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top employers

With so many national and international head offices in or near Toronto, the winners of the GTA's Top Employers contest faced fierce competition. Size didn't matter. Employers were compared with others in their field to determine which offers the most progressive and forward-thinking programs.

The editors at Mediacorp Canada judged each employer's operations and human-resources practices according to the same eight criteria as the national competition for Canada's Top 100 Employers: physical workplace, which includes perks such as on-site gyms and lounges; work atmosphere and social (described as the overall culture, including organized events); health, financial and family benefits; vacation, and time off; employee communications (which refers to the company's procedures to communicate and get feedback from employees); performance management (including performance reviews, recognition and rewards); training and skills development and community involvement.

Richard Yerema, managing editor of Canada's Top 100 Employers, has observed an evolution in family-friendly policies, with virtually all employers offering maternity top-up payments now (from less than half a decade ago), as well as a variety of alternative working arrangements and increasingly generous vacation time – all making these companies exceptional places to work.

--Diane Jermyn

Accenture Inc., Toronto. Custom computer programs; 4,029 employees. Encourages an ownership culture through a share purchase plan.

Agfa HealthCare Inc., Toronto. Computer systems design; 432 employees. New employees start with three weeks of paid vacation allowance.

Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd., Toronto. Gold ore mining; 2,181 employees. Encourages ongoing employee development with subsidies for tuition.

AMEC Americas Ltd., Oakville, Ont. Engineering services; 6,700 employees. Employees enjoy a variety of social events throughout the year, from ski trips to golf tournaments.

Amex Canada Inc., Markham, Ont. Credit card issuing; 3,412 employees. Head office offers a variety of onsite amenities, including a fully-equipped fitness facility.

Amgen Canada Inc., Mississauga, Ont. Biotechnology; 396 employees. Offers maternity and parental leave top-up payments of up to 100% of salary for 10 weeks.

Association of Management, Administrative and Professional Crown Employees of Ontario (AMAPCEO), Toronto. Labour unions and similar organizations; 38 employees. Encourages ongoing employee development through tuition subsidies.

Bayer Inc., Toronto. Pharmaceuticals; 704 employees. Employee lounge includes a games area and a variety of Nintendo Wii video games.

BD Canada Inc., Mississauga, Ont. Medical equipment; 551 employees. Manages an academic scholarship program for children of employees.

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, Toronto. Business law firm; 1,031 employees. Flexible work arrangements include flexible hours, telecommuting, reduced summer hours and shortened and compressed work week options.

BMO Financial Group, Toronto. Banking; 29,605 employees. Offers great financial rewards, including signing bonuses for some employees.

CAA South Central Ontario, Thornhill, Ont. Insurance provider; 1,148 employees. Offers financial bonuses for completion of some courses.

CIBC, Toronto. Banking; 33,489 employees. Offers in-house and online training.

Carswell, Toronto. Book publishing; 919 employees. Offers referral bonuses for employees who refer a candidate who is successfully hired.

Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto. Youth services; 582 employees. Employees can take unpaid full and part-time educational leaves of absence.

Central Community Care Access Centre, Newmarket, Ont. Home health care; 567 employees. New employees start with four weeks of paid vacation allowance.

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Toronto. Specialty hospital; 1,950 employees. Helps employees save for life after work with generous contributions to a defined benefit pension plan (up to 9.2% of salary).

CH2M HILL Canada Limited, Toronto. Engineering, construction and operations firm; 1,098 employees. Lets everyone share in the company's success with a share purchase plan available to all employees.

Chubb Insurance Company of Canada, Toronto. Insurance provider. Offers alternative work arrangements, including shortened and compressed work week options.

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), Toronto. Professional organization; 273 employees. Provides compassionate leave top-up payments (to 100% of salary for eight weeks) for employees needing time to care for a loved one.

Compass Group Canada, Mississauga, Ont. Food service contractors; 11,091 employees. Encourages employees to support initiatives in communities across Canada.

Credit Valley Hospital, Mississauga, Ont. Medical services; 1,740 employees. Offers formal mentoring and subsidies for professional accreditation.

Deloitte & Touche LLP, Toronto. Professional services; 7,922 employees. Manages a global development program that allows employees to gain international work experience through work-exchange opportunities at Deloitte's offices around the world.

Durham College, Oshawa, Ont.. Education; 704 employees. New employees start with three weeks of paid vacation.

eHealth Ontario, Toronto. Computer systems; 719 employees. Encourages employees to save for retirement with contributions to a defined contribution pension plan.

EllisDon Corporation, Mississauga, Ont.. Construction; 1,014 employees. Manages an extensive in-house training program called EllisDon University.

EMD Inc., Mississauga, Ont. Pharmaceuticals; 148 employees. Encourages employees to save for retirement with generous contributions to a defined benefit pension plan (to 7% of salary).

Ernst & Young LLP, Toronto. Professional services; 4,161 employees. Supports employees at all stages of family planning, and offers an adoption subsidy of up to $10,000.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Toronto. Hotels; 8,612 employees. Works closely with hospitality industry associations and educational institutions to develop customized in-house and online training programs.

