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University of Toronto was named one of the Greater Toronto’s Top Employers 2024The Globe and Mail

Has home become more like the office, or is the office becoming more like home?

Looking at the winners of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers 2024, it’s interesting to see how organizations are continuing to thoughtfully explore what’s right for their people post-pandemic. Hybrid remains the most popular model, with employees working from a mix of home, office and in the field, but with variations. Best practices are always in play, but may go in entirely different directions. There is no-one-size-fits-all solution.

To encourage more in-person connection and collaboration – more of a nudge than a shove – some top employers have purposely designed (or upgraded) their physical work spaces to reflect the work patterns and comforts of home. Since no one wants to sit in a cubicle all day, a progressive work environment allows employees to move in the same way they might in their own house. That means spending time at a desk, but also nestled on a comfy sofa, snacking in a well-stocked kitchen or outdoors on a leafy patio – all with connectivity for a seamless work experience.

Some of the bigger employers, such as banks and large corporations, have redesigned entire buildings to be interconnected vertical campuses, with multiple adaptable spaces for working, collaboration, well-being and socializing, both inside and out. For instance, Manulife Canada recently transformed its global headquarters in Toronto to a very flexible, state-of-the-art environment, where workers on site can organically connect with others working remotely.

Influenced by feedback from employees who expressed what helped them during the pandemic, the refreshed space incorporates movement, natural light and plants into the design. But what the company also found was that people were really concerned about having collaborative space to reconnect, so purpose-built spaces for small, medium and large connections became a top priority. Notably, food is central to that, with a barista in its newly renovated lobby and a 21,000 square-foot subsidized cafeteria.

Some top employers, such as Vena Solutions Inc., have completely changed their work model since the pandemic. Prior to COVID-19, chief people officer Tracey Mikita says that the tech company was basically an in-office workplace, but now lets the vast majority of employees choose their ideal work environment, with flexible arrangements that include hybrid, fully remote or on-site.

“We continue to have really solid business results, so it’s hard to justify pushing folks back to the office when people are engaged and lots of great work is getting done,” says Mikita. “We’ve really tried to move the office towards being less of a place where you just go to do your work, to more of a collaborative social space where teams have their meetings.”

“I think there was always this worry that engagement would plummet if we moved to a remote or hybrid culture, but I would say culturally, we’ve proven that wrong. Our engagement scores have been at all time highs through the pandemic and people are feeling good across the board. We just worked really hard to enhance communication and make the employee experience a priority.”

Vena goes further offering a unique short-term work relocation allowance that lets employees work up to 30 days per year almost anywhere in the world.

“We’re a tech company so you’re very mobile,” says Mikita. “You can pick up your laptop and use any of the great spaces throughout our facility or you can work from home, but people can also spend time working wherever they like. So if someone is planning a vacation in Florida, they’re free to tack on a week of work and enjoy that work-life balance we feel is so important.”

When meeting in-person matters, even limited real estate doesn’t stop top employers. Anna Filice, chief people officer at Workplace Safety and Insurance Board / WSIB, says while people work at home most of the time, when they do come in, it’s with purpose.

“We try to do that at least once per month – usually an event with the whole team coming together,” says Filice. “Some of our locations don’t actually have a physical space, so we’ll meet at a local convention centre and spend a few very purposeful hours together. Because we’re so deliberate about it, we’re actually spending more meaningful time with our teams than when we were heads down in a cubicle five days a week.”

Filice says that they’re always cognizant that people are working from home and do their best to ensure employees have the tools they need to do that safely and effectively, including supports developed to help managers lead in a virtual environment. A recent assessment by WSIB of some of its key workforce factors – three years before the pandemic, and then three years after the switch to remote work – shows positive movement in basically every area for key services. These include productivity measures and employee statistics in terms of the number of sick days, engagement scores and overall collaboration.

“Everyone’s very enthusiastic about it,” she says. “People have been very vocal that they’d like to retain this model.”

METHODOLOGY 2024:

Any employer with its head office or principal place of business in the Greater Toronto Area may apply for the Greater Toronto Area’s Top Employers competition. Home to over 40 per cent of Canada’s business headquarters, competition is tough in the region with many exceptional workplaces. Here’s how the winners are decided:

The editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers evaluate each employer’s operations and human resources practices using the same eight criteria as the national competition of Canada’s Top 100 Employers. Those criteria are: workplace; work atmosphere and social; health, financial and family benefits; vacation and time off; employee communications; performance management; training and skills development; and community involvement. The competition is and remains a catalogue of best practices.

