In a nation known for its breathtaking landscapes, Canada’s innovation panorama is equally awe-inspiring. Our ninth annual guide presents a dynamic showcase of 50 trailblazing companies reshaping the Canadian landscape across business, technology, arts, and culture.
Within this guide, you’ll find a group of game-changing companies (some familiar, some you may never have heard of) that are redefining their respective industries to be more resilient, impactful, innovative, and sustainable. They are the companies (and the people who are leading them) that understand the value of community and progress.
A showcase, rather than a ranking, this guide underscores the leadership of Canadian companies not only on a domestic level, but also a global scale. Combined, these are all stories worth telling—triumphs of ingenuity and compassion that embody what it means to build a company in Canada.
Explore the 2023 GLORY Power 50 below and use @gloryprofessional and #GLORYPower50 on social media to share.
OCTOBER’S VERY OWN (OVO)
Today, few names have carved a path as dynamic and impactful as El-Khatib. A visionary leader and cultural pioneer, his journey serves as a testament to the boundless possibilities of determination, innovation, and collaboration. Since his early days, El-Khatib has always exhibited a keen knack for anticipating cultural shifts and identifying talent. This foresight laid the foundation for his meteoric rise within the entrepreneurial sphere, building OVO into a portfolio of brands with a global footprint across fashion, music, and more.
Montreal-based SSENSE has swiftly become a titan in the fashion e-commerce realm, disrupting traditional luxury retail paradigms. Founded and led by Syrian-born brothers Rami, Firas, and Bassel Atallah, the digital powerhouse curates a riveting blend of artistry and commerce through its avant-garde collaborations, proprietary tech platform (including their recently-launched personal styling AI chatbot powered by OpenAI), and personalized shopping realms. This audacious approach has propelled SSENSE into a rarefied echelon, captivating global trendsetters and altering the pulse of online luxury. As an indomitable innovator, SSENSE not only captures trends but engineers a seismic shift in shopping itself, cementing its vanguard status and redefining luxury’s very essence.
Canada Goose has become synonymous with outerwear excellence, reinventing cold-weather apparel with unparalleled craftsmanship and performance. Its iconic parkas, crafted for both style and function, have become a symbol of premium quality and Arctic-inspired fashion. The launch of their recommerce platform this year was just another addition to their ongoing commitment to sustainability, which includes polar bear conservation and the donation of materials to remote communities in Northern Canada.
Built on the promise of “Everyday Luxury,” Vancouver-based Aritzia has established itself as a true fashion trailblazer since its founding in 1984, transcending retail norms with its mix of marketing prowess and product assortment. With the full acquisition of CYC Design Corporation (which includes Reigning Champ and wings+horns), 66 percent growth in the US, and a whopping $2.2 billion in net revenue in their most recent fiscal year, Aritzia’s cultural resonance cements it as an icon of modern style.
Arguably the pioneer of the athleisure category, lululemon’s meteoric trajectory continues to rise with a stratospheric market cap of $60 billion CAD. Beyond stretchy pants, it’s a lifestyle empire, inspiring a legion of wellness devotees. From yoga studios to high fashion collaborations, lululemon’s pervasive influence blurs the line between activewear and aspirational living, defining a new era of mindful consumerism.
In the jewelry landscape, Mejuri continues to be a category-defining brand built on self-empowerment, community, and sustainability. The brand’s minimalist aesthetic redefines luxury, reflecting a generational shift towards conscious consumption. This year, they partnered with Regeneration to mitigate environmental harm caused by past mining and have dedicated $1.5 million USD to support the ecological restoration of legacy mines through remining. With over 3.5 million pieces sold, celebrities like Oprah, Ariana Grande, and Margot Robbie continue to be loyal fans of the brand.
Rebelstork’s disruptive model has reshaped the baby gear market, channeling sustainability and convenience. Rebelstork’s innovative approach transforms baby gear consumption, driving a seismic shift towards circular economy practices and redefining parenthood for a greener future.
Elevation Pictures is a cinematic powerhouse, leaving an unforgettable mark on the film industry. From distributing award-winning gems like Moonlight to fostering innovative storytelling with Everything Everywhere All At Once, it’s a dynamic force that has earned a strong reputation for its distinct point of view. Elevation’s disruptive strategies, like virtual cinema releases during the pandemic, redefine film distribution. With a flair for championing diverse narratives, Elevation Pictures elevates storytelling while reshaping how audiences experience and engage with movies.
