A lot of hype is given to Silicon Valley in the US but did you know Canada has nearly a dozen booming tech hubs set up from coast to coast – it’s true! The growing tech sector in Canada continues to build out in cities from East to West, attracting talent from all over the world and rivalling similar tech regions internationally.
Here are the top twelve Canadian cities with most tech companies:
1. Toronto, Ontario
Canada’s #1 city with the most tech companies is Toronto. More than 228,000 Canadians working in tech are based out of Toronto. The Toronto tech sector is thriving, and there are always new tech jobs in Toronto and the revenue growth gains momentum with each passing year. Add to that the advantages of living in a hub like Toronto and it’s not difficult to attract some of the world’s top talent to this hub.
2. Waterloo, Ontario
Waterloo is a growing tech center with a small collection of strong tech companies and high-paying jobs for workers looking at where to take their next adventure to. With Waterloo’s affordable real estate and quality of life, small tech hubs like this continue to gain attention from workers and offices in more expensive cities looking to improve their bottom line.
3. Vancouver, BC
When we look to the West Coast, there’s only one city that stands out as the prototype for a Canadian tech city and that’s Vancouver. Although Vancouver only has about 75,000 tech workers, its future is where we look. Marquee tech names like Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple continue to commit to expansions into Vancouver. That equates to a similar annual growth rate as Toronto over the last five years and counting.
4. Montreal, Quebec
Montreal has Canada’s second-highest amount of tech workers with more than 130,000 in the city. That said, Montreal’s also experienced a slower growth rate than other hubs. For many companies, it’s a natural fit. Montreal exhibits an entrepreneurial spirit, attracts a wealth of international talent, and has several companies at the forefront of international technology innovation.
5. Hamilton, Ontario
Hamilton has only a modestly sized tech sector with less than 20,000 tech workers but is experiencing tremendous growth. Some have predicted this may be evidence of some companies wanting to leave the high rental rates of Toronto for hubs on its outskirts. For tech graduates seeking a place to start a new company, it doesn’t hurt to consider the potential for world-class opportunities in areas like Hamilton.
6. Oshawa, Ontario
Oshawa is one of the fastest growing small-city tech hubs in Canada with a growth rate that eclipses even Toronto’s. Though Oshawa only has a small collection of tech companies, the advantage of being so close to Toronto and being a more affordable place to live means Oshawa’s syphoning tech talent from the center of the GTA. Slowly, its own tech scene is being created.
7. Calgary, Alberta
Calgary is an underrated tech city and is very much a place where it’s unclear whether its economic future involves a place for tech companies. Calgary only has around 40,000 tech workers in its city limits and with a declining growth rate, it’s unclear what opportunities a technology company may find here.
8. Ottawa, Ontario
Despite its reputation as a ‘government city’, Ottawa has a growing concentration of tech companies. From an employment standpoint, almost 1 in every 10 Ottawa workers are in technology – one of the highest averages in Canada or the US. To the city’s economic engine, tech is a key piece to keeping Ottawa at the top of its game.
9. Edmonton, Alberta
Edmonton has a strong tech sector for a city its’ size. There are roughly 29,000 Edmonton tech workers and growing. The downside to what’s going on in Edmonton is the battle between Calgary and it. Both cities often fight over the same graduates. Some tech workers and/or companies choose one over the other, leading to a fragmented tech sector in the province.
10. Quebec City, Quebec
Quebec City is a small but respectable Canadian tech hub. The city contains roughly 28,000 workers in tech, comprising of roughly 7 percent of employed Quebec City residents. The year-over-year growth for the tech sector in the city is stable and respectable but you won’t find the same opportunities in Quebec City as you would in a location such as Toronto.
11. Winnipeg, Manitoba
Winnipeg is a very secluded city with a smaller population that the other names on this list. Disadvantages aside, Winnipeg’s technology sector has grown at a rate faster than Toronto’s in the past five years. The city’s population is getting younger. Amazon just opened an office in Winnipeg. For new tech companies, you will also find tax credits, R&D spending credits, and investment opportunities.
12. Halifax, Nova Scotia
In Canada’s Maritimes, Halifax is king in tech. Like the other cities on this list, technology’s been woven in the fabric of business in Halifax. Though the prospect of it becoming a tech hub is sometimes difficult to see due to its location, if you’re interested in living in the Atlantic Provinces and working in tech, there’s no denying Halifax is a place where more tech firms are setting up.