There is a noteworthy change to the first criteria, which historically was entitled Physical Workplace. This evolved to Workplace as a result of the pandemic and includes home office environments, flexible work options and hybrid work, workplace safety initiatives, and standard questions on the work environment, noting that not all industries had/have the option of working from home.

Employers are compared to other organizations in their field to determine which ones offer the most progressive and forward-thinking programs.

More detailed reasons for selection, explaining why each of the winners was chosen, are published on the competition’s website, www.canadastop100.com/toronto.

2024 WINNERS

The following organizations have been chosen as Greater Toronto’s Top Employers for 2024 (employee count refers to full-time staff):

Accenture Inc., Toronto. Professional services; 6,207 employees. Offers very generous new employee referral bonuses, from $500 to $6,000 depending on the position.

ADP Canada Co., Toronto. Payroll services; 2,639 employees. Encourages employees to support charitable initiatives with five paid volunteer days and matching charitable donations.

AGF Management Ltd., Toronto. Financial investment management; 602 employees. Offered dedicated resources for managers to help them better understand and manage the adoption of hybrid work options.

AIG Insurance Company of Canada, Toronto. Direct property and casualty insurance carriers; 368 employees. Supports its new parents with maternity and parental leave top-ups and a dedicated welcome back package for new parents returning to work.

Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario / AGCO, Toronto. Provincial gaming and liquor regulation; 507 employees. Encourages employee career development along with a better understanding of their own roles through a unique job shadowing program.

Alectra Inc., Mississauga. Electric power distribution; 1,553 employees. Offers a $400 annual healthy living reimbursement that employees can use toward any health or fitness-related purchase.

AMD Canada, Markham. Computer technology manufacturing; 3,378 employees. Supports new families-to-be with generous subsidies for prescription fertility drugs, IVF fertility procedures as well as offering adoption subsidies.

Amex Bank of Canada, Toronto. Credit card issuing; 2,047 employees. Offers an offsite work option that allows employees to work from anywhere for up to four calendar weeks each year.

Arup Canada Inc., Toronto. Engineering services; 450 employees. Supports ongoing employee education with generous tuition subsidies for job-related courses, up to $5,250.

AstraZeneca Canada Inc., Mississauga. Pharmaceutical manufacturing; 1,208 employees. Supports all new parents with maternity and parental leave top-up payments to 100 per cent of salary for up to 18 weeks.

Aviva Canada Inc., Markham. Insurance services; 4,521 employees. Supports retiring employees through the formal Encore program that lets them work a reduced 15-hour workweek for up to two years leading to their retirement.

Baker McKenzie LLP, Toronto. Law firms; 143 employees. Hosts a range of thoughtful social events every year, from a culture-oriented cooking event to yoga and meditation classes to annual pride celebrations.

BASF Canada Inc., Mississauga. Chemical manufacturing; 1,106 employees. Supports employee education with generous tuition subsidies for undergraduate (to $15,000) and graduate level programs (to $25,000).

Baycrest, Toronto. Specialized hospitals; 1,218 employees. When on site, employees can take advantage of a spacious 23-acre campus that features various outdoor spaces and free 24/7 access to a fitness facility with Zumba, yoga and tai chi classes.

Bayer Inc., Mississauga. Pharmaceuticals and agricultural products; 1,134 employees. Supports employees over the longer term with retirement planning assistance, pensions and savings programs, and health plan premiums that extend into retirement.

BDO Canada LLP, Toronto. Accounting; 5,508 employees. Encourages employees to become recruiters for the firm with generous new employee referral bonuses, up to $12,500 depending on the position.

Bennington Financial Corp., Oakville. Commercial equipment leasing and financing; 177 employees. Offers two paid Wellness Days every year for employees to schedule as needed to take a break, recharge and look after themselves.

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, Toronto. Law firms; 1,361 employees. Offers a flexible wellness reimbursement that can be used to cover a range of wellness activities, from jogging strollers and fitness trackers to registration fees for sports teams.

Blue Ant Media Inc., Toronto. Media production and distribution; 306 employees. Starts new employees with three weeks of paid vacation, offers additional time off during the holidays and a bonus two weeks of vacation on their 10th anniversary.

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Toronto. Law firms; 1,536 employees. Supports all new parents with maternity and parental leave top-up payments to 100 per cent of salary for 26 weeks.

Boston Consulting Group of Canada Limited, Toronto. Management consulting; 542 employees. Encourages employees to keep fit with subsidized memberships to a state-of-the-art shared-use fitness facility that also offers a variety of instructor-led fitness classes.

