Toronto is on the right side of the border to attract tech industry immigration

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Toronto is riding a surge of construction. 

There are more than 120 cranes in the air, helping crews put up condo towers and office buildings. 

This city is being transformed slowly each day and the booming technology sector is feeding the demand for new space to live and work. 

The lifeblood of this industry is knowledge and ingenuity: people who possess a 'way with numbers' and a vision for how to integrate technology further into our lives.

A report published earlier this year by BMO Capital Markets estimates that Toronto has 241,000 tech sector jobs and is positioned to add many more.

The cities that have the brightest programmers, creators, and entrepreneurs are poised to grow the most and that means the pressure is on Toronto to compete with the rest of the world to attract these professionals. 

Toronto is a multi-cultural city that's home to a relatively advanced public transportation system, several colleges and universities, along with an abundance of IT program graduates.

That's where Toby Lennox of Toronto Global comes in. He and his team pitch Toronto and the Toronto region, as the best place to set up shop and put down roots.

"We depend for our growth and our prosperity upon welcoming trade, investment, and immigration into the country," Lennox says.

"If we don't have that, we simply do not regerate at a pace that will allow us to maintain the type of growth that we need."

Lennox tells NEWSTALK 1010 that for the past several years, Toronto is on the right side of the border to enjoy an advantage over markets the United States.

He finds that some tech-sector professionals are wary of policies and attitudes in the US toward newcomers.

Lennox has stories of some of those people choosing to settle or do business in Canada because immigration rules in the US are much more restrictive.

For example, he says, Canadian immigration law allows foreign students and new immigrants to get work permits more quickly and easily than they can in America.

The Canadian government also makes it easier for these workers to have their families join them in their new home.

"That makes (Toronto) a much more attractive place when they're making an investment decision, not just an immigration decision," Lennox says.

He cautions, though, that Canada should never take this open approach for granted and adds that the advantage this country has over the US could be fleeting.

"Donald Trump won't be president forever," he says.

Lennox believes that a new administration in the White House could quickly realise how much ground the US has lost to Canada in attracting top talent from other countries.

"We have to make sure that we've got the resilient base that allows us to continue this kind of prosperity," he says.