I moved to Toronto seventeen years ago with no intention of staying beyond my university years. I remember looking at this young, concrete city – frigid in winters, smouldering in summers and with only a CN Tower to brag about – and thinking: “One day, I will live somewhere better.” But then something happened.
Toronto became that “somewhere better”. Not even just better. Toronto became “it.” Like some sort of magic trick, Toronto has literally – before the eyes of the world – jumped up on to the world stage. “This is the place where NBAers want to party, where Jay-Z comes to find producers, where international multi-millionaires definitely need to have a fifth condo to hang out in.”1
The world’s eyes are on Toronto. But in case you haven’t read that memo yet, here are my top reasons why Toronto is an amazing city to live in.
“Ten of My Most Convincing Reasons to Pack up and Relocate to Toronto”
(1) Toronto Was Named the Best Place to Live in the World
That’s not me saying that. That’s one of the most respected publications, after in-depth study, stating it to the world. The Economist called Toronto the best place to live in the world based on 6 of their indexes.2 Meanwhile, according to ‘Metropolis’, an architecture and design publication, we’re “the most livable”.3 And according to Vogue Magazine, some of our neighbourhoods make us the coolest.4
(2) Toronto Is the Undisputed Financial Capital of Canada and Fifth Largest in North America
Not only that! Our stock exchange is the seventh largest in the world and the World Economic Forum, in its annual global competitiveness reports, has singled out Toronto’s banks as the soundest on the planet for the past seven years in a row.5 And speaking of banks, we are home to the headquarters of the country’s largest five, three of which rank among the world’s largest 25 banks by market capitalization.6
(3) Toronto Has the Best Food Market in the World
Again! Not just me saying this. National Geographic ranked Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market as the world’s best food market, beating out New York’s Union Square Greenmarket and St. Lucia’s Castries Market.7 It’s a tourist destination, a shopping extravaganza and one of the best people-watching places you’ll ever visit.
(4) There’s a Neighbourhood For Everyone
Hang out here awhile and you’ll understand why people say: “Toronto is a city of neighbourhoods.” You can get the best souvlaki on the Danforth, affectionately known as Greektown, best brunch in Leslieville, best perogies in Roncesvalles, see cherry tree blossoms in High Park, party in the entertainment district, drink the hippest cocktails on Ossington, eat ice cream and then buy a toy for your child a block from your house in Lawrence Park, shop name brand in Yorkville, it goes on. Each neighbourhood offers something different and complimentary to the multiculturalism that is so present here. The stats are incredible: 50% of Toronto’s population was born outside of Canada and over 140 different languages are spoken within the city every day.8 Which means, it feels like home to everyone.
(5) Toronto Is Really Clean
Despite being the most populous city of Canada the EIU’s Global Liveability Ranking puts Toronto in the top 20 cleanest cities in the world.9
(6) Toronto Is Fun
No really, we are. As one of the leading cultural centres of North America, Toronto is home to many world-class events and festivals, which add colour and even more diversity to local life. The Toronto Jazz Festival is one of the largest jazz events on the continent and the famous Toronto International Film Festival has become one of the most prestigious events of its kind in the world. We have free festivals almost every weekend of summer, Caribana (the largest street festival in North America), one of the biggest Pride Festivals in the world and huge city spirit for our sports teams.
(7) You Don’t Need a Car to Get Around
Toronto has North America’s largest continuous underground pedestrian system and the third largest public transit system on the continent. Although a relatively large city, Toronto is built on a plain grid and block system, so you’ll probably never get lost when you’re walking around. The Toronto Transit Commission rates aren’t at all expensive – a ride will cost you roughly $3, and you can choose from any of several, convenient pass and fare options which give you unlimited travel.
(8) It’s Safe Here
Our violent crime rate is lower than that of any major U.S. metropolitan area making us one of the world’s safest cities to live in.
(9) We’re Still Kinda Affordable to Live In
I’m not saying we are a cheap place to live but compared to other world class cities, yes, yes we are. You can still buy a freehold house in the downtown core for less than million. And you can buy a beautiful 1-bedroom condo for less than $400K. Real estate in Toronto is appreciating faster than inflation, but homeowners are seeing appreciation growth at an astounding rate of 12.6 per cent year-over-year right now.10
(10) Toronto Has Lots of Extra Space
With one of the largest lakes in the world to the south of us, multi-use trails and boardwalks, ski slopes, bike networks, golf courses, cottage country and provincial parks within an hour or two of us, Torontonians have access to a lot of fun. But our love for camping and boating in nearby cottage country, skiing and snowboarding at the nearby slopes, cycling the boardwalks and trails and golf entails the need for a place to store all our toys. Thank goodness for amazing storage facilities to store all our things — since let’s be honest, even our million dollar houses aren’t big enough to put them. Places like Public Storage Canada are a godsend to Torontonians.
8. http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly? vgnextoid=dbe867b42d853410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD&vgnextchannel=57a12cc817453410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD
Originally written for the Public Storage Canada blog: http://publicstoragecanada.com/top-ten-reasons-move-toronto/#ixzz4CPQcGb9K
**reposted with permission