CAAT Pension Plan, Toronto. Pension plans; 398 employees. Created career ladders to show employees future opportunities as well as illustrate the path for progression.

Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited, Toronto. Real estate management; 1,275 employees. Offers a health and wellness spending account which can be used at employees’ discretion for related expenses, to $750 per year.

Campbell Company of Canada, Mississauga. Food preparation and packaging; 164 employees. Recognizes hard work through its High 5 award program and maintains special CEO awards or stock grants for extraordinary contributions.

Canadian Standards Association / CSA Group, Toronto. Testing, certification and related services; 780 employees. Offers digital coverage for Inkblot and MindBeacon as part of its mental health strategy along with benefit coverage for mental health practitioners.

Capital One Canada, Toronto. Credit card issuing; 865 employees. Dedicates a full day to professional and personal development through its Invest in Yourself Days on the last Friday of every month.

Centennial College, Toronto. Post secondary schools, college; 1,396 employees. Organizes wellness huddles to share information and resources on nutrition, ergonomics, work-life harmony, stress and psychological wellness.

Ceridian Canada Ltd., Toronto. Human resources software and services; 2,197 employees. Offers a flexible no-limit vacation policy, allowing employees to take as much or as little time off as they want.

CHEP Canada Corp., Mississauga. Logistics and shipping container services; 815 employees. Hosts an annual internal career week for employees interested in learning about roles in other departments to broaden their skillsets.

Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Toronto. Child and youth services; 709 employees. Offers exceptional maternity and parental leave top-up for new mothers and fathers, including adoptive parents, up to 70 per cent of salary for up to 39 weeks.

Choice Properties REIT, Toronto. Real estate investment trusts; 307 employees. Enables employees to participate in the stock purchase plan by allocating a percentage of their earnings, of which the company matches (to 25 per cent of contributions).

CIBC, Toronto. Banking; 42,951 employees. New state-of-the-art head office designed around a formal workplace strategy that combines onsite and offsite working options.

Citi Canada, Mississauga. Banking; 2,747 employees. Offers inclusive family-friendly benefits such as generous adoption subsidies of up to $30,000 and coverage for fertility treatments, to a lifetime max of $24,000.

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, The, Toronto. Professional organizations; 398 employees. Encourages employees to get involved and support charitable initiatives with up to two paid volunteer days off.

Colliers International Canada, Toronto. Commercial real estate services; 2,507 employees. Supports ongoing employee development through in-house training along with tuition subsidies for courses related and not directly related to their current position.

Compass Group Canada, Mississauga. Food services; 11,392 employees. Recognizes exceptional performance through the formal Be a Star awards program that includes cash awards and all-expenses paid trips to Florida.

Corus Entertainment Inc., Toronto. Media production and broadcasting; 3,051 employees. Supports overall employee wellness through a monthly well-being newsletter that promotes a variety of mental, emotional, financial and physical activities every month.

Credit Valley Conservation Authority / CVC, Mississauga. Environment, conservation and wildlife organizations; 236 employees. Helps employees plan for the future through a defined benefit pension plan and offers phased-in retirement work options when nearing retirement.

CRH Canada Group Inc., Vaughan. Concrete manufacturing; 3,522 employees. Recently increased its maternity and parental leave top-up payments for all new parents, along with a phased-in return to work option at the end of their leave.

Daily Bread Food Bank, Toronto. Community food banks; 82 employees. Helps employees take care of their mental health with coverage for related practitioners of up to $2,000 per year and organizes mindfulness sessions to improve well-being.

Dentsu Canada Inc., Toronto. Marketing agencies; 1,121 employees. Offers a full suite of training and development initiatives internally, including mentorship, leadership programs, and an online learning platform, Dentsu University.

Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc., Toronto. Architecture; 279 employees. Takes a thoughtful approach when employees are called upon to care for a loved one, offering compassionate leave top-up for up to 17 weeks (at 80 per cent of salary).

Dream, Toronto. Real estate development; 668 employees. Offers a number of financial incentives including signing bonuses for some, year-end bonuses for all, and referral bonuses of up to $4,000 for successful candidates.

Durham College of Applied Arts and Technology, Oshawa. Post secondary schools, college; 815 employees. Helps long serving employees stay connected even after their tenure is complete through a dedicated retiree association.

Dynacare Inc., Brampton. Medical laboratories; 2,398 employees. Offers up to 10 paid personal days each year to help employees balance work and family commitments.

