Is Ottawa still Silicon Valley North?

by Rob Lewis

Canada's capital once had a nickname likening it to the sunny California home of companies like Apple and Google - Silicon Valley North.

This month, Ottawa's former high-tech start Nortel began selling the company off, piece by piece, after seeking bankruptcy protection. Which begs the question, is Ottawa still Silicon Valley North?

Canada's high-tech clusters have long been dependent on larger anchor companies - Nortel in Ottawa, Research in Motion in Waterloo, and Electronic Arts in Vancouver - to serve as incubators for the next generation of tech companies.

Anchor companies spawn new companies with experienced managers and creates an environment that understands the global markets. In the case of Nortel, they can be credited with helping companies like Mitel Networks, Newbridge Networks, Mosaid Technologies and Tundra Semiconductor get their start. tackles the question on whether Ottawa stills deserves the Silicon Valley North moniker and it sounds like the answer is no. Statistics Canada reports that there were 54,000 employees in Ottawa's technology sector last year, down by almost 5,000 from the year before.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Hundreds of millions of people, Fortune 500 companies, and government institutions around the world trust their networks to Nortel's reliable and secure solutions. Nortel is a recognized leader in delivering communications capabilities that make the promise of Business Made Simple a reality for our customers. Our next-generation technologies, for both service provider and enterprise networks,... more

Electronic Arts
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Want to be part of the Next Generation of games development? EA is the leading developer for next gen games and looking for passionate gamers who want to be a part of this exciting time. EA Canada currently has dozens of games in production and aside from some of the most profitable game titles like FIFA, NBA Street, NHL and Need for Speed, we are also developing some home-grown next gen New IP... more

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Research In Motion (RIM), a global leader in wireless innovation, revolutionized the mobile industry with the introduction of the BlackBerry solution in 1999. Since then, BlackBerry products and services have continued to change the way millions of people around the world stay connected. With the launch of BlackBerry 10, we have re-designed, re-engineered and re-invented BlackBerry. Not only... more

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Rob Lewis

Rob Lewis

Rob is the President of Techvibes Media and Editor-in-Chief of  His diverse background includes stints in International Trade Finance, Web Development, and Enterprise Software and he is a graduate of the University of British Columbia, British Columbia Institute of Technology, and Simon Fraser University. When not running Canada's leading technology media property, Rob can be... more

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