Waterloo Region: Where business is heading

Region Profile

Map of Canada with the region of Waterloo pinpointed.
  • Waterloo Region, in the province of Ontario, is situated 100 km from Toronto
  • Driven by a diverse, innovative, collaborative, and entrepreneurial spirit
  • Close to six Canada-U.S. border crossings
  • Population: 559,000

Key Advantages

  • With access to over five million people within a 100 km radius, and 150 million people within one day’s drive, the Waterloo Region is close to many U.S. markets (such as Buffalo, Detroit, Cleveland and Chicago) and is supported by state-of-the-art transportation and logistics
  • Companies benefit from a highly-skilled and stable workforce, many of whom are educated at three local, internationally-recognized post-secondary institutions: the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Conestoga College
  • Home to over 1,000 technology companies based in Waterloo Region, the ICT sector propels other industry sectors to cutting edge standards
  • Waterloo Region’s business environment offers a survival rate of first-year ICT start-ups at almost double the global industry average, supported by the lowest R&D tax and corporate investment tax rates among the G-7
  • Patents granted per capita in the Waterloo Region is almost four times higher than the Canadian average
  • Annual exports from the Region total over $11 billion with a Regional GDP of 27.5 billion in 2012
  • Over 150 research institutes call Waterloo Region home, including:

Sector Strengths

Economic diversity is a defining characteristic of Waterloo Region. It is recognized as a world-renowned high tech cluster, while simultaneously being one of Canada’s most intensive manufacturing communities. It is also home to the headquarters of some of the country’s largest insurance and financial companies.

Specific sector strength areas for the region include:

  • Information & Communication Technology
  • Quantum & Nanotechnology
  • Advanced Manufacturing
    • Automation & Robotics
    • Aerospace
    • Plastics & Metal Fabrication
    • Automotive
  • Business and Financial Services
  • Food Processing

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