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Toronto ranked 10th most influential city in the world

Posted by Derek Flack / August 19, 2014

toronto influential cityToronto has something of a complex when it comes to being considered a world class city, this despite numerous high rankings in terms of livability and economic stature. A new study out from Forbes might help to quell this self consciousness or make it worse, depending on how ambitious one's conception of the city's global position is. According to Forbes, Toronto is the 10th "most necessary" city in the world, a spot it shares with San Francisco and Los Angeles.

London, New York, and Paris take the top three spots in this survey, which puts much emphasis on a city's stature as financial hub. "Toronto, as the economic capital of Canada, has becomes a focus for international investment into that stable and resource rich country," the introduction to the ranking reads. "It is also among the most diverse cities on the planet -- 46 % of its population is foreign born."

While the 10th place ranking doesn't necessarily seem so high, when you consider that a city like Chicago comes in at 20th, it should serve as a reminder that Toronto's stature in the world is secure. Let's see if Rob Ford takes credit for this.

Photo by Marc in the blogTO Flickr pool.



Todd Toronto / August 19, 2014 at 09:58 am
I'm of two minds of this:

1) I love Toronto, but there's no way it's one of the most influential cities in the world. Anecdotally, outside of Canada, it's barely mentioned at all (well, except for THAT); and

2) We should be really proud of this! We should celebrate our status as a city of the world and stop being so parochial when it comes to our local politics.
nic replying to a comment from Todd Toronto / August 19, 2014 at 10:02 am
hahahahaha todd you suck way to say nothing! loll
everyone in the 6ix needs to chillll
mar replying to a comment from Todd Toronto / August 19, 2014 at 10:03 am
stick with your second instinct.
Kelly again / August 19, 2014 at 10:05 am
Just be yourself, Toronto. Stop worrying about how you measure up to the other pretty girls.
Donnie / August 19, 2014 at 10:28 am
Awesome!!! Rob Ford has not tarnished the image of our city at all! We still rise to the top!
iSkyscraper / August 19, 2014 at 10:30 am
At least we're still first among the top ten cities for junkiest and most expensive airport train, and it hasn't even opened yet...
Olivia's Chow / August 19, 2014 at 10:32 am
And Toronto is in the top 10 because of me! Bye, I have to run off for a photo-op at the CN tower and then another for my interview in Hustler magazine!
Toronto_Sucks / August 19, 2014 at 10:33 am
Finally!! Someone stepped up and pointed it out that toronto is FAR from being world class or for that matter deemed important or influential on a world scale, let alone in the Americas. Too bad for all you TO narcissistic self-righteous bragging wannabes including DRAKE...maybe more luck next time for the big ole "6" ...what a joke!
steve replying to a comment from Toronto_Sucks / August 19, 2014 at 10:43 am
Did you really just write please check out my blog cause I can't seem to generate any traffic?
akswun replying to a comment from Toronto_Sucks / August 19, 2014 at 10:49 am
lol butthurt much?

And that "why Toronto Sucks" list seems like a cry from a lonely disgruntled comic book guy. Some of the points have truths but everything about that blog is similar to the attitude of the whiny BlogTo trolls.

If you live in a city you hate then move. Annoying to hear people complain but never have solutions.
Toronto_Sucks / August 19, 2014 at 10:49 am
Ah BlogTO...the truth hurts!
YA RIGHT! / August 19, 2014 at 11:02 am
# 10 on an influential scale? YA RIGHT!
yt / August 19, 2014 at 11:06 am
i really hope you're under 16 years old to be so stupid, racist, and hopelessly clueless. yr blog is shyte, bud.

BM replying to a comment from Toronto_Sucks / August 19, 2014 at 11:15 am
So leave. Buh-bye.
christopher / August 19, 2014 at 11:18 am
If Toronto was a world class city they would still be having the Toronto Outdoor Art Show for its 54th year next summer but no the city has cancelled that for the Pan Am Games. That is definitely no world class. Part of bringing the world to your door step is to show them your culture not hide it.
frankie / August 19, 2014 at 11:24 am
thanks drake
Marc replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / August 19, 2014 at 11:37 am
You're the worst.

iSkyscraper replying to a comment from Marc / August 19, 2014 at 11:49 am
Don't get me wrong - the #10 rating was punching way above the city's weight and is something to be proud of.

