Reflecting Calgary’s potential is the success the city had in attracting inward investment last year. In 2004, key investors were: Imperial Oil with 500 employees; Centre Partners, an international call centre, with 200 employees; Crown Packaging with 50 employees; Marcus Evans, an international business events firm, with 10 employees; British Gas with 80 employees; and, Total, a French firm, with 15 employees.

Voted second in the category was Toronto, followed by Edmonton in third place.


Province: Ontario

Ontario is Canada’s most populous and dynamic province. In 2003, nominal GDP reached its highest value at C$494.5bn. Real GDP growth averaged 3.1% from 1982 to 2003, according to Statistics Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Finance.

The province has achieved substantial inward investment, amounting to around C$71bn between 2001 and 2003. The three most significant deals signed involving foreign investment were with Ford, Imperial Oil and General Motors. Ontario has a diverse and well-balanced economy with high concentrations of manufacturing and financial and business services. There has been a marked shift towards export-oriented, higher value-added industries.

Overall, Ontarians can expect the province to be one of the fastest-growing regions in the advanced industrial world. The province benefits from a growing labour force, which is attracted and sustained by a high quality of life and equipped with the education, skills and initiative needed to compete in the knowledge-based market place. The central North American location and hospitable business climate make Ontario a prime location for investment.

Alberta came second; Prince Edward Island third.




City: Waterloo

The judges found Waterloo, in Ontario, to be the most cost-effective city in which to do business in Canada. The reasons are many. Centrally-located office space rent averages C$1.30 per square metre, according to the Canadian Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo. Out-of-town office space rent is on average C$0.75 per square metre, according to the MLS for Townships of Waterloo Region; and industrial premises average C$0.40 per square metre, according to the MLS for the Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo, and Townships of Waterloo Region.

Wages are reasonable for employers, according to data reported by the 2002 Wage Report for Kitchener, Cambridge, Guelph, Listowel, Stratford. Secretaries earn an average annual salary of C$28,849.60 (with the exception of those in the legal and medical field). Middle managers earn about C$32,968 per annum. Manual workers earn an average hourly rate of C$12.56.

Strathmore, in Alberta, came second in this category; Calgary and Edmonton tied for third place.


Province: Alberta

Alberta is the most cost effective of all Canadian contest entries when it comes to cost of doing business, the judges decided. Its two major cities, Edmonton and Calgary, offer low real estate costs. Warehouse/distribution space in Edmonton costs about C$4.40 per square foot; C$5.80 in Calgary. For bulk space the cost is C$4 in Edmonton; C$5 in Calgary. Flex/service space costs C$5.80 in Edmonton; C$7 in Calgary. Tech/R&D space costs C$7 in Edmonton; C$8 in Calgary. Class A space averages C$18.20 per square foot in Edmonton; C$33.50 in Calgary.

Calgary has the second highest number of head offices among Canadian cities. Edmonton is the location of most of Alberta’s provincial and federal government offices. Office occupancy costs for both cities have consistently been among the lowest, compared with other major metropolitan areas in Canada.

Alberta labour costs weigh in at a decent level. A secretary is generally paid C$17.93 per hour; a middle manager, C$29 per hour; and construction trade helpers and labourers start at C$12.62 per hour, rising to a top wage of C$17.39.

Ontario came second in this category; Nova Scotia third.




City: Calgary

Calgary offers the best environment in Canada for human resources. More than 61% of its population holds a university or college credential and 73% have attended post-secondary education. According to Statistics Canada, in 2001, 16% of the population held a university bachelor’s degree or higher.

Citizens have access to good higher education opportunities, with five university level institutions.

The runner-up in the category was Toronto followed by Edmonton.

Province: Ontario

Ontario offers a wealth of educated workers. About 56% of 25-62 year-olds have completed post-secondary education, according to the Ministry of Finance, and 24% hold university degrees.

Ontario is home to 20 university-level educational institutions and 24 colleges of arts and applied technology. The universities and colleges employ some of the best faculties in the world, and are largely publicly-funded. University tuition fees are low by any international standard.

The province has a number of research institutions. Centres of excellence include the Centre for Energy, Communications and Information Technology Ontario, CRESTech, Materials and Manufacturing Ontario and Photonics Research Ontario.

Alberta came second in this category. Nova Scotia came third.