About Waterloo Region

The Region of Waterloo is one of the best places in the world to do business. From Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (the first plant outside of Japan to produce a Lexus model) to Research In Motion (maker of the world-famous BlackBerry™ wireless handheld communication device) to Christie (state-of-the-art digital projection systems), this leading region offers the best of a large urban centre while retaining a small town/rural feel…

 Diverse. Innovative. Entrepreneurial. Collaborative.

• $19.5 billion GDP, with a 5.8% increase from 2009 to 2010 (2010)

• Canada’s second most manufacturing intensive economy; 20% of our employed population (2008)

• Major economic sectors: IT, Automotive, Advanced Manufacturing, Business and Financial Services, High-tech

• Emerging economic sectors: Health Sciences, Environmental, Nanotechnology, Pharmaceutical, Renewable Energy, Food and Beverage

• $347,172 million in private-sector and $200,099 million in public-sector R&D expenditures (2005)

• 150 research institutes and more than triple the provincial and national number of patents per million (2006)

A Growth Leader

• Canada’s 10th and Ontario’s 4th largest urban population (2010)

• One of Canada’s fastest growing communities, with a population of 543,700 people that is expected to reach 729,000 people by 2031

• Skilled and talented workforce of 282,300 (2010)

• Annual unemployment rate of 6.4% (July, 2011)

Outstanding Post-Secondary Institutions

• 74,000 full-time post-secondary students, including 15,000 co-operative education students

• University of Waterloo: consistently leads Maclean’s Canadian university reputational rankings, has the largest concentration of math and computer science talent in the world

• Wilfrid Laurier University: top ranking undergraduate university in Ontario (Maclean’s 2011), known for business, entrepreneurship, music, and political and applied science

• Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning: ranked Ontario’s number one college nine of the last eleven years; one of Canada’s premier polytechnic institutes

• Home to leading global think tanks: Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Centre for International Governance Innovation, Academic Council on the United Nations System and the University of Waterloo’s Institute for Nanotechnology and Institute for Quantum Computing


• Ranked first overall in FDI magazine’s Top 10 American Micro Cities of the Future (2011/2012)

• Named Canada – Best to Invest, Site Selection (2008)

• The Best Places to do Business in Canada, Canada Business (2008)

• The Real Estate Investment Network, Top Ontario Investment Town 2009-2014

• City of Cambridge named IBM’s first Smarter City in Canada (2010)

• City of Waterloo named Top Intelligent Community by the Intelligent Community Forum (2007)


• Over $12 billion total product exports (2007)

• More than 240 foreign-owned firms (2005)

• Significant foreign investment from the US, Germany, UK, France, Japan and the Netherlands

Strategic Location

• Astride Hwy 401, Canada’s superhighway

• Over 2.7 million people within a 45 minute drive (2006)

• Home to Region of Waterloo International Airport with daily service to Montreal, Ottawa and Calgary

• Less than 45 minutes to Canada’s biggest international airport, Lester B. Pearson (Toronto)

• Proximate to three US/Canada border crossings (Windsor/Detroit, Niagara Falls, Sarnia/Port Huron)

• Access to Toronto with GO Bus and GO Train (2011) service

Rich Traditions and a Vibrant Lifestyle

• Median Employment Income: $34,032 (2010)

• An attractive cost of living index: 78 in Waterloo compared to 100 in Toronto (2008)

• A community where 80% of people live less than 30 minutes from work (2006)

• Strong Germanic and Scottish roots

• Home to the world’s largest Maple Syrup festival and second largest Bavarian festival, Oktoberfest

• A multicultural community attracting new people from around the world – more than 24% of the population are immigrants (2010)

• 22 golf courses and the Grand River (a Canadian Heritage River) for sport fishing and kayaking

• More than 4,000 acres of park and natural land, with 13 conservation areas

• 100% fibre-wired communityWaterloo Region

“The model for Canada’s economic future: Waterloo Region”

“… it has relied on a century of change and innovation to produce one of Canada’s strongest economies. It’s a knowledge capital with a thriving entrepreneurial culture. It’s our future. If Canada is to prosper beyond the current commodities boom, we must learn from Waterloo’s success, or risk becoming a global economic backwater.”

Globe and Mail, Report on Business, April 25, 2006