Information & Communication Technology

Information & Communication Technology

Creating New Connections Through Innovation

Canada’s thriving Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector is home to some of the country’s brightest minds and most innovative enterprises. The support of major research institutions and governmental programs has made Canada an attractive destination for ICT organizations of all sizes.


The Brains

The ICT sector in Canada consists of approximately 33,000 firms and employs over 600,000 people. Research is a key driver in ICT, and Canada is increasingly recognized for its world-class R&D, much of which is dedicated to the ICT sector. ICT sector R&D expenditures totalled $4.8 billion in 2011.


The Bottom Line

The ICT sector contributed $67 billion to Canadian GDP in 2011 and outgrew the overall economy, growing 3.2 percent from 2010 compared to 2.6 percent growth for the economy. The Canadian ICT industry benefits from various government initiatives and funding programs, including Going Global Innovation and the International Science & Technology Partnerships Program.



Companies in this subsector manufacture computer and peripheral equipment, telephone apparatus, radio and television broadcasting and wireless communication equipment, audio and video equipment, semiconductor and other electronic components, and magnetic and optical media.


The ICT wholesaling subsector is comprised of companies involved in wholesaling and distributing new and computer hardware, software and computer-related electronics, as well as computer and communications equipment and supplies.


ICT services comprise the largest part of the ICT industry in terms of revenue, GDP and number of people employed.

Companies in this subsector provide software-publishing, communications services, data processing, hosting, computer systems design and related services.

ICT services revenues increased annually over five year period from 2007 to 2011, reaching $101.8 billion in 2011.

Success Stories

Tim Bray, a Canadian software developer and entrepreneur, is one of the co-authors of the original XML specification. 
Research in Motion (RIM) created the Blackberry and other wireless handheld devices starting with the Inter@ctive Pager 900 in 1996. In 2013, there were approximately 85 million BlackBerry subscribers worldwide.
The Canadian Network for the Advancement of Research, Industry and Education (CANARIE) deployed the world’s first national optical internet research and education network. The network is used primarily for education and research. 
Ryan Holmes founded Hootsuite, the social media management system, in 2008. Today, Hootsuite has over 10 million users worldwide. 
Dr. Norman Salansky, PhD, and Dr. Natasha Salansky, PhD, DAc, are the developers of LEP2000™ Photonic and Laser Therapy System technology that provides temporary pain relief and healing of chronic painful diseases. 
Side Effects Software created the Houdini, a 3D animation and visual effects software that has been used in over 250 feature films. The Houdini technology has been used in several Academy Award-winning films.

Host Your Next Meeting in Canada

Montréal, Québec

With 12.9 percent lower costs and better R&D tax incentive packages than the US (by approximately 20 percent) Canada’s ICT industry welcomes new international businesses. The majority of major ICT companies are located in Ontario, followed by Quebec and British Columbia. Each region offers excellent facilities, and the opportunity to interact with world-class members of the ICT community.


Robin Thompson
Director, Corporate & Incentive Sales, US Western Region
Phone: +1 415-388-3022


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