Canada, we increasingly hear, is becoming a global leader in high-tech innovation and entrepreneurship. Report after report has ranked Toronto, Waterloo and Vancouver among the world’s most up-and-coming tech hubs. Toronto placed fourth in a ranking of North American tech talent this past summer, behind only the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Washington, and in 2017 its metro area added more tech jobs than those other three city-regions combined.
Toronto is a city on “the brink” of not fully realizing its potential and must think about a new model for growth if it wants to thrive and stand out as an example of a modern global metropolis, says urban studies expert Richard Florida. Speaking at Urban Land Institute Toronto’s symposium on Toronto urbanism, Florida, one of the world’s leading urban thinkers and a professor at the University of Toronto’s school of cities and Rotman School of Management, said Toronto is an incredible city but one that faces significant challenges including housing affordability, a “worsening class divide” and woeful traffic congestion.
Airports have a stronger connection to regional growth than high-tech industry and about the same impact as high-skill talent, writes Richard Florida. “The key lies in the way that global hub airports connect global cities.”
Toronto is a great city with many amazing things going for it. It’s time we make our streets safer for our people, especially the elderly and children who are at the highest risk.
A group of prominent Toronto scholars analyzed Jacobs’ ongoing impact a century after her birth. Hosted by the University of Toronto’s Innis College, the panel featured U of T’s Erica Allen Kim, Paul Hess, Michael Piper, Patricia O’Campo, and Richard Florida. Moderated by Urban Studies Chair Shauna Brail, the discussion looked at Jacobs’ contributions—and their limitations in the 21st century context—from a multidisciplinary and intersectional range of of perspectives.
Creating a livable community and closing the gap between the “elite creative class” and the “sinking service class” were key themes presented by internationally recognized urbanist Richard Florida. Florida’s presentation wrapped up a speaker series that brought three distinguished urbanists to West Vancouver as part of the Cypress Village planning process. The event was sponsored by British Pacific Properties and Hollyburn Family Services Society.
The best growth strategy for Ontario is to deepen the innovation and knowledge component of all industries, not just newer ones.
Toronto may be the nation’s largest metro and the main driver of its economy, but it barely punches its own weight when it comes to the members of Canada’s Olympic team. The real standouts of this Olympic Games are smaller metros like Kingston, London, Windsor, and Guelph, which are home to far greater concentrations of Olympians than one might expect given their size.
In total medal count, Canada is faring fairly well. But by other, more meaningful measures not so much.With the help of colleagues at the University of Toronto Martin Prosperity Institute Charlotta Mellander and Patrick Adler, Richard Florida ranked each nation’s overall medal performance by their population, size of their economy, and the number of athletes on their Olympic teams.
Researchers have been saying for years Toronto is seeing an increase in inequality and a segmenting of its population by wealth, but a new study from the University of Toronto’s Martin Prosperity Institute puts this into some perspective.
Waterloo Region needs to start planning now for the negative impacts of an urban renaissance driven by an expanding technology sector, says renowned urban thinker and writer Richard Florida.
Canada continues to lag far behind the U.S. and other leading nations in startups and venture capital — but it doesn’t need to be that way.
To demonstrate its commitment to all these interwoven urban issues, it’s time for the government to create a new body – a “ministry of cities,” which would spearhead these interwoven initiatives while signalling to the world that this country is ready to lead the ongoing century of cities.
Taking the stage to deliver a keynote address at the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) inaugural Toronto Symposium, renowned urbanist Richard Florida wasted no time in proclaiming his admiration for Toronto, celebrating his adopted city as a global leader in urban renewal and the arresting of urban sprawl. Yet, for all of Florida’s enthusiasm about Toronto, the speech diagnosed a cresting urban crisis, proving to be an alarming call to action rather than a celebration of the city’s accomplishments.
Newly released, our study, Canada’s Urban Competitive Agenda: Completing The Transition From Resources To A Knowledge Economy, shows that the Canadian economy is built on two distinct models with two distinct geographies. Natural resources drive the West, while knowledge and creativity propel development in the East.
A ranking of Toronto’s 140 neighborhoods—a definitive document that separates the great from the good, the average from the awful. We teamed up with the urbanists, economists, sociologists and information scientists at the Martin Prosperity Institute, a think tank at U of T’s Rotman School of Management. They crunched every stat they could drum up: census data, community health profiles, the Fraser Institute’s school report cards, the Toronto Police Service crime figures and independent studies.
Cities are the fundamental drivers of entrepreneurial innovation and economic growth. So why does Ottawa insist on ignoring them?
Study after study has shown that the Olympics cost cities substantially more than they bring in, and can drain local economies and government finances for years.
