Key Industry Sectors

Financial Services

Toronto's banking towers at nightToronto is the leading Canadian financial services centre. With more than 251,000 people working in the sector, it  is also the second largest North American financial hub after New York. A globally prominent centre, Toronto ranks 4th in the 2014 PwC Cities of Opportunities Study; 6th of 56 international financial centres in the 2014 Banker IFC rankings; and 8th of 84 cities in the 2015 Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI).

Quick Facts About Toronto's Financial Services Sector

  • Headquarters for 5 of the nation's largest banks and the majority of foreign banks/ subsidiaries/branches in Canada. In aggregate, our banks manage approximately $3.7 trillion of the nation's assets (CBA 2014). The top 5 control approximately of 80% of domestic assets.
  • The majority of pension funds, including 4 of the country's largest Public Pension Plans with combined assets exceeding $450 billion, are located here.
  • Home to TMX Group, which owns and operates Canada’s leading public equities markets, Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and TSX Venture Exchanges (TSXV). Based on market capitalization, the Exchanges are the 3rd largest in North America and 8th largest in the world (Source: World Federation of Exchanges, 2014).TSX and TSXV, on a combined basis, have the largest number of listed companies globally in the oil and gas, mining, and clean technology and renewable energy sectors. In 2014, nearly $58 billion of equity capital was raised on TSX and TSXV, which places them 6th among global stock exchanges.
  • The locus of a vibrant startup ecosystem that helps entrepreneurs grow and succeed. It's where the vast majority of Canada's venture capital and private equity firms are located. In 2014 venture capital and private equity disbursements in Canada totalled over $40 billion.
  • More than 55% of registered investment dealers are in Toronto (Source: Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) website)
  • Almost 80% of Canada's mutual fund industry, representing over C$1.22 trillion in Assets Under Management (AUM), as well as $77 billion in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), and the majority of the $35 billion hedge fund industry (Source: IFIC,AIMA and CETFA, 2014) is located in Toronto.
  • Headquarters for 38 federally regulated life insurance companies and 5 fraternal societies, two of which rank among the largest 50 global life insurers (Source: OSFI 2015)
  • Headquarters for 63% of federally regulated Property & Casualty Insurance companies – including two of the three largest in Canada (Source: OSFI 2015)
  • The leading asset servicing companies have a Toronto presence, including Citco, CIBC Mellon, Commonwealth, Harmonic, IFDS, RBC Investor Services, SGGG, and State Street
  • A robust and critical concentration of supporting service industries can be found in Toronto, including the top legal, accounting, consulting, academic and technology providers and their related and ever-growing technology accelerator and incubator networks.

Global Competitor

Fast rising in global prominence, Toronto consistently ranks among the top world-leading financial centres.

Global Financial Centre Rankings
 RankGlobal Financial Centres Index (September 2015)The Banker’s International Financial Centre rankings (September 2014)PwC Cities of Opportunities (2014)
1 London London London
2 New York New York New York
3 Hong Kong Singapore Singapore
4 Singapore Hong Kong Toronto
5 Tokyo Dubai San Francisco
6 Seoul Toronto Paris
7 Zurich Paris Stockholm
8 Toronto Tokyo Hong Kong
9 San Francisco Amsterdam Sydney
10 Washington DC Sydney Chicago
11 Chicago Frankfurt Berlin
12 Boston Dublin Los Angeles
13 Geneva Zurich Tokyo
14 Frankfurt Luxembourg Seoul
15 Sydney Stockholm Madrid

Safest Banks in North America

Canadian banks located in Toronto provide a broad and deep range of financial services and are connected with other global financial centres, including London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Canadian banks have also been recognized as the safest banks in North America by Global Finance magazine, and are among the top 50 safest banks in the world. The survey, published in October 2014, placed two Canadian banks in the top 20 safest banks.

(Source: Global Finance magazine)

World's 50 Safest Banks 2014
RankFinancial InstitutionFitchMoody'sS&PScore
11 TD Bank Financial Group AA- Aa1 AA- 23
16 Royal Bank of Canada AA- Aa3 AA- 22
22 Bank of Nova Scotia AA- Aa2 A+ 21
30 BMO Financial Group AA- Aa3 A+ 20
31 CIBC AA- Aa3 A+ 20

Top Financial Services and Related Firms in Toronto

Top-ranked Banks Headquartered in Toronto
RankCompany NameAssets (C$ billions)
1 Toronto-Dominion Bank $862.5
2 Royal Bank of Canada $860.8
3 Bank of Nova Scotia $743.8
4 Bank of Montreal $477.4
5 Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce $353.7

