Toronto’s Competitive Advantages
Toronto is one of the greatest cities in the world to do business,consistently ranked at the top when it comes to global competitiveness, innovation and quality of life. Very few cities in the world can offer such multi-sector strength, depth of talent and a driving economic and financial engine.
With 2.8 million residents, Toronto is the 4th largest city in North America. One-quarter of Canada’s population is located within 160 km (100 mi.) of the city and more than 60% of the population of the USA is within a 90-minute flight.
The City of Toronto’s economy comprises 11% of Canada’s GDP, with Toronto’s GDP topping $151 billion in 2012. Toronto-based businesses export over $70 billion in goods and services to every corner of the globe with retail sales of $62 billion annually.
Five of Canada’s six largest banks have their headquarters near the country’s busiest stock exchange. Centred in North America’s 3rd largest financial services centre are 75% of Canada’s foreign banks, and 65% of the country’s pension fund companies.
In March, KPMG’s 2012 Competitive Alternatives study found that Toronto offers one of the world’s most cost-effective business and investment climates for cities with a metropolitan population of at least two million people. Toronto ranked second among 44 cities in this category, up from sixth place in 2010.
Toronto’s more than 86,700 businesses choose from a large, highly skilled, multilingual workforce of 1.4 million people – one sixth of the country’s workforce. 64% of Toronto residents between the ages of 25 and 64 have a post-secondary education.
Toronto’s impressive range of post-secondary educational facilities includes three universities and five colleges offering training in virtually every discipline and skill. Toronto leads the country in number of post-secondary schools and graduates with more than 15,000 medical/ biotech researchers, two top-ranked MBA schools as well as excellent programs in engineering, computer sciences and multi-media.
Some 150 million customers and suppliers are within a one-day’s drive from Toronto. Toronto’s Pearson International Airport is within easy reach of the city’s central business district and provides flights to over 300 destinations in 54 countries through 64 carriers. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is Canada’s ninth busiest airport located minutes from the downtown core. The airport serves more than two million passengers a year flying to more than 18 cities in Canada and the U.S. and connecting to over 80 international destinations.
Toronto boasts an expansive local network of consultants, professional firms and specialty suppliers. The business services cluster is among North America’s largest and growing. Toronto is home to 9 of Canada’s 10 largest law practices, 9 of the top 10 accounting firms and all 10 top human resources and benefits firms.
Toronto is a true North American gateway. Major highways, multi-modal railway facilities, a Great Lakes port, the nation’s ninth busiest airport located in the downtown core and Canada’s largest international airport move people and goods through the city and around the globe.
Toronto’s public transit system is the third largest in North America. More than 2,800 subway vehicles, buses and streetcars make it easy for over 514 million passengers to travel throughout the city annually (2012).