Canada ranks fourth in the world in a new ranking of the world’s most creative and economically competitive countries. The survey, put together by my research team at the University of Toronto’s Martin Prosperity Institute, places Canada behind only first-place Australia, the United States and New Zealand. This is the third version of these rankings we’ve done, and Canada is up from its seventh-place finish in 2011.
In 2009, Brock University’s Niagara Community Observatory produced a policy brief that pointed out the main reason Niagara had a low proportion of young people was because we are not attracting our share of young people from other areas.
Keeping the Gardiner East up is a false solution for Toronto’s worsening traffic woes. Tearing it down, meanwhile, would create a world of opportunity.Taking down the Gardiner East is the most fiscally prudent and economically viable option available to the city, writes Richard Florida.
The Globe and Mail has asked prominent urbanists, architects and scholars to tell us what things Canada’s mayors should be considering: the tools, policies and ideals that will build the city of the 21st century.
As the election night map reminds us, Toronto remains a deeply divided city.
Acknowledging these problems is a step in the right direction, but it will take more than words to remedy these deep divides. Richard Florida weighs in.
Just as our cities and urban centers are reviving, their growing class divisions threaten their further development in new and even more vexing ways.
Vancouver is growing more divided as blue collar workers are priced out of the urban core, says author
The Ontario government was right to raise its minimum wage, and to introduce legislation that would peg future increases to inflation. But the new legislation should also take into account the significant differences in costs of living across the province. It should include provisions to index the minimum wage on a geographic basis.
The mega-city has become the nerve centre of one of the world’s greatest mega- regions, a trans-border economic powerhouse that stretches from Buffalo to Quebec City. It’s important to recognize this, because mega-regions have replaced the nation state as the economic drivers of the global economy.
Richard Florida discusses how the benefits of having and expanding Toronto’s island airport far exceed the costs.
Rob Ford will soon be gone. But even more important than who replaces him will be how soon and how thoroughly we can remake the office of the mayor. Canada’s strictly regulated banks have shown the world that government has a key role to play in the new economy. With a new city charter and a growth model for the 21st century, Toronto can set a new standard for municipal governance.
Urban Toronto highlights talk by Richard Florida, given before an audience of city builders and luminaries in Desautels Hall at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. The lecture, one of a series presented by the School of Public Policy & Governance in partnership with the Martin Prosperity Institute was entitled Big City, Big Ideas: Why Creativity is the New Economy.
Leading up to Canada Day, the Huffington Post blog team asked prominent Canadians what they would change about one aspect of its country.
Long the epitome of a humane, prosperous, diverse, caring city, Toronto has at long last captured the world’s attention – but not in the way that anyone would want. Mayor Rob Ford’s latest scandal has drawn headlines in the New York Times, New York Magazine, and Vanity Fair, making him the butt of jokes on talk shows like Real Time with Bill Maher, and even on the sports network ESPN.
Toronto has not always had good press – not least from Canadians themselves.
But even the locals have to admit that the place they love to loathe is having a moment. Mark Jones reports on how the city is being rebuilt,and meets key figures including Richard Florida in this renaissance.
Richard Florida heralds successful cities as those that attract and keep a creative citizenry. Toronto is a perfect
manifestation of his “Three T’s” index of good city building: technology,
tolerance, and talent. Author Katrina Onstad takes a closer look at how the Three T’s of Toronto play out on the
streets, so invites five local “creative class” guides to show her the
neighborhoods they love.
While governments try triggering growth through stimulus spending and/or tax cutting, Florida said what’s going to get us out of the current economic “crisis” are cities “restructuring the way we live and work.” He calls it a “geographic fix,” in which the highly mobile creative types are drawn to the urban areas they love by the types of amenities offered, by public and park gathering spaces and by a community’s walkability.
Rob Ford’s downfall is stunning – and it opens up a bigger can of worms for Toronto’s future than even his contentious mayoralty did. In the short term, there are some daunting questions: Will he leave office in two weeks as ordered for violating conflict-of-interest rules? His lawyers have filed a request for a stay pending an appeal. If Mr. Ford does step down, will city council appoint his successor or will there be a by-election? If there’s an election, will Mr. Ford’s name be “the first one on the ballot”?
Toronto is at a crossroads, according to Richard Florida. In an interview with with Global News, he talks about how he thinks Ford has changed the city, and affected Toronto’s global reputation.
Richard Florida examines a new vision for Toronto. The city’s great period of growth won’t continue if we don’t enlist the best and brightest minds from Bay Street, the universities and the public sector.
