Toronto’s abundance of top-tier businesses and excellent universities – and Canada’s progressive immigration strategies – put it among the top 25 cities in the world, a new report says.
In its World’s Best Cities: A Ranking of Global Place Equity 2023, the global consulting firm Resonance Consultancy ranked Toronto 24th internationally.
Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa and Montreal also made the list of the top 100 best cities on the planet.
“With almost half of its population foreign-born, Toronto’s top 25 finish this year is powered by diversity and education, with its eponymous university, the University of Toronto, ranking ninth globally and its residents finishing twentieth for the planet’s most educated,” notes the report.
“All that talent, about to increase drastically due to Canada’s embrace of skilled immigrants, will supercharge an economy that already boasts the seventh-highest number of Global 500 head offices (up two spots from last year).”
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With its population of almost 2.8 million and a population growth rate of 2.3 per cent in the five years that ended in 2021, Toronto’s potential impressed the consulting firm.
When the entire Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and the Hamilton area are put together, they comprise 19.7 per cent of Canada’s population.
“Incredibly, Canada’s largest city only seems to be getting started: last year it was crowned the fastest-growing metropolitan area in all of North America by a Centre for Urban Research and Land Development study,” notes the report.
“Getting less attention is the projection by the University of Toronto that, in less than 50 years, it will trail only New York and Mexico City in North American population.”
The re-opening of the century-old Massey Hall for performances after a $184-million, three-year renovation, and new hotels like the W and sports facilities also helped put Toronto firmly in the same league as other world-class cities.
Four other Canadian cities made it onto the list of the world’s 100 best.
Montreal, the biggest city in the francophone province of Quebec, was described by Resonance Consultancy as exotic.
Montreal Lauded For Its European Culture And Joie De Vivre In The Face Of The COVID-19 Pandemic
“Outgoing, two-cheek-embracing, convivial-above-all Montreal took a hard, early hit as the pandemic struck,” recognizes the report. “Deaths in residences for the elderly exposed the ugly underbelly of an underfunded system of care that’s been the pride of a city that ranks twelfth globally for income equality.”
The consulting firm gave Montreal top marks for its response in the face of the pandemic.
“North America’s most European city acted accordingly over the past two years, turning major streets into creatively-styled outdoor hangouts with art and music, and vastly increasing bike lanes. Today, Montreal’s number-22-ranked culture is palpable with a smoldering indie music scene, digital placemaking and playful creativity on every street corner (or so it seems).”
Theatre, performance spaces and culture, combined with McGill University 27th spot in global rankings and the Université de Montréal growing reputation as a hot spot for artificial intelligence boosted the city’s ranking to finish in the 57th spot overall.
“Montreal’s growing tech expertise has attracted record foreign investment, including into the city’s ascendant real estate,” notes the report.
Calgary Beat Out Vancouver And Ottawa In The Rankings Of Best Cities
Ranked 65th, Calgary beat out Vancouver which came in the 69th spot and Ottawa which ranked 96th.
Often overshadowed by the bigger cities, Canada’s capital city was credited with substantial brain power.
“Ottawans are uncommonly intelligent: the city ranks 15th in educational attainment,” notes the report. “All that brainpower has poured into some 1,800 knowledge-based businesses – everything from clean technology and life sciences to digital media, aerospace and software.
“Tens of thousands of new jobs are the result (even in this period of economic uncertainty) along with a number-79 ranking in global GDP per capita. In a city with a relatively low cost of living (although house prices are ascending as insanely as anywhere else in Canada), that means there’s money to spend on plentiful things to do … which increasingly, finally prioritize Indigenous reconciliation.”
In Alberta, Calgary was described by the consulting firm as dripping in oil industry-forged entrepreneurialism.
“People here walk like New Yorkers and cut to the chase like Texans. No wonder it’s home to the most Americans per capita in Canada,” notes the report.
In GDP per capita, Calgary ranked 22nd globally, making it by far the most economically productive city for the size of its population of any city in Canada.
“The city is now slowly emerging from a spell of economic hardship not seen in decades (the fortunes of Calgary rise and fall with the price of crude). The pandemic added to the misery, which has manifested into one of the highest unemployment rates among Canadian cities over the past year,” notes the report.
Vancouver’s Affinity For Asian Culture, Its Universities And Beauty Got It High Marks
“That is thankfully changing, as home construction ramps up in the hopes of luring new residents seeking affordable real estate (relative to the rest of a very expensive country). New projects, like the recently opened Central Library in the burgeoning cultural hub of East Village, reinforce the city’s long-lauded quality of life that awaits arrivals.”
On the West Coast, Vancouver is clearly the most Asian city in Canada and was noted in the report for its high quality of life.
“The global infatuation is obvious: safe, smart (the University of British Columbia ranks 18th globally) and socially-minded … Vancouver’s special blend is sprinkled across some of the planet’s most exquisite urban topography,” notes the report.
“You can leave the downtown office via public transit and be bombing down a ski or mountain bike run an hour or so later.”