Burlington is known for its entrepreneurial spirit and an atmosphere that supports innovation and global engagement.
For people, and for generating new ideas, there is no better place than Burlington, Canada. For a number of years, we’ve been voted the best mid-sized city in Canada in which to live. It’s why so many innovative companies are here, working in the best place to live.
Living puts you in the heart of North America’s biggest market, with easy access to highways, shipping and major airports.
Burlington’s employment districts are one of the Greater Toronto Areas’ best development opportunities. Centrally located, these districts will add over 10 million square feet of prime space, creating a signature business environment for major employers across the province.
Read more about business in Burlington in our Why Burlington section.
The diversity of Burlington’s business base is the key to its economic success. Sector concentrations in advanced manufacturing, financial services, information technology, and earth and medical services, are creating real and sustained growth within the community. Burlington’s dynamic economy creates overlapping opportunities for companies to provide goods and services to multiple sectors, and to find the suppliers needed to optimize their operations.
Burlington’s annual GDP of $8.57 billion dollars is driven by the Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, and Retail/Wholesale trade sectors, representing 36% of $3 billion dollars. These sectors contain over 1,900 businesses, employing 29% of the workforce. This is followed by Advanced Manufacturing with $1.5 billion in GDP, reflecting 15% of the employment base through 355 companies.
For a more detailed analysis of the economy, view the Burlington Key Sector Analysis.
Burlington has a number of competitive advantages including a well-educated population, low unemployment rates, a high quality of life, low municipal tax rates and development charges. View the detailed Competitive Analysis of Burlington.
Burlington is strategically located in the most prosperous area in Canada (known as the Golden Horseshoe), making it a prime location for many innovative businesses. The City is home to a growing number of high profile companies with global mandates. This creates a rich, dynamic environment, which has given the municipality its reputation as a high performance economy. For more information, visit BEDC’s Major Employers page.
Quality of life is an important consideration when locating. Attracting quality employees and customers is easier when the area you are doing business in has a high quality of life. Burlington has been consistently ranked as one of Canada’s Best Places to Live. This year, MoneySense magazine has named Burlington the best medium-sized city in which to live in Canada, the best place for new immigrants, and the fourth best place to retire in Canada. The MoneySense ranking gave Burlington top marks for “mild weather, low unemployment, high incomes, low crime, and a thriving arts community.” To see the full rankings, please visit MoneySense’ rankings of Canada’s Best Places to Live 2015.
Burlington is at the centre of major transportation routes. Highway linkages, an extensive passenger and cargo rail network, access to three international airports, and waterway connections through the St. Lawrence Seaway, allow your business to access major markets in Canada, the United States and beyond. For more information, please visit BEDC’s Transportation page.
For more detailed information on transportation networks, view the Transportation section of the Infrastructure Employment Lands Analysis.
Burlington’s dynamic economy creates overlapping opportunities for companies to provide goods and services to multiple sectors, and to find the suppliers needed to optimize their operations. For information on leading employers, Burlington’s Employment Base as well as post-secondary institutions, visit our Investment Profile.
Burlington is located in Halton Region. Halton Region nurtures a strong and growing economy. It is located 30 minutes west of downtown Toronto and has access to the U.S border and a market of nearly 6 million people within a 45-minute drive. Visit Halton Region’s website to learn more about Halton Region.
Building and Development
Burlington has been actively involved in shaping robust and vibrant communities where citizens can both live and work. Burlington’s five key strategic employment districts are: the 403 West Corridor, 407 Corridor, Downtown, QEW Prosperity Corridor and Bronte Meadows. To learn more about them, please contact us.
Burlington’s Prosperity Corridor:
BEDC works closely with the real estate and development community as they satisfy the needs of prospective companies and organizations looking to locate in Burlington. A list of options are available to help you locate available real estate within our community on the Site Selection page of the BEDC website. Additionally, you may want to visit our Featured Sites page.
For information on zoning, including definitions, conditions and provisions, please visit the City of Burlington’s Zoning By-law 2020.
Growing Your Business
BEDC has a number of events throughout the year. Please visit our Events page to learn more.
The Burlington Chamber of Commerce also has a number of upcoming galas, tradeshows, networking events and more.
The Angel One Investor Network is a member-based, not-for-profit organization for accredited investors. Angel One provides members with opportunities to increase their exposure to quality pre-screened companies seeking capital and gives the Angels the opportunity to expand their network of like-minded investors.
