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Who's Hiring in Toronto? Mealshare, Toronto International Film Festival and Luminato Festival

Some of the more interesting employment opportunities we've spotted this week include:

Mealshare, the Vancouver-based non-profit which arrived in Toronto this past week, is looking for an individual to spearhead its operations in Ontario. The role involves fostering new partnerships with local restaurants, as well as finding charities for the organization to partner and work with. Additionally, community outreach is a significant part of this role.

Several organizations are looking for candidates with social media and communications expertise.

First, is the Linden School, a non-profit organization devoted to meeting the learning needs of young girls. The school is looking for a well-rounded communications coordinator to manage its social media channels—including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram—as well as its WordPress website. Those considering applying for this position should be aware that the school is looking for someone with design skills. Whoever takes on this role will be expected to take photos of the school's staff and students, as well as create visual ads in Adobe Illustrator.

Second, the Luminato Festival is hiring a director of communications to manage all of the organization's internal and external messaging. The festival is looking for a candidate that has at least eight years of experience working at a public relations firm, company or non-profit organization. Additionally, they would like to hire someone that already has contacts within Toronto's major publications; those who have connections to national and international media outlets are preferred.

Speaking of Luminato, the festival is also in the process of searching for a new director of marketing. This role involves creating sales and marketing materials that will help raise awareness of the festival both domestically and internationally. Those intending to apply for this position should have five years of experience working in the not-for-profit sector.

Another venerable local festival looking for help is the Toronto International Film Festival. They're seeking a director of visitor experience. The person that takes on this role will be expected to oversee the organization's ticketing, retail and concessions services. The role also involves significant training and mentoring.

Finally, Arts Starts (an organization that pairs professional artists with local residents in an attempt to inspire community building projects) is hiring a part-time administrative manager

Do you know of a job opportunity with an innovative company or organization? Let us know

Ryerson announces major Church Street development

Ryerson University unveiled a major and exciting new property development last week.

The as-of-yet unnamed building will replace a parking lot that sits on Church Street, north of Dundas. For the time being, however, the university is referring to the project as the Church Street Development—or, CSD.

Once completed, the 166,000 square-foot facility will host the university's Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, the School of Nutrition and the School of Occupational and Public Health, Communications, Government and Community Engagement. Additionally, it will house a variety of administrative offices, as well as offer space for students and retail ventures.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of the building is its Fabrication Zone. This cutting-edge centre will offer a suite of 3D printers, robotic arms and laser cutters aimed at creating a space for rapid prototyping.

Ground has yet to be broken on the development. However, the university expects construction to be completed in the spring of 2018, with the facility to be opened to faculty and students in the following fall semester.

This announcement comes as the university nears completion of its new student centre at Yonge and Gould.

Source: Ryerson University

Airbnb takes up residence in Toronto

A major outside player has joined the Toronto startup ecosystem. 

On Friday, Airbnb, the San Francisco-based, peer-to-peer marketplace for rental spaces, officially became a resident at MaRS Discovery District after opening a new office at the Toronto-based Regional Innovation Centre. This new home base will house three of the company's Canadian employees. 

Aaron Zifkin, who was brought on as the company's Canadian manager this past September, said at the time: "Our goal in Canada is to create and support a thriving community for hosts and guests, enabling unique and meaningful travel experiences like never before. The Canadian Airbnb community is already one of the largest and most passionate in the world and we believe there are ample opportunities to help it continue to grow as the favourite option for domestic and international travellers."

Since being founded in August of 2008, Airbnb has raised almost $800-million in venture capital. The company is currently valued at over $13-billion. Representatives from Airbnb say the company is "experiencing hyper growth in Canada," with more than 18,000 Canadian listings on its website at any given time. 

According to its most recently publicly released statistics, Airbnb has more than 800,000 listings in 33,000 cities across 192 counties. 

Source: MaRS

Who's Hiring in Toronto? Toronto Community Housing, the Royal Conservatory, and more

The most interesting of the opportunities we've seen this week:

In the sustainable energy sector, Solar Brokers Canada, a brokerage firm that specializes in solar photovoltaic systems, has two positions open right now. First is a graphics and web designer to create campaigns both for print and online, and second is a lead generation specialist, for help with client outreach.

