Waterloo Region: Where businesses “Take Root and Thrive”

Waterloo Region, known as Canada’s Technology Triangle, is internationally recognized for its leading-edge innovative endeavors and entrepreneurial spirit

Waterloo Region is ranked among the Top Micro “North American Cities of the Future” by fDi Intelligence Magazine and in the Top 5 “Best Places To Do Business in Canada” by Canadian Business Magazine. With a population of 507,096, projected to grow to 729,000 by 2031, Waterloo Region is composed of the cities of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo and the townships of North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich.

Strategically located astride Canada’s superhighway, Waterloo Region is a one hour drive from Toronto – Canada’s largest city, and North America’s fourth largest city, and a two hour drive from six Canada-U.S. border crossings. The Waterloo Region provides a high standard of living at affordable costs, considerably lower than Toronto. Commuters who travel less than 30 minutes to their workplace in Waterloo Region account for 80% of the population. Construction of a Rapid Transit Service, “ION”, is underway, completion expected in 2017.

Waterloo Region is a significant economic engine for both Ontario and Canada, and is home to world-renowned companies such as BlackBerry, Toyota Motor Corp., OpenText Corp. and Manulife. It is among Canada’s fastest-growing economies with a remarkable information communication technology (ICT) ecosystem and re- invigorated advanced manufacturing industry – supported by technology.

The Region has three internationally recognized post-secondary institutions, the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Conestoga College. With the addition of 150 research institutions such as Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy, Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research and the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, the area offers an abundance of talent and access to research and development.

Why Waterloo Region

Supported by the lowest R&D tax and corporate investment tax rates among G7 countries, the Region’s business environment offers a survival rate of first-year ICT startups at almost double the global industry average. Patents granted per capita in the Waterloo Region are almost four times higher than the Canadian average, and annual exports from the Region total $11.4 billion.

 

Both driving and supporting the development of the Region is an abundance of a highly-skilled and stable workforce. Among all the countries in the OECD, Canada possesses the highest population of adults with post-secondary degrees, with Ontario being 10% higher than the Canadian average. Each year, Waterloo Region’s three post-secondary institutions train 79,000 students with 20,500 of them being on-the-job trained co-op students – the largest co-op community in the world. Waterloo Region offers a diverse culture and vibrant lifestyle balanced with modern innovation and entrepreneurialism. It offers over 60 arts, cultural and heritage festivals, galleries, museums, theatres, and concert halls, making the Waterloo Region a cosmopolitan community.

Business advantage

With access to over five million people within a 100 km radius and 150 million people within one day’s drive, the Waterloo Region benefits from its proximity to the U.S. market and is supported by state-of-the-art transportation and logistics infrastructure. The Waterloo Region also benefits from immediate access to exceptional, world-renowned post-secondary educational institutions and their resources.

New business arrivals can access financial assistance via numerous targeted government- supported incentive programs designed to ensure new business takes root and thrives in the Waterloo Region.  For example, The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund offers grants to support business development and expansion of SMEs in Southwestern Ontario. The Brownfield Incentive Programs in Waterloo Region promotes vacant or underutilized property redevelopment by providing funds and tax incentives.

As a collaborative and facilitative organization, Canada’s Technology Triangle Inc draws on community partners such as Communitech, Accelerator Centre, David Johnson Research + Technology Park as well as governments and corporate partners to facilitate and implement new ideas and support economic growth through foreign direct investment.

Future plans

 

Early construction is underway for the Region’s Rapid Transit Service, “ION”, which connects the cities of Waterloo, Kitchener and Cambridge with completion targeted for 2017.  The project highlights a comprehensive re-urbanization vision along the new ION corridor including fostering investments, enhancing mobility and strengthening employment opportunities for the whole region.

Waterloo Corporate Campus, a $160 million investment has broken ground and is currently being cleared to create a 40 acre mixed-use development. This 800,000 sq. ft. project reflects the Region’s values, and it will become the hotspot for future foreign investments in Waterloo Region.

Also, Creekside Corporate Campus, the largest mixed-use office campus, is scheduled to begin construction in 2014. A state-of-the-art, fully sustainable data centre and resource for cloud computing are included in the 220 acre development. 

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