In 2013, City Council endorsed Collaborating for Competitiveness: A Strategic Plan to Accelerate Economic Growth and Job Creation in Toronto (PDF). This economic growth plan sets targets to create a more attractive business and investment climate in Toronto and commits to harmonizing the policies and activities of the City of Toronto and its agencies.
The following reports outline the recommendations and actions to implement the Collaborating for Competitiveness report.
Implementation Action #8: Re-designing the Vacant Commercial and Industrial Tax Relief Program to Stimulate Economic Growth
Vacant commercial/ industrial buildings are under-utilized assets that have the potential to foster job creation and economic growth. This report discusses creative approaches to re-purposing these spaces to encourage productive employment that would benefit the property owner, local business area, and community.
Implementation Action #7: Initiatives to Strengthen Food & Beverage Sector
Toronto companies dominate the provincial food industry with more than half of all food processing in Ontario taking place within the Toronto region. This report provides more information about Toronto's food and beverage sector and outlines the work the City of Toronto has participated as a member of the Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance.
Implementation Action # 6: Toronto Music Sector
Toronto is home to many talented individuals and firms in the various sub-sectors within the music industry, however, it lacks the connective tissue necessary to make the separate parts into a whole and realize its full potential. This report recommends the establishment of a Toronto Music Industry Advisory Council and an Austin – Toronto Music City Alliance Advisory Committee.
Implementation Action #5: State of Manufacturing in Toronto
Manufacturing in Toronto represents a diverse range of activities, cuts across all industry sectors and is essential to a strong and balanced economy. As an export-based sector with high economic multipliers and strong linkages to other firms, manufacturing is essential to ensure sustained economic growth in Toronto. This report details recommendations on how to support and grow this vital sector.
Implementation Action #4B: Tech Sector, Space and Expansion
An adequate supply of available and affordable office space for start-ups and early stage firms needs to be in place to support and capitalize on the rapid global growth of the tech sector. This report outlines the current and emerging space options available in Toronto for tech start-ups.
Implementation Action #4A: Tech Sector Recruitment Strategy
The competition to attract and retain the best and brightest minds in the tech sector is fierce. Toronto companies are competing not only with each other and with firms in other sectors, but also with other jurisdictions south of the border and around the world. This report proposes the development of a Technology Sector Employment Plan with specific recruitment strategies as a means of addressing the workforce needs of the technology sector.
Implementation Action #4: Strengthening High Value Sectors – Technology
Maintaining and growing critical mass, nurturing start-ups and early-stage growth firms, encouraging cross-sector collaboration and generating global buzz are crucial initiatives for Toronto's Tech sector and critical to sustaining economic growth in the city.
Implementation Action #3: Terms of Reference - Economic Growth and Job Creation Advisory Committee
Collaboration with economic stakeholders from across the municipality is essential in ensuring Toronto continues to have an environment that fosters economic growth. An Economic Growth and Job Creation Advisory Committee made up of representatives from across the City's economic landscape including business, academia, labour, the United Way and City Council will provide advice on issues impacting economic growth and job creation within the City and Region.
Implementation Action #2: Aerospace Campus Cluster
The Toronto region is home to approximately 80% of the Ontario aerospace cluster which is comprised of 350 companies providing over 20,000 jobs, and generating some $6 billion in annual sales. There is federal, provincial and local consensus on the need for innovation, increased Research and Development, enhanced collaboration, and skills development. One suggestion is to develop the Downsview area as a potential hub for an aerospace innovation campus cluster.
Implementation Action #1: Building Toronto's Incubation Network
Incubators and accelerators are recognized world wide for their key role in the start-up ecosystem. They advance business formation, create and retain jobs, commercialize technologies, and accelerate the delivery of new products and services to the marketplace. The City is committed to supporting start-up and early stage companies by increasing the number, scale, and effectiveness of both incubator facilities and incubation programs and services through the City's Business Incubation & Commercialization program.
Related City Strategies
In addition to the Collaborating for Competitiveness report, the City has recently developed two additional key strategies: Strong Neighbourhoods 2020, and Working as One: A Workforce Development Strategy for Toronto – that collectively work to sustain and advance economic growth, ensure all communities share in the opportunities that are created, and better connect jobseekers and employers.
All three strategies work in a complementary and integrated manner to advance the City's objectives and provide improved services to businesses and residents directly and in partnership with others.