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A worker inspects bottles on the production line at Labatt London Brewery in its London facility. (GEOFF ROBINS For The Globe and Mail)
A worker inspects bottles on the production line at Labatt London Brewery in its London facility. (GEOFF ROBINS For The Globe and Mail)

2015 edition

GTA top employers – great places to work Add to ...

What do Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd., Toronto-Dominion Bank, Candu Energy Inc. and The National Ballet of Canada have in common? They’re all winners of the Greater Toronto Area’s Top Employer competition for 2015, recognized for being great places to work.

From retail to banking to nuclear technology to dance, these companies are only a few examples of the incredible diversity in size and industry of the 99 organizations applauded on the GTA list.

As home for many of the country’s national and international head offices, the GTA is the largest of the regional competitions across Canada, rivalling the national list for its competitive nature, according to Richard Yerema, managing editor for Canada’s Top 100 Employers.

This recognition, given to employers for their forward thinking in creating the best types of work environments, also gives organizations an edge in attracting and retaining the most talented individuals in their work force. But the real winners in the GTA may be the people living here, surrounded by an incredible range of career possibilities just a short walk, drive or subway ride away.


Accenture Inc., Toronto. Business consulting; 3,623 employees. Manages the Athletic Minded Traveller program for travelling employees that includes reimbursement for use of hotel health clubs.

Aecon Group Inc., Toronto. Building construction; 8,449 employees. Provides leadership training and mentoring for high-potential employees.

AMEC Americas Ltd., Oakville. Engineering; 4,902 employees. Maintains employee-led sustainability committees that participate in a broader steering group and organize initiatives such as battery recycling and in-house composting.

Association of Management, Administrative and Professional Crown Employees of Ontario / AMAPCEO, Toronto. Labour unions and organizations; 45 employees. Encourages healthy, active lifestyles with employee sports teams and a health-club subsidy to $750 a year.

AstraZeneca Canada Inc., Mississauga. Medicinal and botanical manufacturing; 574 employees. Encourages employees to volunteer their skills and time with the company’s charitable partners through the Endeavour Project.

BASF Canada Inc., Mississauga. Chemical manufacturing; 670 employees. Manages the Simply Dare pioneer excellence awards program to encourage employees to voice their ideas for continuous company improvement.

Bayer Canada, Toronto. Pharmaceutical manufacturing; 1,348 employees. Offers employees generous tuition subsidies for courses taken at outside institutions to a maximum of $7,000.

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, Toronto. Law firms; 1,346 employees. Manages a health and wellness program that includes monthly newsletters, lunch-and-learn seminars, exercise classes and annual fitness challenges.

BMO Financial Group, Toronto. Banking; 27,285 employees. Created a Diversity Renewal Council to help refocus efforts to build an inclusive work environment.

CAA South Central Ontario, Thornhill. Insurance; 1,178 employees. Offers one paid week of special leave to employees celebrating five-year milestones.

CAMH / Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto. Hospitals; 2,276 employees. Starts new employees at three weeks of paid vacation, moving to seven weeks for long-serving employees.

Campbell Company of Canada, Toronto. Food production and manufacturing; 719 employees. Offers flexible work arrangements, including telecommuting, shortened or compressed work weeks, and reduced summer hours.

Canadian Tire Corporation Ltd., Toronto. Retail hardware stores; 85,000 employees. Offers academic scholarships to children of employees for postsecondary education, up to $10,000 a child over four years.

Candu Energy Inc., Mississauga. Nuclear technology; 1,164 employees. Participates in the Canadian Nuclear Leadership Program, sending six employees to participate in the week-long development program last year.

Capgemini Canada Inc., Toronto. Computer systems design services; 379 employees. Offers tuition subsidies for job-related courses up to $5,000, formal mentoring and a variety of in-house and online training programs.

Capital One Bank (Canada Branch), Toronto. Credit card issuing; 622 employees. Offers a subsidy for in vitro fertilization (IVF) when needed, to $15,000.

Carswell, a division of Thomson Reuters Canada Ltd., Toronto. Publishing: 897 employees. Provides paid time off for employees to volunteer and matches charitable donations up to $1,000 a year.

Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Toronto. Child and youth services; 538 employees. Provides up to eight paid days off each year for family leave, which can be used for family medical appointments, daycare and elder care.

Central Community Care Access Centre / CCAC, Newmarket. Home health-care services; 629 employees. Helps employees prepare for life after work with contributions to a defined benefit pension plan.

Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, The, Toronto. Child and youth services; 758 employees. Offers generous parental leave top-ups to new dads and adoptive parents, to 70 per cent of salary for 34 weeks.

CIBC, Toronto. Banking; 35,122 employees. Introduced the What If? program to reward employee suggestions for continuous improvement with paid time off.

