Invest Toronto

Branding T.O.

In today's Toronto Star, John Spears takes a look at Invest Toronto and Build Toronto, sister agencies designed to increase investment and development in the city. One of the most interesting ideas comes from Greg Clark, a "London-based economic development guru who advises cities around the globe."

Clark argues that Toronto needs a core identity, one that everyone can easily understand. Among his examples are Miami ("Everyone can tell you that Miami is on the road to becoming the business hub and the capital city of the pan-American economy") and Hong Kong ("Any taxi driver will tell you Hong Kong is going to be the first city in the world where the Chinese language and system and the English language and system are going to be used by everybody, all the time. It will be completely bilingual in Chinese and English.")

So what is our core identity?

When people in Boston, Bombay, and Barcelona hear "Toronto", what should spring to mind? Hating Toronto is a beloved national pastime, but any time I'm in a foreign city, people have nothing but good things to say about us. They sincerely praise our politeness and clean streets, to be sure, but also speak highly of our cosmopolitanism, which seems to me the true center of our city's character. But can pluralism make for a coherent unifying identity? I believe so, but perhaps not in precisely the way Clark intends.

Or, as one Invest Toronto participant suggested, should we forget about forging a "core story" and simply market ourselves as a great place to visit in the winter?

Photo by pixel bunny, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

Toronto sees another weekend of arrests at multiple anti-lockdown protests

The top 25 walk-in clinics in Toronto by neighbourhood

Derelict military aircraft are sitting in a field just outside Toronto

Strangers helped a Toronto woman fix an old ripped photo of her dad as a teen

Toronto woman creates 3,000 self-care boxes for vulnerable women

Toronto mechanic makes a cart for a dog with amputated front legs

Humber Bay Park in Toronto spans two kilometres of the city's shoreline

Man recognizes himself in old photo of Children's Village at Ontario Place