A couple positions of note have come up in media recently. Global Toronto is looking for a news director to oversee day-to-day newsroom operations; candidates should have a minimum of five years of tv news experience. And Elle Canada is looking for a fashion features editor to create and commission style-related content on all platforms.

There are also a number of opportunities right now for those with an interest in the arts. The Juno Awards is seeking an entry level communications coordinator who will focus specifically on social media engagement. The Royal Conservatory is on the hunt for an instructional designer to develop strategy and content for engaging long-distance learners; at least five years of experience in distance education is required. Non-profit Women in Film & Television is looking for a membership manager to develop and implement that organization's outreach plan. And Inside Out—which runs the Toronto and Ottawa LGBT film festivals—is looking for a programming coordinator to help with year-round events and screenings.

Finally, in senior roles, Toronto Community Housing is looking for a new director of revitalization and renewal communities. The successful candidate will be responsible for resident engagement programs in all TCH revitalization projects across the city.

Do you know of an innovative job opportunity in Toronto? Let us know!

Municipal Election 2014: Doug Ford's economic development platform

As Toronto's municipal election enters its final weeks, we're looking at each of the major mayoral candidates, and, specifically, at their economic development and job-creation platforms.

We've already looked at John Tory and Olivia Chow's respective platforms. This week: Ward 2 councillor Doug Ford, who stepped in to run for his brother at the last minute after the mayor announced he'd been diagnosed with cancer.

Doug Ford is so far running primarily on his brother's track record; he hasn't (yet) released a full platform or series of economic development initiatives, nor has he given any major speeches addressing economic issues.

In 2013, the City of Toronto under mayor Rob Ford passed an economic development strategy called Collaborating for Competitiveness. As we wrote at the time, that plan's focus is on fine-grained details that can streamline business operations, like reducing the time it takes the City to review development applications for employment uses.

Additional details are scant. Ford's campaign website emphasizes the importance of creating a business-friendly environment by keeping taxes low: "The Taxpayers First Plan will help make life a little easier for Toronto businesses and residents. By running a more efficient City Government, we will continue lowering the tax burden on the middle class, while creating jobs and stimulating economic development." Specifics of any job-creation or economic development plan have not been released to date.

Toronto's municipal election will be held on October 27, 2014.

Source: Doug Ford for Mayor
Writer: Hamutal Dotan

Cisco Partners with the Science Centre to create interactive museum experience

For many of us, the Science Centre is a nostalgic place, evoking memories of grade school field trips and old-fashioned dioramas. Now the Science Centre is partnering with Cisco to create an entirely new kind of experience—one that is digital,interactive, and much more modern. Billed as a "connected museum," the two organizations announced the partnership last week.

Citing the need for Canada to improve its economic competitiveness, in a joint statement Cisco and the Science Centre spoke of the importance of fostering a culture of scientific literacy and engagement. If you can spark interest in science and technology in young people early on, the theory goes, you're more likely to eventually cultivate a workforce that has the skill sets certain economic sectors require.

"Cisco’s vision to enable innovation, particularly in education, is closely aligned with our own, and is one of the reasons this is an excellent relationship,” Dr. Maurice Bitran, CEO of the Science Centre, explained. "We hope to offer our visitors unparalleled learning experiences that will inspire the next generation of innovators.”

As part of the collaboration, Cisco is also sponsoring its first museum-based fellowship. The goal of the Cisco Science Fellow for Innovative Learning Technologies is "to improve science engagement and literacy through the use of integrated technologies."

The Science Centre's Sabrina Greupner, manager of their Weston Family Innovation Centre, is the first person to receive the fellowship. "My goal is to bring together external collaborators with our researchers, programmers, teachers and science experts to create innovative learning experiences and encourage the sharing of best practices,” she explained.

