Toronto’s Design Sector
Toronto’s Design Sector
Table of Contents:
Total Workforce (2016)
While nearly three-quarters of those working in a Design Occupation are employed by a firm, just over one-quarter of Toronto’s Design workers are self-employed. The rate for self-employment is higher for Design workers than workers in general and is higher in Toronto than across the rest of Canada. Across all workers 12.7% in Toronto are self-employed while it’s 12.0% across Canada.
Table 8. Total Workforce (2016)
(Canadian Business Counts, 2020; total employment estimated)
The rate of self-employment among Design Occupations varies across the occupations (below). While not quite half of all Interior Designers are selfemployed, close to one-third of Graphic Designers, roughly one-quarter of Architects, and less than 10% of Urban Planners are self-employed.
“There’s this kind of tech and innovation that is happening that I believe will become more prominent where people will see more opportunities to be running their businesses from the entrepreneurial perspective, as opposed to a mass company.”
“We understand what it’s like to have a small family and working, and we don’t want to run a sweatshop. We want to keep and maintain a balance — it’s part of our philosophy in terms of health and wellness and keeping people at their best and inspired.”
Table 9. Share of Self-Employed by Occupation (2016)
Design Workforce by Age (2016)
Toronto’s Design workers are slightly more likely to be younger (25–34) or older (75+) and a little less likely to be 35–44 or 55–64.
Table 10. Design Workforce by Age (2016)
“Our interest in New Canadians is to take positions that old Canadians don’t want to take.”
“We could be in a golden age of education, except, we have a college system, and the colleges don’t talk to one another. They don’t collaborate about building content and career paths and things like that. So, until that changes, we’re going to have, at least in some respects the same problem [of gaps between students and employers].”
Educational Attainment (Toronto, 2016)
Design workers are generally well-educated:
- 87.9% have at least some post-secondary education (67.5% for Toronto)
- 86.1% have a certificate, diploma or degree (63.1% for Toronto)
- 53.2% have a bachelor’s degree or above (40.2% for Toronto)
Table 11. Breakdown of Educational Attainment (Toronto, 2016)
Education by Occupation
Level of education varies by occupation but a bachelor’s or even master’s degree may be a requirement in the regulated industries.
- Nearly all Architects, Landscape Architects, Urban Planners have at least a BA
- Roughly half of Interior, Industrial and Graphic and a few technical occupations have a BA
- Less than half of some technical Design occupations have a BA
Table 12. Breakdown of Education Attainment by Occupation Occupation
Gender (Toronto, 2016)
Slightly more than half all those working in Design are men.
“In recent years I’ve seen many more women in Industrial Design. I’ve worked with ACIDO for years, and it used to be all men. Their AGM would be a room full of guys.”
Gender by Occupation
Download the Report: