Welcome to the City of Toronto: general information, facts and figures

Summer 2015

Toronto is a world-class city − an amazing city to live and work in, and especially great to visit. It is also the hub of the nation's commercial, financial, industrial and cultural life.

With a high quality of life and reliable services, Toronto is one of the safest urban environments in the world. Toronto is also one of the most livable and competitive cities in the world, as demonstrated by various international rankings and reports.

More than 2.8 million residents call Toronto home, making it the largest city and sixth largest government in Canada, and the fourth largest city in North America.

Toronto is heralded as one of the most multicultural cities in North America, enriched by a large number of cultural and arts events and festivals each year.

Among its attractions and activities, Toronto is home to seven professional sports teams, including the Toronto Blue Jays (Major League Baseball), Toronto Raptors (National Basketball Association), Toronto Argonauts (Canadian Football League), Toronto Maple Leafs (National Hockey League), Toronto Marlies (American Hockey League), Toronto Rock (National Lacrosse League) and the Toronto FC (Major League Soccer).


  • The City of Toronto's economy comprises 9.5 per cent of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with Toronto's GDP topping $155.9 billion in 2014.
  • Toronto's almost 100,000 businesses employ a large, highly skilled, multilingual workforce of 1.5 million people – 8.7 per cent of the country's workforce.
  • Toronto region is the largest, most dynamic and most innovative hub of technology-focused businesses in Canada, serving as the base to 36 per cent (14 per cent of technology businesses located in the City of Toronto) of the nation's 41,600 tech firms in 2014.
  • The Toronto region's tech sector employs almost 170,000 workers. Of the top 250 Canadian technology companies, 37 per cent are located in the Toronto region, according to 2014 Branham300
  • The Toronto region's financial services sector employs almost one quarter million individuals in 2014 and is the third largest in North America after New York and Chicago (based on direct employment).
  • Toronto is the nation's business and financial capital. It is a decision making hub, housing headquarter operations of the nation's five largest banks and the majority of foreign banks/subsidiaries/branches in Canada. In aggregate, Toronto-based banks manage approximately $3.7 trillion of the nation's assets.
  • The City is home to the majority of Canada's insurance industry including the headquarters of two of the largest life and health companies, as well as the leading property casualty firms.
  • The Toronto region is home to Canada's largest biomedical science cluster, with about 46,000 employees in the Toronto region (2014) primarily distributed across the therapeutic and medical device industry and in medical and research laboratories.

Culture and diversity

  • Toronto continues to be a mosaic of languages. According to the 2011 Census, 45 per cent of Toronto residents had a mother tongue other than English or French.
  • 28 per cent of the city's residents speak a language other than English or French at home.
  • Seven per cent of Toronto residents regularly speak multiple languages at home.
  • The top five languages regularly spoken at home in Toronto in 2011 were Chinese languages (including Cantonese, Mandarin and other Chinese dialects), Tamil, Spanish, Tagalog and Italian.
  • According to the 2011 National Household Survey, one-third of immigrants in Toronto are newcomers, having arrived in Canada in the last 10 years.
  • Toronto welcomes about 55,000 immigrants annually.
  • Approximately half of Toronto's population was born outside of Canada.
  • Toronto's rich multicultural diversity is expressed by the more than 200 distinct ethnic origins residents identified in their response to the 2006 Census.


  • Toronto boasts an impressive range of post-secondary educational facilities, including four universities and four colleges, offering training in virtually every discipline and skill.
  • According to the 2014 Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey, 35 per cent of the city's population has a university degree and 21 per cent has a post-secondary certificate or diploma.
  • In 2012, over 260,000 students were enrolled in Toronto's public universities/colleges, which collectively graduated over 53,000 students with diverse degrees and skill sets that year.
  • Toronto and its surrounding area is home to 128 research centres that focus on a wide range of research activities. These centres are fully affiliated with Toronto's universities.


  • Toronto's municipal government has 44 elected councillors each representing approximately 55,000 people.
  • The 44 councillors along with the mayor make up Toronto City Council.
  • Toronto City Council terms are four years.
  • The 1998 restructuring of Toronto's municipal government was one of the most ambitious such undertakings in North America. Seven large municipalities were combined, municipal and provincial responsibilities revamped, and property tax reformed.
  • Within Canada, only the federal government and the provincial governments of British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec govern larger populations than the City of Toronto.
  • The residents of Toronto are served by approximately 32,000 employees, or approximately 50,000 including the City's agencies, boards and commissions.


  • More than 25 million people visit Toronto annually.
  • Visitors to the Toronto region support the tourism industry which employs more than over 335,000 people who work in tourism, hospitality and related services in 2014.
  • Toronto is also home to more than 50 major attractions, including art museums, heritage sites, cultural centres and zoos. Hundreds of events, festivals, regattas and marathons take place throughout the year.
  • The Toronto region has more than 43,000 hotel rooms, including several luxury hotels.


  • Toronto's public transit system is the second largest in North America and has the highest per capita ridership rate on the continent.
  • More than 2,800 subway vehicles, buses and streetcars transport more than 1.62 million riders throughout the city each day.

To learn more about the City of Toronto's role of Proud Host City of the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games visit

Follow the City of Toronto on Twitter @TorontoComms and join the conversation about the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games with the #HostCity2015 hashtag.


Media contacts: Strategic Communications, City of Toronto, 416-392-6967,


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