Coca-Cola Canada, Toronto. Soft drink manufacturing; 5,360 employees. Created the Be Well program to support the physical, financial, emotional and social well-being of employees.

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, Toronto. Professional organizations; 334 employees. Offers compassionate leave top-up to employees who are called upon to care for a loved one, to 100 per cent of salary for eight weeks.

Corby Spirit & Wine Ltd. / Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd., Toronto. Liquor and wine production and distribution; 446 employees. Offers flexible work options to new mothers upon their return from maternity leave, depending on their position.

Corus Entertainment Inc., Toronto. Multimedia production and broadcasting; 1,595 employees. Provides paid time off for employees to volunteer with community organizations.

Deloitte LLP, Toronto. Accounting; 8,563 employees. Offers retirement planning assistance, phased-in work options and contributions to a defined contribution pension plan.

Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc., Toronto. Architecture; 145 employees.The company-subsidized social committee organizes outings and events throughout the year. Firm lets employees share in the company’s success with year-end bonuses available to all employees.

Durham College of Applied Arts and Technology, Oshawa. Colleges; 760 employees. Established a sustainability committee to promote awareness and understanding, and practise environmental, social and economic sustainability.

EllisDon Corp., Mississauga. Building construction; 1,505 employees. Features a full-service cafeteria, employee lounge and auditorium, and a fully-equipped fitness facility at its new head office campus building.

Entertainment One Ltd., Toronto. Motion picture and video distribution; 831 employees. Provides employees with paid time off during the winter holidays.

Fidelity Investments Canada ULC, Toronto. Financial investment management; 735 employees. Lets everyone share in the company’s success with profit-sharing, available to all employees.

Gamma-Dynacare Medical Laboratories Inc., Brampton. Medical laboratories; 1,954 employees. Provides co-op opportunities for students, in partnership with health sciences schools across the country.

GCI Communications Inc., Toronto. Public relations; 30 employees. Offers employees 15-minute chair massages on a monthly basis, bi-monthly meditation sessions and other activities such as mid-day stretches and yoga.

General Electric Canada / GE, Mississauga. Motor and generator manufacturing; 7,447 employees. Employees help direct the company’s charitable initiatives through the employee-led GE Community Investment Council.

General Motors of Canada Ltd., Oshawa. Motor vehicle body manufacturing; 9,632 employees. Offers young Canadians on-the-job experience through summer student, co-op or paid internship opportunities.

George Brown College, Toronto. Colleges; 1,341 employees. Offers new mothers, fathers and adoptive parents the option to extend their maternity or parental leave into an unpaid leave of absence.

Goodrich Aerospace Canada Ltd., Oakville. Aircraft parts and equipment manufacturing; 1,007 employees. Contributes to a matching RSP plan or defined contribution pension plan for employees, depending on their position.

Halton, Regional Municipality of, Oakville. Municipal government; 1,791 employees. Participates in Sheridan College’s work placement program to provide internationally trained professionals with opportunities for Canadian work experience.

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Toronto. Hospitals; 545 employees. Constructed a 1,900-square-foot green roof atop the building’s second floor roof and utilizes solar panels on the east penthouse roof.

Home Depot of Canada Inc., Toronto. Retail hardware stores; 12,345 employees. Donated approximately 65,000 volunteer hours to the community last year, and is currently focusing its charitable efforts on addressing youth homelessness in Canada.

Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto. Hospitals; 5,506 employees. Offers subsidized membership to onsite fitness facilities, including instructor-led classes in yoga and dance.

Intelex Technologies Inc., Toronto. Software publishers; 212 employees. Organizes an annual company retreat to Muskoka, caters breakfasts every Thursday, summer patio parties and a holiday cookie exchange.

KPMG LLP, Toronto. Accounting; 6,020 employees. Participated in a campaign to raise awareness of mental health in the workplace, in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Kronos Canadian Systems Inc., Mississauga. Computer systems design services; 250 employees. Maintains a flexible health benefits plan that allows employees to customize levels of coverage according to personal needs.

Kruger Products LP, Mississauga. Paper products and distribution; 1,708 employees. Appointed a vice-president of sustainability and innovation to spearhead environmental awareness initiatives.

Labatt Breweries of Canada, Toronto. Breweries; 3,000 employees. Participated in the annual World Environment Day facility competition, which engaged employees in activities on water conservation.

Lakeridge Health, Oshawa. Hospitals; 2,384 employees. Provides tuition subsidies for courses taken at outside institutions, formal mentoring and a variety of in-house and online training programs.

Law Society of Upper Canada, The, Toronto. Professional organizations; 511 employees. Helps employees transition to retirement with phased-in work options.