Fleishman-Hillard Canada Inc., Toronto. Communications; 125 employees. Offers financial bonuses for employees who refer a candidate that is successfully hired by the company.

Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP, Toronto. Business law; 1,232 employees. Year-end bonuses available to all employees.

Gamma-Dynacare Medical Laboratories Inc., Brampton, Ont. Medical diagnostics; 1,499 employees. Manages an academic scholarship program for the children of employees.

General Motors of Canada Limited, Oshawa, Ont. Automobile manufacturing; 10,771 employees. Profit-sharing plan is available to all employees.

George Brown College, Toronto. Education; 1,208 employees. Family members of employees may take advantage of the college's tuition subsidy program.

GlaxoSmithKline Inc., Mississauga, Ont. Pharmaceuticals; 1,261 employees. Head office features a nap room for employees who need a quick rest during the day.

Halton, Oakville, Ont. Legislative body; 1,611 employees. Offers a health plan coverage that extends to retirees.

Hershey Canada Inc., Mississauga, Ont. Confectionery manufacturing; 216 employees. Their share purchase plan is available to all employees.

Hewlett-Packard Canada Co., Mississauga, Ont. Computer manufacturing; 7,100 employees. Invests in ongoing employee development through generous tuition subsidies.

Hill and Knowlton Canada Inc., Toronto. Public relations; 193 employees. Encourages employees to save for retirement with contributions to a matching RSP plan (up to 3.5% of salary).

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Toronto. Medical services; 515 employees. Manages an on-site daycare facility.

Home Depot Canada, Toronto. Retailer; 13,079 employees. Salaried employees receive generous maternity and parental leave top-up payments.

Honeywell International Inc., Mississauga, Ont. Manufacturing; 4,481 employees. Encourages ongoing employee development through tuition subsidies for job-related courses.

Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto. Medical services; 4,435 employees. Offers fertility drug coverage under its health benefits plan.

Humber College, Toronto. Education; 1,303 employees. Provides parental leave top-up to new fathers of up to 93% of salary for 35 weeks.

Infusion Development Corp., Toronto. Software development services; 133 employees. Encourages ongoing employee development through subsidies for professional accreditation.

Intelex Technologies Inc., Toronto. Computer systems design services; 118 employees. New employees start with three weeks of paid vacation allowance.

KPMG LLP, Toronto. Professional services; 5,413 employees. Employee lounge in the head offers features a fireplace, video games and a pool table.

Kraft Foods Canada, Toronto. Food manufacturing; 1,435 employees. Financial benefits include signing bonuses for some employees.

Law Society of Upper Canada, Toronto. Professional organizations; 468 employees. Offers compassionate leave top-up payments to employees who are called upon to care for a loved one (up to 70% of salary for eight weeks).

Loblaw Companies Limited; Brampton, Ont. Supermarkets; 30,472 employees. Unique head office features an herb garden and test kitchen where new food products are created.

LoyaltyOne Inc.; Toronto. Marketing; 1,159 employees. Supports employees who are new mothers with maternity leave top-up payments (to 75% of salary for 15 weeks) as well as extended health benefits coverage during their leave.

Manulife Financial Corporation; Toronto. Insurance; 10,804 employees. Head-office building has been designated as a municipal heritage property and is only a short walk to great shopping and restaurants in the popular Yorkville district.

Mars Canada Inc.; Bolton, Ont. Confectionery manufacturer; 454 employees. Onsite fitness facility, which also features an outdoor beach-volleyball court and outdoor running trail.

Marsh Canada Limited; Toronto. Insurance; 1,146 employees. Offers subsidies for professional accreditation

Medtronic of Canada Ltd.; Brampton, Ont. Medical devices; 474 employees. Offers maternity and parental leave top-up payments of up to 90% of salary for 17 weeks.

Meridian Credit Union; Toronto. Credit Union; 777 employees. Provides compassionate leave top-up payments to employees who are called upon to care for a loved one.

Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences; Toronto. Education; 162 employees. Onsite amenities include a fully-equipped fitness facility with free membership.

Miller Group; Markham, Ont. Construction; 3,477 employees. Manages an academic scholarship program for children of employees who pursue post-secondary education.

Molson Coors Canada; Toronto. Brewery; 3,713 employees. Manages the Molson Beer Academy (MBA), an in-house training program that includes courses on everything from brand awareness to brewing techniques and beer tasting.

Mount Sinai Hospital; Toronto. Medical services; 2,295 employees. Offers a formal mentoring program.

Nelson Education Ltd.; Toronto. Publisher; 387 employees. Offers phased-in retirement work options.

Novo Nordisk Canada Inc.; Mississauga, Ont. Pharmaceuticals; 232 employees. Offers a formal earned days-off program.

Nycomed Canada Inc.; Oakville, Ont. Pharmaceuticals; 152 employees. Offers adoptive parents a generous subsidy to help cover the costs of adoption (to $15,000 per child).

Ontario Hospital Association; Toronto. Professional organization; 104 employees.

Ontario Power Authority, Toronto. Regulations agency; 210 employees. Offers in-house training and career planning services.

Ontario Public Service; Toronto. Governmental services; 65,423 employees. Offers a number of internships and training programs to recruit new graduates and young professionals into the civil service.