(Source: Financial Post 500 Rankings, 2014)

Top-ranked Life Insurance Companies in Toronto
RankCompany NamePremium Income (C$ billions)
1 Manulife Financial Corp. $17.5
3 Sun Life Financial $9.6
12 BMO Life $0.8
13 Independent Order of Foresters $0.5
14 Transamerica Life Canada* $0.5

*foreign controlled
(Source: Financial Post 500 Rankings, 2014)

Top-ranked Property & Casualty Insurance Companies in Toronto
RankCompany NamePremium Income (C$ billions)
1 Intact Financial Corp. $7.0
3 AVIVA Canada Inc* $3.5
5 RSA Group Canada* $2.7
11 Travelers/ The Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company $1.2
13 Northbridge Financial Corp. $1.0

* foreign controlled
(Source: Financial Post 500 Rankings, 2014)

Top-ranked Public Sector Pension Funds in Toronto
RankPension FundAssets Under Management (C$ billions)
1 Canada Pension Plan $226.8
3 Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan $140.0
7 OMERS (for municipal government employees) $65.1
8 HOOPP (for healthcare employees) $51.6
9 OPSEU Pension Trust (for provincial government employees) $17.4

(Source: Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, 2014)

Top-ranked Trust Companies in Toronto
RankCompany NameAssets (C$ billions)
1 Canada Trust Co. $25.5
2 Home Capital Group Inc. $20.1
3 CIBC Trust $12.7
6 National Trust Co. $6.3
9 BMO Trust Co. $5.4

(Source: Financial Post 500 Rankings, 2014)

Talent advantage

Toronto boasts an exceptionally skilled and diverse workforce that supports the finance sector. The Toronto region's financial services sector employs 251,000 people, which represents 66% of Ontario's and 31% of Canada’s sector employment. (Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, 2014).

Financial services is an equally significant contributor to the local economy, accounting for about 8% of the Toronto region's (CMA) direct employment and about 14% of its GDP. This figure is even higher for the city of Toronto, where the financial services sector accounts for about 19% of GDP. Employment within Toronto CMA's financial services sector is dominated by the banking sector, which accounts for just over half of sector employment (Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, 2014). 

Financial Services Employment by Segment in Toronto CMA
SegmentEmploymentPercentage of Total Employment
Banking/deposit-taking 143,090 57%
Insurance 50,220 20%
Securities/ Investment Services 55,150 22%
Other 2,950 1%
TOTAL 251,410  

(Sources: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey, 2014)

Highly educated workforce

Toronto CMA's financial services sector has a sophisticated and highly educated workforce - about 84% of the workforce has post-secondary accreditation in addition to industry-specific designations.

Education Level of Toronto's (CMA) Financial Services Sector Workforce
Level of Educational AttainmentFinance & InsuranceAll Industry
Less than high school 1.6% 6.6%
High school graduate 11.0% 19.1%
Some post-secondary 3.5% 7.0%
Post-secondary diploma/ certificate 23.9% 28.5%
University degree 60% 38.8%

(Sources: Statistics Canada  Labour Force Survey, 2014)

Large number of qualified professionals

The skill levels of the workforce are also reflected in the high number of employees with professional designations in the Toronto region.

Toronto boasts the 2nd largest CFA Society globally, based on membership, after London UK.

Professional Designations of Toronto's Financial Services Workforce
DesignationToronto RegionRest of OntarioCanada (total)
CA 15,784 5,806 81,836
CGA 8,955 11,045 75,000
CFA 8,121 327 15,318
CMA 9,816 9,889 19,705
CFP 3,114 5,316 16,195
CAIA 174 91 401

Top of the class

Toronto is home to 4 universities and 4 colleges, with a further 10 post-secondary institutions in the Toronto region which provide a growing supply of qualified labour. Three of Toronto's universities also have internationally recognized business schools which offer undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in business, finance and commerce, including full-time, part-time and executive MBA programs. York University’s Schulich School of Business has ranked among the top 10 business schools globally by both The Economist and Business Week; while the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management's MBA program is ranked in the top 15 in North America by the Financial Times magazine.

Toronto-based Universities, Colleges and Training Associations



Industry Training Organizations:

Industry associations

The Toronto Financial Services Alliance (TFSA) is a public private partnership created by the City of Toronto in 2001 to enhance and promote the competitiveness of Toronto as a premier global financial services centre.

  Other key industry associations include: