According to statistics Canada, the City has 12,904 businesses in all sectors, which is a 11% increase from 2021. 

Small businesses (with 9 or fewer employees) employ about 70% of the labour force. 

Cambridge's labour force is categorized within the Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo CMA (Census Metropolitan Area) for reporting purposes for unemployment data. Cambridge's unemployment rate is typically under that of the provincial and national values. 

Cambridge's economic base is diversified with strengths in manufacturing, automotive, textiles, plastics, agrifood and the technology sectors.

A consumer market of over 500,000 people live and work in the region, with a labour pool of over 296,000. 

Major employers in Cambridge

Cambridge is the home of several international and nationally recognized industries. The following list indicates the major employers in Cambridge

Major employers in Cambridge
Company NameEmployees
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. 8000
Aecon Industrial 1957
Challenger Motor Freight Inc. 1800
Loblaw Companies Limited 1520
Honeywell 1229
Cambridge Memorial Hostipal 1161
Rockwell Automation Canada Control Systems 910
Corporation of the City of Cambridge 681
ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. 635
Trade-Mark Industrial Inc. 600
Canadian General-Tower Ltd. 570
Frito-Lay Canada 550
Tenneco Cambridge 470
Septodont 420
Rimowa 400
Grand River Foods 400
BWXT Canada Ltd. 360
Precision Resource Canada Ltd. 350
Centra Industries Inc. 350
Process Group Inc. 275
Lone Wolf Real Estate Technologies 269
Gore Mutual Insurance Inc. 267
Tigercat Industries Inc. 260
Cowan Insurance Group 255
Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Technology  250
Eclipse Automation 247
Sutherland-Schultz Ltd. 245
MacDonald Steel Limited 236
Traugott Building Contractors Inc. 222
Arriscraft International 213
Axiom Millwrighting and Fabrication Inc.  200

 

Labour force characteristics
View Statistics Canada Labour force characteristics for more information
Construction activity 

Economic performance is also reflected in construction activity. Building Permit construction values reflect this activity and are summarized in the table below. The figures show a healthy balance of activity and solid growth in all four sectors. The average annual construction value activity of over the past ten years is $356.5 million.

Building permit construction by values by sector ($millions)
YearIndustrialCommercialInstitutionalResidentialMisc.Total
2023 160.5 19.1 82.0 374.3 42.0 678.0
2022 233.7  16.8 34.9  271.9  102.5  659.9 
2021 95.3  46.7  76.6  272.6  27.6  518.9 
2020 48.2  23.3 16.0 124.5  46.3  258.1 
2019 93.3  27.3  23.3  287.3  22.9  454.0 
2018 62.2  20.3  16.5  174.1  43.7  316.8 
2017 93.5  36.4  56.4  167.8  28.1  382.3 
2016 32.2 18.4 1.3 156.3 63.4 271.6
2015 15.5 6.0 25.7 83.4 68.7 185.7
2014 43.6 18.5 156.9 94.0 52.5 365.5
2013 16.7 11.5 9.9 83.2 30.9 152.4
2012 15.4 28.1 46.9 65.4 24.0 179.9
2011 140.1 30.8 53.9 88.2 20.4 333.5
2010 85.3 20.8 74.5 110.7 36.4 327.7
2009 59.7 21.1 13.8 164.9 18.5 277.1
2008 33.3 39.1 6.9 117.5 23.3 220.1
2007 55.3 30.6 3.6 40.4 18.5 148.4
2006 53.3 61.8 1.7 101.8 29.7 248.3
2005 33.0 30.6 9.8 140.9 13.4 227.8
2004 54.4 12.4 2.3 132.0 55.8 256.6
2003 53.4 36.0 24.8 154.1 16.2 284.5
2002 57.7 19.9 17.9 151.7 14.0 261.2
2001 89.0 56.8 12.9 100.3 7.7 266.8

  

Cambridge industrial parks

The City of Cambridge is actively involved in promoting industrial growth through the development of industrial subdivisions and the sale of land.  Overall Cambridge has approximately 33 million square feet of industrial space on more than 2500 acres of industrial land.

Cambridge has developed three Business Parks in the city  

  • Eastern Industrial Park (built in the 1960's)
  • L.G. Lovell Industrial Park (built in the 1970's)
  • Cambridge Business Park, (built in the 1980's) and included an investment by Toyota for their 3.1 million square foot assembly operation.

The City's newest industrial subdivision Boxwood Business Campus was complete in 2014 and created 109 acres of serviced industrial land.  

Other areas recently developed include the Maple Grove Industrial Subdivision, a 175-acre expansion completed in 2002 in the Cambridge Business Park; and the Pinebush Industrial Subdivision, a 108-acre extension of the L.G. Lovell Park completed in 2001 and Pinebush Phase 2 which provided an additional 22 serviced lots (58 acres) in 2006.

 History of city owned industrial land sales

In the 1990's, 245 acres of city-owned land were sold for industrial development, and from 2000 onwards nearly 700 acres have been sold.  A summary of the history of City-owned industrial land sales is shown in the following table:

History of city owned industrial land sales
YearAcres(values based on Council approvals)Acres(Values based on closed land sale transactions)
2019 37 37
2018 24 24
2017 12 12
2016 3 3
2015 10 10
2014 19 19
2013 0 0
2012 8 8
2011 0 14
2010 25 3
2009 0 0
2008 12 16
2007 38 18
2006 33 30
2005 23 37
2004 69 45
2003 47 57
2002 72 59
2001 78 91
2000 187 190