Waterloo EDC Blog

The Light Rail Transit train stops at the Innovation District in Waterloo

Five facts you’ll find in the Waterloo Economic Guide

Posted by Waterloo EDC on July 29, 2020

Waterloo has a lot going for it.

We’re home to Canada’s three fastest-growing tech companies. We have a deep and dynamic tech ecosystem and the largest robotics and automation cluster in Canada. We have a diverse economy that includes major Toyota, Google and Shopify operations, hundreds of tech startups and thousands of suppliers and manufacturers. We’re also world-renowned for our talent, especially in engineering and computer science.

Our new Waterloo Economic Guide provides the inputs behind these outcomes – demonstrating with data why our economy is so resilient. Click here to download the guide now.

Here are five of the important facts you will find in our Waterloo Economic Guide:

1. The world's most comprehensive trade network

Companies in Canada can take advantage of the world’s most comprehensive trade network. Thanks to trade agreements like the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Canada is #1 in the world for trade connections to G7 countries. This means exceptional access to the Japan, United States and European Union markets.

In total, we have trade agreements with more than 40 countries representing 1.6 billion consumers and more than 60% of the global economy.

Canada's world-leading trade network

2. More than 25% of all new students at the University of Waterloo (UWaterloo) have a 95%+ entry averageUniversity of Waterloo Incredible Entry Averages

This entry average sets UWaterloo apart from other Canadian universities. Even more impressive, as you drill down into UWaterloo’s core programs – computer science and engineering – the statistics become even more incredible. There’s a reason why The New York Times called it “one of the world’s best technology schools.”

3. The world's top companies use Waterloo co-operative education programs

Co-operative education (co-op) is post-secondary student work experience on steroids. The program differs at each institution, but the result is the same: students graduate with a ton of on-the-job experience and the ability to contribute from day one.

The greatest testament to the power and importance of co-op in Waterloo is the collection of top companies – Google, Microsoft, Toyota and Amazon, to name a few – that use the program. This should inspire a fear of missing out in any company looking to solidify its talent pipeline.

Logos of companies using co-operative education: Amazon, Toyota, Deloitte, Google, Oracle, Microsoft, IBM and more

4. Canada's highest quality experienced tech talent

Despite significant differences in scale, Waterloo is holding its own in competition with Canada’s largest cities and most concentrated tech labour pools. According to CBRE, Waterloo has the highest-quality tech talent workforce in Canada. In fact, this is the second year in a row that Waterloo’s unique combination of tech talent quality and cost have achieved “exceptional” status.

Waterloo has the highest-quality tech talent in Canada

5. A highly diverse and international business community

Waterloo is home to an exceptional, diverse and fast-growing business ecosystem. In our community, you’ll find multinational companies working in technology, robotics and automation, advanced manufacturing and automotive, dozens of exciting scale-ups and hundreds of startup companies. Our collection of global businesses include some of the world’s biggest brands, including Ford, Google, SAP, Toyota and Shopify.

International Companies in Waterloo: Google, Shopify, IBM, Square, Pepsi, Toyota, SAP, Siemens and more


Do you want to learn more about the Waterloo economy? Our Waterloo Economic Guide includes information about higher education, workforce, wages and salary, clusters, quality of life and location.


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Topics: technology, manufacturing, talent, business, site selection