Canadian Head Office Survey: How Do Metro Vancouver and British Columbia Stack Up?

January 27, 2016
Jock Finlayson

This issue of Policy Perspectives reviews the recently released Statistics Canada Annual Head Office Survey, comments on its implications for BC/Metro Vancouver, and offers a few thoughts on factors that contribute to a robust head office “ecosystem.”


  • Statistics Canada’s Annual Head Office Survey shows that Metro Vancouver has room for improvement if the region wants to “punch at its weight” compared to other major cities across Canada.
  • Attracting new corporate offices, and growing more local firms into larger-scale businesses, would strengthen Metro Vancouver’s and British Columbia’s economic diversity and also create more high-paying jobs.
  • Different levels of government and the business community have partnered to launch two recent initiatives aimed at increasing the corporate office presence in Metro Vancouver – and these have scored a couple of early “wins,” suggesting that Metro Vancouver can compete on the world stage despite the disadvantages stemming from high housing costs and a lacklustre reputation as a global business centre.
  • To build a stronger corporate sector, political, civic and business leaders need to collaborate to: establish a clear vision for the region, speak with one voice, address Metro Vancouver’s reputation as a “high-cost jurisdiction” for companies, and overcome the perception in some quarters that Vancouver is “not a city for global business.”

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