Loblaw Companies Ltd., Brampton, Ont. Retail grocery stores; 28,211 employees. Head office features a quiet room for meditation and prayer, a herb garden and market-style cafeteria.

LoyaltyOne Inc., Toronto. Marketing consulting services; 1,332 employees. Encourages employees to become owners through a share purchase plan.

Manulife Financial Corp., Toronto. Insurance; 10,701 employees. Head office amenities include a cafeteria with healthy and special diet menus as well as subsidized meals.

Mars Canada Inc., Bolton, Ont. Food manufacturing; 484 employees. Maintains a pet-friendly policy, including a doggie courtyard for when employees bring their dog to work.

Mattel Canada Inc., Mississauga. Toy manufacturing and distribution; 117 employees. Their Play Patrol committee organizes social activities such as a Valentine’s Day archery event, casino-style holiday party, Mattel Play Day and Barbie Sleepover event.

McCarthy Tétrault LLP, Toronto. Law firms; 1,450 employees. Developed a national student curriculum for summer and articling students to ensure consistent learning across the firm.

Medtronic of Canada Ltd., Brampton. Electromedical apparatus manufacturing; 402 employees. Provides free access to a fully-equipped fitness facility featuring instructor-led classes from Pilates to spinning.

Metrolinx, Toronto. Public transit; 2,705 employees. Provides the convenience of an onsite daycare facility, managed by George Brown College.

Miller Group, Markham. Highway, street and bridge construction; 4,014 employees. Contributes to a defined benefit pension plan for employees.

Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto. Hospitals; 2,302 employees. Maintains a healthy workplace ambassador committee, responsible for providing employee input on program design.

National Ballet of Canada, Toronto. Dance companies; 217 employees. In partnership with Ryerson University, manages an onsite degree program specifically designed for dancers.

Novo Nordisk Canada Inc., Mississauga. Pharmaceutical preparation manufacturing; 280 employees. Created the Women in Novo Nordisk program to support the career development of female employees.

Ontario Medical Association / OMA, Toronto. Professional organizations; 274 employees. Offers compassionate leave top-up payments for employees called upon to care for a loved one, to 85 per cent of salary for eight weeks.

Ontario Power Authority, Toronto. Public utilities; 225 employees. Offers opportunities for students and new grads to gain on-the-job experience with paid internships ranging from three to 16 months.

Ontario Public Service/ OPS, Toronto. Provincial government; 61,672 employees. Offers health benefits that extend to retirees, with no age limit.

Peel District School Board, Mississauga. Schools; 14,314 employees. Hired a manager of workplace equity to help foster inclusion within the workplace.

Peel Regional Police, Brampton. Police services; 2,814 employees. Hosts an annual Women’s Symposium on Policing to encourage women to consider policing careers.

PepsiCo Canada, Mississauga. Soft drink manufacturing; 4,255 employees. Cultivates an ownership culture with a share purchase plan, available to all employees.

Plan International Canada Inc., Toronto. Social advocacy organizations; 200 employees. Partners with community organizations such as JOIN and Spinal Cord Injury Ontario to provide employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.

PowerStream, Inc., Vaughan. Electric power distribution; 560 employees. Hosts an internal environmental awareness week, with activities and workshops to encourage employees to lead more sustainable lifestyles.

Praxair Canada Inc., Mississauga. Chemical and related products manufacture and wholesale; 2,323 employees. Appointed a director of diversity and inclusion to oversee diversity initiatives.

Procter & Gamble Inc., Toronto. Consumer product manufacturing; 2,120 employees. Manages an extensive online training program with more than 600 courses available.

PWC / PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Toronto. Accounting; 6,431 employees. Hosted Briefcase Parents sessions at offices across Canada to help employees improve work-life balance.

RBC, Toronto. Banking; 51,423 employees. Manages an in-house wellness program called Living Well to encourage employees to adopt healthy lifestyles.

RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust, Toronto. Real estate investment trusts; 665 employees. Offers new employees up to five paid personal days off throughout the year.

Rogers Communications Inc., Toronto. Cable and subscription programming; 24,721 employees. Recently established the Rogers Youth Fund to help young Canadians overcome barriers to education.

Ryerson University, Toronto. Universities; 2,682 employees. Offers the convenience of an onsite daycare called the Ryerson Early Learning Centre.

Samsung Canada, Mississauga. Communications equipment manufacturing and distribution; 426 employees. Provides opportunities for students to gain on-the-job experience through co-op placements.

SAP Canada Inc., Toronto. Custom computer programming services; 2,311 employees. Offers signing bonuses for some employees, referral bonuses to $5,000, and year-end bonuses for all employees.

