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Economic Growth

The Waterloo Region is economically diverse, increasingly focused on exporting and is globally-oriented. Industry leaders such as Toyota, Rimowa, BlackBerry, Honeywell, Christie Digital, OpenText, D2L (Desire2Learn), AGFA, SAP and Google have a strong presence in this region as it offers access to markets, highly educated workforce, urban flair and a high standard of living.

Diverse. Innovative. Entrepreneurial.

  • $25.2 billion GDP (2012)
  • Major economic sectors: ICT, Automotive, Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace, Business and Financial Services, Food Processing
  • Burgeoning quantum and nanotechnology innovation
  • More than 4 times the national number of patents per million (2010)
  • One of Canada's most manufacturing intensive economies; 18% of employed population (2014)
  • Over 1,000 technology firms incl. Canada's largest software, hardware, e-learning and satellite companies
  • Strong startup scene with 600 active startups
  • Within the 3rd largest food corridor in North America

A Growth Leader

  • Population of 563,000 and one of Canada's fastest growing communities, expected to reach 729,000 people by 2031
  • Canada's 10th and Ontario's 4th largest urban population (2013)

Outstanding Post-Secondary Institutions

  • 65,000 post-secondary students, including over 20,000 co-operative education students
  • University of Waterloo: home to the most significant concentration of mathematical and computer science talent globally, and operates the largest post-secondary co-operative program in the world. A unique inventor owned IP policy fosters innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Wilfrid Laurier University: School of Business has Canada's largest business co-op and the first 12-month MBA program
  • Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning: ranked amongst the top Ontario Colleges and has a renowned School of Engineering and IT and Institute of Food Processing Technology
  • Home to world-renowned research centres: Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Institute for Quantum Computing, Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy, Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research, Centre for Bioengineering & Biotechnology, Centre for Cold Regions & Water Science and Centre for International Governance Innovation

Business Oriented & Internationally-Recognized

  • Canada is the best country in the G-20 to do business in according to Forbes & Bloomberg
  • Canada is the most tax competitive country in the G-7 (KPMG 2014)
  • Lowest costs for R&D in the G-7, 10% lower than U.S., thanks to generous tax incentives
  • Canada's workforce is the most educated of OECD countries
  • First country to make itself tariff-free zone for manufacturers
  • AAA credit rating according to Moody's Investor Service


  • More than 300 foreign-owned firms (2012)

  • Significant foreign investment from the U.S., Germany, UK, France, Japan and the Netherlands

Strategic Location

  • Astride Highway 401, with access to 150+ million people within one day's drive

  • Access to a $17 trillion marketplace under NAFTA

  • Home to the Region of Waterloo International Airport, with year-round non-stop daily service to Chicago & Calgary

  • 1 hour to Canada's largest airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport

  • Access to Toronto by bus and train

  • Extensive public bus transit with light rail scheduled for 2017

Rich Traditions and a Vibrant Lifestyle

  • Median family income of $79,020 (2012)

  • Average home prices 30% lower than Ontario average

  • Median commute time of 16 minutes
  • A multicultural community where 23% of the population are immigrants (2013)

  • Many cultural festivals throughout the year

  • 22 golf courses and the Grand River (a Canadian Heritage River) for sport fishing and kayaking
  • 120+ K-12 public schools in Waterloo Region

  • More than 4,000 acres of park and natural land

  • 100% fibre-wired community