The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses published a 2010 profile in October of Canada's top entrepreneurial cities. (For non-Canadian readers, the title of the report appears to be a play on Communities in Bloom, a well-established civic growth non-profit that focuses on environmental and beautification growth for Canadian municipalities). The cities are ranked according to factors such as high concentration of start-ups, high concentration of entrpreneurs, high levels of optimism, success in operations, and policy considerations such as the presence of supportive local government tax and regulatory policies.
Here are some notable highlights:
Grande Prairie, AB gets the top spot
Alberta dominates the Top Ten
Ontario communities first show up at number 20 (GTA excluding downtown)
Hamilton, ON comes in at number 58
Cornwall, ON is at the end of the measurement list at number 100
Ottawa comes in at number 73
Rankings and lists are always controversial to some people, particularly those who are low in the rankings. Often, despite low overall marks, there are very encouraging things happening within communities that don't show up on a large-scale analysis like this.
However, it is important to get good information on broad patterns within and among Canadian cities along many fronts—economic, social, political, educational, and so on. For entrepreneurs looking to expand operations, franchises seeking promising markets, and companies who are examining the competitive benefits of relocation, these indicators can be useful for broad context.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses notes that 53% of working Canadians are employed by SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and their collective health and ongoing growth are of great importance within the Canadian business landscape.