Conversations That Matter: Is Vancouver a headquarters ghost town?


“The numbers say no, but they also say we’re not doing well and the prospects of a change of fortunes are slim and dim,” says Jock Finlayson, the past chief economist of the Business Council of B.C.

Head offices are highly sought after by any city because they generate employment, taxes and attract professional and financial services that support corporate headquarters. Calgary has established itself as more than just an energy hub – it is also the most concentrated headquarters city in Canada.

The presence – or lack of presence – of head offices speaks volumes about a city. Is it business focused? Does the city government understand or appreciate the needs of a corporate head office and do they care? Why should you care?

“Vancouver is in a tough spot given our woeful combination of sky-high housing costs and modest incomes,” Finlayson said. “The city has long struggled to expand and retain a base of corporate head offices, trailing Toronto and Calgary.”

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