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May 16, 2011

Toronto ranked the 2nd Best City in the World

CANADA - New York City has been ranked the best city in the world in an annual report of the top 26 “Cities of Opportunity” by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Toronto placed 2nd and San Francisco placed 3rd.

Its not a surprise that NYC got the top spot, but what is a surprise is that Toronto beat out other cities like San Francisco, London, Paris and Hong Kong.

Indeed, Toronto blew away a lot of the competition. The report’s grading process placed Toronto 31 points behind the Big Apple. Toronto was 23 points ahead of San Francisco, and many more points ahead of the other contenders.

Toronto has it all. A strong economy, good schools, low crime, everything.

Look at the 10 specific categories that make Toronto great:

Intellectual capital and innovation: Toronto placed 2nd

This category measures university graduates, classroom size, literacy rates, math and science skills. Only Stockholm did better.

Health, Safety and Security: 2nd

Toronto’s relatively low crime rate scored big points in this category. Toronto's hospital performances are also fabulous. Toronto was just one point behind Stockholm.

Demographic and livability: 3rd

Toronto attracts and retains talent. Toronto had the highest ranking for quality of living and life satisfaction, and scored points for its low “natural disaster risk.” Stockholm again ranked first.

Lifestyle assets: 4th

Toronto’s cultural vibrancy and impact, art galleries, sports teams, green space, hotel rooms, etc. New York City was 1st in this.

Sustainability: 5th

Toronto tied with Mumbai for the 5th spot. Toronto has low air pollution, and is ranked high in waste recycling. But Toronto's carbon footprint is still huge. Berlin ranked 1st.

Economic Clout: 7th

Toronto's immunity to the financial crisis helped here. Toronto was competitive but was outmuscled by Singapore, Madrid, Hong Kong, New York, Paris, and London.

Cost of Living: 5th

Toronto has a relatively low cost of living, and is also listed as the cheapest place for a business trip. But Toronto's tax rate and cost of business occupancy is higher.

Ease of doing business: 5th

Toronto is one of the easiest cities in the world to do business.

Technology readiness: 11th

Toronto’s Internet services, cellphone/wireless network, etc. is good, but nothing spectacular. We don't even have cellphone service inside subways. Istanbul has better broadband quality.

Transportation and Infrastructure: 13th

While Toronto ranked first for the number of skyscrapers being built, it fared poorly for its small subway system, the high cost of public transportation and an insufficient number of licensed taxis. Toronto taxis are also ridiculously expensive compared to many other cities. The quality of San Francisco’s cable cars, Chicago’s “L” train and the Metro in Paris all caused those cities to be ranked higher.

CONCLUSIONS

So Toronto is great, but we definitely need to improve our subway system and wireless networks.

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