Ottawa: Where Talent Comes to Work, Play and Grow

City Profile

Map of Canada with the region of Ottawa-Gatineau pinpointed.

Ottawa is the Capital of Canada, in the province of Ontario
The National Capital Region includes the City of Ottawa in Ontario and the City of Gatineau in Québec
Population: 1.2 million

  • Home to the Government of Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada, and many federal departments and agencies
  • One of the world’s top sites for R&D
  • Home to over 1,900 technology companies with over 75,000 employees
  • A G-7 capital with more than 130 embassies and consulates, giving local companies front-line access to worldwide trade and investment opportunities

Key Advantages

  • 100% high-speed Internet connectivity in schools, universities, hospitals, libraries, research institutes and municipal facilities
  • 90% of Canada’s industrial telecommunications research and development is conducted in Ottawa
  • Over $4.7 billion CDN invested in Ottawa technology companies in the last ten years
  • The most educated city in Canada with 61% of workers having a post-secondary degree
  • Has the highest concentration of scientists and engineers in Canada
  • Home to over 44 national and academic research labs
  • Ranked as one of the least congested, fastest growing and affordable cities in North America
  • Ottawa is located within a 90 minute drive of the United States

Sector Strengths

  • Wireless and Telecom

    Ottawa is an established, internationally recognized centre of excellence in wireless telecommunications technologies encompassing telecommunications, semiconductor, optical technologies and wireless systems, as well as converging opportunities with photonics, optics and life sciences. There are over 400 companies in the sector employing over 35,000 people. The world’s largest wireless telecommunications network equipment companies such as Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena, Cisco, Ericsson, and Huawei are developing their next generation products in Ottawa.
  • Aerospace, Defence and Security

    As a G-7 capital city and headquarters for most federal government departments, including the Department of National Defence, Public Safety Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Communications Security Establishment Canada and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Ottawa is the national hub for Canada’s defence and security sector. Ottawa’s aerospace, defence and security industry is home to over 300 companies, employing in excess of 17,000 people.
  • Digital Media

    Ottawa-based digital media companies create cutting-edge digital technologies backed by the city’s longstanding history of software expertise. Ottawa’s strengths are now built on a strong game development culture, robust engineering and software talent networks and an exceptionally creative workforce. It’s a formula that’s generated a history of successes and scores of globally-recognized game titles. Ottawa’s 150+ interactive digital media companies have produced content ranging from original IPs in mobile software and games, to interactive content like museum exhibits and online worlds. Some of the local companies include: bitHeads, Exocortex, Fuel Industries Inc., Lixar I.T. Inc, Magmic, Shopify, and Snowed in Studios.
  • Cleantech

    Ottawa hosts Canada’s largest concentration of clean energy and technology researchers in academia, federal labs, and companies. What makes Ottawa unique is this convergence of public, private and academic expertise. Areas of focus include: renewable energy generation, energy infrastructure and energy efficiency; water treatment, waste diversion, conversion and management; and, remediation, green buildings and resource efficiency in built environments.
  • Life Sciences

    Within Canada, Ottawa is a leader in transforming biotechnology into a new focus for economic activity. The nation’s capital enjoys a combination of strong government support, innovative academic institutions, and leading private companies. This unique combination helps facilitate industry growth and the sustainability of research-focused activities. There are more than 140 life sciences companies in the city, employing over 8,500 people. Ottawa is also home to 20 public research institutes and 20 associations focused on the sector. On the health side, there are 10 hospitals undertaking in excess of $156 million of research annually.

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