Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector in Canada

Female working on her laptop

Canada maintains strengths across ICT: software development, wireless communications, and digital media/games. In addition to opportunities to serve the Canadian market, Canada maintains relationships with third markets including NAFTA.

Market overview

The Canadian ICT industry maintains strengths across the sector. In 2011, it is estimated the ICT sector in Canada contributed CAD$62.7B to the economy accounting for about 4.9% of GDP.

Canada maintains many competitive advantages including an educated workforce, a sound and stable economy, and a commitment to R&D investment. ICT industry activity is found across Canada led by domestic and foreign companies operating and doing business in the market. The ICT sector in Toronto is the third largest in North America after San Francisco and New York. The Southern Ontario corridor, which includes the Toronto area, and spans from Ottawa to the Kitchener-Waterloo region, is considered the main hub of the sector in Canada with public and private sector organisations involved in operations across the ICT spectrum. Other significant clusters of industry activity include in the Vancouver, British Columbia area, and the Montreal, Quebec area.

Key opportunities

Examples of key segments of opportunity:

  • Wireless Communications: As of 2011, mobile phone penetration in Canada is around 85% and growing, along with demand for related products and services.

  • Software and Computer Services: Opportunities to supply solutions in specific application areas including financial services technologies and IT security.

  • E-Health/Healthcare IT: The level of adoption in Canada is varies across the country, but continues to grow. Opportunities to supply products and services exist for companies who are able to navigate the fragmented market.

  • Digital Media and Games: Canada is a leader in the digital media field and considered the third largest game development market in the world after the US and Japan.

Latest export opportunities in the ICT sector

Latest export opportunities in the Creative & Media sector

Latest export opportunities in Canada

Getting into the market

Routes into the Canadian market for ICT products and services vary. Potential routes to market include:

  • Establishing a local presence

  • In-market representation such as through a value added reseller (VAR) or systems integrator

  • Public sector opportunities

  • Partnerships/strategic alliances

  • Direct to end-user

  • Leveraging existing UK relationships with links into the Canadian market

In preparation for market entry, UK companies should consider:

  • Highlighting an established track record

  • Identifying and understanding existing competition in the market

  • Identifying Unique Selling Points (USPs)

  • Investigate and address any regulatory requirements

  • Evaluating route to market options

  • Able to provide a commitment and have capacity to serve the market

More about doing business in Canada


Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).

To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country – or contact your local international trade team.

  • Gilda Carbone, Trade Officer ( Financial & Professional Services), British Consulate-General Toronto; Tel: +1 416 593 1290 ext 2224; Email:

  • Dana Dickerson, Trade Associate British Consulate-General Toronto; Tel: +1 416 593 1290; Email:

UKTI Events

UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.

Latest events in ICT sector

Latest events in Creative & Media Sector

Major Events

Canadian Organisation for the Advancement of Computers in Health (COACH) E-Health Conference

1-4 June 2014, Vancouver, British Columbia


Date: TBC

GTEC (Government technology Event)

7-10 October 2013, Ottawa, Ontario

X-Summit (Cross Media Summit)

Date: TBC, Toronto, Ontario

Montreal International Games Summit

11-12 November 2013, Montreal, Quebec

GameON Finance

Date: TBC

Useful links

More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters

Sectors: Creative & Media and Technology
Countries: Canada
Export Action Plan