Flickr/Mark Gunn

No, there aren’t 300,000 Canadians in Silicon Valley

For almost 20 years, one of the central narratives of Canada’s relationship to Silicon Valley has been the vast national exodus of the country’s people and talent to the heart of America’s technology sector.

Since the turn of the century, it has been claimed dozens of times—by Canadian media, tech industry stakeholders and even politicians—that there are some 300,000 Canadian expatriates in the San Francisco Bay Area, just shy of the population of Canada’s 16th largest metropolitan area in Windsor, Ont.

A fascinating anthropological study could examine why so many traded Gretzky for Jello Biafra, or steamed fiddleheads for steamed burritos, or April Wine for Napa County, but that study would face one major hurdle.

There aren’t 300,000 Canadians living or working in Silicon Valley. Not even close.

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