Innovation that leads to advances in life sciences requires a collaborative ecosystem of partners—hospitals, research centres, universities, technology incubators, start-ups, scientists and multinationals—and every day they’re collaborating in Ontario, Canada.

Canada’s largest centre of life sciences activity

Operate among innovation leaders engaged in every kind of life sciences activity. Ontario’s broad and innovative life sciences sector includes about 1,900 firms.

Ontario’s Life Sciences Industry by the Numbers

in annual revenues
in exports
life sciences firms
life sciences workers
of the world’s top
pharmaceutical companies
by revenue
do clinical trials
in Ontario
medical device
manufacturing firms

A premier life sciences centre

In Ontario, you’ll have access to an ecosystem that ranks in the top ten in North America for number of pharmaceutical establishments and employment. We are home to a remarkable cluster of top-ranked institutions, researchers, developers and manufacturers.

Who’s here

A critical mass of life sciences talent

You need a dependable source of highly skilled innovation talent to grow and compete. We have the talent you need.

Great talent from great institutions

  • Six of Ontario’s universities have associated medical schools, including the University of Toronto, one of North America’s largest medical faculties.
  • Our 47 universities and colleges produce over 65,000 graduates in science, engineering, mathematics and related technologies each year.

Why Roche chose Ontario

Exceptional talent drives success in the highly competitive life sciences market, but it’s not always easy to find the scientific and business talent you need to innovate, commercialize and succeed on a global scale. Hoffman-La Roche kept this in mind as it was choosing a site for a global pharmaceutical development centre. In addition to a talent pool of around 70,000 life sciences workers, Ontario boasts a high concentration of business specialists with over 65,000 students graduated from business related programs in 2018.

Two of the top 10 international business schools are in Ontario.

I think the biggest asset Ontario provides to companies like us is its deep talent pool. We have been very impressed with the quality of the people we have hired locally for the site and I think this reflects the fact that the province does wonderful research. It produces great scientists, and sometimes you need to look locally before you look globally.

—Ronnie Miller, President & CEO, Roche Canada

A history of innovation fuelling tomorrow’s discoveries

Ontario is a place where today’s innovative ideas are fast becoming tomorrow’s world-renowned scientific, medical and technological breakthroughs, with the potential to improve millions of lives globally.

Did you know that Ontario is home to the following major medical breakthroughs and innovations?

  • blood-forming stem cells
  • cancer stem cells in leukemia
  • discovery of the neuroleptic receptor
  • early-onset Alzheimer’s disease
  • external cardiac pacemaker
  • identification of genes for cystic fibrosis
  • insulin

Our excellence in life sciences is nurtured by public and private investments and forged through collaborative partnerships. Together, there is truly no limit to where innovation can take us.

Snapshot: Ontario R&D

  • 6 of the top ten Canadian research hospitals can be found in Ontario.
  • Ontario’s research-intensive hospitals have invested as much as $1.73 billion in R&D.
  • The world’s top ten pharmaceutical companies by revenue (and others) conduct clinical trials in Ontario.