It is an extremely common misconception: Many Ottawans and outsiders that don’t know any better think that Ottawa tech died and was buried with Nortel—once you’ve passed Bayshore you’ve passed it all, and you’re headed for the boonies. But if you check the pulse in Kanata North today you’ll find its industry has been resurrected, and it’s shining brighter than before. In fact, Kanata North and the Ottawa tech scene is doing so well that some sources suggest that there’s more available jobs than there are people to fill them.
If you read tech publications, you’ll see that despite all its recent success, Kanata North still isn’t talked about as much as its Canadian counterparts like Waterloo, Montreal, and other major tech cities around the globe.
Ottawa employs over 68,500 people in the tech industry, more than 1,750 tech companies call Ottawa home. Ottawa was recently recognized as the top tech hub in Canada to live and work in.
Kanata North employs 26,325 tech employees taking into account indirect and induced effects. Kanata North is also home to well over 500 companies, many of which are high tech. 64 per cent of the companies in Kanata North are Canadian owned, but many are very well established globally. The productivity in Kanata North is three times higher than the national average.
According to analysts Expert Market, 71 per cent of respondents would set up their new tech business in Ottawa. The respondents ranked quality of living, high salary averages, the number of available tech jobs in the city and tech diversity as reasons for their choice.
Many specific industries are doing very well in Kanata North, for example telecommunications, wireless and photonics are 8,061 employees strong, and they’re making a revenue of $1.861 billion. This industry has a 95 per cent export ratio, making it one of Kanata North’s most lucrative enterprises.
The tech industry has always been a business wrought with headhunting. Everyone wants to recruit the most talented people. In fact, there are over 300,000 Canadians working in the California tech industry alone. On the surface Ottawa, and Kanata North might not be as glamorous as San Francisco, but there are many other reasons that make it attractive to the right kind of people.
The Work in Ottawa recruitment campaign claims that they’re after two different types of people ─ juniors, and individuals with mid to C-level experience, “They are the ones that set strategy, they lead the teams, and they help companies grow. Without that kind of experience it’s hard to grow.” Said Ryan Gibson, Marketing Strategist for Invest Ottawa.
Ottawa’s average house price is $278K USD, that’s about half of what it costs to buy a house in other major Canadian tech cities like Toronto or Vancouver.
The seduction that comes with a job offer in San Francisco is starting to be overshadowed by housing costs averaging around $1.3 million.
Some sources are suggesting that the political climate south of the border is making a many people in tech, both expats and natives consider moving to Ottawa, and Canada to work in tech.
But the climate in Kanata North couldn’t be better, and with the growth it’s enjoying now, and Ottawa tech changing the way it is—its future is looking even brighter.
Written by Mitchell Kedrosky. For more fiscal information about Kanata North be sure to check out the report here: www.impact.kanatanorthbia.ca