Highly skilled people

Better educated than any OECD country. 71% of Ontario adults possess a post-secondary education – a rate higher than any OECD country.

A chart detailing Ontario’s educational obtainment compared to other regions
71% higher education attainment
  • Ontario: 71%
  • Japan: 52%
  • United States: 50%
  • United Kingdom: 50%
  • Germany: 45%

Our universities and colleges provide a stream of high-quality talent. The University of Toronto ranks among the top 20 global universities and University of Waterloo graduates are the second most frequently hired by Silicon Valley companies.

An infographic detailing Ontario university rankings in various categories
An infographic detailing Ontario university rankings in various categories

Universities in the global ranking

3 top 100 QS World University Rankings

University of Toronto among top 20 global universities

University of Waterloo graduates are 2nd most frequently hired by Silicon Valley companies

A top producer of STEM graduates

graduation cap icon
63,500
Stem grads per year top 5 in North America

Access to talent through immigration

Our welcoming approach to immigration expands our talent pool further while producing different perspectives that enrich the culture of innovation.

Here, the federal and provincial governments work together to make it easier for businesses to attract the talent needed to succeed in the global marketplace.

calendar icon
10
Business Days

The Global Skills Strategy offers quick work permit processing for highly skilled talent.

I think that the Canadian government made a smart move to offer the new fast track visa program (Global Skills Strategy) Tech companies’ hiring timelines work in six-week—not six-month intervals—because things move fast. We need to hire quickly in order to help meet our ambitious goals for growth, so speed is of the essence.

Kathryn Hume
VP of Product and Strategy
integrate.ai

Competitive business costs

In Ontario, you’ll save on some of your biggest business costs, money you can use for further investments, innovation and growth.

The convergence of IT with traditional sectors, has drawn attention to Ontario’s talent advantage. Comparable high-quality talent found in top U.S. IT hubs is available here at a fraction of the cost.

Competitive corporate tax rates (%) on manufacturing
Combined national/sub-national rates
State/Province Percentage
Ohio 21.0
Ontario 25.0
Indiana 25.3
Michigan 25.7
New York 26.7
Wisconsin 27.2
Illinois 28.3
Minnesota 28.7
Pennsylvania 28.9
Globally competitive corporate taxes
(Non-manufacturing and non-CCPC)
Regions Percent
U.S. Average 25.8
Combined Federal-Ontario 26.5
G7 Average 26.7
Combined Federal-Provincial Average* 27.5
*All provinces excluding Ontario

Clean and Affordable Electricity

Ontario addresses the costs of electricity through the Comprehensive Electricity Plan, saving medium-size and larger industrial and commercial employers 15-17% on average on their electricity bills. Rates are lower because Ontario pays for a portion of non-hydro renewable energy contract costs, providing lower and more stable prices for Ontario’s electricity supply.

Electricity rates in Ontario for larger industrial consumers are priced competitively—at or below the equivalent rates in neighbouring Great Lakes states.

15-17%
Electricity bill savings
for medium and large consumers
Competitive electricity rates
State/Province Average retail price, Canadian ¢/kWh
Ontario – North* 5.9
Ontario – South 7.9
New York State 7.93
Ohio 8.2
Pennsylvania 8.25
Illinois 9.23
Indiana 9.25
Wisconsin 9.6
Michigan 9.74
*Includes Northern Industrial Electricity Rate Program rebate

Clean energy makes up most of Ontario’s electricity sources—94% of Ontario’s electricity generation came from clean sources in 2020. Compared to neighbouring Great Lakes states, Ontario’s system emits far less CO2 per kilowatt-hour generated.

94%
Clean energy sources
for electricity in 2020
Less CO2 emitted than neighbouring Great Lakes states
State/Province Carbon Intensity (2018)
Carbon dioxide equivalent g/kWh
Ontario 21
New York State 247
Pennsylvania 358
Illinois 374
Michigan 537
Ohio 607
Wisconsin 657
Indiana 828
Source: U.S. EIA, Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Note: figures shown reflect greenhouse gas emissions in CO2 equivalents from combustion and process emissions from utility electricity generation, steam production (for sale) and transmission. Measures exclude emissions from utility-owned cogeneration at industrial sites.

