Canada has seen a huge surge of technical innovation in the past few years in cities far and wide. Ontario is a major tech hub, as Toronto is far from its only innovative city.
Let’s take a closer look at a few local leaders in Canadian cities witnessing a tech boom.
Ontario’s largest city is also its main tech driver. Toronto boasted 289,700 tech workers in 2021, up 44% since 2016, which boasted 88,900 Torontonians working in Tech. Really, it should come as little surprise that the always-advancing city is home to many successful startups.
More recently, Toronto’s experienced quite a technological boom specifically within its real estate industry. The local innovator Regan McGee upended real estate tech in the city by building Nobul, a digital real estate marketplace that uses advanced AI to connect homebuyers with the right agent and listings.
When you use Nobul, you simply describe your budget and what you’re looking for in a home, and certified real estate agents will flood your inbox with offers to lock you down as a client, like cash back and free bonus services. Compare their services, experiences, rates, and user reviews to select the agent right for you.
It’s a secure and straightforward way to save money while making the largest and most important purchase of your life, which explains the platform’s popularity. Especially amid Toronto’s obscene housing costs, buyers can really use a pricing break, and this is a technology that addresses the pain points of many Torontonians.
Waterloo is another Ontario city experiencing a tech boom and has been since Jim Balsillie and Blackberry first put it on the map over a decade ago. Today, Blackberry and the University of Waterloo are in the midst of a 5-year multi-million-dollar partnership leveraging the university’s world-renowned research and the company’s ability to deliver transformational products and services.
Of course, there’s a lot of innovation in the region that has nothing to do with Blackberry. IMAX recently acquired a Waterloo-based streaming technology company SSIMWAVE in a multi-million-dollar deal. SSIMWAVE, founded at the University of Waterloo, creates technology that enhances streaming video quality for millions of people on platforms including Paramount Global and Disney.
IMAX claims the acquisition cost at $18.5 million in cash and $2.5 million in stock. An additional earn-out consideration of $4 million is still “subject to achieving certain operating performance and financial objectives,” and the deal is expected to be complete sometime in 2023.
The country’s capital had a tech workforce of over 81,000 employees in 2021, and this number keeps growing. Ottawa is a diverse tech hub with expertise in various domains, like SaaS, AI, autonomous vehicles, 5G, next-gen networks, digital media, biotech, and more.
More than 560 software companies are based in Ottawa alone, employing more than 22,000 employees. Companies like Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, QNX, Blackberry, and others help drive the products and services capturing people’s imaginations everywhere — e-commerce, autonomous vehicles, smart city initiatives, and the Internet of Things.
Leading companies like Shopify have raised record funds to propel their growth, and it all happened within the nation’s capital.
Silicon Valley may be the most famous tech region, but Canadian cities, especially those in Ontario, are doing more than their fair share. From real estate tech to entertainment and much more, Ontario cities are truly at the front of innovation.