Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Newfoundland constitute the Atlantic provinces of Canada, a region that in 2016 accounted for 6 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP). The economic history of what is now Atlantic Canada begins with the hunting, farming and trading societies of the Indigenous peoples. Following the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century, the economy has undergone a series of seismic shifts, marked by the early Atlantic fishery, the transcontinental fur trade, then rapid urbanization, industrialization and technological change.
Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia constitute Western Canada, a region that accounts for 35 per cent of the Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP). The economic history of the region begins with the hunting, farming and trading societies of the Indigenous peoples. Following the arrival of Europeans in the 18th century, the economy has undergone a series of seismic shifts, marked by the transcontinental fur trade, then rapid urbanization, industrialization and technological change.
The Toronto-Dominion Bank, commonly known as TD, is the second-largest chartered bank in Canada. The Toronto-Dominion Bank is the result of the past mergers of three financial companies: The Bank of Toronto, The Dominion Bank, and Canada Trust. The mergers began in 1955 when The Dominion Bank merged with The Bank of Toronto. This group then acquired Canada Trust in 2000, creating a new entity called TD Canada Trust. Toronto-Dominion Bank is a public company that trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TD. In 2017, TD registered $36.1 billion in revenue and $10.4 billion in profit and held $1.3 trillion in assets. The bank employs 83,160 people, who serve 25 million customers.
The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) was founded in 1864. Today, it is the country’s largest chartered bank and financial institution, and one of the 20 largest banks in the world. It has five divisions that operate under the umbrella brand name of RBC Financial Group: Personal and Commercial Banking, consisting of banking operations in 37 countries around the world; RBC Wealth Management, consisting of investment products and services for retail investors; RBC Capital Markets for international investment banking services; RBC Insurance for individual and group clients; and Investor and Treasury Services, providing custody services and fund administration for international clients. RBC is a public company that trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange, the New York Stock Exchange and SIX Swiss Exchange under the symbol RY. In 2017, RBC registered $40.7 billion in revenue and $11.4 billion in profit and held $1.2 trillion in assets. RBC employs 80,000 people, who serve 16 million customers.
The Bank of Nova Scotia, commonly referred to as “Scotiabank,” is Canada’s third largest chartered bank. Incorporated in 1832, the bank has established itself as Canada’s most international bank through extensive operations throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Central America and parts of Asia. It is also known as “Canada’s gold bank” because of its dominant position in bullion trading. The bank also operates three other business lines: personal banking, commercial banking, and wealth management. Scotiabank is a public company that trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BNS and on the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange under the symbol SBTT. In 2017, Scotiabank registered $27.1 billion in revenue and $8.2 billion in profit and held $915.3 billion in assets. The bank employs 88,645 people, who serve 24 million customers in nearly 50 countries.
The Bank of Montreal was founded in 1817, making it Canada’s oldest incorporated bank. From its founding to the creation of the Bank of Canada in 1935, the Bank of Montreal served as Canada’s central bank. Today, the various components of the Bank of Montreal are collectively known as BMO Financial Group. It’s Canada’s fourth largest bank by assets, and the eighth largest in North America. It offers services in three distinct areas — personal and commercial banking, wealth management, and investment banking. BMO is Canada’s fourth largest bank by assets, and the eighth largest in North America. It offers services in three distinct areas — personal and commercial banking, wealth management, and investment banking. BMO is a public company that trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BMO. In 2017, BMO registered $22.2 billion in revenue and $5.3 billion in profit and held $709.6 billion in assets. BMO employs 45,200 people, who serve more than 12 million customers.
Tim Hortons is a Canadian restaurant chain known for its coffee, doughnuts and connection to Canada’s national identity. Its namesake, Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Tim Horton (1930–74), founded the business with Montréal businessman Jim Charade. The first Tim Hortons doughnut franchise opened in Hamilton, Ontario, in April 1964. Since then, Tim Hortons has become Canada’s largest restaurant chain, operating 3,665 stores across the country as of 2016. In 1995, American fast-food chain Wendy’s bought Tim Hortons in a partnership that lasted until 2006. In 2014, the chain was again purchased by a foreign company, this time by Brazilian firm 3G Capital, known for its ownership of Burger King. Despite foreign ownership, Tim Hortons remains a Canadian cultural phenomenon.
