New report ranks Ottawa top tech hub in Canada
Published Friday, March 17, 2017 6:31PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, March 17, 2017 7:06PM EDT
The days of Ottawa being known around the world as the Silicon Valley North might be returning. A new report has ranked Ottawa the top tech hub in Canada.
According to analysts Expert Market, 71 per cent of respondents would set up their new tech business in Ottawa. The respondents ranked quality of living, high salary averages, the number of available tech jobs in the city and tech diversity as reasons for their choice. Calgary was ranked second, with Montreal in third.
Ryan Gibson, the Lead Marketing Strategist for Invest Ottawa, said demand for top tier tech talent in Ottawa is high. He said that like many cities, there are too many tech jobs in Ottawa and not enough qualified applicants. That's one of the reasons Invest Ottawa has launched an online campaign to draw in more prospective employees, including many in the United States.
"There is a huge desire," he said, adding that aerospace, autonomous vehicles and AI are among the top tech areas.
Gibson estimates there are 1,700 high-tech companies in Ottawa employing roughly 70,000 people.
The software company Mitel knows the industry well and has seen it change over the years. Mitel was started in Kanata in 1972, when the Kanata North Technology Park was mostly farm land.
"When you go to the major geographies, they recognize the engineering talent and Ottawa and the strength of the engineering," said Amy MacLeod, the VP of Corp Communications for Mitel.
MacLeod said Ottawa is a perfect place for a tech start-up or a well-established business because of its pool of qualified candidates from Carleton University and the University of Ottawa, as well as Algonquin College.
"It's a perfect foundation," she said.
1 Ottawa 3rd 2nd 5th 1st 2 Calgary 5th 1st 1st 2nd 3 Montreal 2nd 7th 3rd 4th 3 Toronto 1st 4th 4th 2nd 4 Halifax 7th 8th 2nd 2nd 5 Edmonton 6th 3rd 7th 3rd 6 Winnipeg 8th 9th 8th 4th 7 Waterloo 9th 6th 9th 6th 8 Vancouver 4th 5th 6th 5th