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Media Release

After a Turbulent Start to 2022, the Toronto Region’s Economic Recovery has Resumed

New Recovery Tracker data from EBI shows Toronto's economy thrives when open.

Stats and charts on a tablet.

TORONTO, March 23, 2022 – New TELUS and Moneris data released today in the Toronto Region Board of Trade’s Recovery Tracker shows that the Region’s economy bounced back in February, following the removal of restrictions that limited capacities in many businesses.  

With Toronto City Hall and the Ontario Public Service showing leadership in bringing workers back to downtown Toronto, the latest Recovery Tracker data paints an encouraging picture for the Region’s economy and its businesses as we approach the spring and summer months. 

The data is showing continued growth. In the coming months, we expect to see a continued upward trend as businesses regain momentum and welcome back visitors and workers. 

While employment levels across the Corridor are now close to 100,000 higher than in February 2020, they are still 139,000 below the pre-pandemic growth trend. Similarly, the Corridor-wide unemployment rate is 1.4 percentage points higher than in February 2020 and the employment rate is 0.3 percentage points lower. 

"The light switch that COVID-19 turned off on our downtown in 2020 has been flipped back on,” said Jan De Silva, President and CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade. “As workers return and major events resume, we expect the downtown core will once again become the beehive of activity it was pre-pandemic. This data shows that when fully open, Toronto’s economy thrives.” 

"This is very encouraging news for our city as we continue our reopening and recovery efforts. Pre-pandemic, Toronto’s economy was growing at a rapid rate, piquing the interest of global businesses and from people from all over the world. As Mayor I am committed to seeing that through and ensuring that Toronto not only rebounds, but comes back stronger than ever. Thanks to all of the work done by Team Toronto on world-leading vaccination efforts and the resiliency of so many businesses, we can move forward with confidence that Toronto's recovery is underway," said Mayor John Tory. 

The Economic Blueprint Institute’s data analysis continues to show us that the Region’s businesses are primed to deliver on the promise of recovery, but that they need the ability to operate consistently to do so. We continue to call on governments at all levels to do their part to ensure the hardest hit sectors of our economy can get back on their feet.  

“This month’s release of the Recovery Tracker demonstrates the resiliency of our Region and its businesses when they’re not subject to restrictions and temporary measures that stall our recovery,” said Marcy Burchfield, Vice President of the Board’s Economic Blueprint Institute. “With the return of many office workers to our downtown core and the City of Toronto’s decision to resume major in-person events, we’re confident businesses can emerge from the pandemic with a thriving regional economy.” 

Key Facts: 

  • Employment in the Innovation Corridor has grown faster than the Canadian average since the pandemic began two years ago 
    • With 2.3 per cent growth in employment, the Toronto Region has outpaced Canada’s two other largest metropolitan areas: Montreal (1.9 per cent) and Vancouver (1.6 per cent) 
  • As COVID-19 cases declined through January and February, workers started to trickle back into their respective places of work. 
    • In some districts - namely the Regional Centres, Services and Mixed-Use District, and Knowledge Creation District – worker levels in February were the highest they have been since 2019  
  • The Omicron induced decline in spending seen in December 2021 and January 2022 appears to have bottomed out as in-person spending started to recover leading into the beginning of February

Track recovery, one sector at a time

Our tracker includes data from the labour market, consumer spending, business financial health and more.
Masked employees working together

About Toronto Region Board of Trade

The Toronto Region Board of Trade is one of the largest and most influential business chambers in North America and is a catalyst for the region’s economic agenda. We pursue policy change to drive the growth and competitiveness of the Toronto region and facilitate market opportunities with programs, partnerships and connections to help our members succeed – domestically and internationally.

Media Contact

Andrew Perez, Media Relations Manager