Ottawa, the capital of Canada, sits at the south edge of the Ottawa River in the eastern part of Southern Ontario, northeast of North America. Its proximity to many major cities in Canada and the U.S. makes Ottawa an excellent place to do business or call it home.
Ottawa is only 2 hours away from Montreal by car, a 4-hour-drive away from Toronto and Rochester, NY, a 5-hour-drive away from Hamilton, and it’ll take you a 7-hour-drive to reach New York City. In addition, the Ottawa-Gatineau region has the highest number of official bilingual people after Montréal, and French is the city’s official language.
In 2016 MoneySense Magazine ranked Ottawa as the best place to live in Canada for the second time in five years. The primary factors for taking the top spot were high quality of life, low cost of living, and diverse private sector. The city is also ranked as the best place for newcomers to live in Canada.
Ottawa is also a popular destination for international and Canadian travelers, with nearly 11 million tourists visiting Canada’s capital annually. Tourism generates more than $2.2 billion in the city’s economic activity.
The top local sights that attract visitors to Ottawa include:
- Parliament Hill
- National Gallery of Canada
- Canadian Museum of History
- Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica
- Ottawa Art Gallery
- Major’s Hill Park
- Petrie Island Beach
- Prince of Wales Falls
On top of offering numerous mesmerizing outdoor sites, scenic hiking trails, and various opportunities to enjoy nature, Ottawa is one of the most pedestrian and bike-friendly cities in Ontario. It holds a silver medal for being a walk-friendly city, and it’s the first city in Ontario to receive a gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community Award by Share the Road Cycling Coalition.
Even though French is the city’s official language, English is the primary language of business in Ottawa, and local businesses usually serve residents in either language.
As the capital of Canada, Ottawa is home to more than one million people offering one of the largest consumer markets in Canada. Moreover, Ottawa has the second-highest family income among all major Canadian cities.
Amongst the best reasons to do business in Ottawa are the low cost and business-friendly environment. Canada’s total business tax costs are the lowest in the G7, making it second among the top countries with the lowest business costs. In addition, Ottawa has been rated as the city with the most business-friendly environment. It’s also third-best for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) amongst 77 mid-sized cities in the Western Hemisphere.
The diversity of its industries is partially accountable for Ottawa’s economic strength. For example, Ottawa’s knowledge-based sectors employ more than 75,000 employees within 1,922 businesses. The Knowledge-Based Support Services sector is the largest employer in Ottawa, followed by Software, Aerospace and Defence, eBusiness, Telecommunications, and Cleantech industries.
Talent is at the core of Ottawa’s economic growth, and the city has the highest number of residents with post-secondary education nationwide. More than half of Ottawa’s adult residents, 51%, hold a college degree.
Ottawa attracts local and foreign businesses with a vibrant business environment and opportunities to succeed. The primary reasons to establish your business in Ottawa include:
- Highly educated labor force
- A robust research community with five post-secondary institutions and hundreds of government and academic research centers
- Diversity of Industries
- Low cost of doing business
- Business-friendly environment
- Proximity to major Canadian and American cities
Unsurprisingly the eCommerce market in Ottawa keeps growing, just like in any other Canadian city. Many businesses now offer eCommerce sales while also having a physical store, while others had to shift to eCommerce entirely. From February to May 2020, total retail sales in Canada decreased by 17.9%, while retail e-commerce sales surged and almost doubled (+99.3%), with some retailers relying more on virtual stores than physical stores.
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Even though Ottawa is unquestionably one of the best places to do business, you will have to beat fierce competition to succeed. A well-built marketing plan is the secret sauce of every successful business, and that’s what your company needs.
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Regardless of how far you are into establishing your business, whether starting from scratch or improving your online reputation for an existing brand and boosting revenue, we can help.
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