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Talent, economic strength, government support and partnerships make these 10 Ontario communities stand out

A compelling blend of talent, economic strength, support and partnerships has placed the diverse and vibrant communities of Ontario, Canada, front and centre in a new country-wide ranking released by Site Selection magazine.

The province takes second place in the 2021 Canadian Competitiveness Rankings, and Ontario cities make up nearly half of the list in 2021 Canada’s Best Locations.

The U.S.-based magazine is geared towards business decision-makers, and its 2021 Canadian competitiveness rankings are based on new corporate facilities and expansions.

Of 21 Canadian communities highlighted for economic growth and job creation, 10 are in Ontario:


What sets Ontario apart?

  1. Ontario is open for business

    Ontario’s business-first approach is cited as providing the streamlined economic climate that fosters growth in high-value knowledge-based industries. Highlights include:

    • A proactive approach between government and business to weather the storm of the global pandemic: Measures include the Ontario Small Business Support Grant and the Ontario Together Fund. The latter has seen scores of manufacturing and technology companies harness their ingenuity to develop solutions in the fight against COVID-19.
    • An auto-tech cluster leading in the next generation of vehicles: Ontario is the second-ranking vehicle producer in North America, the continent’s second-largest IT cluster and Canada’s largest cleantech cluster. The province also has an abundance of the critical minerals essential to building electric vehicle batteries.
    • Robust talent pipeline: Some of the best and brightest minds call Ontario home. In fact, 70% of adults possess a post-secondary education, a rate higher than any OECD country. Each year, our universities and colleges produce nearly 55,000 STEM graduates, placing the province in the top five STEM producers in North America.

    A new Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (currently the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network) will have an expanded mandate to foster electric vehicle innovation and build on successful work nurturing a network of more than 300 companies and organizations pioneering connected and autonomous vehicle technologies.

    Site Selection also noted Ontario’s work to support a vibrant venture capital market with the $100 million Venture Ontario Fund focused on high-growth, early-stage companies. Target sectors include life sciences, medical devices, clean technology, information technology and artificial intelligence.

  2. Economic power is at the heart of our markets

    Despite the immense challenges of COVID-19, Ontario has continued to attract a diverse array of investment projects across multiple sectors.

    Not only is Ontario the economic engine of Canada, when compared to the United States, the province is are also the fifth-largest economic region in North America.

    Ontario’s attractiveness for green manufacturing is underpinned by one of the cleanest electricity systems in North America, where about 94% of the province’s electricity is generated emissions-free.

    The new United States-Canada-Mexico Agreement reinforces Ontario’s strengths as the value-added gateway to North American markets.

    Businesses operating in Ontario benefit from tariff-free access to a North American free trade zone with around 500 million people. More than 187 million consumers can be reached within a day’s drive of the Greater Toronto Area.

  3. Landmark investment projects show we value major partnerships

    Site Selection highlights a range of projects that illustrate Ontario’s investment strengths across diverse sectors. Examples include:

    • Sanofi is investing approximately $925 million to build a new vaccine facility in Toronto to increase the supply of its differentiated influenza vaccines in Canada, the U.S., and Europe. The project is in partnership with the governments of Canada, Ontario, and the City of Toronto.
    • Bridgestone opened a new distribution centre in Ancaster, near Hamilton. The facility, which can store up to 570,000 tires, represents a US$48 million investment.
    • Virox Technologies is expanding its Oakville facility to boost the production of their accelerated hydrogen peroxide disinfecting products to meet the increased demand created by COVID-19. The project is supported by the Ontario Together Fund.

    Ontario has also seen significant auto plant upgrades and re-tooling representing announced industry investments of almost $6 billion, including around $4 billion in transformative projects in electric vehicle production.

  4. New business relationships are our top priority

    With an economy driven by exports and powered by international supply chains, building strong relationships is the Ontario way.

    The province has a longstanding track record of close collaboration with municipalities and the federal government to smooth the path for business expansions and greenfield investments. Indeed, the Ontario and Canadian governments work in lockstep to strengthen strategic sectors, regularly co-investing to secure anchor projects.

    Customized service moves to a new level with Invest Ontario. Our team of experts provides value-added services to help businesses and investors around the world leverage the opportunities that Ontario has to offer.

    There has never been a better time to join one of the world’s most skilled and dynamic economies at the centre of North American markets. Ontario is open for business, and we have the tools your company needs to build the future.

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