Ten years ago, Richard Florida’s The Rise of the Creative Class turned its author into an unlikely academic rock star. Since then, the urban guru has become a Toronto resident, the head of U of T’s Martin Prosperity Institute, and an international lightning rod. He recently released a 10th-anniversary edition of the aforementioned tome. Courtney Shea catches up with Florida at one of his favorite Hogtown destinations, the Brick Works.
Four years after the great economic and financial crash of 2008, the U.S. economy continues to sputter and Europe teeters on the brink of economic collapse. Only one advanced nation has been able to rebound to pre-crisis levels of jobs and economic output: Canada.
Richard Florida speaks to The Chronicle Herald’s John DeMont before making the keynote speech at a Greater Halifax Partnership.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s intolerance is damaging both the city’s reputation for fairness and its business climate.
Richard Florida discusses why bringing a casino to Toronto is a bad idea. He says gambling is one of the least productive economic activities imaginable — removing money from one set of pockets and putting it in another, without producing anything concrete as part of the exchange.
Richard Florida discusses how Toronto’s experience in basketball simply does not match up to the city’s growing size, wealth and stature. The outflow of basketball stars is no longer a metaphor for any larger talent drain, but an increasingly isolated and unique problem. Toronto’s sports franchises, need to start doing more of what it takes to compete on a global scale.
The deepening social and economic divisions that are all too apparent in London are becoming evident in our own cities as well. Richard Florida argues that there is a real danger that riots like London’s will become a feature, not a mere bug, of global cities.
A recent Richard Florida blog post on The Atlantic’s website argues that Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver have become music industry centres rivalling New York, Los Angeles and Nashville.
Urban planning expert Richard Florida says the planning to make Toronto a world-class city in the same league as Paris or New York in the next 50 years must start now.
Richard Florida examines the challenges Toronto and Canada face, especially in light of how the tectonic economic events of the past 18 months are recasting the role of cities and regions worldwide.
Richard Florida discusses how American ingenuity—which is often foreign ingenuity—is waning because the world’s most talented individuals are either not coming to America or are being seduced away from America by such countries as Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
Dr. Richard Florida speaks at The Art of Transition event hosted by the Region of Durham’s economic development and tourism department November 12, 2009.
The Spectator asked urban economist and Who’s Your City? author Richard Florida a few questions about the impact of the Pan Am Games on Hamilton and area.
Canada has cities with lots of creative and tolerant people, but falls short of the United States in turning culture into tangible economic benefits, Richard Florida told officials at Ottawa City Hall October 30, 2009
According to Richard Florida’s The Rise of the Creative Class: And How it’s Transforming Work, Leisure,
Community and Everyday Life, members of the creative class are very different from those who are employed in the manufacturing, service or agriculture industries. They contribute to our economy primarily by producing the new forms and ideas exploited by our various industries and decision-makers.If Toronto is serious about maintaining – or, hopefully, improving – its national and international presence in the world’s markets, it may be a good idea to foster an atmosphere that not only attracts such individuals, but also encourages and promotes those ideas and new forms they produce.
A report prepared by Richard Florida, Meric S. Gertler, Gary Gates, and Tara Vinodrai for the Ontario Ministry of Enterprise, Opportunity and Innovation and the Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity.
Toronto’s economic development committee invited Prof. Florida, an American academic and author now at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, to enlighten on the way out of the current global financial crisis. Richard Florida went to Toronto city hall to tell councillors that improving the lot of service-sector workers is key to the city’s prosperity.
The opportunities that have the best long-term prospects are not warehouses in the middle of nowhere, but a dense, healthy downtown that mixes uses, welcomes artists, leverages the university and college, and brings creative people together to solve problems. Can this become Hamilton?
A study from the University of Toronto’s Martin Prosperity Institute says the Kitchener area underperforms against similarly situated cities in North America in educational attainment and in keeping graduates of its college and universities from leaving the area after graduation.
This recession is a “great reset” that offers Canada a chance to emerge from the shadow of its reeling southern neighbor, says Richard Florida
Richard Florida, director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto, says Canadian cities need to “stop being so humble” and see themselves as global models of exactly the sort of livable communities the U.S. desperately needs.
Which of Ontario’s cities are better prepared for the profound transformation into the creative age? To better understand how Ontario’s city regions are competing the Creative Class Index was used to compare them to peer city regions of roughly equal size from across the US and Canada.
Montreal needs to get busy if it is to carve out a place for itself in this new economic order. It has a lot going for it: A vibrant inner city, a deep talent pool of “knowledge” workers, a diverse population and creativity to burn. Its problem is just that Toronto has even more of these things.