Hopefully visitors to the Science Centre—both in person and using new digital platforms—will be able to make the most of those experiences soon: one key goal of the partnership is to have the Science Centre linked up with Cisco's new new Internet of Everything Innovation Centre, set to open in downtown Toronto in 2015.

Source: Ontario Science Centre
Writer: Hamutal Dotan

Municipal Election 2014: Olivia Chow's economic development platform

As Toronto's municipal election enters its final weeks, we're looking at each of the major mayoral candidates, and, specifically, at their economic development and job-creation platforms.

Last week we looked at John Tory’s approach to these issues. This week: Olivia Chow.
  • On the vexed subject of youth unemployment (which is at roughly 20 per cent) and in keeping with her overall positioning as someone who wants to maintain government's role in decision-making, Chow wants to leverage the City's power as a major purchaser of goods and services by requiring "that companies with big city contracts hire and train young people," and also hiring youth for municipal after-school recreation and tree-planting programs. Her platform estimates that these initiatives will create "5,000 new apprenticeships and jobs for young people over four years."
  • When it comes to small business, Chow wants to extend small business tax cuts that are currently slated to expire in 2015, and extend them to 2020. She also pointed out, at a Board of Trade speech earlier this year, that many small businesses are run by immigrants. Taking cues from Vancouver, she wants to implement a "program that matches existing businesses with immigrant entrepreneurs. The new business gets help setting up and getting going. The existing business gets help and knowledge to help them export." Like Tory, Chow also plans to put many business licensing services online, to improve efficiency.
  • Also in keeping with her progressive focus on services, Chow wants the municipal government to increase its funding to the arts sector, from $22.50 per capita to $25 per capita. She also wants to use $500,000 a year out of the money generated by Toronto's tax on billboards to create a music office, similar to the recently created film office. Though her platform does not specific what the economic spin-off effects would be, a City-commissioned report issued in 2011 estimated that for each dollar spent on the arts "cultural organizations were able to leverage a total of $17.75" in funding from other sources and earned revenue.
  • Finally, when it comes to branding Toronto as a home for business, Chow, like Tory, wants to raise the city's profile by a new central organization—Global Toronto—to replace Invest Toronto, and integrate related services provided by other departments in the city. As its name suggests, the program would have an international focus and "will operate in global business languages including Chinese, French, Portuguese and Urdu with an outreach strategy to compete with cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles London and Sydney."
Toronto's election will be held on October 27, 2014.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Olivia Chow's election platformspeech to the Toronto Region Board of Trade (April 29, 2014)

Ontario spending $6.8m on campus-based accelerator programs

The provincial government continues to unroll elements of its youth jobs strategy. The latest announcement came recently from Reza Moridi, minister of research and innovation. The program is called Campus-Linked Accelerators (CLAs), and the goal is to help student entrepreneurs "harness their ideas, their vision and their enthusiasm and turn them into jobs for today and for tomorrow," he said in a statement outlining the initiative.

CLAs will provide funding to select post-secondary institutions across Ontario t"o create, improve and sustain a culture of entrepreneurship among students and youth in their regions, and to integrate these entrepreneurial activities with investors, industry, and other stakeholders in their region. The Toronto-area institutions to receive funding under the program:
  • The University of Toronto, which will receive just over $3 million in funding over two years. That money will be distributed across the university's existing accelerator programs: the Creative Destruction Lab (Rotman School of Management); the Hatchery (at the faculty of applied science and engineering); the Impact Centre (based in the faculty of arts and science); and UTEST (the university's Innovation and Partnerships Office). U of T’s Banting and Best Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will also be involved, coordinating efforts at the three different campuses.
  • Centennial College, which is partnering with ventureLAB (a non-profit regional innovation centre). Their goal is to help support the creation of 60 businesses in the coming two years, and they will be focusing their work on several priority neighbourhoods within Toronto, to try to reach youth who might not have ready access to accelerator opportunities otherwise.
  • Ryerson University is receiving $2 million from the CLA program, and will use the money to support existing entrepreneurial programs, as well as to create "new learning zones includ[ing] the Design and Fabrication Zone, focusing on early stage design and technology; a zone in the new Student Learning Centre; and the Biomedical Zone, to be formed in partnership with St. Michael’s Hospital."
  • OCAD University, which is getting nearly $1 million to support its entrepreneurship and commercialization hub, called the Imagination Catalyst. (As we reported this spring, the Imagination Catalyst also includes a specific stream for social enterprise.)