I'm just taking every potshot I can at Metrolinx for their idiotic planning of the UP Express. What should be a $15 commuter train is going to be a $30 white elephant that upsets everyone, making the city again look like a laughingstock.
glenn / August 19, 2014 at 12:03 pm
and just think of how influential we might be had the fords never been conceived.
Douche Chillington replying to a comment from Donnie / August 19, 2014 at 12:06 pm
This list wasn't really about image, the criteria was almost entirely financial and/or economic. It is Forbes, after all.
SteveM replying to a comment from Toronto_Sucks / August 19, 2014 at 12:08 pm
That's the worst thing I've ever seen. Page design, writing, it's all terrible.
Alex L / August 19, 2014 at 12:13 pm
Despite the naysayers of Ford nation, etc., I think we can take some pride in this city. Even our mistakes (e.g. Leslie Spit) can be something really interesting and positive. Now let's see what we can do to make this city even better. During my 50+ years, the downtown and industrial core has been re-invented with creativity; the challenge is to spread more of this positive energy out of the core to the aging and traffic-clogged suburbs, to affordable housing, clean and fast transit. The future will lead to even more people and we can't push them 50 miles out and build huge highways. There are a ton of impressive people in this city and I'm proud of them.
Garneau / August 19, 2014 at 12:13 pm
I love this city. I work at a job I love, live in a neighbourhood I love, with good schools, safety, and comparably clean environment for my kids. Toronto might lack flash, but it wins the long game. And kudos to the city for doing more than just sitting on its haunches collecting resource royalties - huge industrial diversity to go along with the diversity of the population.
KevinN / August 19, 2014 at 12:18 pm
The word 'influential' concerns me. I don't think we influence other than being so diverse. I think we're in a wrong category.
Alex / August 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm
Considering how epic our banks are, and how many of them have headquarters in Toronto, I can completely agree with this. In financial terms, we are a very important city. Culturally we may not be top ten, but that's not what this list is about. I love living in this city and wouldn't want to permanently live anywhere else in the world.
Deal with it / August 19, 2014 at 12:38 pm
Watch this bring out the jealous haters from Sea to Shining Sea! LOL! Toronto has pulled so far ahead of the pack, so quickly that all they can do is fume away in helpless anger.
Like Mr Sucks, for example! Fun to watch people like him squirm in fury.
Tomguero / August 19, 2014 at 01:05 pm
TIFF is arguably the biggest film festival in the world. Caribbana and gay pride are amongst the biggest for what they are. Canadian banks like TD Bank which are big in the U.S. have their headquarters downtown in Toronto. The national joke of "the centre of the universe" has actually come true. I guess the joke is now on the rest of the country.
tommy replying to a comment from SteveM / August 19, 2014 at 01:09 pm
It's the mobile version - drop the '?m=1' from the URL.

