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Toronto is a magnet for newcomers


Canada is the top destination for raising children, according to this year’s Expat Explorer Survey by HSBC. This year over 5,300 expats were from 100 countries across the globe were surveyed, making it the largest ever sample to-date. Canada ranked 1st out of 9 on the Raising Children Abroad ranking.

Toronto ranked third overall in the recent Cities of Opportunity study, dropping one place from last year in the fifth edition of a global study by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) of 27 centres of finance, commerce and culture.

Toronto ranks ahead of Paris, Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo, and impressively ranks in the top 5 in 6 out of the 10 indicators and about a third of the 60 variables measured in the study.
Toronto's number 2 ranking in 4 indicators is unique: no other city finishes so highly so consistently this year.

In particular, the city scores high in the Intellectual Capital and Innovation indicator, making the top 10 in all 9 variables.

Toronto performs especially well in education variables such as class size, literacy and school enrolment and also ranks highly for its entrepreneurial environment.

“Toronto’s economic strength, strong cultural and environmental values and reputation for safety make it a truly liveable, and attractive place to be for both businesses and citizens alike,” says Raj Kothari, Managing Partner, Greater Toronto Area, PwC.

“The city today offers great learning, development and intellectual capital opportunities that we are developing on actively. And, as Cities of Opportunity shows, we expect that Toronto will continue to be an even more vibrant city over the next decade to invest in, for the services we offer, the culture we generate and the quality of the people who are drawn to live in and build this great international city.”

For Health, Safety and Security, Toronto finishes in second place just behind Stockholm, performing well in every variable across this indicator.

It also ties with Singapore for fifth place in Demographics and Livability, scoring first place for quality of living.

Toronto is ranked second in Transportation and Infrastructure, tying London for number 1 in the quality and availability of public transport and also ranks first in new construction, building more than twice as many new major structures as second place Mumbai.

While this ranking may be a surprise to locals, one reason to explain it could be that the variable related to traffic congestion was moved out of this indicator and into the Demographics and Livability indicator this year. The indicator now seeks to better measure the actual networks of internal mobility within a city and reflects how issues related to congestion and the use of automobiles in a city have become less a matter of urban transport than of quality of life.

Toronto also ranks fifth in Ease of Doing Business behind commercial powerhouses of Singapore, Hong Kong, New York and London. More specifically, it scores first place in workforce management risk, second place in ease of starting a business and fourth for shareholder protection and its operational risk climate.

Toronto is also the fifth least expensive mature economy ranked in the study, with the fourth lowest total tax rate.

This year, the study’s indicators were revised to add a new one: City Gateway.

Toronto’s truly low score is in this indicator, where it ranks 19th out of 27 cities, tied with Milan. Had it not been for this attribute Toronto may have continued to hold the second position overall.

Kothari says, “It will be imperative for Toronto to attract more tourists and business visitors and bridge the current gaps in airport access, aircraft movements and passenger flows if it wants to continue to maintain a top ranking amongst global cities.”

Meanwhile, New York and London finish in a virtual tie to lead overall scoring. However, both Shanghai and Beijing finish in the Top 5 in City Gateway and Economic Clout, with Beijing leading the latter category.

While New York officially edges out London by one point across 10 economic indicators, the city wins in no individual category.

Toronto also shows great balance yet wins no category.

London, however, takes the lead in city gateway, an indicator introduced this year that measures global interconnectedness and international attraction.

Rounding out the leaders are Paris, which advances four spots from 2011 to number four, and Stockholm at number five.

In addition to looking at the current performance of 27 cities at the centre of finance, commerce and culture, the study for the first time analyses city employment in the most significant and telling job sectors and projects the trajectory of the cities in jobs, productivity, and population to 2025.

“Cities succeed when they invest in core needs important to both people and businesses,” said Bob Moritz, PwC’s US Chairman and Senior Partner.

“The Cities of Opportunity report is a detailed analysis of how leading global cities stack up against one another,” said Partnership for New York City President and CEO Kathryn Wylde.

“New York City, London and Toronto, along with other established cities, maintain their top status because of a depth and diversity of strength across all measures. But the true value of this report is that every city can learn from others.”

The Cities of Opportunity key indicators and top three cities in each are:
Intellectual capital and innovation: Stockholm, Toronto, Paris
Technology readiness: Seoul, San Francisco, New York
Transportation and Infrastructure: Singapore, Seoul/Toronto (tied for second), Tokyo
Health, safety and security: Stockholm, Toronto, Sydney
Sustainability and the natural environment: Sydney, San Francisco/Toronto (tied for second), Berlin
Economic clout: Beijing, Paris, London/New York (tied for third)
Ease of doing business: Singapore, Hong Kong, New York
Cost: Berlin, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur
Demographics and livability: Paris, Hong Kong/Sydney (tied for second), San Francisco
City gateway: London, Paris, Beijing
–Source:PricewaterhouseCoopers

Posted: Oct 31, 2012

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