KITCHENER -- Waterloo is commonly known as tech town or the Silicon Valley of the north, but that reputation is now expanding to include nearby cities.

The City of Guelph may not come to mind immediately when you think of a tech town, but a new study indicates it could be a booming one.

"There's always been a fairly strong technical foundation here," explains Anne Toner Fung with Innovation Guelph.

Commercial real estate company CBRE has come out with its list of the top 20 Canadian tech towns, a list that's based on talent pools and real estate growth patterns.

The list has Waterloo Region ranked fourth and Guelph 13th, but for the Royal City, it's the first big tech nod.

Still, the team at Innovation Guelph, which helps small companies grow, wasn't surprised to hear the news.

"The sectors that have always been present in Guelph, now the digital technologies and the software technologies are kind of merging with those other sectors so there's been a bit of an explosion," Toner Fung says.

The study also shows a 95 per cent increase in talent growth in the Royal City over the past five years, with many of those entrepreneurs coming from the University of Guelph.

Associate dean of engineering and physical sciences Bill van Heyst says they've seen a boom.

"The university has certainly put a lot of effort into its STEM education, science, technology, enginerring and mathematics over the last 10 years," he says.

Those courses actively combine those tech and business schools to help make students real-world ready.

In the report, CBRE says that each of the top tech cities has a talent pool that is 70 to 80 per cent male.

Innovation Guelph says it is actively recruiting more females, and that hopefully that will be reflected in the industry moving forward.