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News Competition fierce to be among GTA’s Top 100 Employers

Metrolinx maintains an employee-led ‘green team.’

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

As Canada's biggest metropolitan area, the Greater Toronto Area offers a rich diversity of employers in a wide range of industries, from financial services to auto manufacturing to media and communication technology. The GTA is also home for approximately 40 per cent of Canada's business headquarters, all looking to hire the best possible employees. Making the winners list of the GTA's Top Employers is a challenge for any organization and a tribute to their ability in providing great places for people to work.

"The leading GTA employers understand that they exist in one of the most competitive employment landscapes in the country," says Richard Yerema, managing editor of Canada's Top 100 Employers. "The employers who call the GTA home must ensure that their human resource practices are not only competitive within their industry but also in the wider GTA neighbourhood."

Methodology

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Any employer with its head office or principal place of business in the GTA may apply for the Greater Toronto Area's Top Employers contest. Competition is tough. According to Mr. Yerema, the richness of the region that makes this competition so uniquely competitive also makes it challenging to judge on the editorial decision-making side.

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: physical workplace; work atmosphere and social; health, financial and family benefits; vacation and time off; employee communications focused on how employers capture employee feedback; performance management; training and skills development; and community involvement Employers are compared to other organizations in their field to determine which ones offer the most progressive and forward-thinking programs.

GTA's Top 100 Employers 2016 Edition

Accenture Inc., Toronto. Management consulting; 3,476 employees. Encourages employees to think beyond their roles through an Inventor Award Program offering financial awards to those who create patentable assets.

AstraZeneca Canada Inc., Mississauga. Pharmaceutical manufacturing; 644 employees. Manages the Young Health Program, a long-term community involvement initiative to improve the health and wellness of vulnerable youth.

BASF Canada Inc., Mississauga. Chemical manufacturing; 683 employees. Provides health benefits that extend, with no age limit, to retirees.

Bayer Canada, Toronto. Pharmaceutical manufacturing; 1,639 employees. Offers employees a generous $15,000 subsidy for in vitro fertilization.

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Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, Toronto. Law firm; 1,375 employees. Provides two private nap rooms and a quiet room that can be used for meditation or religious observance.

Body Shop Canada, Toronto. Cosmetics and beauty supplies; 332 employees. Encourages employees to give back to the community with up to three paid days off to volunteer.

CAA South Central Ontario, Thornhill. Insurance; 1,255 employees. Reaches out to the next generation through summer-student, co-op and paid internship opportunities.

Cadillac Fairview Corp. Ltd., Toronto. Property management; 1,178 employees. Offers retirement planning workshops, phased-in work options and contributions to a defined contribution pension plan.

Campbell Co.of Canada, Toronto. Food preparation and packaging; 750 employees. Offers generous referral bonuses of up to $5,000 when employees recommend an exceptional candidate.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Toronto. Banking; 35,438 employees. Invested more than $64-million globally on employee training last year.

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Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd., Toronto. Retail; 85,000 employees. Provides a range of communication and feedback tools to keep employees informed, as well as to capture their feedback.

Capgemini Canada Inc., Toronto. Information technology; 389 employees. Cultivates an ownership culture through a share purchase plan available to all employees.

Carswell, a division of Thomson Reuters Canada Ltd., Toronto. Publisher: 912 employees. Offers a subsidy to help cover the costs associated with adoption, up to $5,000 a child.

Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto, Toronto. Child and youth services; 506 employees. Offers four weeks' vacation to start and up to 10 paid personal days off, which can be used throughout the year.

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Toronto. Hospital; 2,212 employees. Manages an on-site daycare facility that employees can take advantage of when they return to work.

Central Community Care Access Centre (CCAC), Newmarket. Home health care services; 642 employees. Invests in employee development with tuition subsidies of up to $1,500 for courses taken at outside institutions.

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Children's Aid Society of Toronto, Toronto. Child and youth services; 749 employees. Offers new parents the option to extend their leave into an unpaid leave of absence.

Cisco Systems Canada Co., Toronto. Computer and equipment manufacturing; 1,633 employees. Created the Connected North initiative in 2013 to provide video collaboration technology to schools and hospitals in remote aboriginal communities across Canada.

Coca-Cola Canada, Toronto. Beverage and food manufacturing; 5,388 employees. Manages a Supplier Diversity Mentoring Program to provide company assessments, coaching, guidance and training to help suppliers grow their business.

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, Toronto. Professional organizations; 352 employees. Maintains a formal wellness program that includes subsidized on-site yoga, Pilates and fitness classes, plus weekly massage therapist visits.

