Toronto, the "not too bad"
Toronto's Vital Signs® Report 2012
TORONTO, Oct. 2, 2012 /CNW/ - The Toronto Community Foundation today released its annual Toronto's Vital Signs® Report, highlighting Toronto as a world leader in providing an environment conducive to livability and prosperity, primarily on the strength of its relative safety, its highly diverse workforce and its attractiveness to international visitors.
With similar high international rankings in areas such as competitiveness and technological innovation, the Report reflects a Toronto that is "not too bad".
"'Not too bad' is a Torontoism that captures the mixed results in this year's Toronto's Vital Signs® Report," said Rahul K. Bhardwaj, President & CEO, Toronto Community Foundation. "We remain highly ranked on prosperity, competitiveness and livability. However, income inequality continues to be a significant challenge. We are at risk of becoming a 'winner-take-all' city."
"There are good reasons to be optimistic, but cautiously so," added Bhardwaj. "Given the amount of change we can expect to take place over the next 25 years, 'not too bad' is not good enough. But, we have the talent, tools and traits to move Toronto from 'not too bad' to 'great'. It will take courage and a commitment to a long-term view."
2012 Toronto's Vital Signs® Report Highlights
We're the 15th most livable city in the world (Mercer Quality of Living Survey) - Toronto is also 12th in the world in competitiveness according to the Economist magazine, and Moody's Investors Service gave the City an Aa1 credit rating for the 10th consecutive year in 2012, just one below the top Aaa.
At the end of 2011, economic momentum was at its highest level in 10 years - In June 2012, 189 high-rises were under construction in Toronto, almost twice the 97 that were being built at the beginning of 2011. And when we look at individuals, we recorded the lowest levels of personal bankruptcy since 2000, a 24% decline over 2010 and a 91% drop since the peak in 2009.
Our cultural product is strong - Posting its strongest production spending in a decade, Toronto's film, television and commercial production sectors, along with digital media earned more than $1.13 billion from on-location shooting in Toronto in 2011. Toronto also has the largest neighbourhood-based library system in the world welcoming more than 19 million visitors in 2011 and with circulation growing by 2.9% in one year to 33,252,235 - the highest in North America.
Toronto has emerged as the least equitable metropolitan centre in Canada - Toronto is the only Canadian metro to get a "C" grade on income distribution in the 2012 Toronto Board of Trade's Scorecard on Prosperity. On this measure Toronto's ranking among 24 global centres slipped to 16th.
The combination of homelessness, mental illness, addictions and poverty create a 'perfect storm' of serious illness and early death for Toronto's marginalized - The poorest 20% of Canadians have more than double the rate of diabetes and heart disease, and a 60% higher rate of suffering from two or more chronic diseases, than the richest 20%.
Ways to get engaged with the Toronto's Vital Signs® Report 2012:
- Download the Full Report, including a glossary of terms and list of sources at www.tcf.ca.
- Attend a special Toronto's Vital Signs® Report edition of the Yonge Talks Speaker Series featuring Rahul K. Bhardwaj, President & CEO, Toronto Community Foundation and Mary Rowe, Vice President and Managing Director of The Municipal Art Society (MAS) of New York, co-hosted by Yonge Street Media. For details on registering for this free event, please visit www.yongestreetmedia.ca.
- Learn about solutions to issues identified in the Toronto's Vital Signs® Report on the Community Knowledge Centre, www.tcf.ca, an online showcase of more than 200 community organizations working to improve quality of life in Toronto.
About the Toronto Community Foundation
Our mission is to connect philanthropy with community needs and opportunities all with a vision to make Toronto the best it can be. As an independent public foundation we work with donors to create endowments and invest in the city of Toronto through philanthropy and our city building work.
About the Toronto's Vital Signs® Report
The Community Foundation partners with many researchers to produce the Toronto's Vital Signs® Report. The Report identifies progress we should be proud of and challenges that need to be addressed.
It is a consolidated snapshot of the trends and issues affecting the quality of life in our city and each of the interconnected issue areas is critical to the well-being of Toronto and its residents.
SOURCE: Toronto Community FoundationFor further information:
Simone Dalton, Manager, Media Relations & Communications
Toronto Community Foundation
O: 416-921-2035 ext. 218