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Five Best Canadian Cities for Startups

Choosing the right city in Canada to start up your own business

Books on startups
Once you have armed yourself with up-to-date knowledge on starting a business,
it's time to prepare your business plan, funding and choose the city where you
want to start your small business in Canada.

Starting a business is not easy. You have to think about profitability, initial funding, drawing up a business plan, and finding space. However, choosing the best city to start your business in is even more difficult. Choosing a city for your startup in Canada can make or break your business! Imagine - you have decided to start in a city, only to find it doesn’t have a good pool of potential employees, cheap office spaces, a good customer base, or a welcoming community. You would have difficulty getting off the ground in such an atmosphere, let alone making your business venture profitable. But, don’t worry! We are here to help you pick the right place for you with our guide to the five best Canadian cities for startups!

1. Calgary

The first and foremost thing that ranks Calgary as one of the five best Canadian cities for startups is the welcoming and supportive community of business owners. You do not want to face serious hostility from the business closest to you from the very onset of your career. While it can be helpful to engage in a bit of rivalry, too much of it can easily lead to unprofitable decisions. This is why local support is essential in the beginning when you can still not afford to engage in such competition. In addition, the local government also supports startups with programs like Innovate Calgary and Startup Calgary, and such help should not be dismissed. Finally, if you want your business to grow, you need employees. Calgary offers this too, being the fourth largest city and having a decently educated population. All in all, it is an excellent choice!

A view of Calgary
If you choose Calgary to start your new business, look for support and assistance
programs such as Innovate Calgary and Startup Calgary.

2. Vancouver

While Vancouver does have a well-educated populace and a friendly business climate, it is not quite as prominent as other cities we discuss here. What, then, has earned it a place on our list? Affordability and living conditions! Every startup needs office space to function. Other expenses such as utilities and the general cost of living can add up and become unmanageable if you do not have a steady income. Well, Vancouver would help you get over this initial period with its affordable prices and offices. The city is also beautiful and has a vibrant cultural scene, which will help your employees stay in top shape! Finally, other services are also cheaper here than in other cities, so you will have a much easier time finding a reliable moving company such as Number 1 Movers to help you relocate.

3. Toronto

Being the capital of Ontario, Toronto is, without a doubt, among the five best Canadian cities for startups due to its massive population, diversity, and quality of education. It is often lauded as the most diverse city. Toronto will not fail you in your quest to find the right employees for your startup. It is a known fact that for a business to truly succeed, you need talented employees. And Toronto offers a compelling mix of sheer numbers of people looking for employment and quality education. It can’t lay claim to the title of the best-educated city on our list, but it is certainly out there. In addition, the city doesn’t just rest on its laurels and lets its entrepreneurs suffer without support. The local government drives and startup funding will help you get your business off the ground quickly and efficiently, bolstering your chances of success.

A view of Toronto
The city of Toronto offers a diverse and quality population, to choose your
potential employees from, along with the local government help for startup funding.

4. Waterloo

If we are to name one city leading in education on our list of five best Canadian cities for startups, it would be Waterloo! This city is the absolute dream destination for every startup that requires a highly educated workforce. This is especially the case concerning tech! In fact, for a city just passing half a million in population, Waterloo has a remarkable number of startups, most of which are based in the tech industry.

This has earned the city its claim to the title of ‘second Silicon Valley’. This is a good indicator of just how popular it is with entrepreneurs. Moreover, businesses from Silicon Valley itself highly value the graduates of The University of Waterloo. They treat them as priority hires. So, if you are in tech, you probably want to move your office to Waterloo! Of course, this often involves moving a lot of electronics, which is difficult and time-consuming. Just remember to have your electronics transferred and ready well in advance, so you don’t have to rush the setup before officially opening your new office!

5. Ottawa

As the capital of Canada, what truly recommends Ottawa as a good startup city is the wealth of opportunities it provides! We are not simply talking about the consumer demands of the city. While those are certainly something to keep in mind, making it a lot easier for your startup to find work, what we meant was the governmental support the city offers! And it offers a lot of it. Due to its long-standing rivalry with Toronto, Ottawa is eager to develop. To do this, the city provides a wealth of incentives in the form of financial help and organizations meant to help young entrepreneurs learn the ropes and stay in business. Of course, this does make it a bit more challenging to stand out among the crowd. To deal with this, we recommend building up a strong online presence.

A view of Ottawa
If you are looking for a city eager to develop and help startups, Ottawa could be
the right city for you, that provides a wealth of incentives for new businesses.

Final Words

We hope that, now that you have reached the end of our list of the five best Canadian cities for startups, you have a slightly better idea of where you want to settle down your new business venture! There is something to recommend each of the cities: Ottawa, with its strong governmental support; Waterloo, with its stellar education; Vancouver, and its affordable prices; Toronto, and the fantastic pool of employees to choose from; as well as Calgary and the generous support of the local community. It is up to you to decide which of these cities is best suited to your needs. We are sure that you will make the right choice!

Photos used: by Unsplash

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