Economic Development and Innovation

Waterloo is a growing city. Our strong and diverse economy and local facilities and services provide residents with a high quality of life, making Waterloo an attractive place for people to live, work, play and learn. Waterloo has a young and growing population with a knowledge-based economy. The overall goal of economic development is to improve the economic well being, quality of life and vitality of the community.

Economic development is intended to build on the strengths of the community through various programs, polices and strategies to ensure a healthy and vibrant economy with opportunities for growth and sustainability. In addition to the initiatives of the City of Waterloo Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan 2019-2024, the city’s Official Plan plays a role in promoting economic development by planning for the conditions to make the city an attractive place in which to live and invest.

More detail is available in the Economic Development and Innovation issue brief, including:

Existing Conditions/Initiatives

  • Economic development initiatives (such as the small business centre, community improvement plan, business directory, and arts and cultural development
  • Employment areas
  • Planning for a strong and sustainable economy
  • Waterloo as a creative and sustainable city
  • Knowledge and technology
  • Strong and vibrant uptown


Strategic Directions and Policy Considerations

  • Support a diverse range of employment and commercial opportunities
  • Enhance support for arts heritage and culture, by strengthening public realm policies and accommodating a wide range arts and cultural land uses
  • Strengthen ties to academic and start-up communities


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