Netflix’s indelible imprint on Canada’s media landscape is undeniable. Spearheading a content revolution, homegrown productions with Canadian perspectives are amplified on the global platform. For example, their three-year French stand-up comedy deal with Just for Laughs Group and an upcoming Arctic comedy series in partnership with CBC and APTN. Netflix Canada’’s new headquarters and production facility in Toronto further solidify its dominance. A previously announced $525 million investment echoes their commitment to fostering Canadian talent and narratives.
Wattpad is a literary juggernaut, wielding over 90 million users to redefine storytelling dynamics and democratize an entire industry. Beyond revolutionizing reading, its role in empowering diverse voices and launching bestsellers into hit novels, movies, TV series, and more underscores its broader influence. Wattpad’s genre-spanning digital platform reshapes literature while championing inclusivity, making it a transformative force in the modern literary landscape.
MONSTERS ALIENS ROBOTS ZOMBIES
Monsters Aliens Robots Zombies (MARZ) is a cinematic sorcerer, conjuring fantastical realms all from their headquarters in Toronto. With groundbreaking work for productions like Wednesday, Stranger Things, Wanda Vision, and more, they’ve has had a hand (quite literally) in some of today’s biggest Hollywood success stories. MARZ dominates the visual effects landscape, crafting unforgettable on-screen wonders and proving Canada’s continued leadership in the cinematic ecosystem.
Overactive Media is a magnetic force propelling e-sports to new frontiers in Canada. Spearheading global franchises like the Toronto Defiant and Toronto Ultra, it’s fueling a fervent gaming movement. Amid e-sports’ meteoric rise, Overactive Media dominates with strategic partnerships and immersive fan experiences, revolutionizing competitive gaming and captivating a digitally driven generation. As e-sports solidifies its grip on mainstream culture, Overactive Media orchestrates a symphony of innovation, bridging virtual and real-world realms.
Vancouver-based Dapper Labs is the crown jewel of blockchain innovation, galvanizing a seismic shift in digital ownership and entertainment. Its NBA Top Shot platform melds sports and collectibles in an unprecedented fusion, revolutionizing how fans engage with moments. Pioneering non-fungible tokens (NFTs), Dapper Labs empowers creators and collectors alike, redefining the notion of ownership while orchestrating a digital renaissance that bridges technology, culture, and commerce.
Shopify’s trailblazing dominance continues to rewrite the playbook of e-commerce. Surpassing $197 billion in Gross Merchandise Volume and $5 billion in total revenue in 2022 alone, its unrivaled growth and market cap cement its status as an industry juggernaut. With record-breaking merchant acquisitions in 2022 and game-changing investments in augmented reality shopping experiences, Shopify is propelling businesses forward by democratizing entrepreneurship. Its innovative approach to empowering small businesses resonates globally, making it a driving force in the ever-evolving world of online commerce.
Pictured: Shopify President, Harley Finkelstein
Wealthsimple’s disruptive prowess has transformed finance into an accessible realm. Overseeing more than $17 billion in assets under management and over three million users, it’s a fintech titan rewriting investment rules. With a diverse array of products that focus on everything from stocks to ETFs to crypto, the Toronto-based brand continues to amplify its influence in the wealth management sector. As a beacon of financial democratization, Wealthsimple’s trailblazing journey leaves a mark on the industry, forging a path toward a more inclusive and empowered financial future.
Fintech startup Borrowell reshapes financial wellness with a two-million strong community, demystifying credit scores and offering tailored insights. Their AI-driven credit coaching and personalized recommendations have set new industry standards while bridging credit literacy gaps and driving a future of informed financial decisions.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT BANK OF CANADA (BDC)
With a pulse on innovation, BDC propels small businesses to greatness, fostering job growth and economic resilience. Notably, BDC’s initiatives empower minority communities, women entrepreneurs, and impact-driven businesses. Their Thrive Platform, for example, is the largest investment platform in the world supporting women-led businesses and dedicates $500 million.
Lightspeed’s tech brilliance illuminates retail evolution. With a global presence, the Montreal-based company is shaping the point-of-sale future, melding innovation with user-friendly solutions. Industry leadership extends beyond profits; Lightspeed nurtures local communities through initiatives like Lightspeed Local, underscoring its commitment to transforming not just transactions, but also the retail and small business landscape at large.