Across the province the government is planning to put a total of $20 million into CLA programs over the next two years.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Ministry of Research and Innovation, University of Toronto, Centennial College, Ryerson University, OCAD University

Who's Hiring in Toronto? CBC, York University, and more

The most interesting of the opportunities we've seen this week:

York University has a number of positions open at the moment. First up is an entrepreneurship manager, who will be responsible for the day-to-day oversight of LaunchYU, a student entrepreneurship program; a minimum of 5-7 years of relevant experience is required. Next is a coordinator for YU START, York's new student transition program; it's a more junior role, for someone with at least two years of experience. Finally, they are also seeking a new director of marketing and communications for the Schulich School of Business—another senior post, requiring at least 10 years of experience.

For those with tech skills and an interest in media, there are two jobs of particular note right now. Bell Media is hiring a web developer to provide support for The Loop, Bravo, The Comedy Network, and SPACE. And the CBC is hiring a lead architect for CBC Music, to plan and develop new features for that platform.

If health issues are your focus, both the Hospital for Sick Children and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation are also hiring at the moment. Sick Kids needs a new senior specialist in human resources, for someone with at least four years of related experience. And the CBCF is filling posts for a health promotion specialist, as well as a health promotion community engagement manager. Both will work as part of the same team, developing and delivering programs about breast health.

Finally, if you are particularly engaged by sustainable food, the St. James Town Community Cafe is hiring a community co-op developer for a five month part-time contract; the hope is that contract would be extended as the program's funding is secured. The position involves helping to set up a community co-op in the community, with tasks ranging from recruiting for board members to establishing third-party partnerships.

Do you know of an innovative job opportunity in Toronto? Let us know!

Municipal Election 2014: John Tory's economic development platform

As Toronto's municipal election enters its final weeks, we're looking at each of the major mayoral candidates, and, specifically, at their economic development and job-creation platforms. First up: John Tory.

Tory's platform in general focuses on streamlining services to businesses, and improving Toronto's branding and status internationally.

"Can you imagine how much better off we would be if we could trade in even a small fraction of the recent attention we received on the world stage, trade that for a few articles touting Toronto as a great place do business," he said at a recent speech to the Toronto Region Board of Trade.

He promises to act as an ambassador for the city, which he believes is key in building confidence among potential investors.

A few items in particular that he hopes to focus on if elected:
  • Develop a new business hub in Toronto, modeled on London's Canary Wharf. It would be located in the East Don Lands, and require "a reorientation of the Gardiner’s eastern section and new transit connections in this area." The proposal calls for 15 million square feet of development (a mix of commercial and residential), and Tory believes it could lead to the creation of 70,000 jobs if populated at full capacity.
  • Focusing on the development of Scarborough, and specifically of opportunities along the planned Scarborough subway route, "by temporarily lowering property taxes for 10 years in order to encourage businesses to locate along the transit corridor." Though details are scant, he calls this an "innovation hub" and promises to work with City staff to streamline zoning and application requests along that corridor.
  • Streamlining business services in general. "As your mayor, I will create a single touchpoint for business permit applications and other business services sought by those seeking to invest in our city," Tory told the Board of Trade. "We want to find a way to say yes to people who want to invest in Toronto."
  • Tory also wants to "clean up the jumble of organizations trying to attract business to Toronto. Invest Toronto, the City economic development department, and the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance...are all trying to do the same thing, but a little bit differently. But they have a common objective: bringing jobs to Toronto... I will unify and streamline the way these three organizations and others work, and this will mean a better outcome on jobs and lower costs."
  • Helping combat youth unemployment (which currently stands at 20 per cent) by doubling the number of companies in the Partnership to Advance Youth Employment, by expanding that program to small- and medium-sized businesses.
Toronto's election will be held on October 27, 2014.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: John Tory election platform speech to the Toronto Region Board of Trade (September 18, 2014)

Who's Hiring in Toronto? Evergreen, the Gardiner Museum, and more

The most interesting of the opportunities we've seen this week:

Though it's only just officially become autumn, some employers are turning to thoughts of winter. Urban environmental centre Evergreen is already hiring for its skating programs. Specifically, they are looking for skating instructors who can provide lessons for children aged 4-12, and for a skating rink associate who can provide ovall support and customer service. Their skating season runs from December through March.

