It has been confirmed: Collision is heading north of the border.
One of the largest tech conferences in the world is heading to Toronto for 2019, 2020 and 2021. Collision is expected to bring more than 90,000 total attendees over the three years. The first Toronto Collision conference will be held on May 20-23 in 2019 at the Enercare Centre.
The move represents Toronto’s growing presence as a tech and innovation hub not only in North America but the world. There have been multiple studies and reports talking about how much Toronto has grown over the past years—whether it be the increased amount of international tech talent coming to the city; the city’s growing rank as a globally renowned hub; or it’s status the fastest growing tech market in North America—but moves like this really add credence to what many Canadians have known for a while.
Collision was created by the team behind the massive Web Summit conference and has grown from a 5,000-person event to more than 25,000 expected this year. The expected economic impact of the move to Canada will be $147 million over the three years.
“Right now feels like a special moment for Canada, and for Toronto,” said Paddy Cosgrave, CEO of Web Summit. “There is such energy in the city, such an open, cosmopolitan and global atmosphere. Great companies are being started and incredible talent is coming out of the region.”
Every level of government came together to complete the bid for Collision, along with Tourism Toronto and Exhibition Place. Before this, the conference was held in New Orleans for three years after a two-year residency in Las Vegas. This year’s speakers include Al Gore, Microsoft president Brad Smith, Lyft co-founder John Zimmer and Tinder CEO Elie Seidman.
“Collision is one of the most coveted conferences a destination can host,” said Johanne Bélanger, president and CEO of Tourism Toronto. “Hosting a conference of this magnitude demonstrates how meetings and events can be a powerful catalyst for economic development for sectors like technology and innovation, showcasing and elevating the booming tech industry, people and companies that have made the Toronto region a tech powerhouse.”
Toronto, as well as Canada in general, is a great choice for Collision as there is a massive amount of innovation in the tech scene happening from both domestic companies and international ones who are now recognizing the city as a prime location for new offices.
Canada’s technology VC deals had a record-setting Q1 this year marked by massive investments into companies like ecobee, Wealthsimple and Wattpad, all based in Toronto. On top of that, construction on Sidewalk Labs’ smart neighbourhood Quayside is expected to be underway by the time Collision rolls through the city, and Toronto was named as a finalist for Amazon’s coveted HQ2.