According to a recent report from numbeo.com – a cost-of-living statistics website – Ottawa ranks third in the world for quality of life. So is it any surprise that more than 1,700 Communications, Life Sciences, Clean Tech, IT and Software companies have chosen Canada’s beautiful and quaint capital as their home?
According to Invest Ottawa’s website, “Ottawa alone accounts for 90 per cent of the country’s industrial telecommunications [Research & Development].” In Ottawa’s approximately 1,700 high-tech companies, there are 170,000 workers who accomplish tasks around the world.
For instance, did you know an Ottawa-based company operates most of the slot machines in Las Vegas, Nev.? It’s true! According to Invest Ottawa, the International Game Technology (IGT) used to regulate the casino slot machines is standardized by Ottawa-based company QNX, a division of BlackBerry Ltd. And the Las Vegas connection doesn’t end there! If you’ve ever seen the famous Bellagio Fountain Show – which was featured at the end of the Ocean’s Eleven movie – the massive set of fountains, music and lights is controlled by QNX. This Ottawa company even has a hand in running the gas turbines that power massive US Navy destroyers!
In terms of G7 countries, Washington State University’s College of Business found that in 2015, Canada was one of five best countries to launch a start-up due to low inflation and economic stability. Ottawa is also home to the most educated workforce in Canada, with more than 75,000 people being employed at various knowledge-based companies.
And with a population of nearly 900,000, Ottawa is the Canadian city with the highest concentration of scientists and engineers. Perhaps this fact has something to do with Ottawa being home to several universities and colleges, as well as a student population of about 120,000. According to Statistics Canada, 61 per cent of the city’s labour force have a post-secondary degree, with more than 128,000 having Masters and Ph.Ds. And with all of this promising talent in one city, it seems only natural that Ottawa would be the place to celebrate innovation and creativity.
This fall, Ottawa’s historic Aberdeen Pavilion at the newly renovated Lansdowne Park will be the site of Canada’s first Feature Maker Faire, which brings together tech enthusiasts, tinkerers, engineers, artists and many more. On Nov. 7 and 8, 2015, ‘makers’ of all kinds will come to Lansdowne Park to show off their new inventions and share what they’ve learned during the creative process. This is where new inventions such as a colourful LED hula hoop and a hand-controlled, personal flamethrower make their debut. Yes, both inventions were featured at previous Faire events.
In 2010, Ottawa hosted Canada’s first Mini Maker Faire. But this year, the event is joining a larger global network of Maker Faires that includes 20 cities from around the globe. Cities such as Berlin, Rome and Tokyo have previously participated.
According to the Maker Faire website, these types of events are very important for the inventor community as for many; this is the only platform on which they can share their ideas with the world. “Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth –a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement,” the event website says.
Are you interested yet? If you want to see some of the newest and coolest inventions Ottawa and the world have to offer, this is an event you won’t want to miss!
But… The Maker Faire is only one of the great things going on in Ottawa this fall season. To learn more about tours, outdoor adventure, national museums – Ottawa offers seven – and special exhibits, explore Ottawa Tourism’s website.