21st century Canada – a case study

Canada is a unique country. A nation of solitudes. We speak different languages, experience different climates, and cheer for different hockey teams. Yet, while Canadians embrace and respect the diversity and differences between neighbors, there is undoubtedly one thing business leaders, academics, and everyday Canadians can agree on.

Canada is changing. Fast.

Canada is continuing to urbanize, and the growing modern economy and comfortable standard of living attract the next generation of talent and students from around the world. With opportunity and access to some of the top academic institutions in North America, Canada’s largest cities have for decades attracted residents from within Canada and are now filling to the brim with international migrants. According to Statistics Canada, 18 of the largest municipalities grew faster than Canada between 2016 and 2021.

This urbanization reflects two shifts in Canadian demographics. The first is the ongoing shift of Canada’s general population away from a rural and agricultural economy in the 19th and early 20th Centuries to today’s urban technological and service-based economy. The second and far more recent shift it reflects is the movement of young and middle-class families from large-urban metropolises to smaller sub-and exurban communities in the surrounding regions, most notably those surrounding Vancouver and Toronto.

99% of population-related concerns in rural municipalities are now about growth. Discussions about population growth increased by 59% in 2021, according to data from 1,340 Canadian suburban, exurban or rural towns with less than 25,000 residents. In the same period, mentions and concerns about decreasing populations in the same municipalities were flat.

As a result, regional planners and municipal governments will need to act quickly to meet the needs of their growing populations. Not only does this mean more housing, but modern infrastructure will also need to be expanded to meet the changing needs of residents and the realities of a changing climate.

Infrastructure renewal

Infrastructure renewal across North America needs to meet the challenges of growing and moving populations and the effects of a changing and unpredictable climate. Building the climate-resilient infrastructure and communities of the future will be a challenge for decades to come. Ontopical can help connect your sales team with business opportunities early in the project lifecycle in North America’s fastest-growing metropolitan areas, not just the most prominent cities.

HAMILTON, Ontario, Canada – June 2021: Construction machinery is on-site doing road repairs and sewer pipe replacement in downtown Hamilton.

Construction, contracting and architecture firms looking to meet this demand need to find emerging opportunities early to understand the needs and differentiate themselves from the competition. So how can you set your services apart and build a book of business for years in the future?

High-speed broadband internet

The COVID-19 pandemic made clear the gaps in access to broadband and high-speed internet in communities in Canada and North America. As workers moved away from densely populated office towers and business districts due to the two-year lockdown and remote work, the need for more robust and affordable broadband and telecom services outside of the largest cities came clearly into focus.

Fiberglass network under construction

Conversations about improving broadband access in underserved communities grew by 17% in rural municipalities from 2020 to 2021, underlining the importance of broadband access to attracting residents and migrants from the bigger cities.

Trends, needs and leads

Identifying these opportunities and winning them is a challenge for sales and business development leaders and teams alike. Unfortunately, there are too many government organizations, and some are too small or remote to connect with regularly.

Ontopical catalogs thousands of public meetings, hearings and council discussions daily across Canada and the United States, identifying critical discussions and planning commitments at the local, regional and national levels of government. It levels the playing field for all businesses to understand upcoming opportunities early, not just those ‘in the know.’

Book a meeting with our advisors to learn more about how Ontopical can take your business to the next level and help build the communities of the future.

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