Dyson Canada Ltd., Toronto. Household appliance manufacturing; 164 employees. Provides discounts on company products as well as access to an internal fire sale on gently used or refurbished Dyson products, with proceeds donated to local charities.

Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc, Toronto. Property and casualty insurance; 83 employees. Increased its annual transportation subsidy for eligible staff to $3,000 per year, regardless of how employees commute.

EF Educational Tours, Toronto. Educational tour services; 119 employees. Maintains a staff tour travel policy, which is in addition to vacation time and provides an opportunity to participate in paid international travel at least once a year.

Equifax Canada Co., Toronto. Credit data and reporting services; 600 employees. Helps employees start a family with maternity and parental leave top-up, to 100 per cent of salary for up to 18 weeks for mothers and eight weeks for fathers and adoptive parents.

EY, Toronto. Accounting; 8,392 employees. Maintains a dedicated network to foster community among working parents and provides a child care subsidy, covering 100 hours of in-home or centre-based backup care.

Fidelity Canada, Toronto. Portfolio management; 1,710 employees. Encourages career mobility through internal secondment opportunities and a job exchange program, allowing employees to trade roles for up to one year.

First Capital REIT, Toronto. Real estate development and management; 376 employees. Debuted a wellness newsletter that highlights monthly themes such as stress management, financial wellness, and guided meditation.

First Insurance Funding of Canada / FIRST Canada, Toronto. Insurance payment services; 129 employees. Offers the ability for employees to work anywhere in the world for up to four weeks per year.

Ford Motor Company of Canada Ltd., Oakville. Automobile manufacturing; 7,244 employees. Provides generous discounts on vehicle purchases through the Ford Auto purchase program, enabling employees and eligible family members to purchase up to four new vehicles per year.

FreshBooks, Toronto. Software publishers; 488 employees. Provides three weeks of starting vacation allowance as well as additional paid time off during the winter holidays.

Fundserv Inc., Toronto. Financial transaction processing; 122 employees. Provides new employees a work-from-home stipend of $500 for equipment as well as a monthly internet subsidy of $50 for all employees.

General Mills Canada Corporation, Mississauga. Food manufacturing; 632 employees. Allows employees to apply to work outside of their province of employment for up to 30 days per year.

George Brown College, Toronto. Post secondary schools, college; 1,468 employees. Maintains a 12-month sabbatical leave program for longstanding employees, offering up to 80 per cent of their salary while they take time to rest, recharge, and pursue personal interests.

Gilead Sciences Canada Inc., Mississauga. Pharmaceutical products; 543 employees. Offers a global well-being benefit of up to $1,000 that can be used to cover wellness expenses such as gym memberships, life coaching and financial advice.

GlaxoSmithKline Inc. / GSK, Mississauga. Pharmaceutical manufacturing; 1,728 employees. Provides compassionate leave top-up when employees are called upon to care for a loved one, to 100 per cent of salary for up to 13 weeks.

Ground Transportation Systems Canada Inc., (Thales Group), Toronto. Specialized IT services; 992 employees. Invests in ongoing employee development with subsidies for tuition, with no annual max, as well as subsidies for professional accreditation.

Haleon Canada ULC, Mississauga. Consumer health products; 1,033 employees. Updated its benefits package to invest in employee well-being, adding mental health coverage of up to $2,000 annually.

Halton, Regional Municipality of, Oakville. Municipal government; 2,280 employees. New parents receive maternity and parental leave top-up as well as priority placement at the child care centre located at the organization’s head office.

Halton Regional Police Service, Oakville. Police services; 1,067 employees. Supports employees who strive to become a police officer with a five-year interest-free loan to help cover the costs of Ontario Police College.

HarperCollins Canada Ltd. and Harlequin Enterprises ULC, Toronto. Book publishers; 284 employees. Helps employees plan ahead through a defined contribution pension plan along with the option for employees to make additional matching contributions.

Hatch Ltd., Mississauga. Engineering services; 3,941 employees. A longstanding social committee hosts a variety of events throughout the year and sponsors a number of sports teams and activities.

Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada / HIROC, Toronto. Healthcare liability insurance; 127 employees. Created a diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging committee and surveyed staff for feedback on hiring practices, policies, celebrations and events.

Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan / HOOPP, Toronto. Pension plans; 967 employees. Supports employees through all stages of family planning including coverage for fertility treatments and drugs if needed, to $15,000 and $20,000 respectively.

Henkel Canada Corp., Mississauga. Adhesive manufacturing; 339 employees. Celebrates exceptional performance through global awards in customer service, operations, and innovation.

