Waterloo Region, also commonly referred to as Kitchener-Waterloo, is comprised of three cities – Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge – as well as four townships – Wellesley, Woolwich, Wilmot and North Dumfries.
Located about 110km west of Toronto with a population of over 500,000 residents, Kitchener-Waterloo is home to the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Conestoga College, contributing to a highly skilled workforce and a large student population. Due to the well educated population and developed infrastructure, many diverse technology companies are located in the area. The prominence of this industry has led to the region be known as Canada’s Technology Triangle.
Among the region's major employers are the Waterloo Region District School Board, University of Waterloo, Grand River Hospital, Sun Life Financial, Manulife Financial, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Automation Tooling Systems, Babcock & Wilcox and Research in Motion (RIM).
More than 400 high-tech firms operate in Kitchener-Waterloo, which, in addition to RIM, include 3M, Adobe Systems, IBM, Google, Descartes Systems, Open Text, Maplesoft, Dalsa and MKS.
Kitchener-Waterloo’s top industries, according to the 2006 census, are:
- Manufacturing (22.4%)
- Business services (16.5%)
- Retail trade (10.9%)
- Health care and social services (8.1%)
- Educational services (7.6%)
- Finance and real estate (7.1%)
- Construction (6.1%)