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Community of Choice... for Business

Why Whitby for Information & Communication Technology?

Information & Communication Technology (ICT) companies choose to locate and expand in Whitby. Select one of the links below to learn why Whitby is their Community of Choice:

Skilled Labour Force

Whitby is in Durham Region, which spans both the Toronto and Oshawa Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs), and includes about 60% of the labour force employed in ICT occupations in Ontario. Since Whitby's labour shed extends beyond Durham Region and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), much of the ICT labour force is within range. Whitby's resident labour force in the ICT sector greatly exceeds the jobs available. This presents an opportunity to employers, as wage expectations may be more reasonable for workers wishing to work closer to home.

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World-Class Education and Training

Employers in the ICT sector can access world-class education institutions that ensure a supply of talent:

  1. The University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) is a market-oriented, educational institution that offers the following ICT programs:
    • Master of Information Technology Security (MITS) degree
    • Bachelor of Information Technology in Game Development and Entrepreneurship (the business of developing game technology)

      Current UOIT research projects and facilities in the ICT sector include:
    • Biometrics - development of a biometric authentication system to allow online government agencies, financial/ commercial services to exchange user authentication and authorization data
    • Health Informatics - project partners include IBM, Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children and international partners. The project aims to revolutionize critical care through information technology
    • IT Security - projects with Defence Research and Development Canada to design and test security solutions for wireless devices
    • Stereoscopic 3D Gaming - project leadership of Interactive Gaming Ontario 3D (iGO3D) which brings together the expertise of five universities, one college and a wide range of gaming industry partners to drive the growth of Ontario's digital media content industry
    • Serious Gaming in Health Care - for the training of community health nurses, critical care providers and orthopaedic surgeons
    • Network Reliability - methods for designing reliable wired and wireless communication infrastructure, tactical mobile ad hoc networks (MANET), multicast services and smart grids, design strategies for improving network failure recovery are some of the key research areas
    • Gaming and Virtual Reality Research Laboratory - includes state-of-the art workstations, a full body motion capture system, a laser scanner and a passive stereo Virtual Reality display.
    • Hacker Research Laboratory - equipped with state-of-the art network devices such as servers, clients, firewalls and routers.
  2. Durham College offers a range of market-driven programs relevant for the ICT sector, including:
    • Diploma in Game Development
    • Diploma in Multi-media Design
    • Digital Photography (2-year program)
    • Digital Video Production (2-year program)
    • Fine Arts Advanced (3-year program)
    • VFX and Digital Cinema (graduate certificate program)
    • Web Applications for Mobile Computing (graduate certificate program, beginning in September 2012)

      Current Durham College research in the ICT sector includes:
    • Research agreement with Yowza Digital Inc., a Toronto-based digital media company that will see the creation of a new trans-media production process. Students are developing short, animated segments that serve as a bridge between full-length programming with financial support from the Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation (CONII).
    • Development of a visual radio property that will offer contemporary media experiences to students in marketing communications, advertising, music business, journalism and many other areas of study.
    • Collaboration with industry partners to bring exceptional creative products to market, including two series of animated shorts about science and the arts that will be distributed to elementary schools across North America.

Other Sources of Talent

Over 30 university and college campuses are within a one hour drive of Whitby, many of which offer programs in Information and Communications Technologies.

Click on the image below to open and/or print the map.

Map showing the distance from Whitby to Major Universities and Colleges

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Competitive Business Costs

Business costs are lower than most US centres and key competitors. The biggest cost savings include skilled labour; land prices and lease rates; and taxes.

1. Skilled Labour Costs

In KPMG's 2016 survey, The Competitive Alternatives, Canada was ranked the second most cost-effective location among nine established industrial countries studied.  Of the G7 countries, Canada had the lowest total labour costs:

  • Total costs per employee are lowest in the United Kingdom, Canada and Italy.  This result reflects in part the weakness of the euro and the British pound.  
  • 14.6% advantage over the US.

2. Land Prices and Lease Rates

Whitby's industrial land prices and lease rates are lower than western/northern areas of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Industrial LandApprox. $350,000/acre
(Source: CoStar, 2018)
Industrial Lease RatesApprox. $6.68/sq.ft. net
(Source: Cushman & Wakefield, 2018)

3. Taxes

Corporate income tax rates (provincial and federal combined) are lower than Japan or France, and competitive with the United States. Both the federal and Ontario governments have taken steps to reduce corporate income taxes. 

 Jan 1, 2013Jul 1, 2013
Federal 15% 15%
Combined 26%25%

Source: Ontario Ministry of Revenue and Canada Revenue Agency

The 13% Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) replaces the federal goods and services tax (GST) and the Provincial Sales Tax (PST). The HST provides tax credits for sales tax paid on many inputs and capital investments, reduces tax compliance costs and taxes that would otherwise have been included in supplier prices.

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Access to High-Speed Broadband

Whitby has numerous wireless and wireline providers including Bell, Rogers and several satellite services providers.

The Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) partners of Bell Canada and Bell Aliant have analyzed and upgraded the network (as needed) at the existing Points Of Presence (PoP's) within Durham Region to facilitate the EORN required broadband connectivity.

Whitby broadband node on the EORN has been provided with two diverse links.  This provides survivability, such that
if one of the links experiences a failure, the traffic is still able to reach the destination.
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Convenient Transportation to access Canadian, US and International Markets

Whitby is located in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Key features of Whitby's transportation infrastructure are:

  • GO Transit, a commuter train linking Downtown Toronto with surrounding regions, frequent service to/from Whitby
  • Less than a one-hour drive to Toronto's Pearson International Airport
  • Less than a one-hour drive to Toronto Island Airport with service to many Canadian and US cities
  • The Oshawa Municipal Airport supports regional and charter flights within Canada and to the US Canada Customs services are available. 
  • VIA Rail passenger train service connects to cities across Canada and to Amtrak in the US

Links to Canadian, US and international markets

Click on the image below to open and/or print the map.

Map showing airport locations around Whitby

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Superior Quality of Life to Attract and Retain Talent

Whitby and Durham Region offer a superior quality of life to attract and retain talent including:

  • Pristine waterfront and an integrated trail network 
  • Family-friendly with extensive sports facilities
  • One hour to reach Downtown Toronto with theatres, restaurants
    • GO commuter trains arrive in Whitby approximately every half hour during peak travel times, from Downtown Toronto Union Station
  • Less than one hour to reach airports with access to the US and international destinations.
    • Toronto's Pearson International Airport
    • Toronto's Island Airport - convenient access from GO commuter service
    • Future Pickering Airport.
  • More affordable. Whitby had relatively low home sale price when compared to GTA communities to the west and north. On average, detached housing prices in Whitby are significantly lower when compared to neighbouring communities to the north and west.  Source: Toronto Real Estate Board Market Watch, 2018. 
  • Less traffic and congestion than in other areas in the GTA.

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