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So what do you know about Ottawa, a sleepy logging town? far from it..

March 25, 2010

When international cleantech companies consider expansion to North America, the typical choices are New York, Boston, Washington and San Jose. The City of Ottawa, Canada’s Creative Economy Capital, is working to change that perception in 2010 with an endorsement from Richard Florida, Martin Prosperity Institute Director and author of the international best seller Who’s Your City? Florida rates Ottawa as the “Best Overall” city in Canada on a “Creative Class Index” based on the 3Ts of economic development – Technology, Talent and Tolerance – and 22 places higher than New York, 2 places higher than Boston, 4 places higher than Washington and 1 place higher than San Jose.

Further, a Knowledge-based Industry Survey released last week by the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI) shows Ottawa’s fledgling cleantech sector is the strongest of any of the city’s 13 unique technology clusters. The number of cleantech companies is up from 103 companies to 114 as of December 31, 2009, an increase of 10.7 per cent over the previous year, and the number of Ottawa’s cleantech employees is up from 2,050 to 2,567, an increase of 25.2 per cent.

With 78,000 employees in its 1,850-company technology sector, Ottawa is Canada’s national capital city and is also home to a recession-buffering public sector. As the country’s fourth-largest city with a population of 900,000, Ottawa’s predominant languages are English and French, but many others are spoken on the streets. About 25 per cent of the city’s residents are born in other countries, and more than 20 per cent of residents are visible minorities. Ottawa’s natural environment is another important part of its identity. The city has 850 parks that contribute to Ottawa’s green character, and many are home to some 45 major arts and cultural festivals that take place throughout the year.


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