That Toronto_Sucks blog is hilarious. There are a million reasons to hate Toronto, but these 10 points are so out-there, misinformed, and frankly incorrect that I think the bubble-boy would have more perspective.
Not him again / August 19, 2014 at 01:24 pm
Isn't Toronto Sucks the Power Loser that can't get any dates, and has been venting his anger on these boards for years? The guy is obsessed. If indeed he does live here then move the fck away, please. Your negativity is not wanted or needed.
Toronto Sucks is a complete loser I've reported his site to for the hate that it spread replying to a comment from Not him again / August 19, 2014 at 01:42 pm
Actually if you click around J Mac's/Daddy Mak's website website you'll see that he/she is a racist bigot that hides behind having no name and no identity behind the website.
JMAC / August 19, 2014 at 01:44 pm
Why the hate-fest? / August 19, 2014 at 02:06 pm
So much hate, so little time. What a colossal waste of energy.
ST / August 19, 2014 at 02:14 pm
Let all the narcissists unite! Guess you people have never been to real world class cities or you wouldn't be comparing Toronto to them. Really is annoying to see how much ppl brag about this town and sickening to be caught up about it. Someone mentioned banks...according to world powers, Canadian banks need to 'man up' in order to fit with the rest of the global banks...less govt control and grow more balls! Wait till the interest rates go up...real estate no more! Seriously, if you ppl think you live in a world class influential city, I think you should experience real world class cities. Rude ppl, rude city, shit service everywhere. Toronto used to be a descent place, but unfortunately, this blog and way of life in this town is narcissistic in nature! The ones that disagree...well that's typical of narcissistic behaviour!
realtiyCheck / August 19, 2014 at 02:18 pm
What is the point of being ranked tenth in world influence when half the jobs in the region are now classified as "precarious"? There is nothing wrong with growth and influence... but if the benefits of growth and influence merely acrue to those at the top, as seems to be the case with our metropolis, what's to celebrate?
James replying to a comment from ST / August 19, 2014 at 02:23 pm
It's spelt "DECENT"
KG replying to a comment from Tomguero / August 19, 2014 at 02:29 pm
See what I mean? This is so the typical narcissistic behaviour of Torontonians! And by the way, TIFF doesn't even come close to being the biggest film fest in the world! You all think that because you're too busy trying to out do one another and pretend you matter; it's not about the films, but more with wanting to be at a stupid party with stars in attendence; oh ya, and that obsolete thing that world class cities don't do...bottle service! Seriously? Who does that?
Reality Check? That's 4 Sure! / August 19, 2014 at 02:57 pm
Toronto World Class? N O T! I have visited New York and Boston and Seattle, and had many more friendly interactions (with strangers) than I ever did working and living Toronto.Its so true Toronto is pretentous, it knows it can never be a 2nd New York, because it lacks the creative buzz and energy, vibe, diversity that make that place tick. Seemingly having 10 months of coldness, has made people cold and unimaginative in this city, with so many so many ethic groups here, its highly surprising too see how little interaction there is between them, and how much so Toronto reflects more of a little provincial mentality of 5 million rather than a global cosmopolitan one like London (UK), New York or Paris. Toronto has A LOT TO LEARN FROM THE OTHERS, before it can claim to be a "best place" to live. Place marketing shouldnt be a charade. Sorry to burst your TO egos!
TD replying to a comment from Toronto / August 19, 2014 at 03:14 pm
Big deal! I highly doubt generations, but perhaps recent immigrants coming from screwed up parts of the world to take advantage of the 'Canadian system'! You guys talk about 'how diverse' Toronto is like it's the only place in the world with other ethnicities! Like I said, big can walk on any block in a world class city and find more than just Somali or dim sum and in abundance.
Potrzebie / August 19, 2014 at 04:15 pm
People, it's a business publication putting out a list of influential cities in a global economy that has been resources-hungry for years and years.

For Toronto to rank highly in that narrow set of changing circumstances should not come as a surprise.

It's not a ranking of Toronto as a cosmopolitan art centre.
Chris replying to a comment from Toronto_Sucks / August 19, 2014 at 04:36 pm
So why you still here bro?
Tomguero replying to a comment from KG / August 19, 2014 at 05:01 pm
How can you guys say Toronto is only influential financially and not culturally? I see David Cronenberg doing groceries and Margaret Atwood or Daniel Lanois walking down the street. One of the most important urban thinkers, American Jane Jacobs chose to live here.

Other American celebrities like Prince, Riddick Bowe, the Iron Sheik & many more also chose to live here and it's not for the weather. Internationally renown chef David Change opened a Momofuku here after his NY restaurant. Another tidbit. Here's someone truly "influential": Frank Gehry. Widely touted as the greatest living architect, he was born & raised in Toronto.