In February, the Martin Prosperity Institute released a study of Ontario’s economy. Lead authors Richard Florida and Roger Martin suggested the future of “routine-oriented occupations that draw primarily on physical skills or abilities to follow a set formula” is a bleak one.
Toronto is one of four cities touted as a potentially strengthened survivor of the current financial crisis – along with New York, Chicago and San Francisco in March’s issue of The Atlantic.
In a time of economic uncertainty and loss of traditional manufacturing jobs, Milton is looking to prepare itself for a new creative economy with its plans for the 450-acre ‘Education Village’. The Education Village will follow the path outlined in the recently released report, ‘Ontario in the Creative Age,’ authored by noted urbanist Richard Florida and Roger Martin, dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.
In addressing the current economic crisis, governments should focus on the long term, not demands for quick fixes.
That is the powerful underlying message of the report, Ontario in the Creative Age, jointly authored by Roger Martin, dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, and urban guru Richard Florida.
Urban theorist Richard Florida, author of the global best-selling book The Rise of the Creative Class, said Ottawa “is a world leader” in the ascent of what he calls a new, creative economy. Mr. Florida and Roger Martin, dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, co-authored a 36-page, $2.2-million study urging the province and businesses to boost education levels, wages, training and creativity as a means to a better economy.
The most recent tragedies in a long list at native reserves might spur an opportunity to use the creative thinking advocated by Richard Florida and Roger Martin to turn our backs on old models and start to build healthy, green first nations communities from sea to sea to sea.
Most attention focuses on federal efforts to combat the global slump. But provincial governments are equally important. They tax almost as much as Ottawa. In total, they spend slightly more which is why this week’s ruminations from Ontario’s Liberal government are so disquieting.
A look at report titled “Ontario in the Creative Age,” prepared by a team of 24 researchers and co-authored by Richard Florida and Roger Martin, dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, commissioned early last year by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.
A new provincial report boosts London as a leader in the new economy. Richard Florida, one of the report’s authors, says, “a handful of cities — from London through Kitchener-Waterloo through Toronto and Ottawa — together comprise one of the world’s largest economic mega regions that helps make Ontario one of the most advanced and productive jurisdictions on Earth.”
A new provincial report has boosted London and backed what its leaders have insisted for years that London can lead Ontario into a new economy.
As Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty talks about a low-carbon economy as a competitive advantage and jobs disappear by the tens of thousands, a major report called on the province to unleash its creativity to grow the economy. The report, by Richard Florida and Roger Martin of the Martin Prosperity Institute of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, argues that the economy is shifting away from routine-oriented jobs to creativity-based occupations.
Ontario’s prosperity hinges on harnessing creativity.
The report by Roger Martin and Richard Florida makes as its top recommendation: Harness the full creative potential of Ontarians beyond the creative elite professionals, entrepreneurs and artists.
In a partnership with the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto – headed by urban thinker Richard Florida – the city of Toronto will spend $10,000 on an international conference called Placing Creativity this June on “cultural mapping.”
As part of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto, Richard Florida and Roger Martin delivered a report called “Ontario in the Creative Age,” commissioned by Premier Dalton McGuinty contemplating today’s challenge of moving from jobs oriented to routine to jobs that hinge on creativity.
A report on the Ontario economy by Roger Martin and Richard Florida says stimulus schemes and handouts may be necessary to prop up the old economy. Our leaders, they suggest, need to capitalize on the current plight to drive home the need to move off the old industrial economy. Start making the big moves to an idea-driven, creative economy based not on goods, but on services. Put the stress on the development of knowledge workers, on research and development, on innovation.
Premier Dalton McGuinty commissioned the report, titled “Infrastructure And The Economy: Future Directions For Ontario” which was recently given to economist Roger Martin and urban theorist Richard Florida, who have been appointed by the Premier to look at Ontario’s economic future.
The differing ways a recession affects Ontarians working in different sectors of the economy is the focus of the Martin Prosperity Institute research bulletin presented today to Michael Bryant, Minister of Economic Development, for the Government of Ontario.
Toronto-based urban theorist Richard Florida believes Ontario’s economy is at a turning point. He was asked by Premier Dalton McGuinty to map a path to long-term economic success.
Richard Florida believes Montreal region’s lumbering government structures are holding the region back. He cited them as one cause of Montreal’s oft-cited immobilism.
By Meric S. Gertler, Richard Florida, Gary Gates, Tara Vinodrai – A report prepared for the Ontario Ministry of Enterprise, Opportunity, and Innovation and the Institute for Competitiveness and Creativity – Nov 2002
This paper by Richard Florida and Kevin Stolarick examines the specific interactions among the creative, technical, business, and design communities of the Montreal region.