Canada’s top places to start and grow businesses in 2016
Ted Mallett, Vice-President & Chief Economist
Andreea Bourgeois, Senior Analyst
Simon Gaudreault, Director, Economic Affairs, Quebec
This report is the ninth annual look at what entrepreneurial characteristics Canada’s largest cities possess. In many respects, the massive sectoral and regional economic restructuring seen in the past two years has shown up in the cities’ entrepreneurship score. In other respects, however, the findings are reasonably stable. The resource price bust in Western Canada, for example, has had an obvious effect on business owners’ optimism, but its negative influence on business demographics or government policy has been modest.
We are seeing a relative rise of city scores in British Columbia and major urban centres in central Canada. Scores in resource-based prairie centres are falling back - but certainly not to the bottom of the list. For the first time in five years, the top-ranking large community is not the grouping of municipalities that surround Calgary. That honour goes to Kelowna - moving up to take the top spot. The Toronto periphery, approximating the commonly known ‘905’ - which includes a dozen municipalities in Peel and York regions - takes second place, followed closely by geographic proximates Barrie and Guelph.
Among mid-sized urban areas, prairie cities have been supplanted by a diverse set in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Nova Scotia. Collingwood takes the top ranking in this group, switching places with Penticton. Rivière-du-Loup also climbs to the top of the list accompanied by a couple of other Quebec communities moving upward: Saint-Georges and Val-d’Or. Kentville enters the top 10 for the first time, while Chilliwack, Cobourg and Whitehorse also move up the list to join Salmon Arm.
*Updated with new data not available when report was originally published in October