Post-COVID opportunities in Canada’s fastest-growing industries

6 min read
Mélanie Bernier

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a transformational period for several major industries in Canada. The way Canadians travel, entertain themselves, buy goods and generally lead their lives has changed, and this has led to the collapse, emergence, and resurgence of a variety of business sectors. This post will identify Canada’s fastest-growing industries as we exit the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a small business owner or aspiring entrepreneur, the past two years may have left you feeling confused and even discouraged as you attempt to pivot your existing business or launch a new one.

Although the pandemic throttled growth in some of the more traditional industries, many small businesses and freelancers are capitalizing on the emerging sectors and the sub-opportunities they create.

In addition, the accelerated “virtualisation” of the workplace has made it even easier for small service providers to start their ventures, regardless of their locations.

Here is a list of the fastest-growing industries in Canada right now.

Related: Want to start a business in B.C.? These local industries are booming now

1. Accommodations

After two years of lockdowns and getting sick from the virus, many Canadians have caught a new bug of the travel variety.

Seeing as international travel in 2022 has so far been plagued by delays and cancellations, many people are opting for more local travel destinations.

Glamping A-frame at night

This rising demand for hotel rooms and cottage rentals has sent nightly rates skyrocketing and vacancies plummeting. If you’re lucky enough to own a cottage or an income property, now’s the time to consider launching your Airbnb. Even a small cabin in a remote area can fetch a good nightly rate these days.

If an investment property is out of your reach but you’d still like to take advantage of this trend, consider offering support services to those who own cottages and rental condos.

For example, many short-term rental owners hire local property management and cleaning companies to make their rentals a bit more “hands-off” and self-sustainable.

Related: 5 creative tourism business ideas for a world weary of home

2. Cannabis

Next on our list of the fastest-growing industries is cannabis. After the immense hype it enjoyed in 2018, the newly legalized cannabis industry is finally taking shape and diversifying its offering.

Despite talks of oversaturation, as the volume of cannabis stores has even begun to surpass the number of Tim Horton’s locations in several large cities, some experts believe there is still room for more.

Those looking to start a business in the cannabis industry have tons of opportunity outside of the retail space.

This includes manufacturing the products themselves. According to Forbes, the top five Canadian product segments include:

  • The tincture and sublingual category
  • Pre-rolls
  • Topicals
  • Concentrates
  • Flowers and ground flowers

This leaves much room for cross-sector innovation of products such as cannabis-infused drinks and confectionary.

Service providers who target cannabis retailers — like specialized marketing experts and packaging designers — are very much in demand in this young industry.

Cannabis business owners want to work with likeminded people who understand their clientele and products. Service providers can capitalize by expanding their knowledge and growing their portfolio within the cannabis sector: it all comes down to tailoring your personal brand!

Related: 5 trends you can use to improve your B2B marketing

3. Concerts and events

After two years of cancelled concerts and festivals, Canadians are ready for in-person musical experiences.

Outdoor event with fireworks

Outdoor music festivals are enjoying a resurgence throughout the country, while smaller-scale shows such as fireworks and family events are getting better turnouts.

On the corporate side, in-person conferences are finally coming back, and salespeople and entrepreneurs alike are eager to interact and promote their businesses as they did pre-COVID.

If you organize networking or industry-specific tradeshows, you may benefit from a high level of engagement as people are motivated to socialize and share their ideas.

Related: What the future holds for Canadian businesses

4. Home renovations

No list of post-COVID trending industries would be complete without home renovation.

Given the isolating nature of the pandemic, many Canadian families took the opportunity to put their disposable income into improving their homes and backyards. This trend is continuing in 2022 thanks to the increased availability of renovation materials.

If you’re a handyperson, now is a great time to launch a renovation and repair, landscaping, pool installation or roofing business. The cost of materials is on the high side, but we should see a decline in pricing as the industry goes back to normal.

Related: Get more plumbing jobs with a website

Rental kayaks lined up on a dock5. Outdoor adventures and sports

Not only did the pandemic force Canadians to venture outdoors for entertainment and exercise, but it also introduced them to new activities they may have never tried otherwise.

The trend is continuing in 2022, as many are practicing outdoor sports such as skiing, hiking, watersports, and more.

Children’s sports are also back in full swing after being restricted and cancelled due to back-to-back lockdowns.

Now is a great time to start a sports tourism business, an adult or children’s sports league, or a sports equipment rental company.

6. Cryptocurrency

Last on our list of the fastest-growing industries is cryptocurrency.

An abstract concept for some, cryptocurrency and bitcoin mining has become a legitimate industry in Canada. It’s even breathing new life into old infrastructure.

Bitcoin mining equipment

Take for example Validus Power’s new project in the small Northern Ontario town of Iroquois Falls. Devastated in 2014 by the loss of its largest employer, the Abitibi paper mill, the town of 4,500 people is welcoming Validus Power into the cogeneration plant that once fed the now defunct paper mill.

The company is currently retrofitting the old facilities to support a crypto and bitcoin mining operation. This is expected to create up to 60 jobs in the area, in addition to an already-operational data centre in North Bay, Ontario.

Not only do such projects create employment opportunities that were lost throughout the pandemic, but they can also help revitalize communities that once thrived on “older” industries.

Online entrepreneurs with a knowledge of cryptocurrency also have a gamut of unique opportunities, including:

  • Creating virtual courses on the subject
  • Offering professional services (legal advice, accounting) aimed at crypto investors
  • Copywriting and SEO services for crypto-related blogs and website

Fastest-growing industries in Canada

If you’re a budding entrepreneur, the key to succeeding as a business owner or a freelancer may simply come down to being opportunistic.

Choose wisely and you can create a business that will stand the test of time.

Before jumping into a post-COVID trend, consider its sustainability and do your research, both from a statistical and an anecdotal standpoint.

If your existing business is stagnating or struggling, consider pivoting your services to cater to one of the above fast-growing industries. The new version of your business may deviate from your original plan, but your ability to adapt is the key to making it last!

Editor’s note: A business without a website is invisible on the internet. Build a website yourself — truly no tech skills needed! — or let the pros at GoDaddy build one for you.

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