Canada is the world’s leading producer and exporter of maple products, accounting for 71 per cent of the global market. In 2016, Canadian producers exported 45 million kg of maple products, with a value of $381 million. The province of Québec is by far the largest producer, representing 92 per cent of Canadian production. Maple syrup and maple sugar products are made by boiling down the sap of maple trees. World production of maple syrup and sugar is mainly limited to the Maple Belt, the hardwood forest stretching from the midwestern United States through Ontario, Québec and New England and into New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island; however, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan also produce some syrup.
Enbridge is a Canadian-based multinational corporation that generates, transports and distributes energy. It also has growing investments in wind, solar and geothermal energy generation. It owns and operates the world’s longest pipeline network, which transports 28 per cent of North America’s crude oil. It is North America’s leader in gathering, processing, transporting and distributing natural gas, with about 3.6 million customers in Canada and New York state. Enbridge’s headquarters is in Calgary, Alberta, and the company employs approximately 16,000 people. In 2016, it boasted revenue of $34.5 billion, $85.8 billion in assets and 2.1 billion in profits. Enbridge is a public company that trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ENB.
George Weston Limited is one of North America’s largest processors and distributors of food. The company operates two subsidiaries: grocery, drugstore and general retailer Loblaw Companies Limited and Weston Foods, a baking company. George Weston Ltd. owns a variety of brands and retail banners. Weston Foods includes Wonder, D’Italiano and Country Harvest and Loblaw brands include No Name, President’s Choice, Life Brand and Joe Fresh. Loblaw stores include Loblaws, Zehrs, Your Independent Grocer, Provigo, Atlantic Superstore, Fortinos, Dominion, Independent City Market, Valu-mart, ARZ Bakery, Wholesale Club, T&T Supermarket, Real Canadian Liquorstore, Real Canadian Superstore, No Frills, Maxi, Extra Foods and Shoppers Drug Mart. In 2016, George Weston Ltd. registered $48 billion in revenue and $550 million in profit and held assets valued at $38 billion. George Weston Ltd. is the country’s largest employer, with 201,500 full- and part-time employees as of 2016. It is a public company headquartered in Toronto and listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol WN.
Encana Corporation produces, transports and markets oil and natural gas. It was formed in 2002 through the merger of the Alberta Energy Company Ltd. and the PanCanadian Energy Corporation. Its corporate headquarters is in Calgary, Alberta. In 2009, the company split in two. Encana remained a corporate entity focused on the exploration, production and marketing of natural gas, and Cenovus Energy was formed to concentrate on oil exploration, production and sales. In 2016, Encana Corporation earned $3.9 billion in revenue. It is a public company and trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ECA.
The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, commonly known as CIBC, is the fifth largest chartered bank in Canada. It was created through the 1961 merger of two Ontario-based banks, the Canadian Bank of Commerce and the Imperial Bank of Canada — the largest merger of two chartered banks in Canada’s history. Today, CIBC operates its business in Canada and abroad through three divisions: retail and business banking, wealth management, and capital markets. CIBC is a public company that trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CM. In 2017, CIBC registered $16.3 billion in revenue and $4.7 billion in profit and held $565.3 billion in assets. The bank employs approximately 45,000 people, who serve 11 million customers.
Chartered banks, sometimes known as commercial banks, are public corporations that are licensed by the federal government to operate a banking business within Canada. By issuing these licenses (or charters), the Canadian government regulates and controls the country’s economy by influencing the amount, availability and distribution of money, and the terms or cost of accessing and distributing that money (interest rates). Chartered banks are regulated by the federal Bank Act and supervised by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. Chartered banks in Canada accept deposits from the public and extend loans (such as mortgages) for personal, commercial, and other purposes. Banks also own and operate trust companies, securities dealers and insurance companies and offer such services as investment banking, international banking and more.