Peel Regional Police; Brampton, Ont. Police services; 2,747 employees. Encourages employees to keep in shape with free memberships to a fully-equipped fitness facility, including basketball and instructor-led classes.

Pelmorex Media Inc.; Oakville, Ont. Television broadcasting; 322 employees. Offers year-end bonuses and matching RSP plan contributions.

PepsiCo Beverages Canada; Mississauga, Ont. Soft drink manufacturing; 4,199 employees. Encourages employees to plan and save for life after work with retirement planning assistance.

Pitney Bowes of Canada Limited; Mississauga, Ont. Office equipment; 1,625 employees. Provides a nap room for employees needing a break during the day.

PowerStream Inc.; Vaughan, Ont. Electricity; 462 employees. Encourages ongoing employee education through in-house apprenticeship and training programs.

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP; Toronto. Professional services; 6,255 employees. Maintains local social committees that are committed to creating a social work environment, budgeting from $300 to $500 for each employee for social events throughout the year.

Procter & Gamble Inc.; Toronto. Toiletry product manufacturing; 1,994 employees. Operates several long-standing diversity network groups for employees from various cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

Rogers Communications Inc.; Toronto. Communications; 23,262 employees. The head office features a full suite of onsite amenities, including a fitness centre, rooftop patio, full-service cafeteria and even an onsite Tim Hortons.

Royal Bank of Canada; Toronto. Banking; 53,100 employees. Encourages employees to be their best with an annual week-long convention for 700 of its top performing employees (and their partners) -- all aboard a luxury cruise ship.

SAP Canada Inc.; North York. Computer programs; 2,216 employees. Offers a range of financial benefits, including a defined contribution pension plan.

SAS Institute (Canada) Inc.; Toronto. Computer programs; 240 employees. On the job, employees enjoy full breakfasts, cookies, granola bars, peanuts, raisins and M&Ms on Wednesdays -- as well as an incredible rooftop patio complete with comfortable seating, barbecue and great city views.

SCOR Canada Reinsurance Company; Toronto. Reinsurance; 55 employees. Helps employees balance their working and personal lives with telecommuting work options.

Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology; Markham, Ont. Education; 1,274 employees. Starts employees with three weeks of paid vacation.

Southlake Regional Health Centre; Newmarket, Ont. Medical services; 1,723 employees. Support ongoing employee development with tuition subsidies for courses at outside institutions.

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre; Toronto. Medical services; 4,922 employees. Offers a unique healthcare workplace experience, situated on nearly 100 acres of ravine parkland in midtown Toronto with plenty of greenspace for employees to walk, ride a bike or take a break during the day.

TD Bank Group; Toronto. Banking; 41,360 employees. A pioneering bank that recently introduced the FlexWorkPlace pilot program to accommodate changing and flexible work patterns, complete with redesigned floors that include more meeting rooms, no traditional offices, and a collaborative café where employees can meet and work in a comfortable and informal setting.

TeraGo Networks Inc.; Thornhill, Ont. Internet services; 201 employees. Offers a busy social calendar throughout the year including a summer barbecue and baseball tournament, annual holiday luncheons, and a national sales kick-off event.

Toronto Central Community Care Access Centre; Toronto. Health care services; 530 employees. Provides new employees with four weeks of paid vacation.

Toronto Hydro Corporation; Toronto. Electricity provider; 1,729 employees. Provides coverage for fertility drugs through its health benefits plan.

Toronto International Film Festival, Toronto. Films; 145 employees. Offers employees free passes to the Toronto International Film Festival as well as access to film screenings and lectures throughout the year.

United Way of Greater Toronto; Toronto. Fundraising, 197 employees. Employees receive paid volunteer days off (up to three days each year).

University of Toronto, Toronto. Education; 8,458 employees. Manages on-site daycare facilities at each campus location.

Whirlpool Canada LP; Mississauga, Ont. Housewares, appliances; 312 employees. Reaches out to the next generation of employees through a paid internship program.

William Osler Health System; Brampton, Ont. Medical services; 2,674 employees. Helps employees plan for life after work with retirement planning assistance services and provides a little peace-of-mind through a defined benefit pension plan.

World Vision Canada; Mississauga, Ont. Social advocacy; 464 employees. In addition to three weeks paid vacation to start, employees can also earn a little extra time-off through a formal earned days-off program. Inc.; Newmarket, Ont. Online software; 21 employees. Encourages employees' ongoing career development with generous tuition subsidies.

Xerox Canada Inc.; Toronto. Computer peripherals; 3,606 employees. Offers signing bonuses for some employees.

YMCA of Greater Toronto; Toronto. Charitable organization; 1,286 employees. Provides an on-site fitness facility that offers memberships for employees and all the bells and whistles, including a variety of exercise machines, basketball courts, sauna and instructor-led fitness classes.

York Regional Municipality; Newmarket, Ont. Legislative body; 2,636 employees. A forward-thinking suburban municipality that offers free transit passes to full-time employees, encouraging them to leave their cars at home.

Editor's Note: A previous version had incorrect information for the Ontario Hospital Association. This is a corrected version.