Hershey Canada Inc., Mississauga. Food manufacturing; 978 employees. Encourages employee giving with matching charitable donations, to a maximum of US$5,000.

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Canada Co., Mississauga. Computer technology and support services; 747 employees. Offers a retirement transition support program, allowing employees who are approaching retirement to gradually reduce their hours.

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Toronto. Hospitals; 571 employees. Provides redeemable points as an incentive for employees to participate in personal development, learning, volunteering, physical health and well-being activities.

Home Depot Canada Inc., Toronto. Retail; 16,983 employees. Recognizes non-retail employees who make long-term improvements for the company through the Orange Blooded Award.

HomeEquity Bank, Toronto. Specialized home mortgages; 284 employees. Dubs employees who volunteer 40 hours or more as “Community Heroes” and offers opportunities to apply for a $500 grant for a charity of their choosing.

Hospital for Sick Children, The, Toronto. Hospitals; 6,401 employees. Encourages healthy lifestyles through its 2,400 square-foot Wellness Centre that offers everything from instructor-led fitness classes to healthy cooking workshops.

Humber College, Toronto. Post secondary schools, college; 1,922 employees. Employees can take advantage of the on-campus Humber Spa at no cost, with services provided by students as part of their course curriculum.

Humber River Health, Toronto. Hospitals; 2,674 employees. Helps employees prepare for the future with retirement planning assistance and contributions to a defined benefit pension plan.

Hyundai Auto Canada Corp., Markham. Automobile wholesale; 247 employees. Offers 10 dedicated wellness days each year that can be used for mental health, illness, injury or personal wellness.

IAMGOLD Corporation, Toronto. Gold ore mining; 897 employees. Encourages employees to reduce their carbon footprint with a reimbursement of up to $3,000 every 36 months for the purchase or lease of electric or hybrid vehicles.

Independent Electricity System Operator / IESO, Toronto. Electric power distribution; 964 employees. Helps employees plan securely for the future with health benefits that extend to retirees, up to 100 per cent premium coverage and no age limit.

Interac Corp., Toronto. Financial services; 584 employees. Offers up to 20 personal development hours each year which can be used to pursue development goals such as mentoring, coaching, volunteering, or formal academic learning.

Investment Management Corporation of Ontario / IMCO, Toronto. Investment services; 342 employees. Provides exceptional maternity and parental leave top-up of 93 per cent of salary for up to 52 weeks for new and adoptive parents.

ISA Cybersecurity Inc., Toronto. Computer security services; 72 employees. Rewards employees celebrating their five year anniversary with $600 for an experience of their choice, an extra week of vacation, and two additional floater days.

Kellanova Canada Inc., Mississauga. Breakfast cereal manufacturing; 369 employees. Introduced the formal “Locate for Your Day” hybrid work program and welcomed employees back to onsite work with over a month of fun activities.

Kinross Gold Corporation, Toronto. Gold mining; 308 employees. Offers professional development opportunities for employees at all stages of their career, including Generation Gold for high-potential employees with less than two years of experience and international opportunities for seasoned individuals.

KPMG LLP, Toronto. Accounting; 11,114 employees. As an incentive during special recruitment campaigns, the firm offers generous new employee referral bonuses from $4,000 to $16,000, depending on the position.

Kraft Heinz Canada ULC, Toronto. Food manufacturing; 1,414 employees. Offers complimentary 24/7 access to an on-site fitness studio, meditation lounge, and the ability to book massages when on site from a registered massage therapist.

Kruger Products Inc., Mississauga. Paper products; 2,328 employees. Celebrates workplace safety milestones by awarding manufacturing plants that achieve 250,000 consecutive hours of work without a recordable event with a $2,500 donation to a charity of the plant’s choosing.

Labatt Breweries of Canada, Toronto. Breweries; 3,547 employees. Encourages employees to keep fit with free memberships to an onsite fitness facility that offers a variety of instructor-led classes.

League Inc., Toronto. Computer software developers; 302 employees. After five years of employment, employees receive a unique “health pause” benefit that includes up to six weeks off along with a $10,000 payment to invest in themselves.

Liquor Control Board of Ontario / LCBO, Toronto. Liquor distribution; 4,427 employees. Organizes a dedicated employee appreciation week this past year and launched a new “Cheers to you!” program to encourage ongoing and authentic recognition.

Loblaw Companies Ltd., Brampton. Supermarkets and grocery stores; 32,441 employees. Encourages employees to support initiatives in their communities with a volunteer grant program, which donates up to $500 to organizations where employees volunteer over 40 hours per year.