Corby Spirit & Wine Ltd./Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd., Toronto. Liquor and wine manufacturing; 456 employees. Offers generous tuition subsidies for job-related courses, up to $6,000, and subsidies for professional accreditation.

Corus Entertainment Inc., Toronto. Media production and broadcasting; 1,525 employees. Features an interior five-storey bio-wall with abundant plant life and a rainwater harvesting system at its unique head office.

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Deloitte LLP, Toronto. Accounting; 8,960 employees. Encourages employees to apply for extended work terms at its offices worldwide.

Dialog, Toronto. Architecture; 510 employees. Helps students gain on-the-job experience by hiring approximately 23 students each year for four- to eight-month work terms.

Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc., Toronto. Architecture; 162 employees. Recognized for its dedication to sustainable design, with 29 LEED-certified projects, including three that are LEED Platinum.

Durham College of Applied Arts and Technology, Oshawa. Colleges; 777 employees. Provides a full year of paid leave for employees who are new mothers.

Dynacare, Brampton. Medical laboratories; 2,040 employees. Manages an academic scholarship program for employees' children who are pursuing postsecondary studies.

EllisDon Corp., Mississauga. Building construction; 1,505 employees. Donates up to $1,000 for every 25 volunteer hours contributed by each employee.

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Entertainment One Ltd., Toronto. Motion picture and video distribution; 949 employees. Offers discounts on DVDs, Blu-rays, CDs, fitness products, video games and electronics through an employee purchase plan.

Fidelity Canada, Toronto. Portfolio management; 765 employees. Manages a number of employee resource organizations, including a women's networking group and Fidelity PRIDE.

Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd., Oakville. Auto manufacturing; 7,072 employees. Encourages employees to keep fit through subsidized access to an on-site fitness facility with state-of-the-art equipment and instructor-led classes.

GCI Communications Inc., Toronto. Public relations; 27 employees. Offers tuition subsidies of up to $2,500 for courses taken at outside institutions and subsidies for professional accreditation.

General Electric Canada (GE), Mississauga. Diversified technology and equipment manufacturing; 7,213 employees. Hosted a countrywide Day of Caring initiative to encourage employees to get involved in their local communities.

General Motors of Canada Ltd., Oshawa. Auto manufacturing; 9,357 employees. Lets employees take home company vehicles for a short period of time, providing a chance to enjoy the products they build.

Goodrich Aerospace Canada Ltd., Oakville. Aircraft parts and equipment manufacturing; 1,017 employees. Helps students and new grads gain on-the-job experience with co-op, summer-student and paid internship opportunities.

Great Blue Heron Charity Casino, Port Perry. Casinos; 699 employees. Plays host to company-organized gatherings throughout the year, including an annual children's holiday party and a barbecue, as well as recognition events for long-serving employees.

Griffith Laboratories Ltd., Toronto. Spice and extract manufacturing; 341 employees. Helps employees plan securely for the future with contributions to a defined benefit pension plan.

Halton, Regional Municipality of, Oakville. Municipal government; 1,778 employees. Offers employees at Halton Region's head office the convenience of an on-site daycare facility along with priority placement.

Hitachi Data Systems Corp., Toronto. Computer storage device manufacturing; 118 employees. Gives signing bonuses for some employees, year-end bonuses for all and generous referral bonuses for those who help recruit candidates.

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Toronto. Hospital; 544 employees. Has an on-site cafeteria with healthy and special-diet menus plus subsidized meals.

Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto. Hospital; 5,487 employees. Invests in training and development internally and within the broader community, holding more than 100 conferences each year.

Imax, Mississauga. Motion picture theatres; 310 employees. Subsidizes the social committee's annual events for staff, including a children's holiday party, Imax friends and family movie screenings for major blockbuster events and a volleyball tournament.

Intact Financial Corp., Toronto. Insurance; 10,840 employees. Manages a two-year graduate leadership development program for MBA graduates.

Johnson & Johnson Inc., Markham. Consumer product manufacturing; 545 employees. Identifies health and lifestyle risks of staff through a confidential employee questionnaire and analyzes the results to plan future programs.

KPMG LLP, Toronto. Accounting; 6,165 employees. Maintains a Working Parents Network to bring together parents with young children to share their ideas, experiences and resources.

