Whenever most people think of Canada, they think of Toronto’s CN tower or Vancouver’s Seawall and parks. Or they might think of the beautiful architecture of Montreal and Quebec. Not often do they think of Winnipeg or Saskatoon for tech jobs…
Given Canada’s large landmass and relatively small population, we only have 3 “major” cities that are known around the world.
However, there is a place right in the middle of the country, where a “hidden” tech hub has been quietly growing and is now ready for the spotlight: The Canadian Prairies.
The Prairies, as they are most commonly known as, consist of three Provinces: Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Traditionally, they’re known for their vast flat farmlands and are the agricultural hub of Canada.
Now with the new digital economy booming across the country (and world), the Prairies are working hard to become part of the tech revolution.
For example, Winnipeg, the capital of Manitoba, offers generous tax credits for tech investing and R&D spending, and has encouraged partnerships between startups and government institutions, including labs and hospitals, to aid research.
Saskatoon has created a world class technology park called Innovation Place, that provides mentorship and affordable office space for technology companies. They’ve got over 1,500 people working in the park now and many of the companies are hiring tech talent.
Quality & (low) Cost of Life
One of the best part of the Prairies is the very low cost of living and very high quality of life. The rent prices are roughly half of that in Toronto or Vancouver and there is practically no traffic in the cities.
The housing prices are also much lower allowing for newcomers to be able to quickly purchase a home in Canada.
You can see a full comparison of Cost of Living in different cities in Canada here.
Winnipeg Tech Talent Gap
And since these cities are all less than 1 million people, there is a giant tech talent gap in the market.
I recently spoke with a CTO of one of the largest companies in Winnipeg who mentioned that there are over 50 companies that are all hiring software engineers!
In fact, according to Real Estate company CBRE, over the past five years, tech employment in Winnipeg has grown 58.5 per cent, while the millennial population increased 15 per cent between 2009 and 2014, faster than any tech market in Canada.
There is a need for all types of talent in order to build the regions digital economy and they have many Fast Track Visas that they are using in order to bring developers to Canada such as the Manitoba PNP program and the Global Skills Visa.
And of course, we at VanHack have many jobs for you that sponsor work visa in the Prairies!
Note: Each one of these jobs is hiring MANY of the same developer, so share with your friends. There is room for everyone!