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Media Release

Board of Trade calls for municipal cooperation to maintain our talent advantage

It’s time to “Hit Go” on policies we know will enable regional coordination, more housing, better transportation, support for local tech, and reduce red tape for businesses.

An aerial view of downtown Toronto.

September 20, 2022 -- Today, the Toronto Region Board of Trade released its latest report, “Think Like a Region: Strengthening the Toronto Region’s Talent Advantage”, which highlights the crucial links between municipal cooperation, talent attraction, and economic competitiveness in the Toronto region.

“The municipalities of the Toronto region are like players on a sports team. They each have different strengths and talents, and there isn’t one that can do it all,” said Jan De Silva, President and CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade.  “We do, however, have one critical shared advantage: our talent. To compete against the best metropolitan regions in the world, the towns and cities of our region – home to nearly 8 million people and 3.5 million jobs – must work together, pulling in the same direction to win.”

The report concludes that to maintain our region’s talent advantage globally, municipalities must think like a region and hit go on:

  1. Developing a collective regional economic strategy for growth, competitiveness, and shared prosperity;
  2. Embracing best practices for investment attraction by doubling-down on a unified approach to FDI promotion;
  3. Focusing on the power of place-making to strengthen the regional talent pipeline;
  4. Harnessing the potential of remote and hybrid work trends to boost economic growth in the region; and
  5. Advocating for municipal finance reform 

“Through data, we can see the Toronto region’s economy has never been more interconnected, yet municipalities across the region often compete for investments in ways that undermine their collective potential,” said Giles Gherson, Executive Vice President and Chair of the Economic Blueprint Institute at the Toronto Region Board of Trade. “Municipalities can easily remedy this by developing shared strategies and strengthening the Toronto region’s brand globally by embracing a single regional investment attraction agency.“

“In 2021, the City of Toronto and Peel Region together saw a net loss of more than 70,000 residents to other parts of the province – the highest loss seen over the past two decades,” said Marcy Burchfield, Vice President, Economic Blueprint Institute at the Toronto Region Board of Trade. “We need to act now if our cities hope to attract and retain top talent.”


Key Facts

  • The Innovation Corridor spans 34 separate municipalities, is home to more than 8 million people and close to 3.5 million jobs and generates a quarter of Canada’s GDP
  • Business location decisions often come down to regional strengths and assets, unrelated to the invisible lines that separate one municipality from another
  • Most municipalities in the Corridor see more than half of their residents commuting outside of their respective cities
  • The advent of remote work has effectively increased the catchment area for workers in the region. In July 2022, close to 24 per cent of workers across Canada mostly worked from home and another 7 per cent split their time between home and another location
  • Significant economic activity appears to have moved to lower density suburban areas as workers took advantage of their ability to work remotely
  • Liveability is growing in importance as a pillar for talent attraction. One study estimates that ‘quality of place’ factors in midsized metropolitan areas explain between 38 and 58 per cent of differences in economic outcomes


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

Additional Resources


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