KITCHENER -- A commercial real estate and investment firm has ranked Waterloo Region at number four on its list of Canada's top tech centres.

CBRE's annual report placed the region behind Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver with a score of 69.9. That placed the region ahead of places like Montreal and Calgary.

While a number of key indicators helped to place the region in its spot, the quality of labour—given a grade of A plus—was the most attractive for the region. The report showed that Waterloo Region had the highest quality of labour among the 20 cities that were ranked.

Another metric that helped the region claim the top spot was its tech talent growth. The report shows that, between 2014 and 2019, the region's tech talent pool grew by 51.4 per cent.

That was the highest tech job growth rate of all the ranked cities.

Another driver of the region's score was local real estate cost, which pales in comparison to most other cities on the list. The region's average gross rental rate of about $26 per square foot is among the cheapest in the top 10 cities. Calgary and Quebec City are the only others under $30 per square foot.

According to the report, the region has more than 22,000 tech workers, which makes up about 8.5 per cent of total employment. That labour pool size ranked eighth in the country.

CBRE also ranked Waterloo Region at fourth in Canada last year.

Deloitte also released its Technology Fast 50 program winners and three Kitchener companies are listed in the top 10.

Intellijoint Surgical Inc. and ApplyBoard, both from Kitchener, placed first and second on the list. Avidbots Corp came in eighth.

Auvik Networks from Waterloo came in 12th on the list.