BEDC can provide you with a list of potential partners, suppliers, and competitors. Please contact us for more information.
In addition, the Enterprise Canada Network (ECN) connects Canadians to global business, technology and research opportunities, facilitates international partnerships and creates trade.
With a talent pool of approximately 2 million people to draw from within a 45-minute commute, employers have the added advantage of attracting their workers from a large commuter shed that includes Halton Region, Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Guelph, Brantford, and the Niagara Region. Burlington has approximately 90,000 employees and over 67% of these employees have post-secondary education.
With the McMaster University Research Centres and Institutes, Mohawk College, Sheridan College and the National Water Research Institute just minutes away, Burlington is home to a strong community of research and development.
Some useful resources include:
The Canada Business Network provides financial performance data, benchmarking tools and ratio calculators, as well as industry sector data.
- The Halton Region Small Business Centre is a comprehensive resource centre that includes the tools, training and expertise to help guide your business in the right direction at any stage
- HalTech is Halton’s Regional Innovation Centre. The help technology entrepreneurs move their good ideas and product innovations into well-positioned, growth ready businesses.
- Halton Hive is an innovative co-working space in Burlington reengineered for tech professionals, startups, freelancers and entrepreneurs.
- FreshInsights is a local community initiative dedicated to empowering businesses. It specializes in helping forward-thinking companies achieve focus through targeted market research, guided business planning and effective communications.
The Canada Business Network provides information on planning for business growth, R&D and innovation, exporting and importing and other ways to expand your business.
- For a step-by-step guide to exporting commercial goods from Canada, please visit CBSA’s Step-by-Step Guide to Exporting Commercial Goods from Canada.
- For national policies, processes and procedures, visit the CBSA’s Export Requirements
- Visit Export Development Canada for information on financing solutions. There are a wide range of government programs designed to help Canadian companies export and grow.
- Foreign Buyer Financing provides eligible businesses that export with financing solutions for the foreign buyer for terms ranging from 2 to 5 years.
- Supplier Financing allows eligible businesses to consider selling a promissory note from a foreign buyer to free up cash flow.
The Canadian Intellectual Property Office provides a variety of services such as applying and searching for a patents, trademarks, copyrights, and industrial designs.
The Canada Business Network website provides information on financing such as grants, contributions, subsidies and loan guarantees.
- The Ontario government and the Federal government offer a variety of incentives and funding programs for a range of industries and operations including hiring incentives, R&D, commercialization and export trade opportunities. For more information, please visit the Canada Business Network and Halton Region’s Incentives
- Mentor Works is a business that helps will help your business discover and apply for government funding.
- Visit Export Development Canada for information on financing solutions- there are a wide range of government programs designed to help Canadian companies export and grow.
A few other incentives to note are listed below:
- BDC Venture Capital offers an alternative source of funding for technology-based business.
- Industrial Research Assistance Programs provides eligible small or medium-sized businesses with financial assistance to develop, adopt, adapt, and/or commercialize new or improved technologies.
- Southwestern Ontario Development Fund provides eligible businesses with funding to support business expansion and innovation.
- Technology Demonstration Program allows eligible businesses to receive up to 50% of the costs of creating a next-generation manufacturing service for the aerospace, defence, space and security industries.
- R&D tax credits allows qualifying corporations to claim a 4.5 per cent non-refundable tax credit on eligible scientific research and experimental development expenditures performed in Ontario to reduce their Ontario corporate income tax payable.
- Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit was created specifically for game developers and producers. This program refunds 40% of the costs of labour, marketing and distribution for games created in-house in Ontario. For companies that develop games under a fee-for-service arrangement the tax credit is 35%. There is no per project or annual corporate limit on the amount that can be claimed.
- Co-operative Education Tax Credit allows eligible ICT providers who hire students from Ontario colleges or universities to receive a refundable tax credit of 25 per cent of their salaries, up to a maximum of $3,000 per student.
For information on wages by career for the Hamilton-Niagara Peninsula Region, which includes Burlington, please visit the Government of Canada’s Job Bank website.
For Information on permits, licenses, development charges, and design guidelines, please visit the City of Burlington’s Planning and Development website.
The City of Burlington’s Rates and Fees website lists 2015 Final Tax Rates and also provides a Halton Region Property Tax Estimator to assist in estimating your property taxes.
The Region of Halton provides a breakdown of residential and commercial water rates.
The WSIB Ontario website has information for employers as well as required documents and forms.