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City of Toronto - Ontario, Canada

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The Executive Summary presentation below about the City of Toronto is by fDi magazine editorial staff (Financial Times group).

It is followed by supporting facts as provided by Toronto economic development officials to fDi, plus a 2 page article for more background and an advertisement promoting Toronto as a potential business investment location for corporate expansion projects.

These professionals assist companies through a variety of services which promote and compete for economic growth in the region.

Download a .pdf copy (large file) of this City of Toronto presentation as published in fDi magazine.

This Toronto presentation is for the convenience of top executives and professional advisors who are responsible for business site selection decisions for capital investment projects. 

It provides a summary of topics of common interest for business location decisions from the perspective of Toronto, Ontario economic development professionals who have assisted many other companies.

This presentation about Toronto is published in the February 2007 North American Location Guide of fDi - Foreign Direct Investment magazine and featured online through the new fDi Atlas tool.  Our Area Search tool can also be used to search their website. The presentation will be featured during 2007 on the fDi magazine website at .  It can also be found through our North American Location Guide directory and map feature and relevant directories.
fDi - Foreign Direct Investment magazine presentation about the City of Toronto

Executive Summary: City of Toronto

by Karen Thuermer, fDi magazine

fDi Atlas: City of Toronto

2007 North American Location Guide

Maps for southern Ontario - Toronto region and searchable Google Maps for Toronto Canada
Toronto bills itself as offering unlimited value, unlimited talent and unlimited excitement.

With business cost savings up to 12.2%; an intelligent, available workforce of 1.4 million; and, world-renowned theatre and internationally acclaimed cultural venues, Toronto makes good business sense.

In fact, Toronto has lower overall business costs than most large G-8 cities.


Ron Wandel
Manager, Investment Attraction

Tel    416-392-3384

Fax   416-397-5332


City of Toronto Economic Development

City Hall, 9th Floor, East Tower
100 Queen Street West, 9E
Toronto, Ontario, Canada  M5H 2N2

Most of all, companies looking to tap into both the U.S. and Canadian markets find Toronto a superb choice.

Toronto is geographically located within an 8 hour drive of 180 million consumers in both countries.  This makes it a very central place for foreign investment into North America to serve the larger NAFTA market, not just Canada.

It pulls much of its strength from its diverse population. Some 50 percent is from outside Canada from locations such as Asia, Europe, Australia and the United States.

Consequently, Toronto’s citizens are tolerant, multilingual and actively encourage immigration from around the world. Toronto is also safe with the lowest homicide rate of any major North American city.

Toronto provides a well educated and internationally savvy workforce. 

Companies expanding or relocating in Toronto are drawn to the city because of its strength in key sectors, cost advantages, market access, and talented workforce.

Executive Summary background Information as received 12/20/2006 Facts provided by the City of Toronto
Unique selling points: 
  • Access the North American market from a safe, tolerant and cost-effective location

  • R&D tax incentives are the best of any G-8 country

  • Employer health care costs per employee are 85% lower than in the U.S.

  • Well-educated, multilingual labour force.

New investment focus:

  • Medical & Biotechnology
  • Information & Communication  Technology
  • Financial Services
  • Film & Television
  • Design

“Toronto … gives us access to many of the largest pools of investment in the country. Our clients and prospects are spread out across the country, but Toronto provides us with a critical base.” – J.F. Courville, President and CEO, State Street

“Toronto is an important growth market for us and our decision to invest in a new building in the heart of downtown Toronto demonstrates our long-term commitment to Toronto.” – Joseph Natale, president, TELUS Business Solutions

“Toronto is a vibrant city with a rich cultural mosaic that provides us with the necessary talent to develop games for a global marketplace.” – Yoichi Erikawa, Founder and Chief Advisor, KOEI

Recent Announcements: 

Top New Company Announcements 

Company (HQ country)  


Size (Sq. Ft.)

KOEI (IT-Japan)



SFBC Anapharm (Clinical Trials-USA)


40,000 (IT-USA)



Top New Office Tower Announcements 

Tower name (developer)



RBC Centre (Cadillac Fairview)

48 storeys

$400 million

Bay Adelaide Centre (Brookfield)

50 storeys

$290 million

TELUS Tower (Menkes)

30 storeys

$250 million

Top New Hotel Announcements 

Hotel name



Trump International Hotel & Towers

72 storeys

$550 million

Four Seasons Hotel

55 storeys

$325 million

Ritz Carlton Hotel & Residences

53 storeys

$300 million

All values in Canadian Dollars

Major Employers:

City of Toronto's Top Ten Largest Private Employers  


Business sector


Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Banking (Global HQ)


Royal Bank of Canada

Banking (Global HQ)


Toronto Dominion-Canada Trust

Banking (Global HQ)


Bank of Nova Scotia

Banking (Global HQ)


Bank of Montreal

Banking (Global HQ)


Bell Canada




Aerospace (Manufacturing)



Pharmaceutical (Manu.) (Global HQ)


IBM Canada

IT (Research & Tech. Support)


Manufacturers Life Insurance Co.

