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December 31, 2007

High marks for Toronto confirms quality of life amongst best in the world
  
Toronto continues to rank well on several fronts as compared to many world cities. This recognition demonstrates that Toronto is a leader in providing a quality of life that is amongst the best in the world for the approximately 2.6 million residents who choose to live and work here.

The most recent ranking came from Standard & Poor’s 2007 Industry Report Card that ranked Toronto as one of the top 10 economic centres in the world. Selected from more than 15,000 local, state, and regional governments in the United States, and more than 340 others in 27 countries, Toronto’s role as a major economic hub in Canada, its depth of services, and deep and well-diversified economy has earned the city top marks. Toronto joins Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, New York City, Paris and Yokohama on the list. All cities considered have a population of more than one million.

“Toronto’s continued placement along side the world’s greatest cities confirms that the quality of life we enjoy is highly sought after and serves as a model for other urban centres,” said Mayor David Miller. “We are committed to providing valuable, high quality programs and services that have the greatest impact on the lives of our residents and the livelihood of our businesses. Our successes in securing a New Deal for Toronto, improving access to our waterfront, laying out a bold plan to tackle climate change, revitalizing major infrastructure such as Nathan Phillips Square and Union Station, and keeping our streets and public places clean and beautiful are what make Toronto a city that is liveable, prosperous and provides opportunity for all.

“But, we can't rest on our laurels,” Mayor Miller continued. “One of the things all of the world’s great cities have in common is a strong relationship with their state and federal governments. The most successful communities are those that receive the support they need from the other orders of government in their country, and share the responsibility for building and maintaining a high quality of life. In order to maintain the quality of life that Torontonians expect and deserve, this city needs meaningful partnerships with the federal government to deliver a national transit strategy and further to provide all of Canada's municipalities with a share of revenues that grow with the economy - like the equivalent of one cent of the GST.”

A further testament to Toronto’s success is the number one ranking in the quality of life category the city received earlier this year from Foreign Direct Investment (fDi) magazine as part of its 2007 North American Cities of the Future index. One hundred and eight cities were evaluated on economic potential, cost effectiveness, human resources, quality of life, infrastructure, business friendliness, development and investment promotion. The April edition of fDi magazine put Toronto second only to Chicago as the 2007 North American City of the Future.

KPMG’s 2006 Competitive Alternatives study found that Toronto offers one of the most cost-effective business and investment climates in the world. When compared to the city’s prime competitors - large North American cities with a population of more than two million - Toronto has lower overall business costs than 18 of the 19 large U.S. cities that were considered; Atlanta is the lone city with lower business costs, by just 0.1 per cent. Toronto ranks ahead in cost competitiveness against such U.S. cities as Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, New York, and San Jose, and global cities such as Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Paris, Turin, and Yokohama. The KPMG study measured 27 cost components, including labour, taxes, real estate, and utilities as applied to business costs in nine countries, and 128 cities.

A study released in March 2007, titled Cities of Opportunity: Business-Readiness Indicators for the 21st Century, ranked Toronto near the top with Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and Singapore in the areas of cost, ease of doing business and demographic advantages. The ranking compiled by the Partnership for New York City and PricewaterhouseCoopers compared 11 cities - Atlanta, Chicago, Frankfurt, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo and Toronto - based on cost, intellectual capital, technology IQ and innovation, transportation assets, demographic advantages, financial clout, ease of doing business, lifestyle assets, and safety and security.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (the Economist Magazine) ranked Toronto fifth in the world for liveability. The December 2006 study surveyed 132 cities. Low crime, little threat from instability or terrorism, and a highly developed transport and communications infrastructure helped Toronto make the top five most liveable cities in the world.

For the second year in a row, Toronto’s quality of living was ranked fifteenth in the world by Mercer Human Resource Consulting. The 2007 Quality of Living Survey also placed Toronto second in North America, after Vancouver. Two hundred and fifteen cities were evaluated and 50 cities were selected based on 39 quality of living criteria, including political, social, economic and environmental factors, safety, public services and transportation, and recreation. Also of note is that, unlike 2006, Toronto did not place on Mercer’s 2007 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey that lists the top 50 most expensive cities in the world in which to live. In 2006, Toronto ranked forty-seventh.

A study published this month by the Conference Board of Canada ranked Toronto as the second best Canadian city in which to live, after Calgary. The study looked at the performance of 27 cities in the following categories: economy, health, society, housing, environment, innovation, and education. Toronto’s young, diverse and culturally rich population also helped the city make the top 20 list of great cities in North America.

According to the 2007 Ontario Community Sustainability Report by the Pembina Institute, Toronto ranked first in the overall community sustainability index out of 27 Ontario municipalities. The study used 33 indicators in three broad categories. Toronto placed first for smart growth, twenty-fourth for liveability, and fifth in the economic vitality category.

A survey conducted by Z/Yen Group Limited for the City of London (UK) ranked Toronto thirteenth on the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI), just behind Tokyo, Paris and Boston, and ahead of San Francisco and Dublin. Toronto is rated within the top 10 financial centres in the world in terms of its people factors. The September 2007 report evaluated the competitiveness of 50 financial centres worldwide using results of online surveys completed by financial services leaders, and 54 separate indices of competitiveness.

In the 2006 edition of the Anholt City Brands Index (CBI), Toronto ranked fourteenth for best city brand. The CBI polled 15,255 people in 20 countries and 60 cities around the world on issues including the city’s people, climate, lifestyle, affordability, transport and presence on the world stage. The CBI measures the power and impact of a city’s brand and its overall international image, taking into account the potential and opportunities it presents for people abroad.

MoneySense magazine also ranked the top 50 cities to live in Canada. Out of 123 cities with a population of 10,000 or greater that were considered for a spot on MoneySense’s 2007 Best Places to Live, Toronto placed twelfth. Cities received scores based on weather, housing, income, unemployment, and the percentage of people who walk or bike to work.

In October of 2005, Toronto was declared North America’s top-rated economy according to LaSalle Investment Management’s 2005 North American Regional Economic Growth Index. This index is a leading indicator of economic strength in North America’s largest metropolitan areas. The index is based on factors such as employment and population growth, as well as momentum and risk factors including volatility, diversity, and business costs. Four Canadian cities - Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal - are included in the 36 North American cities evaluated. The ranking looked at strong employment and population growth through 2009, as well as a positive economic outlook for the city as being the major factors behind Toronto’s top ranking.

Much of Toronto’s success as a liveable city can be attributed to the city’s creative and culturally diverse residents. In 2006, the Canadian Institute for Research on Public Policy and Public Administration at the University of Moncton released a research study that used Professor Richard Florida’s four indices to measure Canadian cities and determine their Creative Class ranking. They are: the Mosaic Index (the percentage of the population that is foreign-born); the Tech Pole Index (the city’s degree of specialization in technology-intensive activity); the Talent Index (the percentage of the population, 20 years and older, with a bachelor’s degree); and the Bohemian Index (the number of people employed in artistic and creative occupations). Toronto ranked first for mosaic, first for tech pole, second for talent (after Ottawa-Hull), and third for bohemian.

A 2007 survey conducted by the CanadaWest Foundation revealed that 81.1 per cent of Toronto residents think the overall quality of life in their city is “good” or “very good.”

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won more than 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.


Media contacts:

Stuart Green, Deputy Director of Communications, Office of the Mayor, 416-338-7119, stugreen@toronto.ca
Kevin Sack, Director, Strategic Communications Division, 416-397-5277, 416-919-6500 (cell), ksack@toronto.ca

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