Vice President, Investment Attraction
2020-21 represented an incredibly challenging year for Toronto Global and the Toronto Region as a whole. As international borders closed, travel was restricted, and supply chains disrupted, the ability for global firms to expand internationally was reduced significantly.
Despite that, we worked to ensure global firms kept the Toronto Region top of mind for their growth plans. In all, we secured a number of highly competitive new investments, 22 in all, accounting for 1,287 new jobs and over $291 million in new capital expenditure (CAPEX), including firms like Plug and Play, Cerebras Systems, and HCL Technologies.
While these results were lower than previous years, we continued to see strength in our pipeline, with the size of our investments – both in terms of jobs and CAPEX – increasing by 18 and 34 per cent respectively compared to 2019-20. Additionally, the sector diversity of our pipeline continued to increase. On average, we saw more investments in key sectors like life sciences, advanced manufacturing and research and development-intensive technology projects than in previous years. Investments in these areas represented larger economic multipliers that built on key clusters across the Toronto Region and continued to enhance our international reputation.
In line with this, we continue to prioritize a core pillar of our investment strategy of working to spread the economic impact of new investments across the region. We launched major initiatives like our Regional Campaigns, that promote competitive advantages, and world-leading assets across the Region to a global audience, helping us land 44 per cent of new jobs created and almost 40 per cent of capital dollars invested in locations outside of the 416 area code in the Toronto Region - a testament to the importance of our regional value proposition to international investors. Increasingly, these investors continue to seek access to the Region’s unparalleled and highly skilled talent pool, quality of life, innovation capacity, and increasingly, integration into the region’s manufacturing supply chain.
Looking forward, as the tailwinds of the global pandemic continue, our goal remains the same: supporting our partners, funders and residents of the Toronto Region by attracting new economic investment that helps our economy grow and ensuring Toronto Global leads the charge in our region’s recovery.