Pictured: Lightspeed CEO and founder, Dax Dasilva.
Calgary-based Benevity is a triple-threat: industry disruptor, community lifeline, and innovation incubator. Pioneering corporate social responsibility (CSR), it’s redefining workplace giving via its CSR software, which gives companies and non-profits access to a range of employee engagement products and programs. With $6 billion in donations and millions of volunteer hours, they’re part of a rare cohort of Canadian companies who have achieved unicorn status of a $1 billion valuation. Benevity’s ethos embodies industry leadership, fusing technology with social conscience to craft a more compassionate and connected world.
MindBridge’s industry ripple is undeniable, propelling auditing into the digital age. As a pioneering force in AI-powered auditing, it transforms financial assessments with unrivaled accuracy while identifying blindspots. Its platform’s implementation at Canada’s Department of National Defence underscores MindBridge’s pivotal role in modernizing governmental financial oversight.
Neo Financial’s industry resonance is a financial renaissance, reimagining banking for the digital age by seamlessly blending banking and rewards, and harnessing data to personalize financial experiences. Innovative features like no-fee cashback and savings tools are reshaping how customers engage with money.,
Koho’s industry sway is a financial revolution, rewriting banking norms. As a fintech disruptor, it champions financial wellness with no hidden fees, automated savings, and real-time insights. Its unique hybrid model merges the best of digital banking and traditional features, resonating with a millennial audience seeking modern convenience and genuine value.
Elevating password management, 1Password is a digital guardian fending off breaches and ensuring user data safety. As the threat of cyber attacks increases every day, its innovative encryption, seamless integration, and cross-platform agility are unrivaled. Trusted by global giants and individuals alike, 1Password’s intuitive user experience and robust security protocols redefine digital safeguarding.
Clio dominates legaltech, reshaping law practice management. A trailblazer in cloud-based solutions, they streamline legal operations with intuitive software. Thanks to their innovative approach, Clio has disrupted traditional practices, enabling seamless client collaboration, case management, and billing. Their visionary technology and commitment to simplifying legal workflows make Clio a category leader, setting new standards for efficiency and client service in the legal industry.
BLUE J LEGAL
As pioneers in AI-powered tax analytics, Blue J Legal helps legal professionals navigate complex tax scenarios with unparalleled accuracy and efficiency. Their core competency lies in predictive insights, empowering lawyers to anticipate outcomes while saving valuable time and capacity. Their innovative technology disrupts traditional approaches, giving practitioners a competitive edge by minimizing uncertainty and optimizing legal strategy in an evolving legal landscape.
BlueDot commands the healthtech frontier, redefining infectious disease tracking. With industry leadership in AI-driven epidemic intelligence, they preemptively identify outbreaks, disrupting traditional methods. Their unique blend of data analytics and global insights gave them a pivotal role during the COVID-19 pandemic, warning of its spread months before its outbreak. BlueDot’s visionary technology not only shapes disease prevention but also accelerates global response, positioning them as indispensable trailblazers in safeguarding public health.
Pictured: Bluedot CEO and founder, Kamran Khan.
Deep Genomics forges a genomics revolution, altering disease treatment paradigms. With pioneering AI and machine learning, they decode genetic information, accelerating drug discovery and precision medicine. This distinct fusion of technology and biology catapults them to industry leadership, disrupting traditional approaches. Deep Genomics’ innovative prowess redefines how we approach genetic disorders, propelling personalized therapies and fundamentally reshaping the future of healthcare in a league of its own.
Vancouver-based Terramera stands as an agtech powerhouse, redefining sustainable agriculture by unlocking the intelligence in nature. With industry leadership in plant-based solutions, they disrupt conventional farming practices. Their unique Actigate™ technology enhances soil health and plant resilience, reducing the need for harmful chemicals. Terramera’s innovative approach fosters healthier crops, greater yields, and minimized environmental impact with a lofty goal of reducing the global synthetic pesticide load by 80 percent by 2030.
BrainBox AI shines as a cleantech luminary, reshaping energy efficiency. At the helm of AI-driven climate control, they disrupt traditional building management systems, which make up approximately 20 percent of our total greenhouse gas emissions (and the third leading source in Canada.) Their cutting-edge technology learns and adapts to optimize energy consumption while maintaining occupant comfort. BrainBox AI’s visionary leadership is redefining sustainability in real estate, making them pioneers in reducing environmental impact and driving a future where smart buildings lead the charge towards a greener planet.
