Growing Canadian communities

A nation of prime investment destinations

Invest in Canada showcases the strengths and opportunities available in towns, cities and communities everywhere. We work with partners Canada-wide to give investors the support and insights they need to establish or expand their operations.

Strengths from coast to coast to coast

Although we talk about foreign investment in Canada, the reality is that investors settle and thrive in our cities, towns and communities. Canadian communities have strong selling points when it comes to attracting foreign investors.

Access to highly skilled labour and expertise

Canada’s highly skilled workforce is recognized around the globe. With world-class Canadian universities, colleges and educational institutions located across the country, it’s no wonder more than half of Canadians have completed post-secondary education. And our workforce is only getting better with training, new technologies and access to top global talent through our excellent immigration system.

Affordable cost of living and doing business

The relative value of the Canadian dollar means that global companies benefit from lower operating costs. Lower real estate costs and the G7’s lowest marginal effective tax rate make Canada an economical option for companies looking to expand globally.

Cargo ship entering the Welland Canal.
Welland Canal, Ontario

Established infrastructure

Canada is ideally located for international trade. The country features a vast network of roads, national highways, ports and waterways, and rail connecting to major centres and communities of all sizes. Canada offers direct maritime access to Asia, Europe, the U.S. and South America. In 2019, the World Economic Forum ranked Canada in the top 30 countries worldwide with the best infrastructure.

Open and progressive business environment

Canada is an open, progressive economy that welcomes investment from around the globe. We have established 14 trade agreements, giving us preferential access to more than 50 markets and 1.5 billion consumers. Investing in Canada has become a common strategic move for companies looking to expand into global markets.

Welcoming and diverse communities

Canada is widely recognized as a welcoming, multicultural country. The United Nations Human Development Index consistently ranks Canada as one of the top 15 most livable countries in the world. The index rates countries according to health, education and standard of living. Canada is also home to three of the world’s 10 most livable cities – Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto.

Where global companies are investing

Many provinces and cities throughout Canada are rated highly for foreign direct investment. A 2019 report from IBM rated the province of Ontario as the top region in North America for jobs created based on foreign investment, outperforming all American counterparts. Three Canadian cities ranked in the top 10 destinations for foreign investment, including Toronto at #1, Montreal at #6 and Ottawa at #9.

In 2019, global companies announced 629 investment projects and deals across Canada – from large urban centres to small rural communities. These include reinvestments by companies already operating in Canada, mergers and acquisitions that help Canadian companies survive and grow, and new investments by new companies.

Canadian rural communities
announced as investment
locations in 2019

Source: fDiMarkets (retrieved September 9, 2020)
Graphic that depicts rural investments across Canada in 2019, broken down by region. Source: fDiMarkets

British Columbia

  • Terrace
  • Pitt Meadows
  • Sparwood
  • Squamish
  • Dawson Creek


  • Stettler
  • Irricana
  • Blairmore


  • Maidstone


  • Tillsonburg
  • Port Elgin
  • Cochrane
  • Dunnville
  • Kincardine
  • Brockton


  • Beauharnois
  • Bécancour
  • Rigaud
  • Deschambault-Grondines
  • Vaudreuil-Dorion

Nova Scotia

  • Elmsdale
  • Text version

    Graphic that depicts rural investments across Canada in 2019, broken down by region. Source: fDiMarkets

    Stettler, Irricana, Blairmore
    British Columbia
    Terrace, Pitt Meadows, Sparwood, Squamish, Dawson Creek
    Nova Scotia
    Tillsonburg, Port Elgin, Cochrane, Dunnville, Kincardine, Brockton
    Beauharnois, Becancour, Rigaud, Deschambault-Grondines, Vaudreuil-Dorion

    Alberta Stettler
    British Columbia Terrace
    Pitt Meadows
    Dawson Creek
    Nova Scotia Elmsdale
    Ontario Tillsonburg
    Port Elgin
    Québec Beauharnois
    Saskatchewan Maidstone

How foreign investment benefits Canadian communities

The most visible benefits of foreign direct investment are new jobs and tax revenues for communities. These are especially important in smaller, rural communities. Many companies, like Nova Bus and Toyota, settle in Canadian communities and keep investing over the long term. These reinvestments create sustainable jobs and economic growth. Other investments come in the form of mergers and acquisitions, which allow global companies to partner with or purchase a Canadian company to ensure their survival and long-term growth.

As global companies settle in and become part of the communities that surround them, they bring a wealth of other benefits:

Efficiencies and innovation

With foreign investment comes new knowledge, innovative technologies and good practices that improve how businesses operate in our communities.

Training and education

Companies investing in Canada also invest in their people through employee training. Many establish agreements and collaborate with local educational institutions. This makes our skilled labour force more competitive on a global scale.

Export capability

By forging new partnerships and trading relationships, foreign investment can help local companies grow and expand into new markets.


Foreign direct investment in Canada’s urban centres increases demand for facilities and buildings, including industrial properties, hotels, apartment buildings, offices and more.

Sustainable technologies

With foreign investment come new ideas, resources and technologies to improve our industrial processes and make our communities greener. It also means leveraging Canada’s highly skilled workforce and knowledge to support a more sustainable future for all Canadians.

Indirect employment

Foreign direct investment in Canada creates jobs – both direct and indirect. Indirect jobs include construction jobs to build a project and ongoing employment to help companies carry out their daily operations, such as shipping, maintenance and professional services.

Corporate citizenship

Companies established in Canadian communities are also active corporate citizens. Many give back to their communities by sponsoring or supporting charities, events, recreation and leisure facilities, community groups and greenspaces.