Report names Ottawa top tech hub in Canada, with Calgary second place


In a report from analysts at Expert Market, Ottawa is ranked as the top tech hub in which to live and work in Canada.

Last year, ranked the top tech cities in the world using data from Compass; only three Canadian cities made the list. This year, their sister site,, examined Canada exclusively.

“Our 2017 study went deeper into the Canadian tech startup scene across the country, and found that people were right to question the exclusion of cities such as Ottawa and Calgary, as they came out in first and second place respectively,” the report reads.

Expert Market analysed data from CBRE’s Research Gateway, and also included quality of life factors, which they said was important to consider when looking to start a business. The report cross-referenced data based on seven key factors, including number of employees in the tech industry, average salary and gender diversity.

Ottawa got the top spot thanks to its gender diversity ratio (27:73 men and women), as well as its cost of living. The city was second overall in terms of average salary.

“I have globe-trotted for more than 30 years in business, and I can honestly say there is nowhere else in the world I want to be,” said Michael Tremblay, president and CEO of Invest Ottawa. “With the abundance of job opportunities available, paired with the unbeatable lifestyle offering, it comes as no surprise that Ottawa ranked as the top Canadian tech hub.”

Calgary was noted for its burgeoning tech scene thanks to partnerships between the city, universities, and businesses, and took the top spot for average salary. The city came in second for the diversity of people in the tech industry.


Toronto and Montreal tied for third on the list. The report said that Toronto’s best feature is employing close to 180,000 people in the tech industry (though TechTO’s recent report put that number at 401,000). Like Calgary, the came in second for diversity in the tech community, and fourth for average salary.

“Strong financial investment from Canada’s federal government has helped Toronto become one of the fastest growing tech hubs of North America,” the report said.

Placing third in wage growth and employing 112,900 people in the tech sector, Montreal is “the perfect place to grow a startup before the funding stage,” says the report. They also placed third in average rent.

Halifax’s burgeoning startup ecosystem took fifth place, and was recognized for being second place in diversity and wage growth. Its best feature was having an average commute time of 28 minutes.

The report stands in contrast to Startup Genome’s global report ranking startup ecosystems around the world, which placed Vancouver in the top spot in Canada and 15th globally. That report surveyed over 10,000 entrepreneurs across 56 ecosystems, with the support of 300 partner organizations.


Madonna Dennis

Madonna Dennis is a staff writer at BetaKit. She’s a fourth-year journalism student interested in healthtech. She’s passionate about tight-knit teams working together, which is why she’s so fascinated by startup culture. Madonna’s hobbies include dragon boating, singing, and hosting a YouTube show about cat news.

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