Scotiabank, Toronto. Banking; 32,002 employees. Created Ideas in Action, a reward program for employees to share suggestions to increase productivity or reduce costs, offering up to $10,000 for ideas.

Seneca College, Toronto. Colleges; 1,279 employees. Supports employees who are new mothers with maternity and parental leave top-up payments, to 93 per cent of salary for 52 weeks.

Shoppers Drug Mart Inc., Toronto. Retail pharmacies; 1,403 employees. Helps cultivate high potential employees through mentoring, career planning services and leadership training.

Siemens Canada Ltd., Oakville, Engineering services; 4,582 employees. Offers subsidies for tuition and professional accreditation as well as bonuses for some course completions, up to one month’s salary.

Sigma Systems Canada Inc., Toronto. Computer systems design services; 100 employees. Offers signing and year-end bonuses for some employees and referral bonuses up to $2,500.

Southlake Regional Health Centre, Newmarket. Hospitals; 1,788 employees. Maintains an employee wellness committee to promote physical, psychosocial, financial and spiritual wellness – events include an annual Stressfest health and wellness fair.

State Street Canada, Toronto. Investment banking; 1,060 employees. Offers alternative work arrangements including flexible hours, shortened and compressed weeks, and a telecommuting option.

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto. Hospitals; 5,270 employees. Encourages employees to leave the car at home with the installation of large secure bike cages at four separate locations on the campus.

Takeda Canada Inc., Oakville. Pharmaceutical preparation manufacturing; 216 employees. Offers parental leave top-up to adoptive parents and a generous subsidy to help cover the costs of adoption, up to $15,000.

TD Bank Group, Toronto. Banking; 44,068 employees. Worked with the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management to develop the Rotman Back to Work program for women who have been out of the work force for more than eight years.

Toronto International Film Festival / TIFF, Toronto. Motion picture promotions and distribution; 187 employees. Offers free passes to the TIFF as well as access to film screenings and lectures throughout the year.

Toronto, City of, Toronto. Municipal government; 22,853 employees. Provides students and new grads with opportunities for paid internships, co-op programs and summer student roles.

Unilever Canada Inc., Toronto. Consumer product manufacturing; 1,372 employees. Offers free membership to an onsite fitness facility at head office, with state-of-the-art exercise equipment, shower facilities and instructor-led classes.

United Way of Greater Toronto, Toronto. Social advocacy organizations; 195 employees. Established a diversity and inclusion team, responsible for helping the organization improve its overall diversity and inclusion strategy.

University of Toronto, Toronto. Universities; 9,019 employees. Manages onsite daycare facilities at each campus location as well offering a generous offsite daycare subsidy, to $2,000 per child.

Volkswagen Group Canada Inc., Ajax. Automobile wholesalers; 292 employees. Offers generous tuition subsidies for job-related courses, to $7,000.

William Osler Health System, Brampton. Hospitals; 2,921 employees. Offers employees opportunities to connect with their CEO over informal meals through the Lunch with the President and Breakfast with the President programs.

World Vision Canada, Mississauga. Social advocacy; 464 employees. Rewards exceptional performance with a flexible bonus, which can be taken as cash, payment toward an employee’s pension or personal days off.

XE.com Inc., Newmarket. Software publishers; 35 employees. Provides an employee lounge equipped with television, video games, foosball, table hockey and table tennis.

Xerox Canada Inc., Toronto. Computer equipment manufacturing; 3,133 employees. Manages a company-wide Day of Sharing program with paid time off for employees to volunteer with their favourite charitable organization.

YMCA of Greater Toronto, Toronto. Individual and family services; 1,326 employees. Provides maternity and parental leave top-up payments to employees who are new mothers, fathers or adoptive parents, to 80 per cent for 26 weeks.

York, Regional Municipality of, Newmarket. Regional government; 3,056 employees. Features a nap room for employees who need a quick break during the busy day.


In the tough review process, the editors at Mediacorp Canada look at how each employer compares with other organizations within their own industry. So despite the exceptionally broad range of industries in the GTA, the competition really comes down to a battle among peers to determine which have the most progressive programs.

Judging includes a detailed review of the employer’s operations and human resource practices in action. Initiatives such as those centred on diversity, innovation and the environment are noticeably evolved in the top organizations.

Competition focuses on the same eight key areas used for judging in the national competition of Canada’s Top 100 Employers: 1) physical workplace; 2) work and social atmosphere; 3) health, financial and family benefits; 4) vacation and time off; 5) employee communications focused on how employers capture employee feedback; 6) performance management; 7) training and skills development and 8) community involvement.

A distinguished academic advisory board drawn from universities across Canada oversees the selection criteria. Each panel member has either written or edited a major human resources textbook in Canada.

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