Quebec City, Quebec


The first decades of the 21st Century were good ones for Quebec City. Home to the Quebec provincial government as well as thriving technology, research and creative sectors, the city region achieved one of the highest GDP growth rates in Canada. Adding 76,000 new jobs, it also achieved one of the lowest unemployment rates in Canada. Today, the greater Quebec City region is the second-largest economic hub in the province, which rapidly recovered its momentum after the pandemic years to post a record real GDP of C$40 billion in 2022.

Economic success was the product of business-government-university collaboration that stretched back into the Nineties, beginning with a 1997 high-tech business summit that led to creation of a downtown tech district.  Progress received a push forward from an economic diversification strategy in 1998 and, in the 2000s, formation of a regional economic development agency and the amalgamation of 12 municipalities into an expanded city.

Cooperating for Success

That collaboration remains at the core of the region’s innovative economy. With the highest concentration of researchers in Canada, the region has nearly 300 laboratories, institutes and research centers that support business innovation. They boast expertise in IT, life sciences, optics and photonics, financial services, robotics and electronics.  Its technologists are driving advances in AI, deep learning and machine learning.

The city, its regional partners and Federal and provincial government funding contribute to high-tech entrepreneurship. Public-sector programs include provincial funding to support research and investment in innovation and city support for R&D, incubators and technology commercialization.  These have helped give rise to co-working space, incubators and accelerators devoted to bio-food, biotech, clean technology, social innovation, mobility and green technology, development. It is an impressive innovation ecosystem adding to the success of a city that serves a provincial capital, tourism magnet and provider of a renowned culture and quality of life.

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Quebec City was featured in the Intelligent Community Forum book Seizing Our Destiny.

Population: 516,625


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