Toronto is a continental gateway for the world, ranking alongside economy powerhouses such as New York, Boston and Chicago and is the most diversified economy of any city-region in North America. Toronto is a recognized leader in innovation and ingenuity and the diverse economy allows for unlimited business opportunity. Toronto welcomes 18 million visitors per year drawing tourists to exciting attractions, cultural events, entertainment and great shopping and dining experiences.|
With a population of 26 million residents, Toronto is the fifth largest city in North America. Toronto businesses export over $70 billion in goods and services world wide with sales of $47 billion annually, while the city's economy comprises 11% of Canada's GDP. Toronto has a reputation as North America's leading economy boasting an overall cost savings of 6.5% over large U.S. cities and up to 12.2% compared to Asia and European Centres - KPMG
Toronto has a support network and a highly educated workforce. There are approximately half a million highly skilled people working in Toronto and close to sixty percent of employees in Toronto have post secondary degrees or certificates. Law, accounting firms, customer care centres, human resources services and consultancies create a vital business structure for the city.
Toronto is one of North America's leading centres for film and TV production and has been coined Hollywood North. Canada's biotechnology cluster is ranked within the world's top ten, holding 557 biotech companies, while Toronto's biotechnology cluster is ranked the fourth largest in North America. Toronto's Discovery District is fully integrated into the city's core. By 2013 The Hospital for sick Children plans to have a 20 story research tower built in the district that hosts 2000 scientist and staff in their research institute while Sunnybrooke Health centre is planning a $200 million expansion of their medical research institute. Toronto is a global hub for IT and new media development. Some of the world's most reputable technology programs are in schools in and around the city. Ryerson's new Digital Media Zone at Dundas Square is a gathering place for tech entrepreneurs. Toronto has been referred to as the next Silicon Valley.
In 2002 the Toronto business community persuaded the Ontario government to reduce realty taxes by 11% over a six year period, reducing fixed over head costs for businesses. Businesses in Toronto can offset up to 75% of its Federal tax for a year with unused balances carried forward ten years. A number of business incentives are available to organizations looking to save money and the environment. The government tax credit called the Scientific Research and Experimental Development grant and other grants from the Federal Industrial Research Assistance Program are especially attractive to business startups which in 2010 and 2011 is scheduled to pay out 90 million stimulus dollars to small and medium sized Ontario businesses.
Toronto businesses enjoy competitive priced electricity, secure access to natural gas and oil, care of an abundance of resources and an efficient energy industry. Reusable sources of energy in Toronto are made available through wind power and deep water cooling technologies.
For the past seven years the city of Toronto has recognized environmental leadership of local individuals, companies and organizations through the Green Toronto Awards of Excellence. Nominations are currently being accepted for 2011. This year two new award categories have been added, the Green Home Award and the Green Business Award. With currently, ten categories, each winner will receive a prestigious Green Toronto Award and $5,000. The City of Toronto's environmental awards of excellence honour and celebrate those helping lead the way to a cleaner, greener and more liveable Toronto.