What can we say to make
Toronto famous? What
can we do to make
Global vs Genuinely Global Toronto relevant?
Is Toronto poised to redefine
An audacious and forward
what it really means looking guide to the creative-
strategic development of a
to be a global city? competitive identity for the city
According to our research, the reputation of Toronto global city which also feels like a real global
is really only firing on one cylinder. The inconvenient community at the same time. Our established and
fact is that this remarkable cities image is blurred, potent diversity has given birth to a new breed of
lacks relevance, and as well as character which fails Torontonians who have organically been socialized as
to resonate globally. Not to mention the cities self inter-culturally competent and intrinsically global
concept has been steadily deteriorating due to citizens. Unlike other global cities, Toronto is better
various distasteful events in the past year. rounded and truly signifies that it means a lot more
Furthermore; Toronto’s overall image is intimately to being a global city besides economic integration. A
tied to the outdated and bland image of Canada; compact expression to guide meaningful actions to
hence, we entertain the thought that Toronto must strengthen this critical truth is “Genuinely Global”.
aim to become a bigger brand than Canada to resolve The unique outcome of our diversity is what truly
this issue, similar to how Paris is a bigger brand than puts Toronto in a class of its own, not the diversity
France or Amsterdam is to the Netherlands. itself.
Toronto is obsessed with its own multi-ethnic mosaic Young Torontonians especially feel and see
and the cosmopolitan credibility it signifies. Little do themselves as genuine global citizens and its
we know that we are obsessively promoting an beginning to grow as their overall identity. They
unacknowledged and vague attribute of diversity naturally own it. Now that we have recognized this
perceived of little value in the minds of foreign emerging phenomenon, it is up to us to further
audiences. The story of Toronto urgently needs to nourish and cultivate and accelerate it through a flow
advance relevantly. We have teased out a budding of “on brand” symbolic actions. We can’t afford to
reality of Toronto in which we believe is where just say that we are a “genuinely global city”; but
Toronto’s true genius lies. Although there are many rather we have to deliberately prove it to the world.
other global cities in the world, Toronto is a unique A reputation can only be earned.
Table of Content
Why a competitive identity for Toronto? pg.4
Previous failed attempt pg.5
Project description pg.6
What is Toronto? pg.7
“Torontoness of Toronto” pg.8
“Canada effect” pg.11
Has diversity/multiculturalism become lame? pg.13
Intercultural city pg.17
Toronto’s unique creativity and global actions pg18
Toronto’s unique ‘globalness’ pg.21
Impending Brand Promise=Genuinely Global pg.22 Toronto’s evolving essence
Debunk diversity please pg.24
Stakeholder involvement pg.29
Conversation starters/actionable ideas pg.32 Not mandatory to read: Some of many actionable ideas
that exemplify the brand.
Why a competitive identity for Toronto?
• Entices the city to entertain the big thought of what’s the highest and best it can be.
• Boosts economic prosperity. (Attracts more tourism, investment, talented immigrants, world events, etc).
• Aims to cultivate a productive and positive psychology for the entire city.
• Strong brands make it easier for people to make decisions, and makes it easier for the city to project
• Strong brands create powerful images in people’s minds.
• Strong brands enable for effective marketing. It helps form partnerships of the various stakeholders within
the city in order to collaborate and align marketing strategies and communication programs.
Place branding has the positive effect of bringing together various stakeholders and working out a unified pitch
for the world. Another great side effect of branding is that it’s also geared to deal with emotional issues and it
can be used right now as a timely and potent subscription to the cities worsening self concept due to poor
management at city hall, constant union strikes, weak transportation system, G20 drama, the recession, poor
performing sport teams, and so forth. If Toronto integrates a cohesive, creative and appropriately courageous
image strategy with its other programmes and policies, we believe Toronto can attain a stronger brand, in the
global context sooner rather than much later. Toronto’s current situation makes branding activity more urgently
required, not less.
Please bear in mind: Place branding is not the same as commercial product branding. A city is tenfold more
complex and dynamic than any product or company. A story or reputation can only be earned, not constructed.
“Branding is about how we do things, why we do them, and how we act. It’s not just about a logo.”-Wolf Olins. In
place branding, on brand “symbolic actions” as Simon Anholt calls it; speak louder than any logos, taglines, or
communication campaigns in order to strengthen the image of a place in people’s minds on the world stage. We
shouldn’t think of what to say next, but rather what to do next to make Toronto’s story clearer, stronger and
Let’s take a gander at a previous failed attempt by the city…
In 2004- Toronto Tourism, the City of Toronto, the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Recreation and the City
Summit Alliance partnered on the Toronto Branding Project with the goal to create a shared Toronto brand that
would communicate Toronto’s strong, unique, dynamic identity to the world. Brand Architecture, a New York firm
was in charge of the project. Great research was
conducted for the project and the promise that Toronto
unlimited promised was “Realize your dreams in a city
of unlimited possibilities”. After the launch of the brand
in 2005, the brand was not well received and failed to
take off. Needless to say, other than the useful research that came out of the project, it was a waste of money ($4
million), because now the brand is buried and not being used by any organization. The main reasons we
discovered of why the brand failed are:
• The research and effort primarily focused on the tourism market and did not have a memorable or
relevant meaning to local or international business interests.
• Focused on logo and tagline, not substance (logos, taglines, or campaigns don’t help to improve
perceptions or build identity.
• Didn’t advance the story (by the way what does unlimited mean? Unlimited call plans, unlimited
• Viewed the place branding approach the same as commercial product branding which is very different.
City of Toronto Project Description
4500 local survey responses
230+ in-depth interviews A great deal of inquiry, considerations, and thought went into formulating this
report. The process to build the strategic competitive identity was a creative and highly
and roundtable discussions
inclusive one, public involvement and capitalization on feedback validated that the ideas
14 focus groups conducted developed were not myopic.
in Canada, USA, and UK Toronto is a very complex city with unique circumstances; therefore, an original
Our own research strategy was formulated, customized to its own unique situation and environment. We
100+ opinion leader took the challenge to develop a single brand that would resonate with various target
markets (tourism, investment attraction, business, talented immigrants, and so forth).
interviews (A rundown of Although it’s a daunting process, we were confident that we would be able to identify
the people we met and the where Toronto’s real genius lays, its unique abilities and potential that really puts the city
publications we examined in a class of its own. We firmly believed that if we looked hard enough, we will find
during the course of things something that is uniquely ours, and inherently competitive.
We knew from our research what various target audiences were looking for, both in
is given in the appendices).
a travel destination, a place to invest and do business, and as well live in.
Social media-Facebook What we needed was an authentic and compelling positioning, one that we could all agree
where hundreds of opinions on and be supportive of. The ideas and strategies in this report were shaped through a
were posted wide array of research that we had done and as well capitalized on the abundant research
Exploration of Toronto which Carl Knipfel at city of Toronto was kind enough to lend us.
We then synthesized and extracted useful insights from both the tangible and
(ethnography), thoroughly intangible data we collected and last but not least, used our imagination, creativity, and
browsed through various logic to develop an analysis and actionable recommendations that if taken, seem likely to
touch points (writing, us to bring the most ideal development of Toronto's competitive image on a global scale.
videos, reports, websites, This report is meant to be open ended, and will be continuously updated. Please
send any feedback, opinions or requests for a meeting to further discuss the report at
brochures, etc) of Toronto. firstname.lastname@example.org or 416 893-2170.
