Tech Triangle

Canada’s so-called “technology triangle”, comprised of Kitchener/Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph in Ontario, continues to experience strong economic growth, thanks in part to the region’s excellent educational facilities and robust advanced manufacturing sector, according to a recent Bank of Montreal report.

The study, titled “Canada’s Technology Triangle, The Future Looks Bright”, projects economic growth in the region will increase at an average annual rate of 4.5 per cent during the next two years, a full percentage point faster than the Ontario average. While BMO economists acknowledge this represents a decrease from the six per cent annual growth the region has enjoyed during the last three years, they say the projected economic downshift in the region largely reflects the general slowdown anticipated by the bank for the North American economy in 2001 and 2002.

According to the BMO study, the technology triangle area has benefited from substantial entrepreneurial dynamism and excellent synergies among the private sector, academia and government. The study cites strong growth in manufacturing as an important driver of the region’s economy. The region hosts a wide spectrum of manufacturing concerns, including electrical and electronic equipment, auto parts, motor vehicle assembly, machinery, tool and die, and plastics. Advanced manufacturing, such as the production of high value-added equipment to support the information-communications sector and biotechnology, is particularly well represented in the region.

According to the study, population growth in the area is well above the national average due to the region’s ability to attract people from other countries, provinces and parts of Ontario. Some of the factors that attract newcomers are the region’s employment opportunities, expanding residential facilities and excellent educational institutions, including the University of Waterloo, Sir Wilfrid Laurier University and Guelph University.