Proptech in Canada, time to build

Hello. Yesterday, The Peak sat in on the Proptech Collective’s launch of their first Proptech Canada Report. We know how much Peakers are interested in in real estate and the technology that powers it. Most importantly we love Canadian business. 

Here’s what we learned 👇 

Baby Steps

Canada’s proptech landscape is in its infancy, and just like all babies, there’s tremendous opportunity. The right nurturing - and maybe some Canadian nature - will cement our proptech scene as the envy of the world.

  • 67% of proptech companies launched after 2014. More than 60% of these companies are seed or pre-seed stage.

  • 80% of Canada’s proptech startups are concentrated in five cities: Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Kitchener-Waterloo.

  • Colliers and TechStars chose Canada to launch their first proptech accelerator. 

US investors are eyeing Canadian startups. MetaProp, Brick and Mortar Ventures and even Amazon have invested in Canadian startups.

Canada is Competitive

 “Canadians are obsessed with real estate” - Zach Aarons, Meta Prop

Yaaaa we are! The Peak covers real estate religiously and our readers click click click. But why else is Canada so competitive? 

Money, Money, Money

Americans are typically more loose with their wallets when it comes to investing, Canada does have some distinct capital advantages in proptech. 

  • Canada’s big real estate firms own hundreds of millions, if not billions, of square feet across the country and world.  The concentration allows for the big players to invest big dollars into the area because they’ll see returns across their properties. 

Power to The People

We know that Canadian talent always delivers, 

  • Governments at different levels offer incentives to hire and keep engineering teams in Canada. Top startups like Bridgit and Skylight, who derive most of their revenue from the south, operate out of the true north.

  • Canada has very friendly policies for attracting the best talent from around the world. Recent changes open the door to 400,000 internationals annually.

  • Our talent ecosystem is off the charts. Our population is well trained at our leading universities, and we have over 175 incubators, accelerators and innovation centers.

Even with all of our advantages, talent is cheaper here than in the States.


It’s not all smooth sailing, some challenges according to the Proptech experts include a regulatory framework that has stifled innovation. This in turn has made Canadian consumers set in their ways of doing things.  

  • Dealing with gigantic real estate companies takes time. Startups must sell through the bureaucracy and the client then has to turn around and sell through their tenants. 

Quick Hits 

Panelists were asked to share their thoughts quickly on a few important topics, here are some highlights. 

Suburbanization: Anshul Ruparell of Properly is seeing young first time home buyers on their platform buying outside of the big cities. His customers tell him they believe their jobs will be flexible in the long run. 

Flex Work: Zach Aarons of Meta Prop says companies want to hire the best talent globally. The future of work will be one third at home, one third at a local cluster and one third at HQ. This will lead to a bigger emphasis on off-site retreats. 

Big Data: Robert Courteau, former CEO of Altus Group, believes big data has a role to play in real estate but only if it helps inform decision making around investment strategy, capital allocation, acquisitions etc. 

The Next Big Thing: Anything associated with using data to inform lending and value. Along with tools to support the decarbonization of the real estate economy. 

Final Thought

There’s never been a better time to start a company in Canada. If you’re interested in the latest real estate, technology and the rest of Canadian business subscribe to The Peak for a daily news briefing written in this fun and informative style.