Looking for Quality Talent, MUST visit Waterloo, Ontario

Since year 2000, the Waterloo region continues to gain attention in the global IT community. With new government funding to improve the job market and tech sector, affordable living, and exciting social opportunities, we decided to dig in even more to find out why this place is worth your attention and consideration to build or expand your business.

Education/Talent Pool

Waterloo is best known for its universities, including the University of Waterloo which is famous for its engineering, science and research programs. The region also offers access to two other top-tiered institutions, the University of Guelph and Wilfrid Laurier University. Currently there are about 75,000 students pursuing studies in universities in the region.

For the past 26 years, the University of Waterloo has often been named Canada’s most innovative university providing top talent for IT, engineering, business, and professional services.

Source: Official websites of University of Waterloo, University if California, Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Columbia University

One of the major drivers bringing new tech talent to the area is the policy of the University of Waterloo that allows students to own and leverage their own intellectual property to create new companies. In addition, in August 2021 FedDev Ontario announced that they will invest more funds in regional health-tech hubs within the Waterloo and Kitchener university partnership which helps support or develop as many as 135 health businesses, creates 730 skilled jobs, leverages millions in project funding and attracts more investments in innovative companies.

The Players

The tech sector of the Waterloo Region is considered one of the world’s fastest growing sectors and highest start-up area, after Silicon Valley. Waterloo is also known for being a rapidly growing tech hub that has become home to more than 700 tech startups, spin-offs, and mature companies such as BlackBerry and OpenText working on solutions in FinTech, Robotics, Automation and AI. According to Deloitte’s report in 2020, the city has also become home to some of the largest and fastest growing tech companies in Canada such as ACTO Technologies, ApplyBoard, Auvik Networks, Axonify, Bonfire, Convictional, DarwinAI, Dejero Labs, Intellijoint Surgical Inc., Nicoya Lifesciences, Plum.io, SkyWatch, Smile.io, and TextNow

The tech sector in Waterloo is growing rapidly and a lot of companies are currently hiring for many roles. Some of the hottest jobs include Information Systems Specialists, Principal Product Managers, IT Support Specialists, Cloud Service Managers, Software Developers of IT Applications, DevOps Cloud Engineers, Cloud Security Engineers and Architects, Data Scientists, however there are countless opportunities in Finance, Business, Marketing, and Investments as well. Everyone can find the right opportunity in an innovative company.

Cost of Living

Another attraction that keeps people moving to Waterloo is the affordability of living. The cost of living here is less expensive than in larger cities. It comes in below-average based on living expenses that include mortgage payments or rent, utilities, internet and grocery bills, public transportation cost, entertainment and restaurant costs and clothing. With an average monthly salary of $3,306 and a cost of living of $1,933, you will not only be able to enjoy life in Waterloo, but will also have financial stability with an ability to grow your savings and stress less about your finances.

Social Life

The Waterloo region is full of outdoor lifestyle facilities including over 3,000 acres of parks, golf courses, conservation areas, recreation areas ranging from dragon boat racing, skating, skiing, ice hockey, to festivals and carnivals. Most households live within a 30-minute drive to work leaving more spare time for social and community life.

The Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum 

Waterloo contains very diverse communities that promote culture through art and music at the Drayton Festival Theatre, Dunfield Theatre Cambridge, the KW Symphony, and more. It has countless restaurants, cinemas, cocktail bars and is involved in festivals and carnivals such as Bavarian Festival, TD Kitchener Blues Festivals, Sunlife Financial Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival, Open Ears Festival of Music, and many others.

Even though Waterloo is a smaller city compared to other major cities in Ontario, it  provides great potential for both professional and personal growth within tech and local communities. If you are looking to build a team and taste the success of the region, Waterloo is definitely worth the look!