Quality of life and a stable political environment help make Toronto the fourth most attractive place in the world in which to live and work, according to a report from consulting firm PwC. But traffic congestion is one factor that pulled Toronto down a peg from its third-place position in 2012.
The study, called Cities of Opportunity, ranks 30 cities around the world on what it takes to be a well-balanced place to live and work, including education and technology, quality of life and the natural environment.
London took the top spot in the ranking for the first time, stepping ahead of second-place New York. Singapore rounded out the top three. Toronto has many positive qualities and the potential to emerge as a hub of innovation, said Raj Kothari, GTA managing partner at PwC.
The rankings slip is driven by the challenge Toronto faces on gridlock and congestion, he said. Toronto’s lack of downtown access to Pearson International Airport, for instance, was among the factors that pulled it down in the survey. The Union Pearson Express, the rail link between Union Station and the airport, is scheduled to open next summer.
Toronto also received low grades for overall technology readiness. That’s defined as Internet access in schools, broadband quality, software development and digital economy. These variables are important because, taken together, they affect the city’s growth and ability to attract foreign investments and business, PwC said.
Toronto’s strengths included the ease of doing business and its relatively stable national political environment. The city also garnered high marks for sociopolitical stability, health care, culture and natural environment, education and infrastructure. Taken together, these indicate overall quality of life, PwC said. Toronto placed second behind first-place Stockholm for health, safety and security.
TOP 10 CITIES OF OPPORTUNITY:
2. New York
5. San Francisco
8. Hong Kong
The study, published every two years, is based on public data from organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, national statistical organizations and commercial data providers. Data was collected during the last half of 2013. It was supplemented by a global internal survey of approximately 3,000 PwC staff from each city listed in the report.