Loopio Inc., Toronto. Software developers; 274 employees. Offers a blanket paid time-off program that provides all employees with six weeks annually and can be used as each employee determines.

Manulife, Toronto. Direct life insurance carriers; 12,237 employees. Offers employees a defined contribution pension plan, along with the option to stay enrolled in the health benefits plan through their retirement (with no age limit).

Mars Canada, Bolton. Food manufacturing; 1,538 employees. Unique rural head office location features an outdoor courtyard, indoor and outdoor doggie play areas, a community garden, outdoor volleyball, hockey and basketball courts.

Mattamy Homes Limited, Toronto. Real estate development; 1,537 employees. Maintains an employee home ownership program, offering a cash payment equal to 4.5 per cent of the purchase price of a company-built home, to a maximum of $40,000.

Mazda Canada Inc., Richmond Hill. Automobile wholesale; 168 employees. Maintains a number of flexible time off policies including 10 paid sick days annually, paid personal days, and the ability to carry over five vacation days to the next year.

McCain Foods Ltd., Toronto. Food manufacturing; 2,711 employees. Created the Chips In volunteer program to provide employees with up to eight hours per year to volunteer with a charity of their choice.

McCarthy Tétrault LLP, Toronto. Law firms; 1,642 employees. Added gender affirmation benefits to its group insurance plan, offering a lifetime maximum of $50,000 to cover fees and surgical procedures not addressed by provincial or territorial plans.

McMillan LLP, Toronto. Law firms; 696 employees. Offers employees generous coverage for mental health practitioners as part of their health benefits plan, up to $7,000 annually.

Media.Monks, Toronto. Advertising agencies; 313 employees. Maintains a dedicated #gotkid Slack channel to foster community amongst parents and enable them to share experiences.

Medtronic Canada ULC, Brampton. Electromedical apparatus manufacturing; 658 employees. Offers academic scholarships for children of employees, to $1,500 per child per year.

Mercer (Canada) Ltd., Toronto. Human resources and business consulting services; 935 employees. Created the “Move More @ Mercer” initiative to challenge employees to be more active throughout the day and rewards top-performing offices with a donation to the charity of their choice.

Metrolinx, Toronto. Public transit; 5,675 employees. Maintains an Employee Care Office to provide an inclusive and confidential space for employees to receive support and guidance to navigate life challenges.

Michael Garron Hospital | Toronto East Health Network, Toronto. Hospitals; 1,537 employees. Manages a Staff in Need Fund to support employees and their families who have endured a recent crisis resulting in personal financial hardship.

Mondelez Canada Inc., Toronto. Food manufacturing; 2,437 employees. Encourages ongoing employee development with generous tuition subsidies for courses at outside academic institutions, up to $8,000 annually.

Multiplex Construction Canada Ltd., Toronto. Commercial construction; 179 employees. Offers industry-leading starting vacation allowance of four weeks and provides a bonus week of vacation to celebrate employees’ five year anniversary, as well as every fifth year thereafter.

Municipal Property Assessment Corporation, Pickering. Real estate appraisal; 1,790 employees. Helps employees save in big and small ways with a defined benefit pension plan, discounted home and auto insurance, low-interest home loans and discounted auto lease rates.

Neighbourhood Group Community Services, The, Toronto. Community healthcare services; 372 employees. Offers exceptional maternity and parental leave top-up for new parents, providing up to 70 per cent of salary for a full year.

Nelson Education Ltd., Toronto. Publishers; 136 employees. Provides five days off during the summer and winter holidays in addition to three weeks of starting vacation allowance.

Nestlé Canada Inc., Toronto. Food manufacturing; 3,240 employees. Offers a “Flex 4+4″ program for employees who want to work a little extra in order to receive the same amount of time off.

Northland Power Inc., Toronto. Power generation; 331 employees. Donated approximately 800 volunteer hours on company time in the past year.

Olympus Canada Inc., Richmond Hill. Medical, industrial and imaging equipment; 250 employees. Encourages employees to give back to the community with paid time off to volunteer, to a maximum of two days per year.

OMERS Administration Corporation, Toronto. Pension funds; 2,649 employees. Organizes an annual Development Month to encourage employees to reflect on their professional goals and aspirations.

Ontario Dental Association, The, Toronto. Professional organizations; 57 employees. Helps employees plan securely for the future with contributions to a defined benefit pension plan.

Ontario Energy Board / OEB, Toronto. Provincial energy regulation; 218 employees. Provides generous maternity and parental leave top-up for new mothers, to 93 per cent of salary for up to 35 weeks.

