With the number of under-construction residential and commercial developments across the city coming in at record highs, it should come as no surprise that Toronto has become one of the most desirable places to live, work and play on the continent. As more residents and businesses move to Canada’s financial capital, census figures are beginning to reflect the dramatic changes in our city’s population, brought on by the ongoing development boom. The City of Toronto's annual population growth rate has increased steadily for the last 10 years and is now growing at an annual rate of about 38,000 people.

Toronto skyline viewed from the east, image by Razz

The City of Toronto's latest Economic Dashboard report - presented at today's meeting of the Economic Development Committee - states that Toronto has overtaken Chicago in population and is now the fourth largest city in North America. The City of Chicago's population was most recently estimated at 2,707,120 while the City of Toronto's total population is now estimated at 2,791,140 – supplanting Chicago’s position of fourth-largest city while placing Toronto behind urban heavyweights Mexico City, New York City and Los Angeles.  "These population figures are another sign confirming Toronto's steady growth," said Mayor Rob Ford. "Toronto is a desirable location for people to live and work. We are attracting people from across North America and other parts of the world."   

Last month, City Council endorsed a new economic growth plan, called Collaborating for Competitiveness - A Strategic Plan to Accelerate Economic Growth and Job Creation in Toronto. The plan sets targets for improving the quality of jobs in Toronto and commits to harmonizing the policies/activities of the City of Toronto and its agencies to help create a more attractive climate for business and investment.  As our population swells towards the 3 million mark, these types of economic growth and infrastructure plans are a crucial element in maintaining Toronto’s position among the frontrunners of North America’s greatest cities.