For those with an interest in culture the Gardiner Museum has several opportunities at the moment. First up is a post for an education coordinator, a part-time role for someone to help coordinate many of the museum's school-based programs. They are also looking for a curatorial research assistant; graduate work in art history, material culture or museum studies is a must, as is familiarity with ceramics in particular.

Also looking is Toronto Dance Theatre, which is hiring a marketing and communications manager for a maternity leave contract; applicants should have at least five years of experience. The Luminato Festival is looking for an office and HR manager—a part-time position. And finally in this sector, Harbourfront is hiring a video producer and social media specialist, to shoot all promotional video as well as implement social media strategies on multiple platforms.

And last but not least, the Toronto Public Library has one of the most interesting tech opportunities we've seen in a long time. They are launching an Innovator in Communities (IIC) program this fall, to support the Digital Innovation Hubs (that's where you can go use their 3D printers) at the Toronto Reference Library and the Fort York branch. Applicants for the Innovators program should have at least five years of coding experience, and be prepared to create programs for the public, with the aim of fostering employable stills.

Eglinton LRT to get first issue of Ontario's new Green Bonds

In the fall of 2013, the provincial government unveiled a plan to start issuing green bonds: bonds that are in some way tied to projects that help achieve environmental goals.

"Participating in the green bond market will provide an opportunity for Ontario to broaden its investor base and raise additional funding in this rapidly growing sector of the bond market," a government primer on the project says. "In addition, green bonds raise awareness of climate and environmental challenges and allow investors to support green initiatives."

Soon after, an advisory panel was created to help in the selection fo elgible projects, which in general fall into one of the following categories: clean transportation; energy efficiency and conservation; clean energy and technology; forestry, agriculture and land management; and climate adaptation and resilience.

A few days ago, the government announced the first project that would receive a green bond issue: the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, currently under construction in Toronto—that issue may be up to $500 million.

“Ontario is taking a major step forward in planning for a greener, more sustainable future and is the only province in Canada to release a certified green bonds program" finance minister Charles Sousa said when announcing the green bond issue. "People are looking for new and innovative ways to invest in a secure and socially responsible manner. Ontario’s Green Bonds will help us to invest in transit, create jobs and raise capital at competitive rates.”

Few additional details were immediately available, though the government does hope to make this first issue of bonds available early next year.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Ministry of Finance

Who's Hiring in Toronto: Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadian Press, and more

The most interesting of the opportunities we've seen this week:

Historica Canada, an organization devoted to the promotion and appreciation of our nation's history, currently has several openings available. They are looking for a communications coordinator to develop marketing materials, tackle media requests, and handle other assorted duties. They are also hiring an outreach officer for a project that involves working with both students and military veterans, as well as a program coordinator for an archival project. Candidates for all positions should be fully billingual.

In media, the Canadian Press is looking for a digital designer, and especially for someone who is comfortable with both design and development for the web.

For those with an interest in the environment, Sustainalytics, an international consulting firm, has two openings in their Toronto location. One is for an entry level office assistant, and the other is for a senior manager of corporate governance; the latter post requires at least seven years of experience in financial services, executive compensation, or other related areas. Also in this sector, Green Communities Canada, an umbrella group for local environmental organizations, has a contract position for a school travel plan facilitator to oversee that program in 8-10 Toronto area schools.

Scotiabank is seeking an officer for their charitable foundation services to work with the CSR team and manage a select group of clients.

