Canada’s Best Places for Business 2016

Waterloo, Ont.

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Population: 108,728
Annualized population growth (%) 1.20
Avg. household income ($): 103,784
Total value of building permits issued, most recent year ($): 12,000,000
Avg. office lease rate ($ psf/yr): 27.02
Corporate income tax rate (%): 26.5
City website: www.waterloo.ca

Market

Pop. within 1 hr commuting distance: 1,448,627
Adults who have completed apprenticeship, trades certificate or diploma (%): 4.93
Adults who have completed university degree (%): 41.75
Adults who have completed bachelor''s degree (%): 57.15
Unemployment rate, most recent month (%): 5.21

Costs

Avg. home price ($): 405,325
Avg. retail lease rate ($ psf/yr): 42.61
Avg. industrial lease rate ($psf/yr): 12.07
Avg. general lease rate ($psf/yr): 26.76
Peak electricity cost for businesses ($/kWh) N/A
Peak electricity cost for mid-size commercial business ($/kWh): 0.1970
Peak electricity cost for mid-size industrial business ($/kWh): 0.1740

Taxes & Regulation

Business license cost ($): $50 to $199
Avg. processing time for building permit, most recent calendar year: More than 3 weeks
Non-residential property tax rate (% of assessed value): N/A
Commercial property tax rate (% of assessed value): 2.700000
Industrial property tax rate (% of assessed value): 3.100000
Small business income tax rate, if different (%): 15.0
Sales tax (%): 13
Special regulations or zoning: Waterloo has zoning for makerspaces and co-working spaces

Other

Largest employers: BlackBerry; Manulife; University of Waterloo
Leading industries: Manufacturing; Finance; Technology
Value of capital projects >$5 million planned or under construction ($ million): 589,934,592
Special amenities: Waterloo is home to the Institute for Quantum Computing. Annual festivals include Winterloo, Open Streets and the Waterloo Jazz Festival.
Special economic development initiatives: Waterloo offers special zoning for “Maker spaces” and co-working facilities.