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The Future of Manufacturing Industries in Canada

Manufacturing industries in Canada contribute to more than $600 billion in sales, accounting for nearly 2 million jobs and more than 10% of gross domestic product (GDP). Canada’s industrial sector is made up of several industries that are driving innovation and growth in manufacturing.

As these industries continue to advance, new opportunities arise for Canadian manufacturing. This is particularly true in Ontario, which accounts for almost half of Canadian manufacturing output. North American manufacturing is on the rise as many companies move operations back to the continent from overseas and other companies look to the area to build new manufacturing facilities. This additional investment is driving the future of Canadian manufacturing. 


The automotive industry is one of the largest manufacturing industries in Canada. Along a 400-kilometer corridor in Ontario, there are more than 700 parts suppliers and over 500 tool, mould, and die makers. Vehicle manufacturers Stellantis, Ford, GM, Toyota, and Honda operate 12 plants throughout Ontario — making it the only province or state in North America with five automotive OEMs.

Clearly, automotive manufacturing is an important industry in Canada and will continue to grow. Ontario has been producing vehicles for more than 100 years, and the future of the Canadian automotive sector will involve smart car technologies and vehicle data collection and analysis. Autonomous and connected vehicle technology is being developed by companies and OEMs in the region, including GM, Ford, and Uber.

Another goal of the automotive industry in Canada is to make more environmentally conscious vehicles. This includes a focus on electric vehicles, along with a potential Tesla factory in Canada. There’s also an interest in lithium mining for electric vehicle batteries, which is not only propelling Canada’s automotive industry but also the energy industry.


Oil and gas have always been a significant part of Canada’s economy, as the country is currently the sixth-largest crude oil producer and the fifth-largest natural gas producer in the world. However, as the country becomes more focused on sustainability and clean energy, different types of energy are growing in Canada’s industrial sector.

Canada is also the world’s second-largest hydroelectricity producer and comes in seventh for wind power capacity. Other renewable resources such as solar, biomass, and geothermal are used to produce energy in the country. Innovations in renewable energy are at the forefront of Canada’s energy industry today and will contribute even more in the future. Canada will continue to use a mix of fossil fuel and renewable sources to expand energy production capacity.


The aerospace industry continues to grow in Canada, with the country ranking fourth for civil aircraft production. Montreal is the world’s third-largest aerospace hub — 50% of Canada’s aircraft manufacturing happens in Quebec, while 30% takes place in Ontario.

Several different components of the aerospace industry can be found in Canadian manufacturing, including design and production of aircraft, structural assemblies using advanced materials and composites, flight simulator systems, and maintenance repair and overhaul, among others. And the country continues to support research for aircraft technology development, ensuring the industry has a place in the future of Canadian manufacturing.

Some of the unique innovations happening in the Canadian aerospace industry involve composites, precision machining, coatings and aircraft component design. Canada already has policies and systems in place — including the Industrial Technological Benefits Policy and the aviation certification system — that ensure Canada will continue to be a leader in the aerospace industry and develop aerospace products that exceed the highest standards in safety and reliability.

Driving Canadian Manufacturing Forward

These three manufacturing industries — automotive, energy, and aerospace — are at the forefront of Canadian manufacturing. When you combine the energy industry with the manufacturing sector, the two industries make up nearly 20% of the country’s GDP.

As manufacturing makes up such a significant portion of the economy, it’s no wonder this industry accounts for 42% of all research and development activity in Canada. These developments and breakthroughs are helping Canada become a leader in innovative products and technologies, which is building up the country’s reputation as a manufacturing powerhouse.

To learn more about the future of manufacturing industries in Canada and connect with companies in the industrial sector, attend CMTS.