With gratitude and respect,
Jyoti Singh www.jtsingh.com
So briefly what is Toronto…? Linguistically, the word Toronto originated as the Mohawk phrase
tkaronto and meant “where there are trees standing in the water” The most common meaning for Toronto
given in current references is “place of meeting”, derived from the Huron people. Toronto is a relatively a
young city, but it has rapidly become the economic capital of Canada.
“Torontonians live in a city where
the beginning An article in Spacing Magazine described Toronto as an
is forgotten and the end is unknown, and intersection of everything: of
so whatever happens can only surprise and surpass. architecture “cute Victorian next to glass high rises”, of
Tremendous historic events do not resonate in its cement, people “Polish living next to Tamil next to Vietnamese next
glass, and brick. The city was not built upon sturdy to Persian”, of classes “Saabs and rooming houses on the
founding mythologies, and only historians and enthusiasts same block”, and even of flora “Southern coniferous and
know the names on its street signs, who designed the CN northern deciduous forests meet here too”.
Tower, what the aboriginal word ‘Toronto’ means, or what
any of the mysterious little discovery Walk signs that dot
the city might refer to…Eric Rutherford Utopia After Jane Jocobs completed her
definitive autopsy of the modern
Toronto, with a self-consciousness and earnestness less common in more settled places, city, The Death and Life of Great
had decided to seize on this fact of post modern life to make itself something half- American Cities, in New York, it was
imagined. Paris and London and New York were all highly international, too, of course, Toronto that she decamped, to try
but all of them, in their different ways, were too old, too amorphous, or too preoccupied to make her theories live (the local
with other matters to adjust very much to their latest immigrants; Toronto, by contrast, government encouraging her in her
with less to lose and a less sharply defined sense of itself, had embarked upon a
efforts to devise a downtown
multicultural experiment with itself a guinea pig. Pico Iyer- The Global of diversity in which has
allowed our downtown to be a
beautiful community feel.
“Torontoness” of Toronto?
When it comes to Toronto’s overall image, it’s key to understand that the soft factors of the city are usually
not so soft. Our approach firmly bears in mind that a ‘sense of place’ of Toronto and a sense of the mentality of
Torontonians are imperative economic and social assets, and they are every bit as captivating as the cities (for
instance) low tax rates or infrastructure and every bit as important to making commercial decisions. This is even
more so important since Toronto isn’t a dominant leader in any sectors on a global scale and also ranks
surprisingly low in innovation.
Currently there isn’t much sense of “Torontoness.” It is unknown and it’s just not clear on what it is? As a
result Torontonians are not good at being Torontonians. This may sound a little silly, but it has profound identity
and marketing ramifications. Therefore it is our top priority to discovering and characterizing the best
Torontoness of Toronto and making it legible, because we believe besides already being competitive in the hard
factors, Toronto potentially can be most competitive in, where no competition in the world can beat us, is in
purely being Torontonian. Another way of thinking about this is to ask the question: if Toronto is an
ingredient, what does it add to the mix or what are the flavours of Torontoness? For example if you
don’t know what eggplant taste like,
you’ll never exclaim, “Wow! I love this
soup! It’s full of eggplant!”, if you can’t
identify Torontoness, your ability to
appreciate or value it will be impaired.
It’s critical that we characterize and
strengthen the nature of Toronto as a whole
because whether you are selling Toronto
tourism, business, investment opportunities, real
estate, or even Torontonian art, you are selling,
in large part, the same Toronto overall.
“Those who deny the importance of 8
soft power are like people who do not
understand the power of seduction”-
Perception of Toronto?
Research reveals that Toronto’s image on
the world stage is blurred. It lacks the
dimension and clarity of iconic cities such
as Paris, New York or London, or even
the singular clarity of a place like Las
Vegas. Absent a rich “storyline”, Toronto
is perceived as simply another North
American (Canadian) city among
outsiders, and a large and impersonal
metropolis among Canadians.
To our only neighbour, the Americans;
we are perceived as part of ‘The Great
White North’ viewed as comparable to
American Midwest cities, but not on par culturally with LA, NYC, or Chicago. Image of Toronto is driven by the image of
Canada, i.e. nature and outdoors.
To Canadians, Toronto is viewed as the “Big Smoke” or gateway to nature. Politically, (the centre of the universe), it is also
well known that Toronto is not a well liked city across Canada, especially in Montreal and Vancouver. The cause of this
dislike varies. Overall, Toronto is viewed as an urban and cultural Mecca, but inferior in terms of outdoor activities
To Torontonians, its mixed reactions. It seems as though many love Toronto to pieces, but many also have a love-hate
relationship with city which needs to change.
“Toronto is yet to establish a clear
and unique story”…
“People do not have a lot of specific
knowledge and associations with the
city and “Toronto” doesn’t conjure
many meaningful images.”
“Toronto is an undemonstrative,
unassuming city unsure of how to
represent itself, with no identifiable
brand of metropolitanism”-Eric
“Toronto is unfolding before us, 'unfinished' and full of possibility”- OpenCity Projects
“There are many obvious signs in Toronto indicating this city is constantly trying to
be like some kind of a mini New York (SOHO, Yorkville, Dundas Square, etc) Instead
of constantly being a follower, Toronto should aim to become a unique and original
city that other world cities want to stalk or follow.”
“The Canada Effect” (Toronto’s image is intimately tied to that of the country)
In the eyes of the world, Canada's images remains largely what it was a century ago, namely, a resource economy.
According to a study of Canada's international brand undertaken in 2000, contemporary elements –dynamism, innovation,
technology, tolerance, competiveness, and multiculturalism-were conspicuously absent. Although Canada had a high
“likability” factor around the world and positive values were attributed to the
Canadian brand (“best place to live,” “tolerant,” “welcoming”), it had little presence,
and few foreign audiences had any up to date knowledge about the country. A federal
government review of all public opinion research on how Canada was perceived abroad
concluded that Canada suffered from a chronic lack of profile, was regarded as a past
player in world affairs, had solid though unspectacular products, had boring tourist
attractions, and was not a top of mind destination for foreign investment.
The Globe and Mails Geoffrey York, writing in 2005 about Canada's image in China
concluded that many Chinese believe that Canada is too sleepy and dull-a good place to
live in retirement, but not a vibrant place to build wealth. Also an international poll
conducted in 1997 by the Angus Reid research organization found that less than 1% of
Germans and Japanese associated Canada with telecommunications or other
technologically based products, while more than 50% associated Canada with lumber,
pulp, paper and food. Furthermore, the CTC (Canadian Tourism Commission) market
research indicates that the images most often associated with Canada are “cold,
pristine, and natural”
Since tourism is frequently the loudest voice in communicating the country, this can over the years, have the effect of
drowning out the economic, political, industrial and even cultural voices. This is precisely the reason why Canada’s
nation brand is full of outdated associations which conflicts with other up-to-date elements. Canadian Tourism needs to
understand that from the point of view of a busy consumer halfway across the world, the natural advantages of Canada
are of little interest, and seldom add up to anything that could be described as a coherent or powerful brand. A more
effective partnership with Tourism Toronto and CTC is urgently required to address this issue because there is nothing in
urban Toronto that pertains to mountains, canoes, beavers or moose.
Research suggest that Toronto's image is intimately tied to Canada's; therefore, this is causing Toronto’s image to remain
weak in terms of not being perceived as a dynamic, global, and knowledge economy city. We call this the “Canada effect”
Although Canada has recently received positive attention on its strong banking system in the world, Canada has also
received a great deal of negative international media attention for seal hunting and tar sand oil. Canada has simply not
done enough in successful terms to promote itself as a modern and dynamic nation on the world stage which in turn is
projected on to Canadian cities and organizations. An interview with Joe Martin, of Rotman School of Management, told
us that when he had to attract business to Canada, he found that just mentioning Toronto sealed the deal, but if he
mentioned Canada, it was a lot harder, so he learned to separate Toronto from Canada to get better results whenever
By and large:
We propose that Toronto must aim to become a BIGGER brand than Canada, for
example, Paris is actually a bigger brand than its country, France or Amsterdam
is bigger than the Netherlands. When people think about Canada, the first
images that should come in mind are the dynamic global cities which are
Vancouver, Montreal, and especially Toronto, rather than the mountains, arctic,
or a moose. Toronto needs to at times separate itself from Canada's image,
because “the Canada effect” certainly isn’t helping much for Toronto’s global
So… what’s the deal with all this diversity, multiculturalism and mosaic talk always
going on in this city…?
Nearly half (47%) of Torontonians were born outside Canada
border. While only Dubai and Miami may have a greater percentage
of foreign born residents, the vast majority of them are from Latin
America and the Caribbean in Miami and many are temporary
workers or primarily come from a few sources of countries in Dubai,
neither cities have the comprehensive, global spectrum of countries
from which Toronto welcomes its new arrivals. “Neither Miami nor
Los Angeles nor New York City can compete with Toronto’s
cosmopolitan credentials.”-Richard Florida, The Great Reset
Some official Toronto slogans are: a world within a city,
expect the world, and diversity our
strength. Clearly, this is a city
Interesting Fact: Toronto
obsessed with its own multi- cited a U.N. study to bill
ethnic mosaic and the itself as the world's most
culturally diverse city. It was
cosmopolitan credibility it discovered later that no such
signifies. ranking by the United
Nations even exists, and the
city soon removed all
references to it in its
The concept of diversity is intimately tied to done by Maytree foundation on showing the
the hearts Torontonians. They are very proud of business case for diversity and how diverse
the fact, because they live and breathe the diversity leadership or organization enjoys quantifiable
every day. They firmly know that Toronto has the business benefits that homogeneous firms do not.
most potent diversity in the world and they see it as The Diverse city report by Maytree makes the
a very beautiful thing to the point it feels definitive case that diverse leadership leads to:
sentimental. In an aging city where about one fifth of
locales are 60 or older, Toronto continues to depend • improved financial and organizational
on immigration to revitalize its workforce. The performance;
• increased capacity to link to new global and
continuous flow of immigration also maintains the
authentic vibrancy and cultural abundance which the
• expanded access to global and domestic talent
city cherishes. pools;
Moreover, Toronto does see diversity as a critical • enhanced innovation and creativity; and
• Strengthened cohesion and social capital.
driver of long term success. Toronto demonstrates
active leadership at the level of the city However! It must be said that regardless of
government and at the level of NGOs and all these efforts of achieving inclusion: 47% of
foundations. There is a very active agenda to Torontonians are visible minorities, yet fill just
promote open-ness in the city which permeates city 13% of the GTA’s leadership roles and Immigrants
thinking and strategy and there is increasing earn 85% of what Canadian born workers earn in
attention to building the intermediate tier of spite of having higher levels of education; they
organisations and projects needed to achieve also face barriers to career advancement. As a
result there is a strange contradiction in the air.
inclusion. The city is also aware of research and work
Also… heres the thing!
Research reveals that foreign audiences perceive little value of diversity because they may not think it’s unique
or see any symbolic relevance to it. Although Toronto’s diversity may be at a much higher degree, many other
cities in the world are also very diverse. Since diversity is up for interpretation, there could be other contenders
too. London, NY,
Paris, Los Angeles
6 billion is a slight and a handful of
exaggeration, but the
other cities could
point is that for the
most part, diversity
also have a strong
isn’t perceived as a claim to be the
unique selling point. world’s most
Table 1: Cities with 25% or more foreign born residents (by alphabetical order)
Brussels San Francisco
Singapore Toronto isn’t the only city that’s diverse. Even though
Toronto isn’t the
Tbilisi our diversity is at a higher degree than other diverse
Toronto cities, there has to be something else other than the
diversity that truly puts us in a class of our own.
Wait there’s more…
Our model of multiculturalism that we take so much pride in has in many cases evolved into a
Boutique multiculturalism is the multiculturalism of ethnic restaurants, weekend festivals, and high
profile flirtations with the other. Boutique multiculturalism is characterized by its superficial or cosmetic
relationship to the objects of its affection. Boutique multiculturalists admire or appreciate or enjoy or
sympathize with or (at the very least) "recognize the legitimacy of" the traditions of cultures other than their
own; but boutique multiculturalists will always stop short of approving other cultures at a point where some
value at their center generates an act that offends against the canons of civilized decency as they have been
either declared or assumed.-Stanley Fish, University of Chicago.
Although many Torontonians have excelled to the next
level where they meaningfully thrive on the stimulation
provided by knowing people and situations different
from themselves, there are many Torontonians that
stay within their ethnic bubbles or are superficially
engaging with other cultures. In other words, our city
has become somewhat clannish which is not a healthy
thing for a city in times of a creative and collaboration
driven-economy. We must all learn to explore beyond
the introduction of cultures and dive in deeper.
So now what?… to move from the retain its integrity and flavour
multicultural city of but also engages different
All this goes to show that
fragmented differences to cultures to the point where
although Toronto may well be
Torontonians can select and
a thriving multicultural, the co-created
absorb elements of other
ethnic mosaic of the sort intercultural city that cultures into their own cultural
Michael Adams' Unlikely makes the very most of its make-up and produce new
Utopia proudly identifies, the
diversity”.-Charles Landry ways of thinking, seeing,
design of it needs to be
imagining and creating.
deliberately upgraded to The story of our
make it meaningful and multiculturalism is already “Toronto has just been
relevant in the eyes of the slowly and naturally evolving saying that we are diverse,
world. So what to do? into an intercultural city which
but not behaving diverse”
“The creative challenge is is amazing, but we need to
Nick Noorani of Immigrant
accelerate the process. By
intercultural we mean the Magazine
creative interactions of “We have to move beyond
different cultures, disciplines
staging the activities of our
and exchange of ideas.
global cultures; they should
Toronto is uniquely poised to
be a intercultural city which just be there, naturally all
still allows each culture to the time”
“The 6 million immigrant population of Canada is comprised of at least
1,000 people from 150 different countries. When these people meet 17
and mate with the others we will have 22,500 possibilities. Imagine
how smart and beautiful we Canadians will become!”-Michael Adams
Kudos to Toronto for earning the impressive
“multicultural/diverse” status; however, that doesn’t
mean we should now rest. Our next advancing challenge
is to earn the truly “intercultural” status.
There are many positive economic and social outcomes by evolving our
stale model of multiculturalism to interculturalism. In a creative driven
economy, Toronto can be home to a unique kind of creativity which isn’t
predominant in other cities.