Finally, the Heart and Stroke Foundation has two positions available in their Toronto office. One is for a coordinator of major gifts, and applicants should have at least three years of fundraising experience. The second is an area coordinator for Toronto, helping to deliver the organizations programs as part of the community engagement team.

Do you know of an innovative job opportunity in Toronto? Let us know!

Escalating our approach to youth unemployment

It’s a vicious cycle familiar to many young people trying to enter the workforce: you can’t get experience without a job, and you can’t get a job without experience. Hoping to help Toronto’s youth—who face about 20 per cent unemployment rates—is a suite of new projects being launched by CivicAction, in conjunction with several private sector partners. Together, the initiative is called Escalator.

The first element of Escalator, explains CivicAction’s CEO Sevaun Palvetzian, is a mentoring piece. Of the 83,000 young people in the GTA who don’t have jobs, many struggle with a lack of networks and role models that can help open that vital door to a first shot at employment. Escalator will aim to provide a centralized, organized way to access mentoring opportunities in the region, while also recruiting employers who can serve as mentors and linking community agencies with mentors more effectively.

The second pice is a collaboration with LinkedIn. “For many years the way people found jobs was by knocking on doors and walking into stores, “ Palvetzian points out. But now, “there's a new 21st century way of finding work.”

CivicAction is the recipient of a $10,000 grant from LinkedIn, and will also have access to some staff resources. The goal of this part of the project is to enable small- and medium-sized businesses post entry level jobs, as well as internship and apprenticeship opportunities, on the job platform for free, while simultaneously training youth in how to use that platform.

The third element of Escalator is another partnership, with technology services company NPower. “One third of the tech jobs in North America are in this region,” Palvetzian says, but often companies can’t find the trained, skilled workers that they need to keep growing. This part of the initiative will take youth from at-risk neighbourhoods and bring them to employer-led, employer-driven training. Ryerson is donating space to facilitate the project, which will include 15 weeks training by employers, followed by seven-week long internships. (Among the private sector partners that have signed on to participate are Cisco, TD Bank, and RBC.)

Palvetzian frames Escalator as a way of trying to fill in gaps in our current system. “A lot of current programs currently exist to help young people to do things like build resumes,” she points out—how to proceed once they’ve done that is often less clear.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Sevaun Palvetzian, CEO, CivicAction

New study shows York Region is a digital leader

Though there's a growing appreciation that Toronto and the surrounding regions are fast becoming a major hub for tech and digital innovation, just how sizable we've become in those sectors isn't always apparent. A new study highlights the significance of southern Ontario in particular, as "one of the most concentrated centres of technology leadership and growth in the world."

Conducted by tech sector analysts The Branham Group, the report identifies what it calls "Ontario’s own Digital Corridor: a concentrated cluster of innovative technology firms across the York Region, GTA, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Hamilton areas." In that corridor, the report finds, are "176,000 skilled professionals working in the technology sector, generating an average of $387,000 in revenue per employee."

The report is in part an attempt to not just identify the strength of the Toronto-Hamilton corridor in the tech sector, but to highlight one major shortcoming: our lack of effective marketing to celebrate this concentration of talent when compared to, for instance, Silicon Valley.

Our corridor "has everything offered by its U.S. counterpart: talented entrepreneurs, innovative companies, supportive governments, major post-secondary institutions (at least 12) and a track record of success." The report coins the term "Digital Corridor" as an attempt to begin to rectify that situation, developing a local analogue to the Silicon Valley branding that made that part of northern California so famous.

Comparing the two regions, the report notes some interesting differences: per capita income and overall population is higher here, but revenue per employee and total revenue generated are higher there. One potential explanation for this raised in the report: Canada tends to spend less on research and development than our neighbours to the south.

In an interview with John Ruffolo, CEO of OMERS Ventures that is included as part of the report, Ruffalo says: "Your data is concerning and supports other research indicating that Canada’s track record in R&D spend trails other nations around the world. We have to reverse this and make sure R&D spend is a key priority. It is a central strategy for viability of our industry and in individual companies."

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: The Branham Report (Issue 2)
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