Kruger Products LP, Mississauga. Paper products; 1,872 employees. Organizes the White Cashmere Collection event – a fashion design challenge using toilet tissue – which serves as an annual fund – and awareness-raiser for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

Labatt Breweries of Canada, Toronto. Breweries; 3,000 employees. Celebrates employee innovation from all levels across the company through a unique Ideas Process awards program.

Lakeridge Health, Oshawa. Hospital; 2,372 employees. Provides maternity- and parental-leave top-up payments for employees who are new mothers and fathers or adoptive parents.

Law Society of Upper Canada, The, Toronto. Professional organizations; 521 employees. Offers compassionate-leave top-up payments for employees who need to care for a loved one, up to 70 per cent of salary for eight weeks.

Loblaw Co. Ltd., Brampton. Supermarkets and grocery stores; 28,580 employees. Operates the unique grad@Loblaw, a 15-month training program with full pay and benefits, for new or recent graduates.

LoyaltyOne Co., Toronto. Marketing consulting services; 1,230 employees. Maintains a flexible health benefits plan, allowing employees to customize levels of coverage as well as transfer unused credits to a wellness account, RRSP or health spending account.

Manulife Financial, Toronto. Insurance; 11,195 employees. Created the Wellness Matters program to provide resources and services supporting the physical and mental well-being of employees.

Mars Canada, Bolton. Food manufacturing; 480 employees. Offers a generous postsecondary scholarship program for children of employees, up to $7,000 per scholarship.

Mattel Canada Inc., Mississauga. Toy manufacturing; 118 employees. Cultivates an ownership culture through a share purchase plan available to all employees.

Mazda Canada Inc., Richmond Hill. Auto wholesale; 137 employees. Offers three weeks of starting vacation, additional paid time off during the winter holidays and paid personal days for use throughout the year.

McCarthy Tétrault LLP, Toronto. Law firm; 1,426 employees. Provides a unique maternity buddy program to keep parents on leave up-to-date about the firm and their jobs.

Medtronic of Canada Ltd., Brampton. Electromedical and apparatus manufacturing; 700 employees. Encourages healthy and active minds through several in-house training initiatives.

Metrolinx, Toronto. Public transit; 3,011 employees. Committed to environmental sustainability and maintains an employee-led "green team."

Miller Group, Markham. Highway, street and bridge construction; 4,570 employees. Offers courses on leadership, management and construction through its newly formed Miller Institute of Excellence.

Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto. Hospitals; 2,344 employees. Manages a number of in-house initiatives that focus on the physical and emotional well-being of employees.

Nelson Education Ltd., Toronto. Publishers; 368 employees. Maintains a flexible health benefits plan, allowing employees to customize levels of coverage and transfer unused credits to additional salary or savings.

Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, Toronto. Law firms; 1,489 employees. Provides a health spending account of up to $750 a year, as well as a fitness club subsidy, to encourage employees to keep physically active.

Novo Nordisk Canada Inc., Mississauga. Pharmaceutical manufacturing; 285 employees. Features a graduate program providing MBA students with opportunities to study and work at Novo Nordisk global locations for eight-month assignments.

Ontario Medical Association (OMA), Toronto. Professional organizations; 286 employees. Offers referral bonuses of up to $1,000 for employees who successfully recommend a candidate.

Ontario Public Service (OPS), Toronto. Provincial government; 61,698 employees. Manages a diversity council of executive representatives from across the OPS who work together to help shape inclusion policies for the future.

PepsiCo Canada, Mississauga. Beverage and food manufacturing; 9,163 employees. Maintains a healthy living program that includes wellness challenges, online resources, assessments and coaching tools, plus a subsidy for gym memberships.

PowerStream Inc., Vaughan. Electric power distribution; 558 employees. Offers in-house apprenticeships, as well as a four-year engineer-in-training program.

Praxair Canada Inc., Mississauga. Chemical and related products manufacture and wholesale; 2,250 employees. Encourages employee volunteerism through a program that matches eligible employee contributions, dollar for dollar, to a maximum of $15,000.

Procter & Gamble Inc., Toronto. Consumer product manufacturing; 1,729 employees. Features open-concept collaborative work spaces at its head office with all the latest technology to ensure that off-site employees stay in touch.

Rogers Communications Inc., Toronto. Communications, cable, publishing and subscription programming; 23,325 employees. Extends parental-leave top-up to new dads and adoptive parents, up to 70 per cent of salary for 17 weeks.

Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc., Toronto. Tobacco product manufacturing; 796 employees. Offers an off-site daycare subsidy.

Rouge Valley Health System (RVHS),Toronto. Hospitals; 1,577 employees. Provides retirement planning workshops and phased-in work options to help employees transition.

Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto. Banking; 52,026 employees. Offers flexible hours, telecommuting, reduced office hours during summer months, and shortened and compressed workweek options.

Ryder Canada Ltd., Mississauga. Truck rentals and freight transportation; 1,655 employees. Lets everyone share in the company's success with profit-sharing and a share purchase plan.

Ryerson University, Toronto. Universities; 2,816 employees. Established the Workplace Wellbeing Services unit to assist employees with issues related to health, disability, sick leave, accommodations and return to work.

Salesforce Canada Corp., Toronto. Custom computer programming; 1,027 employees. Recognizes exceptional employee performance through a number of rewards programs.

Samsung Electronics Canada Inc., Mississauga. Consumer electronics; 543 employees. Offers a global mobility program that provides employees with an opportunity to work in South Korea for up to one year.

SAP Canada Inc., Toronto. Custom computer programming; 2,625 employees. Developed the Volunteer Ambassador program to help manage employee volunteering and charitable efforts in the community.

SAS Canada, Toronto. Custom computer programming; 286 employees. Offers a health spending account of up to $700 a year, allowing employees to top up existing coverage.

Seneca College, Toronto. College; 1,487 employees. Maintains a Diversity and Equity Office, responsible for educational, training, awareness and prevention programs to support the creation of a diverse work environment.

Shoppers Drug Mart Inc., Toronto. Pharmacies and drug stores; 1,462 employees. Supports employees who are new parents or adoptive parents through maternity– and parental-leave top-up payments.

Siemens Canada Ltd., Oakville. Engineering services; 4,967 employees. Operates an employee suggestion program that encourages staff to share their feedback.

Sigma Systems Canada Inc., Toronto. Computer systems design services; 98 employees. Offers employees who are new mothers flexible hours when they return to work.

State Street Canada, Toronto. Investment banking and securities dealing; 1,204 employees. Conducts an annual global inclusion awareness survey across the organization to understand employee perceptions.

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto. Hospital; 5,721 employees. Offers a unique Life Stages Program that provides support to employees through all stages of life.

Toronto-Dominion Bank, Toronto. Banking; 45,399 employees. Manages an online site that helps employees match their skills and interests with local charitable initiatives.

Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Toronto. Motion picture promotion and distribution; 223 employees. Moved into a custom-built facility, the Bell Lightbox, featuring five in-house cinemas, a film reference library, three learning studios and a centre for students and scholars.

Toronto, City of, Toronto. Municipal government; 23,096 employees. Offers a full year of paid leave for new mothers, parental-leave top-up to a maximum of 37 weeks for fathers and adoptive parents, plus on-site daycare.

Ubisoft Toronto, Toronto. Software publishers; 3,344 employees. Organizes UbiGallery, a biannual competition for art students in their final year at Toronto-based postsecondary schools.

Unilever Canada Inc., Toronto. Consumer product manufacturing; 1,343 employees. Manages an academic scholarship program to support employees' children pursuing postsecondary studies, up to $5,000 a child.

United Way of Greater Toronto, Toronto. Charitable organizations; 198 employees. Offers an in vitro fertilization subsidy of up to $12,000 to employees needing fertility treatments.

University of Toronto, Toronto. Universities; 9,167 employees. Maintains dedicated family-friendly spaces for breastfeeding or pumping and baby changing stations on campus.

Wipro Technologies Ltd., Mississauga. Computer systems design services; 800 employees. Offers new employees three weeks of starting vacation as well as up to five paid personal days, which can be used throughout the year.

World Vision Canada, Mississauga. Charitable organizations; 455 employees. Launched a new training program for high-potential employees, featuring academic, experiential and cross-functional learning opportunities.

Xerox Canada Inc., Toronto. Computer equipment manufacturing; 3,061 employees. Offers the convenience of on-site daycare, operated by a private provider.

YMCA of Greater Toronto, Toronto. Individual and family services; 1,528 employees. Provides compassionate-leave top-up for employees who need to care for a loved one, up to 80 per cent of salary for up to 8 weeks.

York Regional Police, Newmarket. Police services; 2,150 employees. Offers new staff three weeks of starting vacation, and a maximum of seven weeks for long-standing employees.

York, Regional Municipality of, Newmarket. Municipal government; 3,181 employees. Piloted a two-year rotational program to provide master's-level finance graduates with work experience in various areas.

YWCA Toronto, Toronto. Individual and family services; 198 employees. Encourages employee development through in-house and online training.

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