Exposure to different cultures enhances our creativity. Five experiments
“Toronto has succeeded at by North westerns Adam Galinsky showed that those who have lived
just about everything, abroad outperform others on creativity tasks. Creativity is also higher on
except looking glamorous average for first- or second –generation immigrants and bilinguals. The
to itself; and by glamour I theory is that cross-cultural experiences force people to adapt and be more
mean a cities attraction to flexible. Just studying another culture can help. In Galinskys lab, people
were more creative after watching a slide about China: a 45 minute session
its own uniqueness, moved
increased creativity scores for a week.
by the conviction that
It turns out that being exposed to cultures that function differently from
there is a style of creativity our own – from language to social customs to public transport – awakens
that can only be done here. the brain, alerting it to a much broader range of possibilities for being,
A city must believe this. We living, and making. The beauty of it is that you don’t have to travel the
must believe this”-Pier world to experience the world, you can get it right here in Toronto, but
Giorgio di Ciccio-Toronto Poet Toronto does a poor job at leveraging this to its fullest potential.
It may be difficult to prove that the comprehensive global community of Toronto plays a major role in enticing or
sparking the many global thoughts and actions happening within our city every day and every minute; even so, we
steadily believe it does play a key and vital role. The following is a brief visual essay of some of the
intercultural/globally mindful actions happening in this city all the time.
(ICICI, Punjab bank, etc)
So what does this all equate to?? or emotion about it in the air. In the midst of such a
potent and comprehensive spectrum of global
“The background buzz of conversations in other diversity combined with the innovative and unique
languages had become so commonplace to me propensity of retaining culture and openly
that it took me a while riding the tube in London celebrating it, it’s hard not to feel part of a real global
before I realized that Toronto was far more society. It’s embedded within the DNA of Toronto.
diverse. Partly, it was the languages themselves “I’m a global citizen…I find it impossible for
(mostly European languages in London and me to have any other identity being a
languages from all over the world in Toronto) Torontonian” Priscilla Garay-U of T student
but it was more than that. In London, the
different languages are always spoken by For example, Seoul is ranked higher than Toronto in
tourists. In Toronto, it’s almost always the Foreign Policy Global City ranking; however, you
won’t feel any sense of a global community in that
residents.”-Kevin Stolarick, Martin Prosperity
city, but rather feel very “Koreanish”, or Brussels and
Paris which are also ranked higher than Toronto, you
Here comes the fundamental insight of this report. As will surely feel very “Europeanish” in Brussels and
it happens, Toronto is a considered a global city very French in Paris, not to mention these 2 cities
primarily based on the levels of integration to global have increasingly become anti-immigrant. The same
markets, exchange of goods and services, movement could be said about Hong Kong, Tokyo and even New
of capital and finance, and etc. On the other hand, York where you may fundamentally feel
Toronto has a qualitative global attribute which is “Americanish,” not to mention its melting pot type of
remarkably unique compared to any other major city.
global cities. Toronto has a distinct global feel or vibe
"Canada has become the spiritual home, you could say, of the very notion of an 21
extended, emancipating global citizenship."-Pico Iyer, Canadian Geographic
“Could Toronto become the 1st city to truly embrace the world’s
global citizens? That would be cool”-Richard Florida
Impending promise of Toronto: Experience a interculturally competent. This is an evolving and
profound sense of a genuine global society where a unique observable fact especially amongst the
special kind of creativity manifests. In a compact youth.
expression: “Genuinely Global/Quintessentially
When David Suzuki was asked what his biggest pet
Global”. We add soul to the word global which is
peeve is; he answered people’s inability to consider
usually seen as a soulless word (global markets,
the future. The truth of the matter is that the Global
global firms, etc) Toronto is global on the inside and
culture resonates especially with the younger
out and understands first hand that globalization is
generation because unlike the older generation, Gen
essentially a very good thing… So London is the
Y-ers had the upbringing and socialization at a time
capital of English culture, Paris of French culture,
when the global pluralism of Toronto was firmly
Sydney of Australian, New York of American culture,
established and potent. This has astronomically
Madrid of Spanish, Amsterdam of Dutch culture, and
affected their character and world view and we have
so forth. Canada doesn’t have a culture or maybe it
to fathom the fact that this is a very new global
does but Toronto is just disconnected from it, so
phenomenon rapidly taking place right here in our
needless to say, Toronto is only poised to becoming
very own city. If we are to develop a sustainable or
the capital of global culture. If we take ownership of
enduring brand, we
this now, we can begin building upon it and make it
must take in
a proportionate truth in the near future.
We acknowledge that this is not a full truth for all reality of today’s
of Toronto or Torontonians as of yet, but there is a youth.
critical mass in this city that organically have
attained a global mindset and are extremely
Not your average global city. Not
your average global citizens.
‘People think that businesses
make decisions about where to Also keep in mind that Young Torontonians have grown up
locate on purely rational grounds, among intense globalization in a digitally connected age,
but at some level there’s quite and they have the propensity to travel more meaningfully
an emotional pull. The places that and intimately explore foreign cultures; they swim in
manage to suggest they have a global pool and it’s only going to continue
these qualities (cool, glamorous, sexy)
to expand in the future to come. Here are a few
often win out even though maybe
ways to describe the evolving mentality of young
their taxes are little bit higher or Torontonians; they may sound poetic or even happy-
their transport doesn’t quite work. clappy to some, but it’s a serious and hyper valuable
It’s that kind of magic fairy dust that happening if leveraged.
some places manage to sprinkle
• Global Soul-A person that always can make the
over themselves and some just don’t.’
collection of his selves something greater than the whole;
Alain de Botton, that diversity can leave him not a dissonance but a higher
Author of The Art of Travel symphony. Pico Iyer
• Xenophile-A person attracted to that which is
foreign, especially to foreign peoples, manners, or
• TCK-Third culture kids grow up in a genuinely cross-cultural world. Third culture kids have incorporated
different cultures on the deepest level, as to have several cultures incorporated into their thought
processes. This means that third culture kids not only have deep cultural access to at least two cultures,
this also means that thought processes are truly multicultural. That, in turn, influences how third culture
kids relate to the world around them. They usually find it difficult to answer the question, "Where are you
from?" Compared to their peers who have lived their entire lives in a single culture, TCKs have a globalized
• My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.
• Global Citizenship is... A way of understanding… how the world works; links between our own lives and
those of people throughout the world. A way of seeing… social justice & equity; other people’s reality;
diversity; interconnectedness; the way that people can make a difference. A way of acting… exercising
political rights; critical thinking; challenging injustice.
Not those words please… sounds very “policyish” because it has
traditionally been branded as a “human
We believe there is a fundamental opportunity resources” term, associated with fair hiring
in taking charge of our language, as well as in practices or enhancing an organization’s image
attempting to influence the language that as a good citizen. “Diversity our strength” is
others (the press) use to speak about Toronto. great as an internal motto for the city perhaps,
We as all the stakeholders (citizens, Gov, but externally it needs to be refreshed
business, NGO) of the city must try to minimize regardless of how habitual the term has
the way we currently describe our city become for us all. Here is a just quick little
(diversity, multiculturalism, mosaic, and brainstorm of different ways to describe our
tapestry) which we showed on pg.15 on how true and evolving essence of Toronto
vague and unacknowledged these concepts (Genuinely Global) Culturally intersectional/
actually are largely amongst foreign global crossroad/global renaissance/ /Born in
audiences. “Our current motto “Diversity our Toronto, raised by the world/creative for the world/
Strength” does not play up enough the global when in Toronto, do as the world does / Culturally
nature of our relationships and is very inward abundant/ global+creative=Toronto state of mind
/the world is not a boring place/global class, and
looking”-Ratna Omidvar. The word diversity
yadi yadi yada, the possibilities are limitless.
