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Canada announces its Smart Cities Challenge winners

Four cities have been chosen from 20 finalists, which spent the last year working with residents and partners to turn their smart ideas into practical plans.

Montréal is innovating in areas such as mobility and access to food
Montréal is innovating in areas such as mobility and access to food

The Canadian government has named the four winners of the country’s first-ever Smart Cities Challenge.


The pan-Canadian competition sought to encourage communities of all sizes to harness the potential of connected technology and data to help improve the lives of Canadians.


The winners are...


The winners will receive prizes worth a total of $75m, which will be used to implement their visions. The winners are:

  • Town of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia: $5m for its proposal to reduce energy poverty
  • Nunavut Communities, Nunavut: $10m for its proposal to use a life promotion approach to suicide prevention
  • City of Guelph and Wellington County, Ontario: $10m for its proposal to create a circular food economy
  • City of Montréal, Quebec: $50m for its proposal to improve mobility and access to food.

When the challenge was launched in November 2017, communities from across Canada responded. From the largest metropolitan areas to some of the smallest towns, to indigenous communities, communities from across the country demonstrated that innovation and technology-enabled change can improve local realities in meaningful ways.


Over the past year, 20 finalists have been working intensely with their residents and partners to turn their bold ideas into real, practical plans.


According to a government spokesperson, they have defined the smart city concept in a “truly Canadian manner” and have come up with homegrown solutions that will benefit communities across the country as they develop their own smart city visions.

"You are shining examples of Canadian ingenuity and innovations at its best and I am immensely proud”

“Congratulations to finalists and winners of Canada’s first-ever Smart Cities Challenge. The work you have put into developing your proposals and to improving the lives of your residents is huge,” said François-Philippe Champagne, minister of infrastructure and communities.


“Your efforts will benefit your communities, and also communities across the country who may be facing similar challenges. You are shining examples of Canadian ingenuity and innovations at its best and I am immensely proud.”


The four winners will implement their smart cities approaches over the next five years. Updates on their implementation will be posted on Infrastructure Canada’s website, where their proposed summaries are currently posted.


More than 200 communities, large and small, from across Canada responded to the challenge. Of the 130 applications received, 20 were selected as finalists last year, and received grants of $250,000 to develop their proposals into fully implementable business proposals.


These final proposals were evaluated and assessed by the independent Smart Cities Canada jury based on the criteria set out in the finalist guide.


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