P.S.: Guys don't feed the troll: TorontoSucks or DaddyMak, ST, KG or whatever alias he is hiding behind is just some foreigner who came here and couldn't get a date. Not a coincidence he used the word "narcissistic" over and over.
Perry Como / August 19, 2014 at 06:42 pm
We have honest eds. No wonder we are top ten
Mark / August 19, 2014 at 06:52 pm
Torontosucks stay away from your medicine cabinet champ. Have you considered going to "world class" CAMH for your borderline personality traits. Living in Toronto I must congratulate you on being a world class loser.
Dubby / August 19, 2014 at 08:17 pm
Imagine how much more livable it will be on Oct. 28th, after we've cut the waste at City Hall!
To our Canadian "Neighbours" / August 20, 2014 at 12:12 am
Thanks so much for trolling all of our news and writing comments pretending that you live in Toronto. You may wish you lived here, but that doesn't stop you from bitterly complaining all the time and trying to diminish Toronto's successes.
The more you envy us, the smaller you look so why not stick to the boring news in whatever burgh you actually do live in?
hair salon toronto / August 20, 2014 at 07:12 am
I'm actually really proud of Toronto being the 10th influential city in the world, for once. Thanks to the people the live and work in it of course that make it so great, multicultural and interesting; maybe it's not the easiest city to live in but certaintly has it's pros, anyway I live in it in downtown and would not live anywhere else.
Chef / August 20, 2014 at 09:17 am
Staggering unemployment rate of close to 10%!!! Yeah that's influential! Guess we'll have to train torontonians how to build more useless condos!
This just in! / August 20, 2014 at 09:41 am
Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary sit atop global ‘liveability’ rankings!!!!!!!!!!!
MH replying to a comment from Reality Check? That's 4 Sure! / August 20, 2014 at 11:26 am
Tr: REALITY CHECK? THAT'S 4 SURE - Typical self-loathing Canadian with the standard attitude of: "if I put down Toronto it shows how sophisticated I am". The truth is it demonstrates how "provincial" YOU are that you would go to such lengths to deny the successes of your own country's biggest city.

The urgency in the tone of your writing to undermine the city's accomplishments is palpable. Its like you are desperate to announce publicly "Hey everyone!! I'm not one of the people who like Toronto!", lest your image of worldliness be tarnished - after all, you've been to New York and London.