Chances are, if you’ve ever spoken to a customer service chatbot, you’ve spoken with Ada. The Canadian startup dominates the AI-powered customer service frontier, revolutionizing interactions.. As a frontrunner in chatbot technology, they disrupt conventional support models. Their unique platform offers customizable, context-aware solutions that provide efficient, personalized customer experiences. Ada’s innovation is reshaping how businesses engage with their audience, minimizing response times and driving customer satisfaction.
Toronto’s Signal 1 is a visionary in reshaping healthcare through AI leadership. With the backing of industry maverick Geoffrey Hinton, they empower clinicians with AI-driven insights, enhancing client care. Their innovative platform streamlines hospital workflows, elevates patient outcomes, and reduces stress for front-line workers. Signal 1’s disruption in healthcare technology marks a new era of efficiency and empowerment, making them pioneers in optimizing hospital operations and patient well-being.
Hopper is a travel industry leader, reshaping how we explore the world. As disruptors armed with cutting-edge AI and data analytics, they predict flight and hotel prices, flipping the booking model on its head. Hopper’s app combines personalized recommendations with savings, creating a unique blend of convenience and value. Their innovative approach sets them apart, making Hopper a category leader in transforming travel into a smarter, more personalized and accessible experience.
Waterloo’s OpenText is a true industry leader. Pioneering enterprise information management, they revolutionize traditional processes across sectors by helping clients tackle complex digital transformation programs. Their cutting-edge solutions, including cloud-based platforms, empower businesses to optimize operations, enhance customer engagement, and protect key data. With 120,000 customers in 180 countries and 98 Fortune 100 companies using their platform, OpenText remains at the forefront of category disruption, reshaping industries with their visionary approach.
Since 2019, Toronto has witnessed an annual migration of tech’s most influential leaders descend upon the city’s Collision conference. Known as the ‘Olympics of Tech,’ Collision is the brainchild of founder Paddy Cosgrave, who has built the annual tech conference into one of the biggest global gatherings of tech founders, entrepreneurs, startups, and world leaders. Moving from its previous home in New Orleans to its current residency in Canada, Collision has welcomed over 70,000 people to Toronto and is forecasted to have a total economic impact of $188 million over the course of its past three events.
Elevate Tech Festival dominates the industry stage as a beacon of innovation and collaboration. Its uniquely Canadian spirit shines in Toronto, spotlighting homegrown startups while delivering global insights. With thought-provoking talks and immersive experiences, Elevate’s dynamic blend of tech, business, and culture cements its industry leadership and unparalleled impact, setting it apart from competitors.
MARS DISCOVERY DISTRICT
As North America’s larget urban innovation hub, MaRS is an innovation colossus, pioneering breakthroughs at the intersection of business and technology. As an industry vanguard, it fosters startups and partnerships, creating an ecosystem that propels pioneering ideas to market. Its unparalleled expertise in nurturing innovation and cutting-edge research has supported over 1,400 companies, who have collectively raised over $10.6 billion in capital and $7.1 billion in revenue since 2008.
Pictured: MaRS Discovery District CEO, Yung Wu
Toronto’s DMZ is an industry juggernaut with a relentless commitment to nurturing startups and fostering collaboration that has propelled it into a league of its own. DMZ’s unique blend of mentorship, resources, and strategic partnerships sets it apart, with specific initiatives focused on support BIPOC and women founders. As a launchpad for groundbreaking ventures, DMZ has fueled over 801 startups, raised over $2.51 billion in seed funding and created more than 4,975 jobs.
Toronto’s Techstars shines as an innovation crucible, forging startups into industry titans. Its unwavering leadership drives entrepreneurs towards success through mentorship, resources, and a robust network. Techstars’ unique blend of expertise and hands-on guidance sets it apart, propelling graduates like Babbel and Inkblot to meteoric heights. With a transformative impact that resonates beyond borders, Techstars solidifies its status as the catalyst for groundbreaking innovation in the heart of Toronto.
RBCx commands the innovation frontier, spearheading breakthroughs in finance and technology. Its visionary industry leadership merges RBC’s prowess with cutting-edge startups, fostering an ecosystem that drives change. Through four core pillars (Banking, Capital, Platform, Ventures), RBCx seamlessly unites financial might with entrepreneurial agility. The result? Industry propulsion and the cultivation of revolutionary Canadian startups.
