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Ask HN: How much do developers make in Toronto?
55 points by torontodevs on May 31, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 50 comments
I'm curious about how much developers make in Toronto or Ontario in general.

Please describe what you do and how much you make. I'll post mine below.




Sadly, the compensation for people in technology in Toronto (which includes devs, designers, pms, etc) is less lucrative than most major metropolitan cities in the US. I wish this wasn't the case, but in my experience, I'm making more than double in New York than what I would be making in Toronto as a designer. Would love to come back to Toronto if it made financial sense.


Same story for me in SF. Would love to come back to Toronto if companies start compensating fairly.


I'm a Senior Javascript Developer in downtown Toronto making 75k.

Blatant promotion: My company is hiring more people for the same position. We're a very small company and we build apps for hospitals and healthcare providers around the world. Email us at careers@qochealth.com for more info :)


Toronto is a fantastic city. I say this having lived in both New York and Chicago. The best part about Toronto is every kind of person can and does live here. It's a little bit different than ethnic diversity as there is also an economic diversity. Nowhere is it more evident than the ridiculous number of community programs available.

The other side of that coin? The pay as a developer is FUCKING SHIT.

Best strategy is to get paid in USD and live in Toronto.


I'm a junior web developer with about 1 year experience writing React & ES6.

I started at $40000. After 1 year, I'm now at $53000.

I both live and work in Toronto.


Wow. When I started 20+ years ago in Toronto I made $30k. I can't believe that starting salaries are that low today. Within 3 years I was making > 50k but that's because I didn't know how to negotiate salaries. And a year later, I moved to Silicon Valley and my salary tripled (but my rent quintupled).

Starting salaries today at most silicon valley companies are ~100k or more.


Well the Toronto housing market is pretty bad... Too expensive for me right now. Currently living in a decent apartment though and it's not bad.

I'm sure the California market is worse though!


Rent is around twice as high, but your salary will also big twice bigger, or more. If all you care about is money, then California is a no brainer.


For web developers with serious skills in Ruby on Rails and/or Javascript, (either full stack or backend):

These seem to be the typical salaries for what I've noticed from web-based companies in Toronto. And I think it's on the low side. Developers should be paid more.

* Intermediate level (2-4 years): $70-85K

* Senior level (5+ years): $90-120K

A web developer ultimately needs a solid handle on SQL, Javascript (React/Angular/Ember), and a server-side language/framework like Ruby on Rails/Node.JS/etc. And be comfortable with Linux/GNU tools. The better your skills, the higher the salary you can command.


these intermediate ruby salaries are 3x the market price for South Africa.


And 1/2 to 1/3 the market price for San Francisco or New York (adjusting for CAD vs USD).


So does that mean a Toronto Dev is 3x ZA dev

And a SF dev is a 3x Toronto dev

and that's almost a 10x ZA dev

10x devs are real?!


fuck, so I'm a 1/10x dev :P


Burlington - 40 minutes from toronto Jr Web dev - Started at 40k. After 1 year, now I get 43k. I have 1.5 year experience.


I'm shocked at how low that seems given the wealth of your city...but then I looked at the T.O. market in general and pay doesn't look that great.

Beautiful place though -- I miss it.


Are there many jobs in Burlington? It's beautiful there, I drove through last weekend.


I haven't been there in just over 10 years but as I recall most professionals work in Hamilton or Toronto.


I'm also interested in Hamilton, so this is good to know.


Yes. Salary is generally lower than Toronto I think. But there are a lot of companies in this area.


That's good to hear - regarding jobs. I'd like to one day move out of Toronto and afford a decently priced house. I don't think I want to buy a house in Toronto at this point in time.


Senior backend dev, many years of experience. I made $130k CAD/yr from 2011 to 2013 at three different local companies. I've been working remotely for a US company since 2014 and making $130k USD/yr, which translate to about $170k CAD. Wife also makes a little over $165k CAD/yr. All full-time positions, no contracts.


I'm going to be relocating soon and am looking to maintain my current US job. How does the remote situation work from a tax/legal perspective?


Senior database dev in Toronto, working for a large utility. 112k salary. Contractors here earn between $50 - $90/hr.

