Moncton, New Brunswick’s largest city, has been called the politest city in Canada and the most competitive on the eastern seaboard. That almost sums up why business is booming in Moncton.

1. Moncton is growing up

Moncton’s population has grown almost 10 percent in the past decade, nearly twice the national rate. Yet it remains affordable — the average family income of $62,871 goes a long way when the average house costs $165,500. Moncton is the fastest-growing metro area in Atlantic Canada, Mayor Dawn Arnold says. With building permits in the city expected to reach nearly a quarter-billion dollars for the first time this year, and a $104 million sports and entertainment complex set to open downtown in 2018, Moncton is ready for the future.

2. Moncton is open for business

That’s what Mayor Dawn Arnold keeps telling everyone. Not only does the growth propel business confidence, but with a metro area population of 144,000, Moncton is still small enough to limit the red tape. “We’re really trying to create an environment for business to be successful. You can get a building permit here in five days.

There aren’t many places you can do that,” says Arnold. “Now is the time for the mid-size city.” And Atlantic Canada’s famous friendliness extends to the business community — you can even get a meeting with the mayor. A projected economic growth rate of two percent in 2018 is a bright spot for the province, while keeping the cost of living stable.

3. It’s diverse — and diversifying

According to the most recent census figures, the City of Moncton’s immigrant population has doubled since the 2011–2016 period to about 7.4 percent. The city was the first in New Brunswick to hire an immigration strategy officer. “We do everything possible to make sure newcomers integrate into the community and that they want to stay here,” Arnold says. While the knowledge-based sector drives a large part of the economy, the skilled work force is thriving, thanks to the numerous universities in the region. Nearby Mount Allison has been ranked first by Maclean’s magazine 19 times, including this year, the Université de Moncton attracts many francophones from the region and abroad, and community colleges bring in many students looking to upgrade their technical skills, says Arnold.

4. The tech sector is growing

Moncton is home to over one hundred IT firms, according to the mayor’s office, with over 2,400 people employed in the tech sector.

In collaboration with local and provincial governments, Toronto-based financial technology firm Dream Payments opened their first “centre of excellence” in downtown Moncton this July. The company recently signed a deal with IBM to bring their mobile payment technology to the U.S. market, and expects to bring 125 new jobs to the city over the next three years.

“All the cool new things we’re doing come out of the Moncton office,” says Dream Payments chief marketing officer Christian Ali. They also relocated engineering staff and their families from Ontario, Russia, and Vietnam.

“You’re looking for a balance of business success, technology, standard of living, and lifestyle. It’s peoples’ families we’re thinking about as well,” Ali says.

5. It’s cost-effective

Moncton has topped the list for most cost-competitive city in Canada by KPMG for four consecutive studies, based on factors such as labour, facilities, transportation, utilities, and taxes. All that for a city with a vibrant arts and culture scene, hip local breweries, an authentic community feeling, and affordable property values. Overall, “There’s an amazing momentum in the city right now,” Arnold says. “You can really feel it in the air: people are positive and people are investing.”

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