The New Global
Driving Innovation through diverse perspectives
Ernst & Young produced a land mark report which reveals that
differing voices and viewpoints are powerful factors in steering
“The western consumer’s knowledge of Japanese art, cuisine and philosophy, for example, however
shallow it might be, functions as an important counterpoint to the commercial image of Japan:
We believe Toronto’s trailblazing global culture (literature, media, festivals, mindset, etc) is a powerful
productivity, miniaturization, technology and so on”-Simon Anholt
driver for the overall economic and social image of Toronto. We propose that “Genuinely Global” is a sharp
and powerful expression to help guide actions and behavior in order to advance and strengthen Toronto’s
story. It also allows us to truly be ourselves at all times and promotes a positive and purposive psychology
for the city. This positioning doesn’t have to be worded exactly as ‘genuinely global’ As long as we firmly get
the point across that we are a wholesome global city for the world.
This positioning fulfills the criteria for a strong and visionary competitive identity 101%:
Truthful: Its corresponding with reality and citizens can live and breathe the brand
Complex yet clear: It doesn’t reduce the complexity and dynamism of the city
Authentic: It is real; it can be seen, felt, heard, and experienced.
Enduring: It is here to stay and grow sustainably
Defensible: It’s back up-able with legible proof points or evidence.
Relevance: Contributes advantageous value economically and socially, and to global conversations
Realistic: Setting expectations that can be met or exceeded
Unique: Not generally predominant in other cities
Advancing: It evolves the story and advances it gradually increasing richness and strength
Global reach: Thinks and acts both locally and globally
Caution! We have to be careful not to sway the Genuinely Global positioning to connote a kumbaya
type of image or a page out of a Unicef brochure. (Not to say that Unicef isn’t cool because it does amazing
work) But we are aiming for something more appealing. Genuinely Global is meant to connote:
imagination, sexy, smart, cutting edge, creativity for the world, economic advantage and so forth.
By definition, the term “glocal” refers to the individual, group, division, unit,
organization, and community which are willing and able to “think globally and act
“Not your average global city, not
your average global citizens”
Diversity, ok Genuinely global
so what? and creative
Canadians understandably regard “brain
drain” as bad and “brain gain” as good. But
global mobility has ushered in an era of
“brain chain” We need understand that
people will move around the world and come
back and forth to Toronto adding a more
valuable and global contribution to our city.
Torontonian aka Global Citizen
Bringing the competitive identity to life
It’s essential that key stakeholders come together in partnership and collectively believe in the brand,
(Government, business, NGO, and most importantly each and every citizen). This is the only way to make a place
brand strategy come fully alive. What is required is a partnership where all of the key stakeholders regard each
other as equals, regardless of their power or resources and where their individual contributions are valued
because, without them, Toronto will not realize its full potential. This is the kind of informal and formal body in
which key stakeholders jointly develop, create and lead on the implementation of the city branding, under shared
responsibility. As the brand is taking shape, new and different partners will emerge to play a vital role in its
realization. A brand partnership should not be as an (old boys club) or the (usual suspects) of the city’s
establishment, but a body that responds to change by changing and reinventing itself.
The creation of a Brand Toronto Council is a good idea. It
will be charged to implement a holistic approach which will
facilitate the implementation of “on brand” symbolic action
and coordinate the marketing efforts of all Toronto Business
businesses, artists, musicians, actors, sportspeople,
designers and more, leverage off each other, under a unified
Toronto brand. The council will consist of relevant members
who are passionate, imaginative, forward looking and at the Gover NGOs
same time, can become powerful champions or advocates nment
of the brand. A talented Brand Toronto Council along with
supportive affiliates is bound for a successful brand Toronto.
Our firm understanding is that citizens of any place want to feel proud of where they come from and live, they
want their city or country to matter. The identities of the places we reside in are really a seamless extension of
the identity and self concept of ourselves; it is a natural human tendency for people to identify themselves with
their city. Unfortunately Toronto is lacking in this department. We have identified that Toronto’s self concept and
international image is a burning platform. One way of looking at it is that Toronto is a teenager that doesn’t know
what it wants to be when it grows up, and this report acts as a timely and powerful mentor that helps discover
Toronto’s true passion and strengths; needless to say, finding your passion changes everything. We also urge
Canada to step up and address the weak nation brand it currently carries as we identify in this report. We agree
with Daryl Copeland’s proposal for developing a brand strategy for Canada informed not by the beauty of our
nature, but rather by the nature of our beauty.
The “genuinely global” theme resonates with not only the leaders of today but more importantly by the leaders
of tomorrow. The intercultural movement and other globally symbolic actions will make our “genuine globalness”
more attractive and truer. If Toronto integrates a cohesive, creative and appropriately courageous image strategy
with its other programmes and policies, we believe Toronto can attain a stronger brand, in the global context
sooner rather than much later. This is a long term game and it’s going to take everyone in this city to play role in
making Toronto the highest and best it can be within our lifetimes and beyond. The final question should be: is
Toronto a global city of the world or in the world?
"Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and
only when, they are created by everybody." — Jane Jacobs
“Toronto has a very good
opportunity to become an
urban-innovation hot spot,”
says Kaplan founder of
Innovation Factory. “It has an
active creative class. And
there’s a vibrant
conversation about social
change that you hear
everywhere in the city.
“Groups quickly come
together in Toronto to
discuss challenges,” Kaplan
adds. “And those groups, in
turn, form networks to tackle
every kind of social challenge.
That is a double blessing.
Citizens make a success of
the project they’ve rallied
around. And that success
attracts talent, money and
other resources to take on still
The portfolio of ideas that follow doesn’t exactly constitute a The adage ‘fake it till you make it ’
grand strategy for bringing about Toronto’s brand as a contains a powerful truth, but
“genuinely global city”, but rather it is an attempt to spark only works if something is actually
experimentation with multiple creative approaches that can being made; one can ’t just fake it.
Things must be built and done;
be rapidly prototyped, tested, and communicated as part of a
policies must be changed; action
more definitive city strategy. The 2015 Pan Am Games can play
must be taken. -Jeremy Hildreth
a major role in implementing symbolic actions for this brand.
These ideas act as brief conversation starters and should entail implementation by various groups who
feel that the ideas fit their mandate, or citizens who have the drive can also step up and help put the
ideas into practice. Please share your own ideas as well to lend a hand in making Toronto the best and
highest it can be. Overall, the actions should play a role in creating symbolic evidences and proving
that we are the genuinely global and creative city of the world.
