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The Globe and Mail

Toronto 6th among cities in global competitiveness ranking: study

Toronto skyline


Toronto ranks sixth among 23 Canadian and international metropolitan areas when measured for global competitiveness, a new report suggests.

The report, titled Toronto as a Global City: The Fifth Scorecard on Prosperity, focuses on human capital – the way the city's makeup works within the business community. The report, in its fifth year, is developed by the Toronto Region Board of Trade and the Certified Management Accountants of Ontario (CMA) benchmarks Toronto against other cities to "better understand the entire Toronto region's strengths and weaknesses," a summary, reads.

Merv Hillier, president of the CMA, says the report assesses how Toronto can move forward within the business community and how it functions as a place to live and work.

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"It's not to say, 'Okay, we're number one, two, or three,' " he said. "We take a look at the cities that have done well, why they have done well. It's not a matter of copying but taking a look at Toronto within the context to get a comprehensive strategy for our direction."

Toronto was "competing" against 23 major metropolitan areas: San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Dallas, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Berlin, Milan, Halifax, Montreal, Barcelona, Vancouver, Stockholm, Tokyo, Sydney, Madrid, Oslo, London, Calgary and Paris.

Canadian cities placed quite well. In overall rankings, Paris placed first, followed by Calgary. Toronto ranked sixth, beating the seven American cities surveyed.

Mr. Hillier says he hopes the report will allow businesses and the city as a whole to continue to grow and develop strong growth strategies for long-term prosperity.

"We're trying to move forward and create a very competitive city which will attract the right people. The right people being those with the knowledge and the skill set to help drive us forward."

Although the report re-evaluates all areas the city has been graded on in the past, this year the focus was human capital. The human capital portion of the report focuses on unemployment, skill and education levels and workplace health.

"We may focus on human capital, but if we don't take a look at education, immigration policy, it's not a comprehensive, holistic and aligned strategy.

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What's required is leadership, so we're aligning all aspects of the study so they're supporting each other," Mr. Hillier says.

Toronto ranks fifth on labour attractiveness , the top Canadian city. It ranks twelfth on economy and fourth in the human capital lens.

Major findings of the report include Toronto's need to improve the number of females in management occupations, equality between male and female incomes and a failure at attracting immigrants with university education.

Although Toronto placed one place lower than last year in overall rankings, this year's report was the first year Toronto ranked higher than all other U.S. cities.

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