers. Or that the city’s non-tech sectors don’t generate much interest among international job seekers. Or it simply speaks to the types of jobs that are advertised on Indeed.

Looked at in another way, the report found that tech is an important driver of Ottawa’s economy – a conclusion that may not be exactly new, but one that we at Techopia believe is absolutely worth celebrating.