1. Your idea:pg33 10. UN Global Culture University:pg40
2. Behave like the capital city of Canada:pg33 11. Improve Transportation:pg41
3. Harness the power of non-state actors:pg34 12. Capitalize on Strong Banks:pg42
4. Exclusive Toronto Cuisine:pg34 13. City Hall = City Lab:pg42
5. Ambiance Neighbourhoods: pg36 14. Collaborate IPA’s:pg43
6. Foster global culture/inter-culturalism:pg37 15. Rethink Tourism:pg45
7. Grand Event where we can feel one:pg38 16. Creative Toronto all over:pg47
8. T-shirt campaign:pg39 17. Create a global leaders award:pg48
9. Make winter awesome:pg40
“The way to gain a good reputation is to
endeavor to be what you desire to
1. What’s your actionable idea or conversation starter?
2. Behave more like the capital city of Canada rather than of Ontario’s
“Cities are the real magnets of economies, the innovators of politics, and, increasingly, the drivers of
diplomacy. Those that aren’t capitals act like they are.”-Parag Khanna. There is no doubt that although
Toronto isn’t the capital city of Canada, it sure does seem like it is. Most people that know of any Canadian
cities may think that either Toronto or even Montreal is the capital of Canada, and would never guess that in
fact Ottawa is. Despite what people think of the G20 being hosted in Toronto; it was a very positive thing for
the city. The G20 is a good start in giving Toronto international significance, and much more globally
recognized forums/conversations should take place in Toronto. For example, Daryl Copeland-author of
Guerrilla Diplomacy agrees that Toronto has the potential to be a co-host city for United Nations events
since we are situated very close to the head quarters in NY and also in the same time zones. Toronto as a
global city needs to show deliberate influence and interest in playing a role far beyond its municipal
Perhaps Toronto would be able to participate more in the global conversation if the city had more
means to control its own destiny. Alan Broadbent identifies this in his book ‘Urban Nation’ why we need to
give power back to the cities to make Canada strong. “Cities have the governance sovereignty of small
children in patriarchal family. It is time, says Broadbent that Canada woke up and stopped starving the geese
that are laying the golden eggs.”-Michael Adams
3. Harnessing the power of non-state actors
Shamin Mohamed was only 15 and living in the Jane-Finch area of Toronto when he founded a charity
aimed at raising youth awareness of HIV and AIDS in Canada and abroad. Jenna Hoyt, who is completing a nursing
degree at the University of Toronto, was in her early 20s when she started the Little Voice Foundation, which
helps African communities operate schools and housing for homeless children. Mohamed and Hoyt are just two
of the growing number of Canadian youths trying to make a difference in the world and in their own communities
at home. Wanting to help others overseas or in Canada is nothing new. Toronto is home to some the most active
and creative diasporas and global citizens in the world.
Social innovation is rapidly rising in Toronto; this is evident by how busy the social innovation department
(SIG) at Mars stays, and the Social Innovation Centre in downtown was so successful that it has opened another
whole new building dedicated to social innovators. When we asked Dr John R. Evans-Emeritus of Mars, what do
you think Toronto can be a leader in on a global scale? He thought for a while and firmly answered “social
innovation, there should be more SIG’s all over the city.”
4. Exclusive Toronto Cuisine
a) Food is a powerful element of all cultures, and with Toronto being full of various cultures, a unique
cuisine that is local to Toronto would accentuate our identity. We already do it in some ways in our homes
where we combine different ingredients inspired by different cultures and create our unique fusion dishes
in our homes. A good example of a region that has done this is “California cuisine” which is a fusion of local
foods infused with primarily Asian flavours. California cuisine is now well known and raved about all over
the world. Creatively establishing a several invented and tasty recipes that reflect the diverse flavours of
Toronto would make a statement of our cultures intermingling and as well inspire more locals to do some of
their own infusing.
Korean food meets California cuisine-Asian
Mexican-Korean tacos flavors fusion with California
b) When you go to certain parts of the world, you will discover that the McDonalds or Subway restaurant menus
may have different offering to reflect the local culture. With Toronto being so culturally abundant, it would make
a strong statement if these chains began offering food that reflects our various local cultures. Such as the
McDonalds maharaja burger or Subways chicken tikka sub both from India to cater to the large South Asian
demographic in Toronto and many others that love Indian flavors. In eastern Canada, you can exclusively find
lobster sandwiches at McDonalds which reflect the regions unique culture and flavors, so why can’t Toronto have
unique options? Also a report by Perry Caicco of CIBC World Markets reveals that over the next decade, up to 70
per cent of retail sales growth in Canada will likely come from “visible minorities,” who prefer brands and flavors
that they recognize from home. Therefore, mainstream businesses must adapt to our changing consumerism.
A step in the right direction has been to allow more ethnic street food vendors in Toronto, oppose to just having
5. Create an enhanced ambiance for our neighbourhoods
The true meaning of “global class” can be found along the walks in our Neighborhoods. Very few cities in the
world bring so many diverse cultures, festivals, and businesses together in a single place. These
neighborhoods include: Greek town, little India, little Italy, little Jamaica, Korea town, Kensington, Portugal
Village, China Town, Yorkville and so on. The only thing is that some of these neighborhoods don’t do justice
for the type of area they are known for. For example, other than the signage’s of Italian restaurants and
other small street signs, there is minimal evidence that you are in little Italy. We spoke to some people
walking in little India, and they all mentioned that they felt as though they were walking down an average
street. Let’s make every cultural neighborhood in the downtown area full of ambiance, just like China town
does. China towns across the world including Toronto’s are great at creating an authentic feel with the
complete sensory experience. They include community markers, art work, architecture, sounds, smell, and
etc. With the collaboration with artists, the city, and local businesses, this can be easily achieved, and in fact
many leaders in these neighborhoods expressed concern about this issue, so they are ready to take action.
6. Foster global culture/ interculturalism
a) In Singapore, they have posters with an attractive young woman, and if you pay more attention to the
poster, she has a tattoo in the shape of the double helix of DNA enriched on her upper arm. In smaller print
the poster reads “Got a passion for science, we will take it to a higher level”. Singapore understands how to
make science sexy and appealing and Toronto needs to also be creative in coaxing or encouraging
Torontonians to interact with other cultures meaningfully. By promoting and harnessing global behaviour,
we can produce a special kind of creativity in this city.
b) The practice of taking a 'Gap
Year' is relatively minimal in
Canada as compared to other
countries where it is
customary for youth to travel
abroad and cultural exchange
as a useful tool to create global
understanding and experience
before entering college or
university. This is causing
many young Torontonians to
not experience the world and
develop a well-rounded world
view. Toronto youth need to be
educated early on about this
and be encouraged to save money for a gap year after high school. Inspired by Adil Dhalla of My City Lives
c) Interest in learning different languages in Toronto is rapidly rising. I don’t know any person in Toronto
that can even formulate a sentence in French, probably because we are more interested in learning other
languages like Arabic, Mandarin and etc. Schools need to upgrade their language programs at the earliest
levels of education. Rosetta Stone is an amazing language program which makes learning easy and fun and
should be a standard software in every school computer. In a globalized world, every Torontonian should be
able to naturally speak 3 or more languages. Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd earned plaudits
for his fluency in Mandarin, there’s no reason Toronto politicians or anyone shouldn’t be able to do the same
living in such a global city as Toronto.
