toronto innovation ranking

Toronto plummets 33 spots in ranking of world's most innovative cities

Toronto's cachet as a world-class city for technological innovation is fading fast, according to one major global ranking, and analysts are placing the blame squarely upon federal government policies.

Canada's largest city, a "perennial top finisher" on the 2thinknow Innovation Cities Index, has fallen a staggering 33 spots since the last ranking, going from the world's 10th most-innovative city in 2019 to just 43rd in 2021.

With 100 cities in total, the ranking is based on 162 different indicators including digital transformation, domestic market health, wealth distribution, green business, mobility, creativity, economic development and various other civic assets.

Toronto, which had been in the ranking's top 10 for years prior to its one-year COVID-19 hiatus, got an overall score of 47 out of 60 for 2021, which isn't terrible — we're tied with Phoenix, Hong Kong, Detroit and Brisbane, among others.

The difference between Toronto and the aforementioned cities is that they rose up the ranking between 2019 and 2021, while Toronto fell. A lot.

Many Canadian cities dropped in the ranking, in fact: fourteen Canadian cities fell an average of 95 places, according to analysts, while U.S. cities rose quickly through the ranks.

"The Trudeau government has bet on uniform centralism," said Christopher Hire, director of 2thinknow, in a release announcing the ranking.

While Canadian policies are currently thought to "stifle competition," Hire says that "in contrast, the U.S. has fifty states with fifty different approaches, encouraging competition between states and cities."

You can see the full ranking of all 100 global cities on the innovation index, but here are this year's top 10 to get you started:

  1. Tokyo, Japan
  2. Boston, Massachusetts
  3. New York City, New York
  4. Sydney, Australia
  5. Singapore, Singapore
  6. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
  7. Seoul, South Korea
  8. Houston, Texas
  9. Chicago, Illinois
  10. Paris, France
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