Indeed, Canada remains one of the best places in the world to start a business. According to reports, startups are a vital element of the Canadian economy and have helped to ensure that the country attains a very reliable level of economic growth.

Startups are known to create new jobs and encourage innovative thinking and dynamic business models. Between 2002 and 2014, over 96,000 new firms entered the market across Canada. Canada boasts of a viable economic climate that fosters business growth, and if you are thinking about starting a business in the country, you must choose the right location.

Truth be told, every company will have its criteria when it comes to choosing a suitable business location. For instance, a retail outlet that depends on local clientele would want a location with high income and a rising population.

Meanwhile, an exporter will want to consider certain cost advantages like affordable space and cheap power.  Businesses that require specialized skills will want to be situated near a big city or university.

Although choices and interests will vary from one business to another, the best cities to start a business in Canada will be cities with the best possible balance between prosperous markets, reasonable costs, business-friendly taxation, and regulation.

Whether you are immigrating to Canada to start a business or are already a proud Canadian citizen, here are the top Canadian cities to consider when you are looking to start a business.

What are the Best Cities to Start a Business in Canada in 2023?

  1. Surrey

Within the next 20 years, experts believe that Surrey will grow to become the largest city in British Columbia by population. According to projections, by 2041, at least one in five Vancouver residents will live or reside in Surrey. One of the most notable reasons for this attraction is because Surrey is a US border city and is found within proximity to two international airports.

Note that over sixteen thousand businesses are currently active in this city and there are more pro-business initiatives in place to ensure that companies coming to Surrey find their footing.

  1. Toronto

Over the years, Toronto has grown to become a hub for Canada’s industrial, tech, financial, and commercial industries. The Toronto and Waterloo corridor is known as “The Silicon Valley of the North” owing to the very encouraging levels of innovation that sprout from this area.

Also note that this city is home to many Fortune 500 corporations and remains the Canadian headquarters of Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Howbeit, note there is intense competition for funding in this city, so you must ensure that your business can compete favorably before starting in this city.

  1. Kelowna

According to recent reports, Central Okanagan is noted as the “Most Enterprising Region” in Canada, with over 28,000 businesses duly registered in this part of the country. Also note that this city boasts of one of the best transport links in the country, with Kelowna Airport known to serve at least 2 million customers every year.

Without argument, a well-planned transport link is a perk every business should consider when choosing a suitable location to start up. Additionally, this city also offers very enticing tax credits and exemptions to help foster business growth.

  1. Winnipeg

Winnipeg remains one of the best cities in Canada due to its considerably low cost of living and the numerous perks it offers young families and businesses. It is fast becoming a very viable place to start a business, especially if you are looking to start a business that focuses on advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, or IT industries.

In addition, it boasts of having the third-highest number of head offices for every 100,000 people in Canada, and this means that it is already home to a vast range of well-to-do companies.

  1. Saskatoon

Saskatoon is also noted as one of the best cities to start a business in Canada because it’s home to a large university. The University of Saskatchewan is known for the wide array of resources it offers to new business owners who are looking for new talent.

In addition, a good percentage of new graduates from the University prefer to invest in their own visions and start up their own companies, and over half of the population in the city are college-educated. The city also offers other encouraging business incentives such as a sales tax that is the lowest in the country at 5%.

  1. Montreal

According to recent reports, Montreal is noted as one of the top 20 startup ecosystems in the world. The city also hosts numerous key events like the Startupfest, known to annually attract innovators and business owners from across the world. Also, note that this city boasts of nonprofits that are quite eager to help small businesses such as the Montreal NewTech and Notman House.

  1. Edmonton

Indeed, the energy sector is what comes to mind anytime Edmonton is mentioned, and oil certainly plays a fundamental role in the region’s economy. However, the city is also growing rapidly and thus has created plenty of room for small business endeavors.

There are numerous wonderful places to work in Edmonton that are scenic with fantastic transport links. Edmonton is already home to a wide array of well-noted business incubators such as Startup Edmonton and TEC Edmonton.

  1. Ottawa

This city is well respected for its focus on cleantech with more than 240 companies operating in the area that employ more than 5,500 individuals. Note that this city is committed to innovation with different laboratories and agencies scattered across the city.

Reports have it there are about 1,750 knowledge-based businesses that employ 68,000 people. Owing to its extremely growing economy with a 4.4% unemployment rate, Ottawa can be competitive for new businesses.

If you’re looking to hire a skilled workforce, you have a large number of graduates to choose from – 61% of the population has been to college. With the cost of living, city growth, and commuting also scoring high in Ottawa, it’s, without doubt, an excellent location for business.

  1. Calgary

According to reports, Calgary boasts of a 68.8% employment rate and a 6% increase in employment over the past 12 months. This city is also one of the most suitable places to start and grow a business if you are committed to green energy.

With more than 330 days of sunshine throughout the year, you can easily put solar energy as a critical focus of your business model. College grads are abundant here, with 53% of Calgary’s population holding a bachelor’s degree or higher. Also note that the cost of living is low, and you can expect outstanding levels of employee satisfaction and a happy and motivated workforce.

  1. Vancouver

When starting a technology-based business, Vancouver remains a very viable choice, especially owing to its proximity to major tech centers like Silicon Valley and Seattle. Other factors that make this city a top choice to consider is the relative ease of setting up a company and plenty of office space to choose from.

Have in mind that this rainy city on the west coast is one of the biggest and best-known startup centers in Canada. World-famous startups like Hootsuite and Slack are based there.

The city boasts of aggressive provincial and federal tax breaks, a concentration of skilled labor and talent, and a year-round climate that is both temperate and pleasant. Note that companies like Amazon and Microsoft have situated their offices in the city and many more are expected to follow.

Canada understands the intricacies of creating a great culture for startups and entrepreneurs to succeed. However, figuring out what cities and regions are best for your business in Canada will depend on how you choose to measure it. But by either measure, consider these top cities mentioned above.