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THE BEST PLACES IN CANADA FOR SMALL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES

December 12, 2019 10:46 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

There are several reasons why Canada is a great place to start a business. Canada boasts a well-educated population that draws its heritage from all corners of the globe. It’s rich in natural resources and has a number of renowned universities and technology institutions and it boasts some world-class cities that routinely place on top ten lists of the best places to live in the world.

Companies like Hootsuite, Shopify, Slack, 500px, and Kik call Canada home, and there are some premier innovation centers like Toronto’s MaRS Innovation and Vancouver’s 312 Main.

Here are the best cities for small businesses in Canada:

Vancouver

This rainy city on the west coast is one of the biggest and best-known startup centers in Canada. World-famous startups like Hootsuite and Slack are based there. The city’s close proximity to major business centers like Seattle and Silicon Valley is another notable benefit, enabling a vibrant flow of talent between cities up and down the west coast.

Edmonton / Calgary

Edmonton is a leader in Canada for a number of industries, from biotechnology and digital media to oil and gas. There are a handful of respected incubators operating in the city, including Startup Edmonton and TEC Edmonton.  

Calgary is Canada’s fourth-largest city by population and is well-known as a center for entrepreneurship and business related to the energy sector.

Toronto

Toronto reigns as Canada’s largest city, and it’s no coincidence that it also serves as Canada’s tech, commercial, industrial and financial hub. As home to between 2,500 and 4,100 active tech startups, and boasting the world’s largest innovation hub (which covers a daunting 1.5 million square feet), Toronto earns its place as a phenomenal startup city for entrepreneurs of all kinds.

It’s an especially friendly place for minority entrepreneurs, notably women: 12.5% of partners at venture capital firms in Canada are women, which more than double the US rate of 6%. 

Waterloo

Waterloo, a small city with a population of just 550,000, and is home to a massive 1,100 new ventures, making it a region with the highest startup density of any area globally aside from Silicon Valley.  Waterloo hosts a significant portion of Canada’s tech talent. Similar to San Francisco and the Bay Area, Toronto and Waterloo together form a corridor hosting a surplus of startup innovation between them.

Montreal

Montreal has been rated as one of the top 20 startup ecosystems in the world by Startup Compass.

Canadian companies raised $4.4 billion CAD total – and impressively, Montreal raised more funds than any other city on the list.  This substantial amount of funding is in large part because Montreal has become a globally recognized AI hub over the past several years.

Montreal-based artificial intelligence (AI) company Element AI raised $102 million (USD) in Series A funding as of June, which goes down as the largest ever amount for an AI company.

Another major advantage of starting out in Montreal is a surprisingly affordable real estate market. 


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