Five high-potential economic sectors

Last updated June 9, 2021
Reading time: 2 min

Several sectors and types of industry were identified as sources of innovation and growth in support of the city’s 2018-2022 Economic Development Strategy.

The health and development of these five sectors will have beneficial effects on the community and on Montréal’s stature.

Cultural and creative sector

The cultural and creative sector is among the touchstones of Montréal’s distinctive identity and character. This sector combines creativity and culture, of course, but also technology and innovation.

It includes companies in architecture and design, fashion, multimedia, video gaming, digital arts, and the traditional, living and visual arts.

The cultural and creative sector is in demand due to growing urbanization. It favours new business models that the city wishes to encourage and support.

Life sciences and health technologies

The life sciences and health technologies sector encompasses a number of activities, including three main areas of activity:

  • Medical equipment manufacturing
  • Research and development services (R&D)
  • Distribution of pharmaceutical products

The future of this sector will depend on the prevailing synergy between institutions (governments, higher education establishments, the health services network, research centres) and companies (small or medium-sized enterprises, multinational corporations, finance companies).

This sector is important for Montréal’s economic development, and it must be given special attention.

Digital industry

Digital technologies, specifically in the multimedia and Industry 4.0 sector, are among the city’s key economic development drivers. 

Whether they’re developed here or elsewhere, they represent a lever for attracting investment. Used in all activity sectors, they also promote the emergence of new business models. 

This industry includes the following subsectors:

  • Artificial intelligence and deep learning
  • Virtual and augmented reality
  • Big data
  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Software and IT services
  • Telecommunications services

Transportation and mobility

This vital sector includes all modes of transportation and the related logistical aspects:

  • Transportation of people
  • Transportation of manufactured products
  • Distribution centres
  • Retail and wholesale commerce
  • Electronic commerce
  • Final delivery of goods to consumers

This sector generates jobs and wealth, and its prosperity depends on the quality of the services it offers. 

It has a direct impact on the productivity and performance of companies and plays a key role in making Montréal an attractive place to live and do business. 

The emergence of new sustainable and intelligent transportation systems provides an opportunity to further consolidate Montréal’s position in this sector.

Clean technologies 

The fast-growing clean technologies sector pairs economic growth with environmental performance.

This sector ensures a transition towards a low-carbon economy, stimulates innovation through the creation of products and services that have an impact on other sectors, and promotes the emergence of innovative companies. 

This sector includes:

  • Green chemistry
  • Energy efficiency
  • Renewable energy
  • Sustainable transportation
  • Residual materials management
  • Water management
  • Rehabilitation of contaminated sites
  • Air treatment 


The strong growth in R&D investment is pushing the clean technology sector to come up with and perfect innovative solutions.