I haven't examined alternatives too closely, but I get the sense that I'm approaching the top end of the salaried pay scale around here (GTA).


Making just over 50K as a Java Application developer right out of school.


Not directly relevant to Toronto, but may help evaluate comparing costs of living &c: I'm making 65k in Montreal in my first software job, working with Django + misc.


It was a bad situation when I worked there a few years ago. Looking at the answers, things haven't changed.

I encourage you to take employment in US, if that's a possibility for you.


Hmm. I'm currently employed in Canada as a Web Developer. Are there many opportunities for Web developer in US ? I have 1.5 year experience and not so confident I can get a good job in US. I'm thinking about that since my family is moving to the states.


For what it's worth, I was offered a senior-level engineering position at a fairly small company in Toronto which had recently been purchased by a public one for ~120k (CAD) annually. This translates to roughly 91k USD. Unfortunately due to some past legal issues entering Canada is not in the cards for me, so I had to decline the offer.

The stack would have been a PHP monolith moving towards small/polyglot microservices with an Angular front-end component.


It varies a lot. Most people whose salary I know earn between 70k and 120k. Entry-level frontend devs go for around 50k-70k. Tech director level goes for around 120k-140k.

When I worked for a Toronto firm (1.5 yrs ago), I made 96k doing Angular. Now, I do remote consulting and it's very difficult to find anyone in Toronto willing to match what I currently make. Highest I've seen from a recruiter is 150-160k for a CTO role.


Any tips on making the transition to remote consulting? I've made some half-hearted attempts to do the same, but quickly gave up and went back to working for local companies.


I wouldn't call myself an expert in remote consulting, but being the author of a thousands-of-github-stars open source web application framework helped me a lot.

Be prepared to convince people that you can do everything. The Github portfolio / streed cred thing above helps a lot in giving weight to your words.

Look for companies in tech hub cities that do consulting themselves. Even in Toronto, those types of companies have the best offers salary-wise, in my experience. SF is the stupidly obvious choice for tech hub cities and consequently, it's extremely crowded and harder to get into. There are many other US cities that have lively startup scenes.

Startups == funding == people w/ money looking for someone to build their stuff == profit


Thanks, that's actually some very helpful advice.


Early startup employee. Officially a "VP", more of a principal programmer. iOS, Android, web, server, whatever I-solve-problems dev.

$150k base, up to 15% bonus.


This is interesting for me because I am moving to Toronto in July, I've done research into how much I should be expecting to earn but some anecdotal evidence is always welcome too.

The numbers compared to my current employment in Cambridge, UK seem fairly similar, I believe living costs are pretty similar too. Not all of us have the ability, or the desire to move to the US!


Was at a bank. Got $75k per year plus a $10k bonus at the end of the year after 2 years of experience.

Moved to a company in the US. Now making $170k USD in total compensation. Exactly 2x previous salary discounting exchange rate.

Incredibly sad how low the tech wages are in Canada.


$80/hour as a highly experienced web application developer on a medium-term contract.


Is that billable hours, or would it be fair to guess at ~2000 hours/year, for ~160k/year?


Yes to both. It is billable hours which would total 2000 hours/year, if the project lasts that long. However, the startup might choose to pivot away from this project at any point.


105,000k (before taxes) + bonus at a bank.

Works out to taking home 5200 CAD per month.


Why is the take home so much less ($3550 less per month)? Are taxes that high in CA?


Yes. They're that high in that pay bracket.


How many years experience ?


I am a web developer (JS and Python), making 72k

Not too far from downtown Toronto


Worth looking into the the cost of living in the Toronto (or any) area. What you make matters much more in context of what you spending power will be.


Senior developer in Ottawa, not Toronto. Currently working mainly in Pascal and C++. Salary is $90K - $110K, unionized environment


Just under $30,000 PA when converted to USD from local currency - full stack developer.


Junior: $25-30/hour

Senior: $40-60/hour



How much would data engineers make (scala, spark, kafka) ?


I'd encourage you to look at glassdoor (https://www.glassdoor.com). One of the best sites for finding out what people are getting paid and whether your pay is truly competitive.




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