Hamilton Downtown

From automotive and pharmaceutical innovations to a leading creative studio, Hamilton has it all

Located less than an hour’s drive from Toronto – as well as five major border crossings with the United States – is the rising city of Hamilton, Ontario. It’s a part of Canada’s most densely populated and economically advanced regions, offering diverse perspectives from a population that is 25 per cent foreign born. With its world-class universities and colleges, Hamilton has a renowned pipeline of skilled talent and the city’s quality of life and affordability make it easy for companies that locate here to attract and retain the very brightest.

Here is a sample of the cutting-edge organizations that are a part of Hamilton’s growing community.

Fusion Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Fusion Pharmaceuticals Inc. is at the forefront of the race to cure cancer. The company originated out of a not-for-profit organization launched through McMaster University’s Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC). The biopharmaceutical company is revolutionizing radiation therapy through its use of targeted alpha therapeutics. “Patients get the same therapeutic effect as targeted radiopharmaceuticals with an order of magnitude less radioactivity,” says John Valliant, CEO of Fusion. The approach is a safer alternative as the Fast-Clear™ Technology Platform “will target only cancer cells and not healthy cells.” The company recently received a second round of funding of $105 million USD, which will assist in the company’s goal of doubling in size by next year. Fusion couldn’t be happier to continue its growth in Hamilton.

“In terms of medical isotope research, Hamilton is one of the leading centres globally and overall has a fantastic reputation for creating project opportunities that are interdisciplinary,” says Valiant.

McMaster Innovation Park

Since 2005, The McMaster Innovation Park (MIP) has been Hamilton’s one-stop spot for business research and start-up support. A part of the internationally recognized McMaster University, MIP provides a space for collaboration, ideation and tech acceleration that has helped spark the creation of hundreds of new businesses. The park has three different specialized buildings including the CanmetMATERIALS (CMAT), the McMaster Automotive Resource Centre (MARC) and the Biomedical Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing (BEAM) building.

CMAT is housed in the MIP’s award-winning LEED platinum building and is the largest research Centre in Canada that specializes in metals and materials fabrication, processing and evaluation. Meanwhile, the Atrium’s laboratory and conference facility acts as a commercialization hub for the entrepreneurs and researchers at the park.

McMaster Innovation Park: McMaster Automotive Resource Centre (MARC)

MARC is where students, researchers and industry professionals come to solve challenges that will help define the future of the automotive industry, from batteries to hybrid drive-train technologies. Ali Emadi, Director of McMaster’s Institute for Automotive Research and Technology says, “MARC is one of the most advanced and comprehensive test facilities in North America for electrified and autonomous vehicles.” The 92,000 square foot space includes a driving simulator for virtual testing of autonomous-capable vehicles.

MARC collaborates with start-ups, as well as major automotive OEMs and suppliers, through large industry-sponsored projects that require confidential research. Currently, over 100 researchers and engineers are working on a collaboration between MARC and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The project is called “LEAP (Leadership in Automotive Powertrain): The Car of the Future.” The LEAP project, along with others at MARC, are positioning Hamilton for future success through the creation of an unparalleled level of auto industry R&D talent – talent that will no doubt play a pivotal role in developing technologies for the next generation of electrified and autonomous vehicles.


Hifyre uses behaviour data and predictive analytics to deliver the most connected, omnichannel experience in Cannabis retail – and it does so from its headquarters in Hamilton. Hifyre’s digital platform allows retailers to test marketing, and track sales and product availability, in real-time. It goes beyond finding the products customers request, creating a truly personalized experience. The company has worked on hundreds of digital products, partnering with large brands including Universal, Puma, Metro and Ancestry. The President of Hifyre, Matthew Hollingshead, believes its strategic location has played a part in their achievements.

“Hamilton helps us access not only an affordable, gorgeous office space, but a highly skilled, technical talent pool. We are not only keeping local talent in Hamilton, we are also attracting people from the surrounding areas.”


Pipeline Studios is a creative-driven studio, with a focus on development, production, and distribution of award-winning kids and family brands for a global audience. Headquartered in Hamilton, Pipeline Studios boasts partnerships with industry titans such as Sony, Disney, Netflix and Nickelodeon, as well as Hasbro, TVO Kids, Universal studios and many others. Most notably, Pipeline has established strong partnerships to produce shows like Sony’s popular children’s animated series, Hotel Transylvania, Disney’s Star and the Forces of Evil, Netflix’s Legend Quest, and Nickelodeon’s Sunny Day and Bubble Guppies, to name a few.

Marnier Endosurgery

Biotechnology company Mariner Endosurgery utilizes machine learning, robotic assistance and advanced visualization to augment surgeon performance on its platform LaparoGuard. The company focuses on soft tissue surgical navigation for laparoscopic surgery to improve safety for patients. It does this by tracking the movements of the laparoscopic tool and informing the surgical team when the instrument is about to approach the edge of the safe zone. After the operation, the instrument can be used for playback and traceability to improve future performance.

Core Urban: The Alley

Those looking to get into Hamilton’s up and coming downtown office space will be familiar with Core Urban. The property developer is revitalizing overlooked properties, accentuating the heritage and old-world character while developing buildings with an eye to the future. One notable undertaking is Core Urban’s “King James” – an adaptive, reuse project that has transformed the landscape of a downtown Hamilton area referred to as “the alley.” The project offers modern office suites with proximity to major banks, courthouses and City Hall.

Innovation Factory

Since 2011, the Innovation Factory (iF) has been at the centre of tech innovation in Hamilton. The not-for-profit Regional Innovation Centre, funded by the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs, accelerates the growth of start-ups, and small to medium enterprises. iF supports entrepreneurs through business services, workshops, one-on-one mentorship and important connections. This support is extended to companies across various sectors, including those in advanced manufacturing, clean tech, information technology, life sciences, social innovation and more.

The Invest in Ontario team wishes to thank the City of Hamilton for inviting us to explore its thriving business community. Would you like to see your city or region featured on InvestinOntario.com? Contact us to learn more.

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