District Profile

The Knowledge Creation District (KCD) is dominated by the presence of the health care and social assistance, and educational services sectors. Together these sectors account for approximately 65% of the jobs in the District, supported by the hospitals and post-secondary institutions that serve as key anchors of economic activity in the region.

The pandemic has caused significant upheaval in both sectors but in markedly different ways. Health care workers, a key line of defense against the pandemic, have continued to work with great risk to their own health. In contrast, universities and colleges – which historically have attracted tens of thousands of domestic and international students – were forced to shut down, with important economic ramifications for the regional economy.

Knowledge Creation Graph

As a home to many of the Corridor’s largest teaching hospitals and leading colleges and universities, the KCD is the epicentre of the Corridor’s innovation ecosystem. Its post-secondary institutions have increasingly relied upon large numbers of international students, who are also a key source of talent for employers in the region. Public transit represents a critical enabler for activity in the KCD but infrastructure investments haven’t kept up with demand and a growing student population.

The KCD’s high concentration of health care workers have been leading the fight against the pandemic and are among those with the highest risk of exposure to the virus. The District was also heavily impacted by the loss of students, who moved en masse to online and hybrid learning, with financial repercussions to post-secondary institutions and economic repercussions to the region as a whole.

Post-secondary institutions, together with government, must work to re-establish Canada as a destination for international students. Governments must continue to support the region’s education and knowledge-based institutions, with an additional emphasis on improving commercialization outcomes. Post-pandemic recovery is also an opportunity to leverage the District’s strengths in life sciences to address future medical challenges and drive the sector’s growth. Education and training provided by post-secondary institutions must embrace new forms of teaching and build on the successes of co-op programs and work-integrated learning.

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Business District Reports developed in partnership with Moneris
Business District Reports supported by EBI Founding Partner GTAA

Stats at a Glance: Knowledge Creation District

>160k Employment (2016)
41% Employees with Remote Work Capacity (% share)
35KM2Geographic Size

# of Businesses
(Dec. 2018, 1+ employees):

  • Small (1-19): 5,920
  • Medium (20-99): 540
  • Large (100+): 130

Top 3 Sectors by Employment (% share):

  • Health care and social assistance (44%)
  • Educational services (22%)
  • Professional, scientific and technical services (5%)

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Leading Practices

Search this online database of the Knowledge Creation Business District’s leading practices to identify COVID-19 safety measures appropriate for your business. These measures have been informed by public health expertise.

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