Here is a thought experiment for you: next time you are in New York or London, you meet someone who has recently visited Canada and they tell you how much they liked Toronto. And your response is "No!No! I'm really embarrassed by Toronto. It sucks and doesn't compare to a real city like yours!"
Do you think you are going to appear sophisticated to this person? Or do you think you'll come across as a bit of a small town rube and that this new friend will be left with the distinct impression that Canadians are painfully insecure and underconfident?
Kudos to MH / August 20, 2014 at 12:37 pm
To the sad sack losers like Mark and Reality Check who are bent out of shape with jealousy, just frigging deal with it. Fact: Toronto has blown the wheels off all the other cities in Canada this past generation, and left them spinning in the dust. Whether they like or approve of that is of no concern to us. We do our thing, create a better and more interesting city, and if they don't want to be part of it then that is their loss.
One message to Torontonians: Stop meekly putting up with bullshit from the rest of Canada. Stand up for yourself and stop apologizing all the time. It makes me cringe to hear people grovelling how unworthy they are.
Serena / August 20, 2014 at 12:39 pm
For the insecure, no doubt Aubrey will soon proudly have her 50 reason list why she can't have any fun in this city. It will be sweet reading for the self-loathing set.
anthony / August 20, 2014 at 03:37 pm
Yes of course, The Toronto haters come out in droves. Have you not come up with something more clever than "Toronto Sucks"? We have heard for 40 years now at least. We actually are not ignorant, just ignore stupid comments we have heard for years.
HZ replying to a comment from MH / August 20, 2014 at 04:43 pm
Don't worry, actually I have asked wgere I'm from and yes as much as I know it sucks here, no have had New Yorker's comment on how much their time spent in this useless town of toronto was boring and ppl here thinking they are soooo amazing! That's the problem here...ppl think they're too cool for skool! Ohh we're sooo awesome! Ya plezzz!
BM replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / August 20, 2014 at 07:41 pm
So walk. Crawl. But be sure to busker first.
BM replying to a comment from HZ / August 20, 2014 at 07:44 pm
Can New Yorkers spell? If not, seems like a good place for you.
go home if you don't like it here / August 21, 2014 at 12:06 am
Our illiterate resident woman/Toronto-hater here wonders why it is so hard to make friends in Toronto. I guess his neighbours aren't as stupid as he hopes they are. Go home to whatever hole you moved here from, and maybe your family will pretend to be your friend.
6ix replying to a comment from go home if you don't like it here / August 21, 2014 at 08:19 am
Unfortunately born here and witnessing how much it really does suck. I'm reading these posts and I'm laughing at all the defenders. amazing cuz of king street west....we're soo awesome pretending, actually, WANTING to be what we CANT! Don't see any other world class city brag and talk about how awesome Toronto is...wannabes!
Paula / August 21, 2014 at 10:04 am
I'm originally from Hamilton and I guess compared to Hamilton, Toronto is much more cultured and interesting. I have been living here for 5 years and like it. I don't understand where the hate is coming from.
MH replying to a comment from HZ / August 21, 2014 at 11:21 am
MH replying to a comment from Kudos to MH / August 21, 2014 at 11:24 am
MH replying to a comment from Paula / August 21, 2014 at 12:23 pm
"I have been living here for 5 years and like it. I don't understand where the hate is coming from."

It comes from their insecurity that they don't measure up, which is likely exacerbated by a naive romanticising of everywhere else. I think this is probably due to the fact that their only experience of other places is primarily through TV and movies or brief holiday visits.
Its this personal sense of inferiority about not being from 'New York' or 'London' which is so stinging to their ego that accounts for this drive to disassociate themselves from any appreciation of Toronto. In other words, by announcing that I know Toronto isn't as good as people say it is I'm demonstrating that I am one of the cool and with-it people who really know what's going on.

Of course, it actually identifies them as needy, insecure and unworldly...which is the exact opposite of what they are striving for.

Perhaps these people represent the last ripples through the culture of an old colonial mindset of inferiority. I think the good news is that it seems to be an anachronistic perspective that is finally dying out.
Brad replying to a comment from nic / August 21, 2014 at 12:44 pm
dude, honestly you gotta stop referring our great city as "the six".... seriously it's stupid. And the fact that Drake named his new albums that is just influencing you all to use crap linguistics.
@ "6ix" / August 21, 2014 at 01:06 pm
LOL! Did you just call Toronto "6"? How lame. No wonder you are having trouble fitting in.

Many of the Toronto haters on these boards don't even live in Toronto despite their claims. Bitching and trying to undermine Toronto is the Canadian Way. In 2014 do any of us give a flying fck whether someone hundreds of miles away approves of our city or not? I don't.
Also still laughing at the fool who thinks Boston and Seattle are his definition of "World Class". haha!
Gay Toronto / August 21, 2014 at 03:00 pm
I live in toronto since 1994 and it doe suck alot. There are alot of people that are hard to warm up to, there are alot of employers who treat workers as disposable and the lack of jobs doesn't help.traffice is bad, things are expensive, and communitiews are fragmented. The only reason i like it here is because its relatively gay and trans friendly. I along with my colleagues agree toronto is no works class city compared to other cities, regardless of world pride...sorrry but that's the truth...
proudfoot replying to a comment from Gay Toronto / August 21, 2014 at 03:24 pm
Feel free to leave then
Fake "Gay Toronto" is "Toronto Sux" / August 22, 2014 at 11:18 am
Judging by the bad spelling, I think it is our ESL friend who hates Toronto and hates Toronto Women. I am suspecting that perhaps he is the one who sucks a lot. Could it be the infamous old loser Dimitri?
realityCheck / August 22, 2014 at 04:23 pm
@MH... Sorry, but your claims that my comments indicate "self-loathing" is mistaken and rather bizarre. Being critical, if one sees it as warranted, of one's city or province or country is not equivalent with "self-loathing", but rather one's civic duty. If you think this ranking is something to celebrate, then by all means, celebrate. As for me, I don't see it as an "accomplishment". I don't see my sense of personal worth as dependent on some thinly-disguised business marketing effort or on any sort of ranking of this city. And with respect to what I would celebrate about this city, it would be things such as good quality of life (for all, not just the latte crowd), job security, community stability. Unfortunately, these areas in which we seem to have gotten worse over the past 25 years. Not a hater of this city... but not a fool either.
nota bene to realityCheck / August 23, 2014 at 01:10 pm
Self-loathing you are. Period.