Nortel Networks Corporation, or simply Nortel, was a public telecommunications and data networking equipment manufacturer. Founded in 1895 as the Northern Electric and Manufacturing Company, it was one of Canada’s oldest technology companies. Nortel expanded rapidly during the dot-com boom (1997–2001), purchasing many Internet technology companies in a drive to remain competitive in the expanding information technology (IT) market. At its height in 2000, the company represented over 35 per cent of the value of Toronto’s TSE 300 index. It was the ninth most valuable corporation in the world and employed about 94,000 people worldwide at its peak. But Nortel soon entered an extended and painful period of corporate downsizing, and in 2009, the company filed for bankruptcy protection in the largest corporate failure in Canadian history. Shareholders, employees and pensioners suffered losses as a result. Company executives, however, were paid a total US$190 million in retention bonuses between 2009 and 2016. Nortel sold off its assets for a total US$7.3 billion. Those assets were scheduled to be distributed to Nortel’s bondholders, suppliers and former employees in 2017.
Real estate can refer to land itself (real property), including what grows or is built on the land; ownership of real property; and the real estate business, i.e., brokers, agents, builders, developers, property managers, mortgage lenders, investors, consultants and appraisers who work in the real estate industry. Real estate is commonly classified as residential (e.g., houses, condominiums, duplexes), rural (e.g., farms and ranches), commercial (e.g., shopping centres, apartments, office or industrial buildings) or institutional (e.g., churches, schools, hospitals or airports). Land without improvements is regarded as residential, rural, commercial or institutional according to its intended use.
Roots Corporation (better known as Roots or Roots Canada) is a publicly traded retail clothing business. It was co-founded by fashion designers and businessmen Michael Budman and Don Green, both from Detroit, Michigan. Budman and Green first met in 1962, when they were attending Camp Tamakwa in Ontario’s Algonquin Park. Following their graduation from Michigan State University, Budman moved to Canada in 1969 and Green followed a few years later in 1972. In 1973, Budman and Green began production of their version of the “negative heel” shoe — the first product sold under the Roots brand. That same year, on 15 August, the duo opened their first store in Toronto. Inspired by their early years at Algonquin Park, Budman and Green quickly made Roots, with its beaver logo and cottage feel, an iconic Canadian brand. In 2015, Budman and Green sold a majority stake to Searchlight Capital Partners, though the founders remain prominent shareholders. In October 2017, Roots made its initial public offering (IPO) in Canada, trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol ROOT.
Money consists of anything that is generally accepted for the settlement of debts or purchase of goods or services. The evolution of money as a system for regulating society’s economic transactions represented a significant advancement over earlier forms of exchange based on barter, in which goods and services are exchanged for other goods or services. Canadian money has its roots in the Indigenous wampum belts of the East, the early currencies of European settlers and the influence of the United States.
A free trade area as defined by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is "a group of two or more customs territories in which duties and other restrictive regulations of commerce... are eliminated on substantially all the trade between the constituent territories in products originating in such territories."
The Canadian dollar, also known as the loonie, for the loon on the $1 coin, is the currency of Canada. Its international currency code is CAD and its symbol $, or C$, to distinguish it from other dollar currencies. As money, it is the measure of value in which all prices in Canada are expressed and the medium of exchange for goods and services. It is divided into 100 cents (¢) and available in material form as coins circulated by the Royal Canadian Mint and banknotes circulated by the Bank of Canada.
The global financial crisis that began in 2007 dragged much of the world economy into recession, and Canada was not spared. Although the effects on Canada were milder than on the United States and in Europe, the Canadian recession of 2008–09 was still severe enough to generate sharp declines in output and employment and to require significant responses by Canadian policy-makers.