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05/18 - Trends

Inside Look: Toronto Declared one of the World’s Most Innovative Cities

Walk down Toronto’s bustling streets on any given day and you’ll be hit with an energy unmatched by any other city in Canada (some argue it’s contagious). But how does Toronto compare to other burgeoning cities across the globe? According to a new report by Melbourne-based consultancy company 2thinknow, it’s one of the most innovative in the world.

In the company’s 10th annual “Innovation Cities Index”, Toronto ranked eighth out of 500 cities worldwide. According to the report, each city is scored based on 162 indicators that fall into three main categories: cultural assets (think neighbourhoods, nature and cinema), human infrastructure (from bank and finance to public meeting spaces) and networked markets (population, trade diversity, exports etc).

While London, New York and Tokyo snagged the top three spots, respectively, there’s no question that ranking in the top 10 is a major achievement. Here are a few reasons why Toronto is worthy of its ranking:

Creative Startups

Toronto is the birthplace of an array of notable startups, from OneEleven to Figure 1 to Vanhawks. It’s also home to innovative Canadian companies like Shopify, that while headquartered in Ottawa, has an impressive 35,600 square foot office here.


Eye-Catching Architecture

The Art Gallery of Ontario transformed into even more of a structural icon after undergoing a facelift in 2008 thanks to prolific Toronto-born architect Frank Gehry. There’s also the modernist design of Toronto City Hall and the city’s historic Gooderham Building, to name a few.


Novel Restaurants

What’s the most obscure or inventive dish you can possibly imagine? Chances are a restaurant in Toronto offers it (or will make it if you ask nicely). With famed chefs like Lynn Crawford, Anthony Rose and Grant van Gameren on our turf, the bounty of inventive fare and cuisine explorations will only continue to expand.


Innovative Hub

The MaRS Discovery District is one of the world’s largest urban innovation hubs. The not-for-profit organization aims to connect aspiring entrepreneurs to mentors and investors, encouraging the launch of more creative ventures.


Notable Education

From University of Toronto, which is considered one of the world’s most research-intensive universities, to Ryerson University with its praised programs and proposed Centre for Urban Innovation building to OCAD and its award-winning main campus building, the academic options are flourishing.