Waterloo Region is a vital, prosperous place to live and work. Positioned about 100 kilometres west of Toronto in the heart of Southwestern Ontario, the Region consists of three urban municipalities, Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo, and four rural townships, North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich.
Waterloo Region is one of the fastest growing areas in Ontario with over 568,500 residents (including temporary post-secondary students) which is expected to climb to a total population of 729,000 by 2031. Area residents enjoy premier educational institutions and think tanks, a reliable health services industry, and diverse cultural and recreational facilities.
Situated on Highway 401, Canada’s super-highway, Waterloo Region has access to over 150 million consumers within one day’s drive, including proximity to six US-Canada border crossings. The area is supported by an extensive series of secondary highways and intercity transportation routes, including Highway 7, Highway 8, Highway 85 and Highway 24. The Region of Waterloo International Airport provides convenient access to domestic and international destinations, and Toronto's Pearson International Airport is just 40 minutes away. Waterloo Region is currently implementing a light rail transit system that will connect its three cities; Phase 1 will connect Kitchener and Waterloo in 2017.
Waterloo Region is home to world-renowned post-secondary education institutions and a top tier talent pool. The University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University and Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning host over 65,000 post-secondary students annually, including 24,000 cooperative education students.
University of Waterloo has the most significant concentration of mathematical and computer science talent globally, and operates the largest post-secondary cooperative program globally, the largest faculty of engineering in Canada, the largest actuarial science program in North America and one of the largest concentrations of quantum information scientists in the world. Its unique inventor-owned IP policy fosters innovation and entrepreneurship in the Region.
Wilfrid Laurier University is home to one of the largest business schools in Canada, offering Canada’s largest business cooperative education program. The new Business Technology Management Program is one of only a few in Canada that gives students a background in both business and technology and examines their increasingly close relationship to each other. Wilfrid Laurier University is a multi-campus university with a focus on “inspiring lives of leadership and purpose”.
Consistently ranked among Ontario’s colleges for graduate and employment satisfaction, Conestoga College offers 200+ career-focused programs, and has more degree offerings than any other college outside of the Greater Toronto Area, including Ontario’s only college-based, accredited engineering degrees. Conestoga College is one of Ontario's top two providers of apprenticeship training and a leader in the provision of second career and academic upgrading programs.
Manulife, Sun Life Financial, Equitable Life of Canada and Economical Insurance have a significant presence here, providing a solid economic base and employment to many of the Region's residents. Waterloo Region is also home to a diverse collection of advanced manufacturers and distributors, including Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada, due to its proximity to major area highways. Waterloo Region has a strong technology sector with over one thousand hi-tech firms, including Google and BlackBerry; it is a booming start-up ecosystem and has built a global reputation as Canada's silicon valley.
Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation: Why Invest in Waterloo Region