Kitchener’s Downtown Tech Industry
For quite a few years now, the Waterloo Region has had a reputation for tech innovation. Its name always pops up on lists of entrepreneurial havens and startup hubs. The Waterloo Region has a population of just under 550 000, but it is ranked on the same level as Canada’s largest cities: Toronto, Montréal, Ottawa, and Vancouver, despite substantially larger populations than the Waterloo Region, are on the same playing field in terms of success, investment, and the formation of new tech startups.
The Canadian Technology Triangle (CTT) was a group and an idea that brought the Waterloo Region to the world stage; it suggested that Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, and the surrounding townships of Wellesley, Wilmot, Woolwich, and North Dumfries had something special going on.
This was not just a regional phenomenon, but a movement worthy of international attention (and investment). The CTT attracted investors, and it helped innovators, entrepreneurs, and small businesses prosper and grow throughout the Region. The CTT passed the baton to the Waterloo EDC (Waterloo Economic Development Corporation) in 2015, and this organization continues the CTT’s noble purpose.
But the Canadian Technology Triangle, in its name, suggested that this Region was interconnected, with no single centre of activity; the name Waterloo EDC has come under some scrutiny for the implication that Waterloo itself (the city) was of greater importance than the other parts of the triangle.
In truth, the TriCities and the surrounding Townships all contribute to the Region’s sterling reputation. So for today, we’re going to put Waterloo (the city) aside for a moment (mostly), and focus our attention on Kitchener – particularly, Downtown Kitchener’s tech sector.