Insurance (Global HQ)


 Labour Market: 





2.6 million

5.4 million

Labour force

-          percentage age 39 years or under

-          Languages spoke by 25,000+

1.4 million

-          55.7%

-          19

2.9 million

-          57.1%

-          22

Labour force

-          % with university degree

-          % with some post-secondary

-          Unemployment (annual average)


-          36%

-          70%

-          7.9%


-          31%

-          68%

-          6.9%

Universities and Colleges

-          Full-time students


-          185,000


-          210,000

Number of businesses



Office space

119 million sq. ft.

162 million sq. ft.

Industrial space

283 million sq. ft.

746 million sq. ft.


$127 billion

$262 billion

Average household income ($CDN)



Source: Statistics Canada, City of Toronto


Toronto has 3 universities:

  • University of Toronto: 14,004 degrees granted in 2005

  • York University: 10,015 degrees granted in 2005

  • Ryerson University: 4,081 degrees granted in 2005

The University of Toronto is Canada’s foremost university and research institution rated in the top 10 on the continent and ranked 27th in the world by the Times Higher Education supplement.

Toronto also has 5 technical colleges:

  • Centennial College: 47,600 students enrolled in 2005

  • George Brown College: 64,000 students enrolled in 2005

  • Humber College: 72,000 students enrolled in 2005

  • Seneca College: 42,337 students enrolled in 2005

  • Ontario College of Art: 3,467 students enrolled in 2005


Lowest business costs among large international cities

Toronto has lower overall business costs than most large G-8 cities.  The following tables indicate Toronto’s business costs relative to global cities.  An index of 100 represents average business costs in the U.S.





















San Jose






New York


North American rank of Toronto sectors by employment



Rank by employment

Business and Professional Services






Film and Television


Financial Services


Food and Beverage


Information and Communication Technology


Medical, Pharma and Biotech


Toronto - Gateway to North America and the Globe
The Best Investment Choice

Toronto, an international centre for commerce, research and innovation, is a thriving gateway to the globe’s most lucrative markets. Value, talent and infrastructure combine with a cosmopolitan atmosphere to create the unique Toronto experience. 

Toronto is North America’s top-rated economy by La Salle Investment Management’s 2005 North American Regional Economic Growth Index. Toronto’s diverse economy, characterized by 10 key employment sectors, ensures economic resilience.

The competitive cost of doing business, an excellent return on investment, and a growing, highly educated labour force make Toronto the best choice for investment.

Business Gateway to the World

Toronto is a preferred business gateway to the United States and Europe.

Fifty per cent of the U.S. population is within a one-day drive. And the city’s population of 2.6 million is one of the continent’s largest and most prosperous consumer and commercial markets.

Fast and efficient trucking, railways, waterways and air services link Toronto to the world. Toronto’s Pearson International Airport provides flights to over 300 destinations in 54 countries through 64 carriers, handles 30 million passengers and is capable of processing 1 million metric tonnes of cargo annually.

China, Germany, Great Britain, India, the United States and 87 other countries, maintain consular offices in Toronto. Dozens of international trade commissions promote and facilitate global business.

Toronto is home to over 90% of the world’s international banks operating in Canada, 85% of the world’s mutual fund companies, and half of Canada’s venture capital firms are located here.

Economic Powerhouse

The City of Toronto is in the heart of the Toronto Region’s 5.4 million people. In North America it ranks alongside economic powerhouses such as Chicago and New York. The value of all goods and services produced in Toronto in 2005 was $127 billion with GDP output growth forecasted to increase at a rate of 3.7% annually from 2007 to 2010.


Business costs in Toronto are lower than most U.S. centres and key competitors with the biggest savings on skilled labour and industries doing R&D.

Based on an exchange rate of US$1.17, Canada is ranked the most economical G-7 nation by the Competitive Alternatives, a comprehensive, international survey conducted by KPMG in 2006 with costs lower than other major industrialized countries, namely: the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Italy and Japan.

