Canadian Domination of “Top Seven” Intelligent Communities List is a Coup for Canada and the i-CANADA Movement -- i-CANADA Chair
January 23, 2014

January 23, 2014  --  Today’s announcement by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) that the cities of Kingston, Toronto and Winnipeg have been selected as three of the “Top Seven” Intelligent Communities in the world for 2014, shows that Canada “has made giant strides in achieving world-best standards for the global information economy,” said i-CANADA Chair & CATA Leadership Coucil member, Bill Hutchison.

“To have three cities from Canada in the Top Seven ranking, is stunning,” stated Mr. Hutchison.  “This is the best performance of any nation.”

The Top7 list includes three cities from Canada, two from the United States, and two from Taiwan.

i-CANADA has been cited by expert Mark Whaley for its contribution to the Canadian success:   “I am certain that one of the primary reasons for this remarkable showing is that we have an organization such as i-CANADA to give us focus, guidance and, most importantly, a sense of community and common purpose.”   Mr. Whaley is a Councillor in the city of Waterloo, which won the Intelligent Community of the Year award in 2007.

In alphabetical order, the 2014 Top7 Intelligent Communities are:

  • Arlington County, Virginia, USA, which is building its own fiber network to boost broadband service and re-energize government-business-university collaboration
  • Columbus, Ohio, USA, which in its recovery from the 2008 recession has 20,000 more jobs than it did at its last economic peak in 2007
  • Hsinchu City, Taiwan, the first city in Taiwan to implement e-learning platforms for its students and establish a science park
  • Kingston, Ontario, Canada, which leveraged its educational institutions to build an innovation economy focused on environmental sustainability
  • New Taipei City, Taiwan, a new city forged from communities surrounding the nation’s capital, which is creating a unified and dynamic knowledge economy
  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with a renowned waterfront revitalization that will provide Internet at 500 times the speed of conventional residential networks and create a new innovation-focused mixed-use community
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, where reinvention of its agricultural legacy is creating strong growth while preserving a valued heritage  

The ICF notes that cities all over the globe need solutions to a wide range of problems from transportation and the environment, to economic growth and education. Intelligent Communities provide solutions.

Becoming an Intelligent Community is single most important economic and social activity being undertaken in the world today,” said Mr. Hutchison.  “Intelligent Communities have the highest wages, best living standards, highest economic growth, best education and most sustainable societies.  The rise of the Intelligent Community is arguably the greatest economic transformation in history.

“The win by Canada shows that i-CANADA’s goal is achievable  -  to create an Intelligent Nation, where every community could earn the prize for ‘global best’.  For some communities, the future has arrived…but in Canada, the future is unevenly distributed.  We need to do a better job at getting all our centres on-broad.   The Intelligent Community goal is vital, because these are, simply, better places to live.

“i-CANADA is now stepping up its programs, by establishing provincial and regional branches to be even more effective!”

i-CANADA is an Accelerator for the development of Intelligent Communities.  i-CANADA’s Governors Council is made up of Premiers, Mayors, CEOs, development officers and community leaders.  It is working in some 50 communities across Canada.  Next week, it is meeting with an architect of the U.K.’s  smart city strategy, Allan Mayo, plus Treasury Board President Tony Clement.  The following week, the Council will meet with the U.K. Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts.  “The U.K. has got one of the most advanced national strategies,” stated Mr. Hutchison, “and we love to work with the best.”

“To be recognized in the Top7 two years in a row is a great vote of confidence for the work we are doing here in Toronto. The ultra-broadband infrastructure that we have built is laying the groundwork for our waterfront communities to become Toronto’s newest innovation district,” said Waterfront Toronto President and CEO John Campbell. “Our initiatives are bridging the digital divide, driving economic growth, creating jobs and bringing new residents to our waterfront.” Mr. Campbell is on the i-CANADA Governors Council.

"This is a tremendous recognition for Kingston," said Kingston Mayor Mark Gerretsen. "To be selected as a Top 7 intelligent community out of 400 globally speaks to our leadership in economic competitiveness, creating new opportunities and efficiencies through emerging technologies, and raising the quality of life standard for our residents."

“After finishing in the top 21 for the last several consecutive years, Winnipeg's selection as a Top7 Intelligent Community for the first time elevates our city to an exciting new level that adds much to the incredible momentum we've experienced recently that is prompting the world to take notice of our city like never before,” said Marina R. James, president and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg Inc.

 For more information on this event please contact:

Barry Gander, Co-Founder, i-CANADA
P: 613-340-0701
E: bgander@cata.ca 

About the Intelligent Community Forum

The Intelligent Community Forum is a think tank that studies the economic and social development of the 21st Century community. Whether in industrialized or developing nations, communities are challenged to create prosperity, stability and cultural meaning in a world where jobs, investment and knowledge increasingly depend on advances in communications. For the 21st Century community, connectivity is a double-edge sword: threatening established ways of life on the one hand, and offering powerful new tools to build prosperous, inclusive and sustainable economies on the other. ICF seeks to share the best practices of the world's Intelligent Communities in adapting to the demands of the Broadband Economy, in order to help communities everywhere find sustainable renewal and growth.  For more information visit:   www.intelligentcommunity.org

About i-CANADA

i-CANADA is the Accelerator Centre dedicated towards making all Canadian communities  --  large and small, urban and rural  --  into Intelligent Communities, fully employing e-health, e-work, e-commerce, e-education and e-government, to provide the sustainable prosperity that comes from full digital enablement.  i-CANADA is powered by Canada’s largest technology organization: the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA).  I-CANADA’s mission is to provide Canadian communications with the knowledge and tools to become leaders in the global intelligent economy.  It is currently working with some 50 Canadian communities, rural and local, to transform them into Intelligent Communities.  ‘First the community, then the country’, is the motto that i-CANADA uses to visualize the evolution of Canada into one of the world’s Intelligent Nations.