7. An event that we all can participate in and feel one
A flash mob is a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and
pointless act for a brief time, and then disperse. The concept of flash mob was taken to the next level when
more than 20,000 people pulled off a massive surprise for an unsuspecting Oprah on her 2010 season
starter show in Chicago. The entire crowd performed a
choreographed piece to the Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling,"
Award-winning director Michael Gracey says the interaction
between the Black Eyed Peas and the crowd is what made the
flash mob so extraordinary."There's something really special
when you take an audience and instead of just being passive
and watching, you invite them to participate, it becomes
magical for both parties. Two groups of people came together
to create something that neither of them could have done
alone. A mass flash mob event is an extraordinary way that
Torontonians can participate and feel one. The event will only get bigger every year and it can happen on
Toronto’s birthday, or whenever. A great song to do it to for the first time would be Jai ho, from slum dog
millionaire, after all this film was discovered at TIFF. Inspired by Mark Sarner of Manifest
8. Enhance identity
People love to wear t-
shirts with catchy and
clever lines. T-shirts can
also be a great way to
Citizens can customize
their own shirts, and print anything that resonates with them along with the acronym T.O. For example, the
lines “creative for the world T.O.” or “Support your local artists T.O.” or “Earth is my turf T.O.”, and etc. The
possibilities are endless. Inspired by Tonya Surman, Director of Social Innovation Centre
9. Make winter awesome
One thing that almost every Torontonian dislikes is the blistering winter weather. The winter blues seem to
kick in, and the bonanza of festivals and fun things to do during the summer suddenly disappear when
winter arrives. This doesn’t have to be the case. The city has Wintercity festival for a couple of weeks, but
that’s about it, and needless to mention, it’s not that appealing. The city can be an innovator in extending the
summer fun through winter as well. For example, the number one tourist attraction in Sweden in an ice
hotel and Quebec City has also now created something similar. An ice hotels, bar, or restaurants would be a
great addition to Toronto’s winter which would not only spice up winter for locals, but as well attract
tourists during the winter season. Another great example of winter fun that Toronto can learn from is in
Ottawa, which is transformed into a winter
wonderland. Snowflake Kingdom is a park that hosts
the continent's largest snow playground, complete
with 30 giant snow slides, ice-carving contests and
magnificent ice exhibits. These are just a couple of
ideas, but with creativity and imagination, Toronto
can make the city not only enjoyable for locals and
tourists during the summer, but also during winter.
10. Establish a UN Global Culture University
The International Centre of UPEACE in Toronto
ceased its activities on November 28th 2006. After a
successful 15 month period delivering programs in peace education, the Toronto Centre of the University for
Peace closed its doors. While the Centre was generously supported by the Government of Canada through
the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation during this time, it was unable to secure the further
financing required to continue its operations.
This was an embarrassment because needless to say, Toronto is an ideal location to situate such an
institution yet while we finally got it; it was later relocated to Costo Rica. We need to have another go at this
with better management and approach. The waterfront area is an ideal place to situate a world renowned
UN university specializing in global matters such as development, public diplomacy, Diaspora, culture and
11. Improve Transportation dramatically
Korean international student-“TTC sucks in this city, in Seoul Korea is so much better, I miss it”
Me- Really it’s better there?
Korean International student: Way better, the subway can’t be bad, because many people start complaining
angrily right away.
Me-“but a lot of people complain here as well”
International student-“Yah, but they take complaint seriously in Korea and fix it right away”
Urban transportation is the space race of the 21st century. The city that cracks the commuter nightmare of
traffic congestion and pollution will steal a march on cities competing for business and tourism. It takes a
commuter an average of 80 minutes to get to work in Toronto, according to a global study.
This city must break the log jam on transportation. The average commuter in Toronto requires more time to
get to work than the average commuter in Los Angeles, New York or London, England. An OECD study says
congestion is costing $3.3 billion in lost productivity.
“There have been lots of announcements. If announcements were streetcars, they would stretch all
the way to Montreal. This is a burning platform, this is an urgent situation. Fifty years ago, the
Alaskan Highway was built in the dead of winter. It was 2,450 km in length. Thirteen kilometres
were built every day, 133 bridges were constructed and thousands of culverts. It was finished in
eight months. It can be done! Yonge Street holds the Guinness Record for the longest street in the
world. The Caribana Festival holds the record for the longest festival parade in the world. I suspect
the Don Valley Parkway holds the record for the biggest paved parking lot in the world.”-Frank
12. Creatively capitalize on the current good rep of Canadian banks
Canadian banks were ranked the soundest in the world two years in a row by the World Economic Forum.
The big four banks of Canada which are all headquartered in Toronto have been getting great recognition on
a global scale due to performing better than most other financial institutions in the world during the
recession. A world renowned institute for risk management is in process of being constructed in Toronto
which will be symbolic and greatly enhance the prestige of our financial sector. More of these symbolic
actions should to be established in a creative and catchy way for the world to firmly recognize the strength
of Toronto’s financial sphere for years to come.
13. Do something about boring city hall.
For those who have ever been to city hall, know that you instantaneously get a feeling of dullness and
boredom as soon as you step foot into it. When you speak with people that work at city hall, you can almost
sense that they speak with a vibe of limitation and unimaginativeness. Most of the people that run our city
are senior white guys who have a huge generation gap between the youth and not to mention lack diverse
perspectives. City hall clearly needs an internal culture change, and the environment needs to be
rejuvenated where creativity and fresh ideas can flourish. Physically, city hall is a temple to rigid and
predictable method of working. Uncreative or ineffective ideas are bound to be created in this kind of
environment. The following ideas need consideration:
a) Lets completely rebrand City Hall and call it City Lab. This will emphasize that the cities job is to
formulate creative and sound policies instead of the bland and unimaginative ones they create majority of
b) City hall must open up to a host of new concepts of interior design, furniture,
and workflow that enable idea generation, development, prototyping, testing, and
deployment. The space at city hall needs to expand the mental boundaries that
balance openness with intension.
14. Foster collaboration between GTA IPA’s (Investment
promotion agencies) for a regional approach
One thing is certain, many European and North American cities have recognized that to be competitive in the global marketplace,
they have to organize and act as a wider metropolitan or sub-regional level when it comes to investment attraction and
retainment. Knowing this, we have come to firmly realize that Toronto must establish a single regional focused IPA (investment
promotion agency) Regional economic cooperation is a concept that is being increasingly embraced by metropolitan areas around
the world who are seeking a competitive edge in the race to retain and attract business.
From a business perspective, urban centres, and its surrounding municipalities are seen as a cohesive whole, municipal boundaries
are a small consideration, if at all. Businesses locate in an economic region in order to serve the entire economic region (and in many
At present investment promotion within the Toronto region is fragmented and under funded with activities often being duplicated
by multiple municipalities or organizations. This lack of centralization creates disjointed information for investors who are looking for
invisible municipal boundaries and local governments who work together seamlessly. The absence of a unified Toronto region IPA is
hurting our ability to compete globally. As a result, the perspectives of the business operating within an urban centre tend to be
regional, while governance structures tend to be local. This disconnect between the realities of the marketplace and of government
can be an impediment to a region realizing its full economic potential. Fragmented governance structures can make it difficult for
businesses to operate efficiently, which has a detrimental impact on economic growth and job creation. To be successful in
attracting investment, these IPAs need to have the same perspective as the investors they are wooing. Not surprisingly, the most
successful jurisdictions in attracting investment are the ones with a regional IPA.
According to a recent IBM report on global location trends, three cities with strong IPAs for their region – London, Singapore, and
Paris – are the top three cities in the world for attracting investment dollars. These 3 cities all follow regional, singular investment
models in order to attract FDI. According to the same report, Toronto unfortunately, does not make the list of the top 20 cities in
the world in attracting FDI.
Many of the economic development departments and/or agencies in the GTA municipalities undertake investment promotion
activities. The most prominent example is Invest Toronto, the New IPA for the City of Toronto. While the economic enhancement
goals of Invest Toronto are certainly laudable and necessary as Toronto seeks to recover from the global economic crisis, its
structure (in that it is only structured to attract investment into the city of Toronto) does not recognize the role of Toronto as a key
player within a regional system, or the realities of the marketplace for the investors it is seeking to attract. There are also a number
of non- -governmental organizations that engage in investment promotion activities which is another indication that multiple actors
are speaking for the Toronto region on the International stage.
