Back at HQ after a couple of weeks away, out on Canada’s east coast. I am thinking about relocating the business, and life, there for a bunch of reasons, and spending some time out there was helpful. Toronto was one big traffic jam when we approached it on the way home Friday afternoon, and that reinforced the general point of view: “Why would we deal with this nonsense if we didn’t have to?”
So … we’ll see, but Halifax, Nova Scotia looks pretty good to us. Think Portland, Oregon, but a lot smaller and on the opposite coast. Beautiful place full of universities and young people, and poised for big things as people get the hell out of too-big, too-expensive greater Toronto.
Plus our grown kids are now both living out there.
There is not a lot going on in the region in terms of this industry. Screenscape is based in lovely little Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island – about 4 hours, including a ferry, from Halifax. I dropped in and had an office tour. They have a nice office on the city’s main downtown street – but that city is so placid the street has angle parking with meters. That said, I saw several media technology companies around the central area, and Electronic Arts has a substantial three-floor office for a mobile developer team, a couple of blocks down from Screenscape.
Suburban Toronto-based Capital Networks has a satellite office in Nova Scotia, but that has more to do (I think) with the broadcast software side of Capital’s business. There is a company called DIME in the Halifax area operating as a solutions provider. Other than that, pretty quiet.
That lack of activity owes a lot to population – Halifax is the big, big city in the Maritimes and it’s just 400,000 for the metro area, while most of the other “big” centres in the region barely poke past 100,000. There are also few large companies with head offices in the region, though they do exist.
The region is Oh My God Beautiful in the summer, though parts of it get clobbered with snow and cold come winter.
That’s it for travel for a while so you’ll see a return to more regular posting, though it’s July and there doesn’t appear to be all that much shaking.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.