"As new Canadians, we built ApplyBoard to democratize access to education for students worldwide. We chose the Toronto-Waterloo corridor because we could easily access a diverse and global community of talented people."
With more than 300,000 tech workers, the Toronto-Waterloo corridor is home to North America’s third-largest and fastest-growing innovation ecosystem. Anchored by the cities of Toronto (recognized as one of the most multicultural on the planet) and Waterloo (home to the well-regarded University of Waterloo), the corridor boasts excellent transit connectivity and leading innovation hubs including MaRS and Communitech, as well as deep reservoirs of wealth. Nearly half of the venture capital deployed in Canada in 2021, a record CAD$7.7 billion, went to companies based in Toronto and Waterloo.
The corridor’s millennial population is growing at lightning speed — more than 21% per year — and the quality of talent based here ranks alongside the globe’s elite tech regions. More broadly, Canada’s favorable immigration policies, public institutions, and social-democratic values have attracted a steady influx of highly-skilled newcomers to the area. In 2021, the Toronto region ranked as the best city in the world for working women, second in the world for safety, and sixth in the world for remote workers.
ApplyBoard, an Edtech company that helps place international students, closed a $375 million Series D round in June 2021. Deep Genomics, which creates genetic therapies using AI, raised $180 million in Series C funding a month later, and Cleantech startup GaN Systems raised $150 million in November. Password manager 1Password has raised $920 million over three rounds, with its most recent a $620 million Series C in January 2022.
Ecosystem by the Numbers
AI, Big Data & Analytics
Reasons to Move Your Startup to Toronto-Waterloo
Building for Humanity
From Lab to Market
Selected Startup Organizations
Startup Genome Members
MaRS Discovery District
MaRS is North America’s largest urban innovation hub. A registered nonprofit, MaRS supports high-growth startups and scaleups tackling key issues in health, Cleantech, Fintech, and other sectors. In addition, MaRS convenes members of the tech ecosystem to drive breakthrough discoveries, grow the economy, and make an impact by solving real problems for real people — in Canada and around the world.
Founded in 1997, Communitech was built by tech founders who saw the need for a community of support to help ensure the future prosperity of Canada. As Canada’s tech supercharger, we help founders hire and retain the smartest, brightest and most experienced people; access growth financing at every stage; sell to the biggest customers at home and around the world; and connect with the right people at the right time.
Key Ecosystem Players
Are you interested in diving deeper into this ecosystem? Drop us a message. Our Ambassadors and Partners can plug you in.