Canada’s Best Places for Business 2016

Windsor-Essex, Ont.

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Population: 334,137
Annualized population growth (%) 0.36
Avg. household income ($): 75,245
Total value of building permits issued, most recent year ($): 714,000,000
Avg. office lease rate ($ psf/yr): 13.94
Corporate income tax rate (%): 26.5
City website:


Pop. within 1 hr commuting distance: 483,123
Adults who have completed apprenticeship, trades certificate or diploma (%): 7.61
Adults who have completed university degree (%): 21.37
Adults who have completed bachelor''s degree (%): 59.23
Unemployment rate, most recent month (%): 8.34


Avg. home price ($): 226,914
Avg. retail lease rate ($ psf/yr): 21.49
Avg. industrial lease rate ($psf/yr): 4.14
Avg. general lease rate ($psf/yr): 15.57
Peak electricity cost for businesses ($/kWh) N/A
Peak electricity cost for mid-size commercial business ($/kWh): 0.1113
Peak electricity cost for mid-size industrial business ($/kWh): 0.1113

Taxes & Regulation

Business license cost ($): $200 to $499
Avg. processing time for building permit, most recent calendar year: Less than 2 weeks
Non-residential property tax rate (% of assessed value): N/A
Commercial property tax rate (% of assessed value): 4.703867
Industrial property tax rate (% of assessed value): 5.352713
Small business income tax rate, if different (%): 15.0
Sales tax (%): 13
Special regulations or zoning: Several municipalities in Windsor-Essex Region have Community Improvement Plans to offset increases in property taxes associated with building expansion. Windsor’s CIP program is unusual in that it's not limited to certain areas within the city—it applies to any property if the company operates in one of target sectors. Some municipalities have no development charges for industrial construction, while Leamington has no development charges at all


Largest employers: University of Windsor; Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Canada; Greater Essex County District School Board
Leading industries: Manufacturing; Service; Agriculture; Transport/Logistics
Value of capital projects >$5 million planned or under construction ($ million): 592,842,240
Special amenities: Windsor has 30 marinas along 100 miles of shoreline, and is home to the Windsor International Aquatic and Training Centre. It hosts Caesars Windsor Hotel and Casino, and a wine route of 19 wineries.
Special economic development initiatives: Windsor is connected directly to the U.S. border and already handles one-third of all Canada-U.S. trade. The Gordie Howe International Bridge, when it opens in 2020, will increase that capacity further. Fiat Chrysler has invested $2 billion in retooling its Windsor auto assembly plant.