Toronto finished ahead of all large U.S. cities surveyed in 7 of the 17 business operations analyzed, ranking first in cost competitiveness against global cities such as Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, and Yokohama. Ten-year average annual operating costs in Toronto are from 3% to 26% more cost-effective than U.S. cities of similar size and stature including Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, New York and San Jose.

Labour costs are the largest single contributor to Toronto’s cost advantage. Of the G7 countries, Canada had the lowest total labour costs ranging from a 3% average per employee cost advantage over Italy to an 11% advantage over the United States.

2007 Top Investment Opportunity

Toronto’s ambitious waterfront revitalization initiative is one of the largest urban development projects currently underway in North America making this area one of the city’s most dynamic investment opportunities.

The estimated $17bn investment over the 30-year build out will help to create up to one million square metres of employment space, 40,000 residential units and 400 hectares of parks and public spaces.

The first development site is 22 hectares, approximately the same size as London's Canary Wharf and New York's Battery Park City, and is within walking distance of the city centre.

When complete it will provide 60,000 square metres of office and retail space, develop five hectares of parks and public spaces, including a 1.5 kilometre water's-edge promenade and create 8,000 jobs.

Economic Mixture Sustains Growth

The city’s multi-sectoral business base together with expansive business networks ensures sustained growth through changing times. Leading sectors include:

  • Business and Professional Services – among the largest in North America and growing faster than sectors in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston and Washington at an annual rate of 6%.
  • Financial Services - More than 205,000 highly skilled employees make Toronto’s financial services sector the third-largest in North America after New York and Chicago.
  • Food and Beverage - Toronto’s food cluster is largest in Canada and a North American leader. The largest operations, with annual sales in excess of $50 million, are mainly multi-national subsidiaries, serving the markets beyond the boundaries of Toronto and the province.
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) - Annual sales for Toronto’s ICT cluster amount to over $32.5 billion, with $6.2 billion in annual exports. Over 300 foreign companies have subsidiary operations in the Toronto region.
  • Medical and Biotech - Toronto’s medical and biotech cluster is a world-leader in genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics research. More than $1 billion of research is conducted annually within Toronto’s Discovery District and facilities such as MaRS. This incubator brings together science, business and capital resources to encourage innovation and rapid commercialization.

Highly Educated Workforce

The city’s post-secondary educational facilities include three universities and five colleges offering multi-faceted training to 185,000 full-time students. International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) programs are offered at several Toronto educational institutions. Excellent programs in engineering, computer sciences and multi-media attract more than 10,000 international students each year.

With 58 per cent of the work force attaining post-secondary education, Toronto’s 1.4 million-strong labour force outpaces comparable U.S. cities. Workforces of New York, Chicago and Washington have post-secondary education rates of 28%, 33% and 43% respectively.

People are our Strength

Diversity of race, religion and lifestyle help define Toronto. Toronto is a city-region with an excellent overall ranking across the categories of diversity, creativity, technology and talent when compared with other cities.

Immigrants are encouraged to celebrate and share their ethnic traditions. A high percentage of the population is multilingual regularly speaking Italian, Mandarin, Cantonese, Portuguese, and Punjabi among other languages, creating a versatile employment base with the ability to communicate and network with international partners.

Winning Lifestyle
Torontonians pride themselves on their tolerance and quality of life which thrives on clean, safe streets, superb recreation and entertainment venues, and vibrant cultural life.

A geographical mosaic of international neighbourhoods illustrates Toronto’s status as one of the world’s most multicultural cities, making it an easy place to attract talented minds from other countries. Great public transit, reasonable cost of living and major league sports and entertainment options also make this city an attractive place to live, work and invest.

The above presentation was provided by the

City of Toronto - Economic Development for the fDi 2007 North American Location Guide

Prepared by Ron Wandel and his colleagues - see contact information above

Published 12/20/2006 as received - subject to final editing by fDi magazine.
Advertisement Ad Copy Other suggested links

Toronto - Gateway to North America and the Globe

Toronto Unlimited -

links to other websites (state, labor market info, tax info, counties, cities in the metro area, etc.) can be made available for convenience, along with links to any other relevant fDi features, such as those about Toronto or Ontario province in general, which can include sector reports or CEO interviews, government official interviews, etc.
Directory: economic development agencies in Ontario

Google Maps - hybrid satellite and road maps for Toronto with a local business search tool.  For example, select "Find Businesses" and then search for "chamber" to find chambers of commerce in the Toronto area.

Other presentations are pending for fDi's 2007 North American Location Guide They will also become easy to find through our map of North America and as part of the new fDi Atlas feature on the fDi magazine website when that is launched later in 2007.

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