New Report Compares Ontario Cities with Others

connect2canada.com – Canada Watch – New Report Compares Ontario Cities with Others
May 22, 2009

Despite the current economic environment, Ontario is well positioned to compete and prosper in the ongoing global economic transformation. While the economic environment has worsened in the past year, the current upheaval only accelerates the longer-term trends – especially the shift from more routine-oriented to creativity-oriented jobs. Yet Ontario can do more to ensure it is a globally competitive jurisdiction, says new research from the University of Toronto.
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utoronto.ca – U of T – Research helps determine which of Ontario’s cities are better prepared for profound transformation into creative age: New report compares Ontario city regions with others in North American
April 23, 2009.   By Ken McGuffin,

Despite the current economic environment, Ontario is well positioned to compete and prosper in the ongoing global economic transformation. While the economic environment has worsened in the past year, the current upheaval only accelerates the longer-term trends – especially the shift from more routine-oriented to creativity-oriented jobs. Yet Ontario can do more to ensure it is a globally competitive jurisdiction, says new research from the University of Toronto.

To better understand how Ontario’s city regions are competing, researchers at the Martin Prosperity Institute at UofT’s Rotman School of Management, used the Creative Class Index to compare them to peer city regions of roughly equal size from across the U.S. and Canada. Composed of variables from each of the 3Ts of economic development (Technology, Talent and Tolerance), the composite score is reflective of a region’s ability to become more vibrant and prosperous. Economic development in the creative age requires strong performance on all of the 3Ts; each one is necessary, but alone is insufficient to achieve sustainable growth.

Fifteen census metropolitan areas (CMAs) were assessed that account for 82% of Ontario’s 12.2 million people and approximately 92 per cent of Ontario’s regional GDP of $530 billion. These 15 regions were placed into 5 major groupings based on size (e.g. Toronto CMA with approximately 5.3 million people to Peterborough’s CMA with a population of approximately 110,000) and within each size group 10 peers were selected.

The research revealed that Ontario’s city regions tended to perform average compared to their peer group often ranking in the middle 5 or below.

“While Ontario has challenges to overcome for sustained economic development, we are confident that by harnessing the creativity of all Ontarians – in every region – that the province can become a global leader,” said Kevin Stolarick, research director at the Martin Prosperity Institute.

“Those regions which are lagging behind must work diligently to improve areas where they are not as effective. While the challenges they face are significant, they can be overcome by learning from this assessment. The leading regions cannot become complacent and must continue to strive to be better than they are now. For example, If Ontario is to reach the goal of 70 per cent of the population with post secondary education, it must keep improving the access and incentives to attend institutions of higher learning.”

The biggest weakness among Ontario’s city regions is talent, measured by the Talent Index (the percentage of population older than 25 with at least a bachelor’s degree) and the percentage of the labour force in the Creative Class. Using the composite Creativity Index, places like Ottawa do well across all of the 3Ts, ranking second on talent, first on tolerance and second on technology.

• The top region in both Canada and Ontario is Ottawa-Gatineau which ranks 1st on the Creativity Index within its peer group (regions with a population between 1 and 2 million), and 3rd out of a total of 374 US and Canadian city regions.

• Toronto trails places like Seattle and Vancouver. (regions with a population of 2 million or more).

• Hamilton is ranked 97th amongst the 374 city regions and sits in the middle of its
peer group (regions with a population of 500,000 to 1 million).

• Kitchener, London, Windsor, Oshawa, and St. Catharines-Niagara are all in the middle of their peer groups (regions with a population size of 250,000 to 500,000).

• Peterborough, Guelph, Kingston, Barrie, Greater Sudbury, Thunder Bay, and Brantford are evenly distributed with two regions in the top 25 per cent, three in the inter-quartile range and two in the bottom 25 per cent of the peer group (regions with a population of 100,000 to 250,000)
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Further information is available at http://martinprosperity.org/insights/insight/leaders-and-laggards-of-ontario-how-our-metro-regions-stack-up.

And reports for all 15 CMAs are at http://martinprosperity.org/interactive-maps

 

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