Toronto’s Maple emerges as a transformative force in healthcare, pioneering virtual care delivery. Its disruptive platform connects patients with doctors instantly through real-time video consultations and prescriptions, shattering traditional barriers to access and redefining patient-doctor interactions. Amidst a shifting healthcare landscape, Maple’s industry leadership and tech-driven approach mark a paradigm shift, placing quality care at the fingertips of patients, solidifying its place as a dynamic trailblazer in the realm of telemedicine.
As leaders in online will creation, Willful is disrupting an age-old process and industry by making it accessible, efficient, and affordable. With user-friendly tools and expert guidance, Willful redefines end-of-life preparations by empowering the end user during what is often a difficult and confusing time. Their unique blend of technology and empathy differentiates them, establishing a new era of supporting individuals in securing their legacies seamlessly.
A leader in the “deathtech” space, Toronto-based Eirene has transformed end-of-life arrangements by approaching the process through a modern lens with a digital touch. Through transparent pricing, client education, and a streamlined process, Eirene disrupts the traditional funeral industry, offering services like cremation and aquamation to clients during the grieving process.
Dialogue’s industry impact is a revolution in healthcare delivery. As healthtech frontrunners, they’ve reimagined doctor-patient interactions through virtual care. With personalized treatment plans, real-time consultations, and comprehensive mental health support, Dialogue disrupts the traditional healthcare model and has already surpassed over 1 million consultations. Their innovation and holistic approach make them leaders in shaping a future where accessible, patient-centric care is at the forefront.
As pioneers in textile computing, Myant is disrupting wearable tech by weaving sensors into fabrics. With smart garments enhancing health monitoring and seamless connectivity, Myant revolutionizes personal wellness. This unique fusion of fashion and tech sets them apart, carving a new path in wearables. Myant’s visionary leadership and category-defying approach solidify their standing as a transformative force, orchestrating a future where clothing is a canvas for innovation.
Marlow leads the charge in the femtech space, reshaping how we talk about menstrual health for a new generation. Their groundbreaking platform educates and empowers young women, shattering taboos and fostering open conversations. Championing high-quality period products that are 100% organic, sustainable, and lubricated, Marlow disrupts norms and is redefining how menstrual health is understood and shared.
Ecobee’s industry resonance radiates as a pioneer in smart home technology. Its category innovation, exemplified by the world’s first Wi-Fi smart thermostat, has set a new bar for energy efficiency. To date, they’ve saved more than 27.8 TWh of electricity, enough to take all the homes in LA and Chicago off the grid for one year. Combined with its sleek design and overall commitment to sustainability and innovation, Ecobee strides ahead, redefining home comfort while shaping a greener, smarter future in a league of its own.
As leaders in drone technology, FlashForest has unlocked a new era of ecological restoration. In a world grappling with climate crisis, their innovative approach merges technology and environmental stewardship, accelerating tree planting at an unprecedented pace. FlashForest’s timely relevance makes them pioneers in combating deforestation and a symbol of hope for a greener, more sustainable future.
CarbonCure Technologies leads an industry revolution, redefining sustainable concrete production. Pioneering carbon capture, they’re disrupting construction norms by transforming CO2 emissions into stronger concrete. Their innovative process slashes carbon footprints, setting a new standard for eco-friendly building materials. Amid growing environmental concerns, CarbonCure’s unique technology and market leadership not only revolutionize construction practices but also champion a greener future, making them a dynamic force at the intersection of innovation and sustainability.
UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO
University of Waterloo stands tall as an industry juggernaut, a fertile ground nurturing engineering and tech virtuosos. With its unwavering commitment to innovation and industry partnerships, it churns out a relentless stream of tech pioneers, disrupting and reshaping industries worldwide. Renowned for producing top-tier graduates, Waterloo’s impact reverberates through the tech realm, a cornerstone in forging the next generation of tech titans and redefining the landscape of innovation.
ApplyBoard’s industry impact reverberates as a transformative force in education. Pioneers in simplifying global student applications, they’re reshaping access to higher learning. With cutting-edge technology and personalized guidance, ApplyBoard disrupts traditional barriers. Their platform’s efficiency, from application to enrollment, sets them apart, streamlining a complex process. ApplyBoard’s visionary leadership is rewriting the future of education, opening doors for students worldwide and bridging global divides in pursuit of knowledge.