This blog post argues that the Toronto-Waterloo Innovation Corridor is set to become a Technology Supercluster, but only if we act fast.
Last year about this time, when our local mayors headed south to Silicon Valley, we heard for the first time the term ‘Toronto-Waterloo Innovation Corridor’. Now there’s this report about the Toronto-Waterloo Technology Supercluster.
A recent report from Tech North argues that Canada’s budding technology supercluster in the Toronto-Waterloo Region (including Guelph and Hamilton) has the potential to become one of the world’s top innovation ecosystems, but only if we act fast.
The Toronto-Waterloo Innovation Corridor
The Toronto-Waterloo Innovation Corridor is made up with four urban centres – Toronto, KW, Guelph and Hamilton. These cities all have higher than world average standards of living. Toronto was recently ranked 4th most livable city in the world (and many Torontonians are moving to Waterloo Region for an even better lifestyle!)
The Toronto-Waterloo Innovation Corridor already employs more than 15,000 high-tech companies, 205,000 tech workers. Canada’s human capital ranks with the best in the world.
Canada was ranked the second most competitive county in the world in 2016. The tech corridor contributes more than $360 billion to Canada’s GDP. That’s 17% of our total GDP.
The four cities all have top universities well-known for their academic excellence. Together, they serve almost one million full-time university students (20% of Canada’s university students).
Already, the Toronto-Waterloo Innovation Corridor is Canada’s largest technology cluster measured by the equity value of tech companies. The Toronto-Waterloo Innovation Corridor is valued at more than $14Billion. We are well ahead of other Canadian tech clusters. Vancouver is valued at $6Billion, Montreal $5Billion. Silicon Valley, as a point of reference, with Apple, Google, Salesforce, Facebook and other big and small tech firms is valued at $411Billion – that is almost thirty times bigger than us!
We have a long way to go.
We have a lot of room to grow.
Why I am bullish on our tech future
Here are a few more points to consider:
- Toronto and Waterloo are only 115 Kilometres apart. We are connected to Toronto by road, rail and air.
- Last year, the average value of our local real estate increased by more than 10%.
- The LRT is 90% complete and is set to begin operation at the beginning of next year.
- We doubled our GoTrain service to and from Toronto last year. All-day two-way service is on the horizon.
- I have lived in Kitchener Waterloo since 2000. I have witnessed great changes in a short time and I can feel the pace of change quickening.
- We are posed to become Canada’s #1 technology supercluster. We just have to get our ducks in a row.