Key Industry Sectors


high tech manufacturing A growing number of Canada's leading environmental innovators call Toronto home. More than 36,000 people are employed in over 1,700 Toronto-area companies that provide alternative energy and cleantech products and services across a wide range of sub-sectors.

 Industry sub-sectors

This sector encompasses a wide variety of technologies, products and services. Toronto's green economy includes particular strengths in these green industry sectors:

  • Energy Efficiency & Smart Grid
  • Electric Vehicles
  • Green Energy
  • Green Buildings
  • Green Roofs
  • Resource Management

More detailed information can be found in the Green Tech Sector Scans available in the Key publications section.

Energy Efficiency & Smart Grid

Using less energy for the same task and being smart about how we use energy is helping many Toronto-based companies grow into world-class leaders. Firms like ecobee, ENBALA, and Regen Energy are innovative clean tech firms whose products are being used worldwide.

Electric Vehicles

Toronto-based firms are developing the future of transportation. Through public and private partnerships firms are collaborating on research projects, pilot programs and post-secondary training programs. These local initiatives are providing a competitive edge to Toronto firms such as Unicell, ZENN Motor and Toronto Electric.

Green Energy

This sector, which includes solar, wind and bio-energy, has seen significant growth in recent years, driven by the Ontario Government’s Green Energy Act. This legislation supports the transition to more electricity generated from green energy and encourages investment opportunities in Ontario's green economy. Central to this is North America’s first comprehensive Feed-In Tariff Program, which offers a guaranteed pricing structure for renewable electricity production allowing stable prices under long-term contracts for energy generated from renewable sources.

A study completed for the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) in July 2011 estimated that the solar PV industry provides over 8,200 full-time jobs in Ontario. Innovative Toronto-based firms in this sector include Bullfrog Power, Conserval, Celestica , Eclipsall Energy Corp and Morgan Solar.

Green Buildings

Toronto has a vibrant building industry. A commitment to make these buildings more energy efficient and sustainable, along with the commitment of Toronto's building industry to build green, has resulted in Toronto becoming a global leader in green buildings.

Toronto's green policies and programs for the green building sector include the Toronto Green Standard, Better Buildings Partnership and Tower Renewal.

Over 25% of Canada's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) professionals are located in Toronto and Toronto is home to world-renown sustainable architectural firms such as Moriyama & Teshima, green developers such Tridel and over 150 green building suppliers such as Inline Fibreglass.

Green Roofs

An important subset of green buildings, Toronto is a global leader in green roofs due, in part, to the City's Green Roof Bylaw and the Eco-Roof Incentive Program. In September 2011, Toronto was ranked #1 in North America in green roof surface area installed by the green roof trade association Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. Leading Toronto firms in this sector include Tremco Roofing and Triumph Roofing.

Resource Management

This diverse sector's focus is on the efficient use (and re-use) of natural resources such as water, minerals and bio-materials. Once considered "waste" many firms are mining the "end of life" cycle of a wide range of products to reuse their resources in new products. Ontario's Clean Water Act has stimulated the growth of a clean water industry in Toronto where over 300 companies provide wastewater, water treatment and filtration-related products and services. Leading Toronto firms in this sector include Atlantic Packaging (paper recycling), UV Pure Technologies  (water filtration) and National Rubber Technologies (rubber recycling).

Labour force development

Toronto is home to 4 universities and 4 colleges, with a further 10 post-secondary institutions in the Toronto region. Many of these institutions provide higher level diplomas and degrees in fields that support the green economy for example:

  • Within the solar sector, the Toronto region is
    • Home to 65 university programs in engineering, physical and environmental sciences, including 41 undergraduate and 24 graduate related programs in 7 universities
    • Over 3,400 university students graduated (all levels) in solar energy related programs in 2007
  • Within the wind sector the Toronto region is:
    • Home to 45 university programs in environmental science, engineering and sustainable and renewable energy that produce a highly educated and highly skilled workforce, including more than 2,700 university graduates (2007)
    • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council  (NSERC) awarded $1.9 million in funding for 33 wind and turbine research projects in the Toronto Region (1999-2009)
    • A centre of major academic and research with 19 wind technology related experts in five universities focusing on research in power systems, sustainable and renewable energy, and wind energy
  • Within the water sector the Toronto region is:
    • Home to 230 university and college programs in agriculture, environmental and physical sciences, engineering and technical programs
    • Creating an educated and highly skilled workforce – over 8,200 university graduates (all levels) related to water sciences (2007)

Innovation and research

Toronto is a hub for research and development in the green economy. Toronto is:

  • A centre of advanced research and development with 86 experts in 22 research institutions
  • Ranked # 7 in North America for the number of publications on the subject of wind, turbine and alternative energy technologies, and ranked #10 in citations and numbers of citations per publication
  • Ranked #1 in Membrane Separation in international patent applications, and is a global leader in water-related patent activity
  • A centre of advanced R&D with 19 water-related research institutes, and ranked #8 worldwide in number of citations per publication

There are a wide range of Centres of Research Excellence in Toronto including:

Key industry associations

There are a wide range of industry associations and other stakeholders that assist with the growth and development of the green economy including: