If you’re dreaming of a slower pace of life and a friendly community, one of Canada’s small towns could be the perfect fit. Towns with smaller populations often offer lower costs, so you can open a business without breaking the bank. Some towns, in an effort to bring in new business, even provide tax breaks for your company. From outdoor-oriented tourist hot spots to idyllic villages, Canada’s small towns offer exciting opportunities to build your empire.
For Outdoor Adventure: Comox, British Colombia
If you’re hoping to start an outdoor adventure business — or a company that caters to active people — look no further than Comox. Tucked on the shores of Vancouver Island, this charming spot puts you within minutes of the Salish Sea, the Puntledge River, and the Coast Range mountains. A steadily growing population means that you can find plenty of customers. Not sure how to get started? The Comox Valley Economic Development runs a Business Counts Program that can help you open your business. When you need a big-city fix, Nanaimo is a little over an hour away, and regular ferries run to Vancouver.
For Economic Opportunity: Airdrie, Alberta
When it comes to perks for your business, it’s hard to beat Airdrie. This friendly small town doesn’t charge business taxes, so you can save money simply by setting up shop within city limits. Finding office space is a breeze, thanks to the many small business parks in town, and the nearby Trans-Canada Highway makes it easy to ship your products quickly all over Canada. If you’re looking for younger customers in your market evaluation, Airdrie is a great fit — almost 80% of the population is under the age of 50. The city welcomes all types of small businesses, but it’s rolling out the red carpet for companies in the manufacturing, transportation, scientific, and environmental fields.
For the Arts: Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
Are you looking to serve culture-minded customers? Niagara-on-the-Lake could be the perfect choice. Nestled in Ontario’s wine country on the shores of Lake Ontario, this adorable town has it all: gorgeous architecture, world-class theatre, outdoor activities, and some of Canada’s best wineries. It’s a popular area for tourists from both Canada and the United States and attracts a well-to-do stream of potential customers for your small business. If you travel for work, Niagara-on-the-Lake is about an hour from Hamilton and less than two hours from Toronto.
For Getting Away From It All: Saint-Michel-de-Bellechasse, Quebec
Although it’s just 30 km from Quebec City, Saint-Michel-de-Bellechasse feels like a different world. Here, you can spend your work days enjoying views of the St. Lawrence River and stroll past charming historic homes on your way to lunch. Although the town usually has less than 2,000 residents, a regular flow of summer tourists comes to enjoy the stunning setting and thriving arts community. Tourism and outdoor adventure offer particularly good opportunities for your business, but this peaceful town is also well-suited to online businesses.
As you make a plan to escape chaotic city life, these small towns should definitely be on your list of considerations. With easy transportation links and plenty of opportunity, they make great places for your personal and professional activities.