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March Wrap-up: Talent and Trains

A round-up of business and investment news stories from Waterloo, Canada in March, 2021.

Spring has returned and, with it, a number of familiar sights in Waterloo.

The snow has started to melt. The birds are singing. Waterloo has collected another accolade for having top engineering and technology talent.

It’s like clockwork.

That’s not the only news from Waterloo last month. We have updates on trains to Toronto, a report on global talent destinations, new research capacity to support Waterloo’s burgeoning health innovation ecosystem and more.

Here are the top stories from March 2021:

UWaterloo ranked top-40 globally for engineering and technology

The University of Waterloo – Canada’s top technology school – was just rated 38th globally for Engineering & Technology in the newest Quacquarelli Symonds global university rankings. That puts UWaterloo ahead of major American institutions like Yale University and Columbia University. At the subject level, UWaterloo came in at 23rd overall for computer science. Check out our article for more details, including additional subject-level rankings.

Canada is the world’s #1 destination for global talent

One of the world’s most prestigious management consulting firms says Canada is now the top destination for global talent. The new report from Boston Consulting Group, based on more than 200,000 survey responses from 197 countries, has placed Canada above the United States, United Kingdom and Germany. Read more in our in-depth blog post.

Beckhoff Automation moves Canadian HQ to Waterloo

One of the world’s largest automation companies has relocated its Canadian headquarters to Waterloo Region. Beckhoff Automation Canada has moved into an 11,000 square-foot office in Cambridge, Ontario, that will help increase warehousing and customer support capabilities. Read more about their expansion in Canadian Manufacturing or on our blog.

Two-way all-day train connection to Toronto coming soon

Stronger transportation between Waterloo and Canada’s largest city is on the way. The most recent provincial budget has committed hundreds of millions of additional dollars to rail investments that will make more frequent service across the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor possible. As of now, trains are available at commuting times and the Toronto-to-Waterloo route is also served by the 401 – Canada’s largest superhighway. Read more from the CBC.

New “Waterloo Eye Institute” in the works

The University of Waterloo has announced plans to create a cutting-edge Eye Institute as part of its School of Optometry, which is the only English-language optometry school in Canada. In addition to offering more retinal treatment, the $50 million project will also focus on research, building on the university’s expertise in imaging, artificial intelligence, vision science and brain health. The new Eye Institute will be a welcome addition to Waterloo’s growing health innovation cluster. Read more from the Waterloo Region Record.

Population boom projected for Waterloo

A recent presentation from local municipal planning officials has revealed that Waterloo Region’s population could grow to nearly one million people in the next 30 years. Current projections show a population increase of 360,000 by 2051 – building on our current population of approximately 600,000. For three straight years, Waterloo has been one of the two fastest-growing communities in Canada – it looks like that trend is set to continue. Read more from CTV News.

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