What is the Toronto-Waterloo tech corridor?
The Toronto-Waterloo Corridor is the 112 km stretch between the cities of Waterloo and Toronto. It's the second-largest technology cluster in North America, behind only Silicon Valley. The corridor is home to more than 15,000 tech companies (including 5,200 start-ups) and 16 post-secondary institutions. In the corridor, there are currently 30 nationalities represented and 18 languages spoken.
The corridor is a hub of diversity: a larger share of residents were born outside Canada than anywhere else in the country!
Toronto is Canada's centre of finance, industry-led R&D, healthcare, and venture capital. Organizations such as Freshbooks and Redknee have head offices in the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor, alongside satellite offices of companies like Google and Amazon.
Toronto also has a fast-growing start-up ecosystem, with companies such as Creative Destruction Lab, the Vector Institute, and the MaRS Discovery District.
Of course, Toronto is home to the University of Toronto, alongside many other colleges and universities.
Waterloo Region has the second highest density of start-ups in the world! It also hosts the headquarters of some of the largest technology companies in Canada, such as Blackberry, D2L, and OpenText.
Similarly, Waterloo region's start-up ecosystem is strengthened by organizations such as Communitech, the Velocity program at the University of Waterloo, as well as Wilfrid Laurier University's Launch Pad, and Google for Start-ups.
Tech corridor growth and start-up "exits"
Between 2017 and 2021, the corridor raised $12 billion USD in venture capital. In comparison, the global average for venture capital raised was $4.5 billion, meaning the corridor accounts for a huge percentage of the world's start-up investments!
Similarly, in 2021, nearly 50% of the venture capital deployed in Canada went to companies in the corridor ($7.7 million). The corridor is also valued at $46 billion US according to the Global Startup Genome's Startup Ecosystem Report. Since the last report, the corridor grew by 128%, and currently, is ranked 17 globally for start-ups.
An "exit" is when a start-up is sold or acquired by a larger company. In 2021, there were 563 exits in the corridor, while the global average was 101. The combined value of exits in the corridor was $13 billion USD. In comparison, the global average was $11.3 billion. The Toronto-Waterloo tech corridor is a haven for big start-up money.
Colleges and universities in the Toronto-Waterloo tech corridor
The corridor is home to some of the country's best technology schools. The University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo are the biggest names, but the corridor is also home to schools including:
And many more! Looking for a great place to explore, innovate, and study, or work in a world-class tech firm? Consider the Toronto-Waterloo tech corridor!
Learn more about the tech corridor