Toronto is an economic powerhouse with a huge potential for business growth. It’s the most populated city in Canada, and the 4th most populous in North America.
Launching and growing a business in Toronto, even if you start it out as a side hustle, can create long-term, sustainable income streams that make life better. Continue reading to learn about 5 trending business opportunities to develop in Toronto in 2023.
Start a Small Business in Toronto
Starting a small business, in Toronto or anywhere else, requires some thought. Ask yourself:
Some of the business opportunities listed below may not be best suited for you. However, all of them can generate appreciable profit if you’re willing to work diligently and intelligently.
Start a Home Business in Toronto
Start a Food Business in Toronto
A food business in Toronto is defined as any entity that produces, prepares, handles, displays, stores, transports, distributes, or sells food intended for human consumption.
Every Torontonian food business owner needs to be familiar with and adhere to the regulations set forth by the Ontario Food Premises Regulation, which includes allowing public health inspectors access to your facilities and vehicles for inspection purposes.
If you are considering opening a food business within Toronto city limits, or buying an existing food business, then you’ll need to contact your local Medical Officer of Health. You’ll also need to get familiar with all applicable licensing requirements, structural regulations, and other rules you’re subject to.
A good place to start learning more about opening or purchasing an existing food business in Toronto is the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), which is responsible for enforcing federal laws pertaining to food inspections, as well as plant and animal health.
Start a Courier Business in Toronto
Operating a courier business in Toronto is an attractive option for those with limited startup capital. It’s a low-overhead/high-profit potential enterprise, and everyone needs personalized hand delivery services from time to time.
You won’t need a lot of special equipment to start a courier business in Toronto. You can base it from your home, communicating with customers and booking appointments online. Many couriers in Toronto operate with just a bicycle and backpack. Others handle more distant deliveries with cars and trucks.
A courier business can be a good choice for Torontonians who have a knack for customer love. Treat your customers respectfully and provide prompt service, and you’ll very likely progressively expand your repeat customer base.
Start a Cleaning Business in Toronto
Opportunities for finding projects in the cleaning industry are literally endless. Every business, home, and vehicle owner has routine cleaning needs that must be met, and many people don’t have ample time, or interest, to dedicate themselves to this mundane responsibility.
So, if you are a “clean freak” who likes the idea of self-employment, launching a cleaning business in Toronto might fit your lifestyle very well.
Cleaning is a versatile field, meaning you can offer:
A cleaning business has few entry barriers. You won’t need a lot of specialized equipment or tools. Plus, many of your customers will prefer you to use their cleaning supplies, vacuum, and other job necessities. Start small, build your reputation and equipment/supplies inventory, and enjoy growing.
Start a Catering Business in Toronto
Like everywhere else, selling quality foods in Toronto is always a solid business idea. Everyone must eat, most have too little time to cook healthy foods, and many people simply aren’t very good cooks.
Food retailing entities in Toronto include convenience stores, drugstores that sell food, farm markets, flea markets, groceries, roadside food stands, warehouse clubs, and food-selling websites.
There are distinct regulations for different types of food retailers, so you need to learn about which pertain to the business idea you’re considering. You can get a good headstart by visiting the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).
Start a Food Truck Business in Toronto
To register and operate a food vending truck in Toronto, you will need a mobile food vending permit, and a motorized refreshment vehicle owner’s license. Once you have those, you’ll be allowed to sell food on:
When you have the proper paperwork, you can also sell food from at least 30 linear meters from an operating restaurant. Note this does not include food courts or buildings that house food courts.
Further, you may only have up to two food trucks in a single city block simultaneously, and your trucks can operate a maximum of 5 hours in a single location.
Other Business Ideas to Start in Toronto
Of course, there are loads of other business opportunities that can be quite profitable in and around Toronto. Some ideas include:
In general, you can start a Toronto business in any field that sparks your interest and that you believe you can succeed in. The sky’s truly the limit for entrepreneurial Torontonians who are ready to commit.
Closing Thoughts about Business Ideas in Toronto
Toronto is ranked as the most sustainable city in North America. It’s also ranked #1 of the G7 nations for competitive corporate taxation schedules. Add in that Toronto is highly livable, globally competitive across numerous industry verticals, has an excellent banking system, and has one of the world’s most educated workforces, and it’s easy to see why starting a business here is so exciting.
If you want to learn more about beginning and growing a business in Toronto, the Ontario Business Registry is an excellent resource to start with. You’ll be able to complete more than ninety separate functions – including registration, filing for incorporation, keeping your business information current, and much more.