“In principle, things work much better if a single regional IPA is responsible for all the communications activity.
It is rather wasteful if they are all firing off incompatible messages and promoting different images of the
region; hence, confusing investors.”-Simon Anholt
“A better solution is for all these agencies to truly collaborate (very different than cooperate!)” -John Jung
former president of GTMAThe GTA is a very large geo-political organism which first needs to work out their collaborative
strategies and mechanisms. A well developed ability to create and sustain fruitful collaborations gives the Toronto region a
significant competitive leg up. These agencies need to learn how to actively collaborate by developing mechanisms-structures,
processes and skills – for bridging organizational and interpersonal differences and achieving real value from the partnership.
Multiple ties at multiple levels ensure communication, coordination and control. This is not the first time anyone has thought about
this, in fact there was a GTA summit last year where dialogue was established but very little action after the fact. With the current
recession, let’s not further delay positive change.
Toronto must be the master brand of the region, since it is the foremost anchor. Simon Anholt a policy advisor in London has a term
he calls “Box of chocolate brand architecture” We recommend that the brand on the outside of the box is Toronto and since
familiarity is low for Toronto already and zero for the surrounding municipalities, we should definitely market the box, not the
individual chocolates. When Toronto gets interest from investors, we can then open the box and introduce the individual
chocolates, each one is distinctive, with its own appearances and flavors but bearing a strong family resemblance and a clear
connection to each other and to the brand on the box.
For example, if an investor wants to invest in an Vaughan
industrial sector, he may pick up the Brampton or
Durham chocolates, or if he wanted to start a biotech
company he may choose Toronto, Mississauga, or
Markham. It depends on the investor’s criteria and Mississauga
choice, but the important thing to keep in mind, is that
Toronto is the anchor, and wherever the business
situates, the whole region benefits as a whole.
15. Rethink Tourism
a) The future of Tourism is being influenced
by the rise of the experience economy. This
can take many forms, such as travelling to
Stop marketing all the individual
learn another language, to lean an instrument,
municipalities! Toronto should be the only
to experience different cultures, to pursue an interest or hobby such as rock climbing or scuba diving. In
anchor to attract investment for the region!
other words the experience has become the object of the holiday, not just relaxation or sightseeing.
Fulfilment comes from involvement, understanding and self improvement – returning home a more
knowledgeable, spiritually refreshed, or more experienced person. This reflects the progression through
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and the level of self actualization is where people are increasingly seeking
fulfilment through travel.
The more a destination can engage with potential visitors on an emotional level, as somewhere that
promises to fulfill this demand for a fulfilling experience, the more chance it has of attracting the growing
number of people, particularly in developing countries, who see the type of holiday they take as an
expression of their personality. This means telling a story about the destination, which strikes an emotional
chord with potential visitors and stays with them. Being warm, sunny, and naturally beautiful is no longer
enough. Destinations have to express their personality and convey a sense of soul, heart and spirit that
engages visitors in order to avoid being viewed as another (me too) destination. The brand story that it
tells, is passed on by satisfied visitors to other prospects, and eventually becomes a powerful agent for
widespread social marketing effects.
Tourism Toronto is the official destination-marketing organization for Toronto’s tourism industry. This
organization does an excellent job, and the fact that it is the sole organ that does, makes it all that more
effective. Toronto Tourism had great aspirations for the Toronto Branding project in 2005 (Toronto
Unlimited), and invested 2million in the 4 million project. But unfortunately, it didn’t succeed, and as a
result, left Toronto Tourism without a foundation to run with. The genuinely global positioning this report
proposes gives Toronto tourism a style or theme to run with. Instead simply promoting Toronto as just
another North American city, we can now present Toronto as a global city of the world where travelers can
meaningfully experience our distinct global culture. (The symbolic actions this report proposes first need to
be implemented for this experience to be strong for tourists.
b) Lets promote domestic tourism. Research suggests that Torontonians have largely not discovered their
own city yet. This lack of knowledge of all the things to do and see in the city leads to weak perceptions of
our own city and we begin to think it is a boring place. Toronto Tourism publishes an amazing and insightful
magazine which is distributed only in hotel rooms; if that same magazine can also be available for
Torontonians, it will allow Torontonians to be more aware and appreciative of the offerings in the city.
16. Productive creativity throughout every community in Toronto
A study was done by the Centre for Urban and Community Studies, "The Three Cities within Toronto: Income
Polarization among Toronto Neighbourhoods, 1970-2000. The study shows how, from 1970 to 2000, our city of
neighbourhoods has been transformed into three separate cities, defined by their economic differences.
Although Toronto is a thriving city with an abundance of world cultures, it is one where ethnic diversity is overlaid
by growing class division.
Richard Florida of U of T explains that the key task of our time is to build new institutions to spread the gains of
the creative economy. If not, it will continue to concentrate those gains geographically and socially. Action
required to overcome that class divide and build a more cohesive and shared creative economy. We need to
make sure all Torontonians can use their creative capabilities and as such contribute even more fully to
economic growth. No Torontonian should be left behind when it come to fostering the creative energy.
“Highly creative adults frequently grew up with hardship. Hardship by itself doesn’t lead to creativity, but it does
force kids to become more flexible—and flexibility helps with creativity.”-Newsweek Article
a) Far too many inner city youth are spending their time doing unproductive things due to a lack of creative
facilitation which downtown T.O. neighbourhoods are fortunate to have. Creative and inspirational spaces a
needed for them. Everybody wants to go to a dream space or third space which is neither home nor office (where
one works) Cafes are one example of such a space, but Starbucks don’t exist in many neighbourhoods and it’s
kind of a stigma for urban youths to go there anyway. When one wants to dream, write poetry, forment a
revolution, brainstorm, one goes to a café. A space is needed where all kinds of diverse elements are at play
(other people, internet, instruments, books, music, sports, ambience, the world beyond the windows-to help
inspire your ideas and dreams, and etc). The interplay of personal and public space, combined with a sense that
anything can happen, makes such places a great place for innovation to happen.
Community places are the perfect place for such creative spaces, and to increase accessibility they should be
standard pretty much everywhere: condos, open schools (afterschool hours), libraries, and even mobile truck
containers. These third spaces are not expensive because the environment is similar to a start-up, where most
things are used and messy, and people can donate their own things and it is a continuous improvement process.
It inevitably involves trial and error-there are just so many imponderables. Above all, these dream spaces should
represent freedom for those who go there; kind of like to a jazz club for ideas, a place where participants can
b) Create an online magazine for creative’s educating them on how to make their ideas happen; an avenue where
they can read the stories of other local success stories who went through the rough to become who they are
today. For example, Dwight Drummond, a well know local journalist can share his insights to how he became
successful despite growing up on Jane Finch, or how Knaan persevered to make his creative pursuits come alive
although he grew up in a rough neighbourhood in Rexdale, and there are many other great stories that need to
be shared with creative’s in the rough in order to inspire them to make their ideas become a reality.
17. Create a global leaders award
This will be a globally recognized and respected award. Other than local global leaders, global citizens will be
invited from all over the world along with international jury members. Toronto will be the primary city that
honours great global beings. For example Apple’s brand honours those who think differently and Nike brand
honours great athletes.