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Toronto has surpassed Chicago as the fourth-largest city in North America. (Michelle Siu/CP)
Toronto has surpassed Chicago as the fourth-largest city in North America. (Michelle Siu/CP)

Sorry, Toronto: No one cares that you're now the fourth-largest city in North America Add to ...

The City of Toronto has become the fourth-largest city in North America, according to a new report from the City of Toronto. And now everyone can go back to sleep.

The city hall report, released Tuesday, says the city’s population of 2,791,140 has surpassed that of Chicago, which used to hold fourth spot but now has 84,020 fewer souls than Toronto. The top three spots are held by Mexico City (pop. 8.9 million), New York (8.2 million) and Los Angeles (3.8 million).

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The problem is, no one seems to care. Other than a comment from the mayor’s office that quite literally says this latest indication of Toronto’s steady growth is “another sign confirming Toronto's steady growth,” and small stories on Toronto newspaper websites, there has been virtually no coverage of this achievement outside of the city or the country. The CBS affiliate in Chicago posted a piece pointing out that Toronto itself is staking a claim to fourth place based on census statistics that its officials analyzed, but that was it as of noon on Wednesday, 24 hours after the monumental news was released.

Not that anyone is disputing it, though. North America seems willing to let Toronto have fourth place, if that’s what it wants. But Torontonians would be wise not to boast too loudly about this latest milestone. Here are three reasons why:

Toronto will never make the podium. There’s no way it will catch Los Angeles, let alone New York and Mexico City. Its best hope would be for an earthquake that wiped out the American west coast, but that risks taking Vancouver with it. Which on second thought probably wouldn’t bother Torontonians that much, as long as it bumped them up a ranking.

Toronto is big but Chicago is cooler. About 10 million tourists visit Toronto every year, with about 60 per cent coming from Canada. Chicago gets about 44 million tourists a year, more than Los Angeles and only six million fewer than New York. And it gets more visitors in a year from overseas than Toronto gets from everywhere. Not bad for a city in fifth place!

If people around the world notice that Toronto is such a high-ranking city population-wise, they may start asking questions about who the mayor is. Enough said.

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