Now, buzz off. You won't be missed.
realityCheck / August 23, 2014 at 03:55 pm
@NoteBene...Is this site about offering and hearing comments from others on various urban issues or is it about hurling personal insults at people you don't agree with?
Steve / August 24, 2014 at 09:17 am
Toronto and many large cities as well as Canada are liberal cess pits. I still wonder why rural folks still live here. Toronto is Is cold, phony, try hard and EXPENSIVE. Most females are losers here and speak with slang. Canada in general has no culture. Vancouver is not green they copied that from San Francisco. Alberta's cowboy lifestyle comes from a black guy who came from Southern US states to escape slavery.

kanadians now are soft and dependent on Government. Not to mention immigration here is horrible, they don't even bring in the best of people just the left overs of poor countries.. I would not recommend anyone come live here and most whites from Toronto are leaving in ten years it will be dump. High taxes don't help either.

- Planning an escape from this cess pool. USA! USA! USA!
ha ha ha! / August 24, 2014 at 10:23 am
LOL! Yeah, Borat.. I mean "Steve". Canada sucks and it is Toronto's fault that girls are not interested in you. I hope your plan to escape is successful and happens SOON!
Alan / August 26, 2014 at 05:34 pm
Wow, those other 9 cities must be going crazy!
Isa / September 5, 2014 at 09:49 pm
Toronto is a fine city and is growing in global importance, but it is in NO WAY the 10th most influential city in the world. I've lived in Toronto and the Bay Area The fact that Forbs tied it with San Francisco and Los Angeles is pure insanity. Both SF and LA have GDP's that dwarf Toronto. Both cities have influenced culture, politics, laws, the way people act and even how they eat. LA completely dominates the film and music industry. San Francisco dominates the world's tech industry.

Now ask yourself, how exactly has Toronto influenced the world? What cuisine did we spread to the world? What business do we dominate? How are we remotely close to matching these cities in ANY aspect with leads to global influence. Sorry, but having a high portion of the city which was born outside of Canada doesn't make Toronto important, especially when so many of those "foreigners" are Americans.
Gregor / December 16, 2014 at 10:55 pm
Sounds like BS to me. Seeing that people there are lazy asses, don't do anything and expect high payment. And if people of the city are useless, then the city is likely to be useless too. It's very uncomfortable to live because of stupid policies and no improvements made since the past, which makes it look like it's on welfare and a third-world country. If it is really a rich city, then I would've thought people would be living in luxury and beauty but instead you got trash flying everywhere and traffic jams due to underfunded transit and no expansion of roads. Then the city expects people to pay high cost of living? Not only that but it hasn't done anything for the world. That's why it's a shithole and a useless city so please please please stop spreading lies over the internet.
Gregor replying to a comment from ha ha ha! / December 16, 2014 at 11:05 pm
Hey Steve's right dude. You should stop denying it and see the truth right in front of you. And from this, we should learn to improve and grow. Toronto is a shithole and on its way to becoming a third-world country, the proof of denial and delusion of how idiotic Toronto people are.
Other Cities: Montreal