Business landscape

A stable and competitive business environment

A well-functioning society engenders trust and participation, demonstrates political stability, upholds the rule of law and enjoys positive relations with other regions. Companies that choose Ontario can have confidence in the province’s long term political and economic stability. Ontario is at the centre of one of the most stable and competitive business environments in the world. Strategically located in the heart of North America, Ontario offers companies access to more than 194-million consumers within a day’s drive of the Greater Toronto Area.

How we live

Tolerant. Inclusive. Connected.

Ontario is what the future should look like. A livable space with the comforts and quality of life to attract talented people, especially the next generation of digital natives, looking for a home. We’re aware that digital technologies and machine learning are changing the way we live. We know they raise hard questions about the future of work, privacy and income equality.

Quality of life

To get great people, you need to offer them a great place to live. Successful companies want to operate in areas attractive to employees and their families.

#7

Toronto made the Economist Intelligence Unit’s top-ten list in the world’s most livable cities

Ontario cities consistently rank among the best places to live and work in the world*

  • #3 Vancouver
  • #16 Toronto
  • #19 Ottawa
  • #21 Montreal
  • #32 Calgary
  • #34 San Francisco
  • #36 Boston
  • #37 Honolulu
  • #44 New York
  • #46 Seattle
A well-dressed man standing in a vineyard holding a tray with a bottle or red wine and two glasses

But we’re not afraid to try new approaches. We know that governments and firms must invest in training programs that help employees get the skills they need for an information economy. And our publicly funded higher education system gives us the latitude for collaboration between government, business and academia to re-tailor curriculums and priorities to meet changing economic needs.

Above all, people want places that work. Where we can get around on public transportation. Raise a family. Where no one is denied quality healthcare when they’re sick and a hospital visit isn’t accompanied by the threat of bankruptcy. A festival of entertainment and inspiration.

A place we can breathe.

Where we are

In the heart of North America

Ontario’s mass of land and lakes extends from a mineral-rich north to the farms and vineyards of the south, pierced by a dense urban corridor that runs east-west along the United States border.

Like the freshwater Great Lakes that shape our borders, we’re big. Bigger than Texas. More than double the size of California. And we’re connected: an easy drive across any of 14 border crossings to the United States, just a hop by air to New York City, Washington or Chicago, a straight shot to Tokyo, London or any major destination.

Skip This Map - Transportation

Who we are

Vast, Young & Diverse

A diverse population of more than 14 million, (and growing every year) Ontario is home to 40% of Canada’s population and one of North America’s largest jurisdictions. In fact, if we were a U.S. state, we would rank fifth by population. We are also younger than the rest of the G7. Millennials, those aged 26 to 41, are the largest generation in many of our largest cities, including Toronto, Ottawa and Kitchener-Waterloo. Indeed, we’ve welcomed people from more than 150 countries, a diversity expressed in the symphony of languages spoken on our streets.

Ontario's immigrant population

By place of birth

Ontario's immigrant population, by place of birth
29% Of Ontarians are foreign-born
Location Percentage
Americas 12.7
Africa 5.9
Asia 48.5
Europe 29.7
United States 2.8
14
Million
People
That would
rank Ontario
#5
By
population
if it were a
U.S. state

What we do

We're the economic engine of Canada

In the 20th century, Ontario’s economy was built on the strength of traditional industries: natural resources, manufacturing, farming and food production. Those mainstay sectors remain vibrant, even as they retool to apply new technologies and innovations to compete in the digital age.

But Ontario is also where the new economy has emerged in force. It’s where financial services are broadening into fintech and revolutionizing the way we invest. Where artificial intelligence is ushering in the era of safer, cleaner connected transportation. And where stem cell research is leading to a world where we cure and even prevent deadly diseases.

That’s what’s special about Ontario: it’s where new innovations, platforms and technologies meet the muscle of the industrial economy. It’s a place to test new ideas. A place that can drive real economic growth for the next generation.