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(Mostly) Free/Open Resources for Entrepreneurs


Define your Industry & Find Industry Information


Industries are officially defined and categorized by NAICS (North American Industry Classification System), which was developed jointly by the statistical agencies of Canada, the US, and Mexico.

NAICS divides the economy into

20 sectors (2-digit codes)                  ex. 72 Accommodation and Food Services

102 subsectors (3-digit codes)          ex. 722 Food Services and Drinking Places

322 industry groups (4-digit codes)   ex. 7223 Special Food Services

708 industries (5-digit codes)            ex. 72232 Caterers


See Canadian Industry Statistics from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada​ to

  • Find your NAICS code 
  • Find basic info about your industry in Canada
    • Click on each section (Financial Performance, Business, etc) to see stats
  • No information available? Scroll to the bottom of the page and choose a broader industry group or subsector



Find Industry / Market Reports


Industry Reports discuss trends, products/services, market share, major companies, and other factors affecting the industry.

In general, these are not free - they are valuable resources created by analysts who are expert researchers with in-depth knowledge of the field. Typically, you'll need a subscription to an industry reports database to access these.

Your library may have access, but please note GBC library databases are for academic use only, and cannot be used for commercial purposes.


Current GBC students & faculty: CLICK HERE to visit GBC library databases


Not a current student? That's OK, substitutes may be found. For example:


Government Data

FedDev Ontario Small Business Services - Market Research Guide

City of Toronto Industry Profiles 2018

  • A downloadable Excel file. Includes labour information and other demographics 

City of Toronto - Industry Sector Report

  • Distribution of jobs in the sector, key assets, education/training options, city support etc.

Government of Canada - Industry Sectors 

  • Industry profiles, reports, publications, related sites

Government of Canada - Research and Business Intelligence

  • Industry sector data, financial benchmarks, labour trends and business statistics


Independent / Non-Government / Open Resources

G2 Learning Hub: 50 Open Data Resources

MaRS - Market Research for Startups

BDC - (Business Development Bank of Canada) - Practical Guide to Market Research


  • Sponsored by Michigan State University. A good source for international business information. 

Vault Industry Reports

  • Create an account for free access to some industry reports & resources

BigCharts / Market Watch - Industry Analyzer

  • See current data for Dow Jones industry sectors, including some company-specific data

Statista - off-campus use of publicy-available stats only

  • Information retrieved from GBC's subscription to Statista may not be used for commerical purposes. However, Statista makes some information freely available online
  • Go to when OFF CAMPUS to access


Consulting Firms will sometimes release industry/market reports to the public (some full reports may require purchase)

PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Canada

McKinsey & Co.


Ernst & Young



Toronto Public Library - Subscription Databases

Business Databases via Toronto Public Library 

*These will require a TPL library card or TPL digital card to log in


Find Industry Trends in the Media


Google Trends - See what people are searching for

Canadian Startup & Tech News




Newspapers and Magazines via Toronto Public Library*

*These will require a TPL library card or TPL digital card to log in

  • Canadian NewsStream for all Canadian newspapers
  • CBCA and CPI.Q for Magazines and Business Trade publications
  • PressreaderOnline access to newspapers and magazines from over 100 countries in over 60 languages


Know Your Demographic


Statistics Canada is FREE TO THE PUBLIC and contains data and reports:


Researching a specific neighbourhood? Try Neighbourhood Profiles (StatsCan data)

City of Toronto Neighbourhood Profiles 

Peel Region Ward Profiles (Brampton, Caledon, Mississauga)

Markham Ward Profiles

St. Catherines Statistics & Demographics 

Richmond Hill Demographics and Census 

Hamilton Ward profiles



Nielson Demographics

  • Some reports freely available

Environics PRIZM Personas (limited access - full access requires a subscription) 


Need More Help? Contact me!

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Christa Lochead
Christa Lochead
Entrepreneurship Librarian
George Brown College
Library Learning Commons