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Toronto remains in the company of global powerhouses such as London, New York and Singapore, ranking fourth out of 30 cities studied in PwC’s latest global Cities of Opportunity 6 report.

However, the slip from its third-place position in 2012 points to the city’s ongoing challenges with transportation gridlock issues, city gateway access and technology readiness, which impact the city’s overall connectivity and productivity.

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Its weaknesses are balanced by strong results in innovation and intellectual capital (#5) and variables measuring the quality of its business environment. These positive results reflect Toronto’s ongoing resilience, potential as an innovation hub and overall attractiveness as a place to live and work.

The global PwC report ranked 30 cities around the world based on 10 key performance indicators, including demographics and livability, innovation and intellectual capital, transportation and infrastructure, city gateway access and economic clout among others.

Toronto posted strong results under several important variables such as ease of doing business, entrepreneurial environment and political stability, which support the growth of an attractive business and innovation hub. These positive attributes will appeal to 65% of Canadian CEOs who identified the development of an innovative ecosystem as a priority in PwC’s recent 17th Annual Global CEO Survey.

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Toronto ranked within the top 10 in the following areas:

  • Toronto ranked #4 for overall ease of doing business;
  • #2 for ease of starting a new business;
  • #7 for entrepreneurial environment;
  • #3 for its relatively stable national political environment;
  • The city took the lead in quality of living, which is based on five categories: sociopolitical stability, healthcare, culture and natural environment, education and infrastructure; and,
  • Toronto placed second in the overall category of health, safety and security, behind leader Stockholm.

Despite the city’s strengths, weaker scores related to transportation gridlock, city gateway access and technology readiness point to areas for improvement to better position Toronto as the world’s leading innovation hub and business centre.

Results in these categories reflect some of the ongoing challenges impacting Toronto’s connectivity to global markets and access to knowledge and information.

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For example, the city ranks #1 in public transit systems, which measures the availability of various modes of public transportation and acknowledges the system’s efficiency, safety and reliability independent of factors such as ease of commute and traffic congestion. However, a closer look at ease of commute (#12) and traffic congestion (#13) reveals a clear need for expanded transit coverage and better integration of regional transportation systems and congestion policies to enhance the efficiency of the current transportation infrastructure.

Toronto also ranked low in city access to airports (#22) and #13 for overall technology readiness, two variables that affect the city’s growth and ability to attract foreign investments and businesses.

Originally published on Advisor.ca

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