Ontario Medical Association, Toronto. Professional organizations; 330 employees. Offers generous coverage for mental health services, up to $3,000 per year.

Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, Whitby. Specialty hospitals; 960 employees. Supports career advancement through opportunities for formal mentoring and leadership development programs.

Penguin Random House Canada Ltd., Toronto. Book publishers; 301 employees. Offers semi-annual free booking ordering opportunities, access to select author events, and free access to thousands of book titles through an in-house e-reader app.

PepsiCo Canada, Mississauga. Soft drink and food manufacturing; 9,963 employees. Helps employees save on recurring expenses with discounted home and auto insurance, low-interest home loans, and discounted auto lease rates.

Philips Canada, Mississauga. Healthcare and consumer products; 546 employees. Provides one paid day off for employees to participate in an event or activity related to inclusion and diversity such as a learning or allyship opportunity.

Pink Triangle Press, Toronto. Periodical publishers; 64 employees. Offers compassionate leave top-up for employees who are called upon to care for loved ones, to 95 per cent of salary for up to 16 weeks.

Plan International Canada Inc., Toronto. Charitable organizations; 366 employees. Helps employees transition to their new roles as parents with the option to phase-in their return to work.

Procter & Gamble Inc., Toronto. Consumer product manufacturing; 1,796 employees. Manages the formal Workways flexible work program to help design hybrid work options that balance employees’ needs as well as the needs of their teams and the overall business.

Questrade Financial Group, Toronto. Financial investment services; 1,561 employees. Offers flexible and hybrid work options as well as a unique program that lets employees work abroad for up to 90 days per year.

RGA Life Reinsurance Company of Canada, Toronto. Insurance services; 410 employees. Offers financial bonuses as a reward for some course completion, ranging from $100 to $500.

RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust, Toronto. Real estate investments; 564 employees. Helps employees save for the future with matching RSP contributions or a defined contribution pension plan, depending on their position.

Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc., Toronto. Tobacco and cigarette manufacturing; 746 employees. Provides a BalanceIt account for employees to reimburse up to $1,000 per year for services that support their wellness, such as gym memberships, child care, pet care, and housekeeping expenses.

Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto. Banking; 66,044 employees. Developed the RBC Blueprint for Well-being and Mental Health to promote employee mental health and well-being and offers a generous mental health benefit as part of their health plan.

Royal Ontario Museum / ROM, Toronto. Museums; 306 employees. Offers long-term peace of mind with health benefits that extend to retirees, with no age limit and 50 per cent premium coverage.

R.V. Anderson Associates Limited, Toronto. Engineering consulting services; 410 employees. Supports an employee-led wellness committee that organizes seminars and workshops led by certified health experts.

Samsung Electronics Canada Inc., Mississauga. Communications equipment manufacturing; 727 employees. Encourages employees to become recruiters for the firm with new employee referral bonuses, from $500 to $2,000 depending on the position.

Sanofi Canada, Toronto. Pharmaceutical manufacturing; 2,085 employees. Encourages employees to keep fit with subsidized access to an onsite fitness facility at its head office, with pilates, yoga, and dance classes offered regularly.

Schneider Electric Canada Inc., Mississauga. Industrial automation and controls; 1,980 employees. Starts new employees with 3.8 weeks of paid vacation, moving to 4.4 weeks after just five years on the job.

Scotiabank, Toronto. Banking. Expanded mental health coverage from $3,000 to $10,000 as a result of employee feedback.

Seneca Polytechnic, Toronto. Post secondary schools, college; 1,716 employees. Provides exceptional maternity and parental leave top-up for new and adoptive parents, to 93 per cent of salary, ranging from 37 to 52 weeks.

Slalom Consulting ULC, Toronto. Consulting; 915 employees. Provides access to a “Care@Work” program to help employees manage family care needs such as child care, senior care, pet care, and special needs care.

Sobeys Inc., Mississauga. Supermarkets and grocery stores; 27,883 employees. Supports ongoing development throughout each employee’s career, from paid internships and apprenticeships to generous tuition subsidies for courses at outside academic institutions.

Spaulding Ridge, LLC, Toronto. Computer consulting services; 81 employees. Maintains an unlimited time off policy and ensures employees rest and recharge at the end of the year with a paid holiday shutdown in December.

Spin Master Ltd., Toronto. Children’s toys and entertainment; 810 employees. Offers 10 paid personal days annually that employees can use for appointments, family responsibilities or other personal commitments.

Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada Inc., Toronto. Insurance; 11,857 employees. Offers flex credits as part of its benefits plan, allowing employees to purchase extra coverage or allocate credits to an RRSP, TFSA, or to a savings account.

Tarion Warranty Corp., Toronto. Direct title insurance carriers; 344 employees. Helps employees manage a diverse range of family care expenses through a dedicated benefit program that includes subsidized rates for child care as well as discounts for virtual tutoring.

TD Bank Group, Toronto. Banking; 64,507 employees. Matches employee charitable donations and provides financial support to charities where employees volunteer, to $500 for every 40 volunteer hours.

Teranet Inc., Toronto. Electronic land registration and information systems; 877 employees. Maintains a corporate wellness strategy that requires each department to organize monthly team wellness challenges.

Thomson Reuters Canada Ltd., Toronto. Publishers; 1,362 employees. Implemented a work from anywhere policy, enabling employees to work from an alternate location for up to eight weeks as well as four weeks working outside of the country.

ThoughtWorks Canada Corporation, Toronto. Computer consulting services; 254 employees. Offers employees a monthly subsidy of $150 to help offset the costs of home internet use and mobile phone bills.

TMX Group Limited, Toronto. Stock exchanges; 1,392 employees. Creates a charitable mandate each year to guide company donations and considers employee feedback when distributing funds.

Toronto, City of, Toronto. Municipal government; 23,835 employees. Offers exceptional maternity and parental leave top-up for new and adoptive parents, to 85 per cent of salary ranging from 35 to 52 weeks.

Toronto Community Housing Corporation, Toronto. Administration of housing programs; 2,302 employees. Offers compassionate leave top-up for employees needing time to care for a loved one, to 93 per cent of salary for up to eight weeks.

Toronto Zoo, Toronto. Zoos and botanical gardens; 288 employees. New employees receive three weeks of vacation to start, moving to four weeks after only two years on the job.

Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company, Toronto. Property and casualty insurance; 229 employees. Offers generous tuition subsidies for employees interested in pursuing additional education related to their position, to $7,500 per year.

Tucows.com Co., Toronto. Internet domain name registrar; 595 employees. Provides employees with stipends to purchase home office equipment as part of its remote-first work model.

Unilever Canada, Inc., Toronto. Consumer product manufacturing and distribution; 978 employees. Generously matches charitable donations made by employees dollar-for-dollar, with no set maximum.

Unity Health Toronto, Toronto. Hospitals; 6,206 employees. Supports new mothers with maternity and parental leave top-up payments, to 84 per cent of salary for up to 26 weeks.

University of Toronto, Toronto. Post secondary schools, university; 11,369 employees. Established a Family Care Office to provide support and resources on a wide range of family issues including child care and caring for aging parents.

Vena Solutions Inc., Toronto. Computer software and consulting services; 641 employees. Lets employees work from almost anywhere in the world for up to 30 days per year through a short-term work relocation program.

Visa Canada Corporation, Toronto. Payments technology; 220 employees. Offers a wellness spending account of up to $750 per year that employees can use for sports, fitness equipment, personal trainers or other hobbies.

Workplace Safety and Insurance Board / WSIB, Toronto. Workplace health and safety programs; 4,476 employees. Encourages ongoing employee education with tuition subsidies for courses taken externally, to $2,500 annually.

World Vision Canada, Mississauga. Charitable organizations; 399 employees. Offers maternity and parental leave top-up payments to 80 per cent of salary and the option to extend leaves into unpaid leaves of absence.

Xerox Canada Ltd., Toronto. Computer technology and services; 1,602 employees. Offers paid time off to enable employees to volunteer in their community.

Yamaha Motor Canada Ltd., Toronto. Motorized vehicle and equipment wholesale; 216 employees. Provides a home office allowance as part of its hybrid work model to ensure employees have an ergonomic desk when working from home.

YMCA of Greater Toronto, Toronto. Individual and family services; 3,366 employees. Provides subsidized access to onsite child care for employees with young children.

York Regional Police, Aurora. Police services; 2,445 employees. Offers generous coverage for mental health practitioners as part of its benefits plan, to $7,500 per year.

YWCA Toronto, Toronto. Individual and family services; 282 employees. Promotes work-life balance with four weeks of starting vacation allowance.

Zurich Canada, Toronto. Insurance services; 602 employees. Helps employees prepare for life after work with retirement planning services and a defined contribution pension plan.

More from the GTA’s Top Employers


Advertising feature produced by Canada’s Top 100 Employers, a division of Mediacorp Canada Inc. The Globe and Mail’s editorial department was not involved.

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