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canada best employers

Only one Toronto company made the top 10 of Forbes' best employers in Canada this year

The modern workplace has evolved faster over the past two years than anyone could have expected before the pandemic hit.

What used to be job "perks" are now standard operating procedure; flexible hours, the ability to work remotely and home office setups are no longer nice-to-haves, but need-to-haves for office employees in a post-COVID world. The same can be said for air purifiers, work station barriers and top-of-the-line PPE in some industries.

It's been challenge upon change upon challenge for many Canadian employers since the world turned upside in March of 2020, and some companies haven't survived the transition.

Others, however, appear to be thriving under the conditions foisted upon them by lockdown measures, using the impacts of COVID to change how they attract and retain talent for the better.

Forbes recently released its annual list of the best employers in Canada, ranking 300 different Canadian companies with at least 500 employees each.

The American business periodical worked with the market research firm Statista to compile its list of Canada's Best Employers for 2022, asking more than 100,000 Canadian workers to "rate their willingness to recommend their own employers to friends and family" on a scale of zero to ten.

"All the surveys were anonymous, allowing participants to openly share their opinions," notes the publication. "Statista then asked respondents to nominate organizations other than their own. The final list ranks the 300 employers that received the most recommendations."

This time around, the Montreal-based utilities company Hydro-Québec came out on top, followed by the University of New Brunswick and Ottawa's Canada School of Public Service.

Unlike last year, when Cisco Systems Canada came in first place, not a single Toronto-based company made this year's list in a single-digit placing: The Canadian Mental Health Association fared best, coming in at spot number ten overall.

Founded in 1952, CMHA (not to be confused with the hospital CAMH) is a non-profit charitable organization "committed to making mental health possible for all."

The organization, based in Toronto at 180 Dundas St. W but with satellite offices all over Ontario, practices what it preaches in terms of mental health on the job, stressing "wellness" and "work-life balance" for all employees.

"We have a positive and fair workplace culture, where staff are provided with opportunities for learning and advancement," reads the non-profit's careers page. "If you care about mental illnesses and mental health and you have the right skills, then CMHA may be the place for you."

CMHA was the only Toronto-based company to make the top 10 on the Forbes list this year, but it's of note that the Greater Toronto Area was well represented in the list: In spot number four was the Regional Municipality of York, followed by Purolator and Microsoft, both based in Mississauga. Sheridan College in Oakville also fared well, coming in at spot number eight.

You can see the full list of all 300 companies here.

Lead photo by

Suhail Akhtar

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