Home Top Web Apps in Canada

Top Web Apps in Canada

By Heri Rakotomalala of Montreal Tech Watch

Canadians use the Internet more than anyone in the
world. According to
, Canadians spend on average 39.6 hours per month on the Internet, followed
by Israel at 37.4 and South Korea at 34, while the USA is in 8th position with 29.4.
Canada also leads in online reach with 70% of households having Internet access. The
average pages viewed per visitor is 3800 in Canada, while the U.K. is second at 3300. And
at 67%, Canada has one of the highest broadband penetrations in the world, 21 points
higher than the US. Finally, while Canada still lags in online advertising, with $28.05
per Internet user and the US with $71.43, ad spending is expected to grow
this year (Ernst&Young LLP). So Canada is a sophisticated, and growing,
market for Web apps.

As in any other country, Canadians heavily use Google, Yahoo and
other global services like ebay and craiglist; each of which has their own
english and french canadian localized versions. In social networking, Facebook is the star app of the moment. For instance,
Toronto has more than 650.000 facebook users, more than the combined facebook users in
New York, Boston and Los Angeles.

Top Web Apps

Canada has a lot of startups that are reaching the global market…

Shopify is a simple, affordable and stylish service
that lets you create your own online store. It is targeted at inviduals who want to sell
online, without any programming.

Freshbooks handles time tracking and
invoicing. The service is used by freelancers and consultants in over 100 countries. Mike
McDerment, an active canadian web entrepreneur, runs the company.

Stikipad lets you create a personal or a group
wiki for free, with an easy-to-use user interface.

Librivox publishes on the public domain audio books,
as read by users. The digital library ranges from contemporary to classics, philosophy to
novels. Last finished project: James Joyce’s Ulysses, with 32 hours of audio.

DabbleDB lets you create and share a database, and
then build an application on top of it, without requiring programming skills. The
platform is innovative, with a simple point-and-click interface.

Nowpublic.com is the largest user-written news site
in the world, according to the Globe and Mail, thanks to a thriving community. It is
based in Vancouver, BC.

Sxipper manages your online identity via a firefox
extension and OpenID. It tracks usernames and passwords; and fills in online forms.
Sxipper comes from Sxip, which is working on new
identity models for the digital world.

wikitravel, which this year won a
Webby Award for Best Travel Website, is a free travellers guide. It also is aiming to
produce print travel guides. This wiki project was started in Montreal, Quebec, and
advises a “fair” (not “neutral”) point of view from its contributors.

Cambrian House is an online community where
users “crowdsource” an idea. Participants then share the profits if the software is
successful. Robhinhood Fund, a “web2.0
charity” website, started at Cambrian House.

ClubPenguin is a virtual word for kids, where
they can play and interact. The self-funded company is already profitable via monthly
subscriptions, with $60 million projected revenues this year.

GiveMeaning is an online
community about news and projects that change the world for good.

ConceptShare is an online collaboration tool
for designers and creatives, where they can annotate and discuss current work.

AjaxWhois.com is a DNS lookup service.

ilovetoplay.com is a sports
social network where you can find additional players for your team.

YubNub.org is an online command line.

Innovation and startup culture in Canada

Canada has a long history of innovation and success. The most well known is Flickr, which started in Vancouver, BC, and then became
one of the key applications in the web 2.0 landscape. StumbleUpon, which was acquired by ebay for $75M in
March, was started in Calgary, Alberta. iStockphoto was a pioneer in micropayments in
stock photography, and was bought by GettyImages.


The future is promising for Canadian startups. In Montréal, for instance, barcamps, democamps, monthly
Tech Entrepreneur
breakfasts, and early investors like montrealstartup, have revived the local tech
community. We now have promising startups like Standoutjobs which aims to reinvent the recruiting
process, by using video and social networking to promote the company’s brand; or Kakiloc, a location-based social network which integrates
with mobile phones. These are just two examples of the promising web apps being built in
Canada and being presented to the world. Let us know what other web apps you know of from
Canada, that we may’ve missed.

This post is part of Read/WriteWeb’s continuing coverage of international Web markets.
Other countries profiled so far have been Germany, Holland, Poland, Korea, United Kingdom, Russia, Spain, China, Turkey, Italy, Brazil, France, Japan, India, Austria, Sweden, Australia, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Latvia, Ireland, Hong Kong
and Romania.

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