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Quick Facts

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The Waterloo Region is one of the best places in the world for business to innovate, thrive and go global. A unique innovation ecosystem with a diverse community and world-class talent, we produce cutting edge research and products. From Google to Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (the first plant outside of Japan to produce a Lexus model vehicle), Honeywell to AGFA, the strengths in advanced manufacturing, ICT, financial & business services and life sciences are prevalent. We are home to Canada's most innovative university - the University of Waterloo - and offer our residents an affordable and safe quality of life.

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Waterloo Region Profile

Diverse. Innovative. Entrepreneurial.

  • $26.35 billion GDP (2015)
  • Major economic sectors: ICT, Automotive, Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace, Business and Financial Services, Food Processing
  • Burgeoning quantum and nanotechnology innovation
  • 15 patents granted per 10,000 residents, 11 times the national average (2012)
  • One of Canada's most manufacturing intensive economies; 18% of employed population (2014)
  • Over 1000 technology firms including Canada's largest software, hardware, e-learning and satellite companies
  • Strong startup scene with 600 active startups
  • 16th on Top 20 Global Startup Ecosystem's (Startup Genome) 
  • Within the 3rd largest food corridor in North America

A Growth Leader

  • Population of 575,000 and one of Canada's fastest growing communities, expected to reach 742,000 people by 2031
  • Canada's 10th and Ontario's 4th largest urban population (2013)

Outstanding Post-Secondary Institutions

  • 65,000 post-secondary students, including 24,000 co-operative education students
  • University of Waterloo: home to the most significant concentration of mathematical and computer science talent globally, and operates the largest post-secondary co-operative program in the world. A unique inventor-owned IP policy fosters innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Wilfrid Laurier University: WLU has the largest business degree co-op program in Canada, and is one of the few universities to offer an MBA co-op program in Canada.
  • Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning: ranked amongst the top Ontario Colleges and has a renowned School of Engineering and IT and the Institute of Food Processing Technology.
  • Home to world renowned research centres: Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Institute for Quantum Computing, Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy, Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research, Centre for Bioengineering & Biotechnology, Centre for Cold Regions & Water Science and Centre for International Governance Innovation.

Business Oriented & Internationally-Recognized

  • Canada is best country in G-20 to do business according to Forbes & Bloomberg
  • Canada is most tax competitive country in G-7 (KPMG 2014)
  • Lowest costs for R&D in G-7, 10% lower than U.S., thanks to generous tax incentives
  • Canada's workforce is most educated of OECD countries
  • First country to make itself tariff-free zone for manufacturers
  • AAA credit rating according to Moody's Investor Service
  • Soundest banking system in the world for past 6 yrs according to World Economic Forum


  • More than 300 foreign-owned firms (2012)
  • Significant foreign investment from the U.S., Germany, UK, France, Japan and the Netherlands

Strategic Location

  • Along Highway 401, with access to 150+ million people within one day's drive

  • Access to $17 trillion marketplace under NAFTA

  • Home to Region of Waterloo International Airport with direct flights to Chicago & Calgary

  • 1 hour to Canada's largest airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport

  • Access to Toronto by bus and train

  • Extensive public bus transit with light rail transit scheduled for 2017

Rich Traditions and a Vibrant Lifestyle

  • Median family income of $82,160 (2013)

  • Average home prices 30% lower than Ontario average

  • Median commute time of 16 minutes
  • A multicultural community where 23% of the population are immigrants (2013)

  • Many cultural festivals throughout the year

  • 22 golf courses and the Grand River (a Canadian Heritage River) for sport fishing and kayaking
  • 120+ K-12 public schools in Waterloo Region

  • More than 4,000 acres of park and natural land

  • 100% fibre-wired community