Toronto City Guide: Economic Performance, Brand Strength, Reputation

Toronto, the provincial capital of Ontario, is Canada’s most populous city. It is known for one of the biggest freestanding buildings on the planet (the CN tower), supposed to be one of the safest cities of North America, and characterized by the diversity of its inhabitants. But how do international rankings and studies assess Toronto’s economic performance, its brand strength and reputation?

In our Toronto city guide:

  • Toronto’s economic and financial strength
  • How livable and sustainable?
  • Toronto: how attractive for digital nomads?
  • Toronto’s brand strength and reputation

Toronto’s economic and financial strength

According to the Global Financial Centres Index, Toronto is at 7th position with strong performance across most of the 15 areas which the study associates with city competitiveness. It is the best performing Canadian city and the 2nd best in North America.

The Global Power City Index ranks Toronto as the 10th best city concerning ‘economy.’ Overall its rank is 14th – an improvement of five positions compared to the previous version of the study.


Toronto: how good for its inhabitants?

The same study (Global Power Cities Index) ranks Toronto 3rd best city in the world to live in. This result is reflected in Ipsos’ 2017 ranking, in which Toronto shares a 6th place for most livable city.

The Mercer Quality of Living report ranks only Vancouver higher, for quality of living in North America.

In many areas linked to safety, Toronto finds itself in the top 10 (Safe Cities Index 2017). It is considered the 4th safest city in the world and the safest city in North America.

Toronto is attributed a 9th position in the Green City Index, and performs well in the ‘planet’ category (14th) of the Sustainable Cities Index.


How attractive for digital nomads?

Toronto ranks 16th in the Digital Nomad Index by Spotahome. This index evaluates 56 cities according to their digital performance. The only Canadian city doing better is Vancouver (15th). Canada’s high-speed internet is ranked 12th (Digital Life Report).

The only category where Toronto does not fare very well is cost of living, measured by factors such as the average price for a beer (30th) and the average rental cost of a 1-bedroom apartment (37th).


Toronto’s brand strength and reputation

The Reputation Institute ranks Toronto the 13th most reputable city on the planet. It especially praises its (5th) ranking for best city to live in. Toronto’s reputation has varied over the years according to this institute; 14th position in 2016, up to 10th in 2017, and now 13th. From the index it is unclear why Toronto’s reputation has changed over the last years.

Similarly, Best Cities ranks Toronto 17th. This ranking describes the city with words such as ‘openness,’ ‘multicultural stew’ and praises its diversity as one of the cities with most foreign-born residents on earth.

Toronto’s strong reputation overall is reflected in its 12th position in the Global Cities (Outlook) Index: an improvement of 8 spots since the last version of the study.


Prepared by Sam Jongeneelen. Last updated June 2019.


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