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Toronto was just ranked the second safest city in the world

Despite last year's spike in incidents of gun violence, stunt driving and more amid lockdown, Toronto was just ranked the second safest city in the world, coming only behind Copenhagen, which regularly places high on lists of the best and safest places to live.

The new list for 2021, courtesy of the Economist, takes into account a slew of factors, from digital, infrastructure and personal security to environmental security and, especially important after COVID-19, health security.

T.O. managed to notably improve since it was last evaluated in 2019, when it came in sixth, in part thanks to the new environmental category.

A total of 60 cities were assessed based on 76 different indicators this year, and Toronto ended up with a score of 82.2 out of a potential 100 (compared to Copenhagen's 82.4) after performing best in the new bracket, which is measured by looking at the city's plan for sustainability moving forward, waste management systems and more.

We also ranked particularly well when it came to infrastructure security, given our streets' pedestrian friendliness, how secure and safe our public transport system is and our road network and its maintenance in general.

And, our pandemic preparedness and healthcare system over the last 17 months also helped to bolster our score.

Mayor John Tory said in the report that he feels Toronto did so well given the high level mutual respect among our citizens, the prevalence of public support systems, and a "holistic approach" to keeping the city safe that starts with our most vulnerable residents.

"One thing we learned during the pandemic is that you can do your most effective job, by far, if everybody is involved in safety — in particular grassroots community organisations," Tory said.

"That way, you don’t leave anybody out to be marginalized and get into unsafe circumstances in their own lives or to create unsafe circumstances for others."

He also pointed out green initiatives that have come from financial incentives and partnerships with private companies for things as simple as recyclable takeout containers.

"There is deep caring about the environment and buy-in for change. We will have to change how institutions partner and know how to use financial and regulatory tools to incent."

Here is the full list of the top 10 safest cities in the world for this year: 

  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Toronto, Canada
  • Singapore
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Wellington, New Zealand
  • Hong Kong (8/9)
  • Melbourne, Australia (8/9)
  • Stockholm, Sweden
Lead photo by

A Great Capture

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