Top Ten Reasons to Invest in the GTA

Gerald Pisarzowski, Vice President, Business Development, GTMA, shares his insights on why companies want to invest in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Contact Gerry at to continue the disucssion!The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) offers more for those businesses who aspire to accomplish more. Greater choice. Greater advantages. Greater opportunities to succeed in the competitive and fast paced global economy. With its thriving business climate, diversified industries, modern transportation and telecommunications systems, and the quality of its human resources, the GTA rivals the greatest economic regions of the world.






The following “Top 10 Reasons for Investing in the GTA” are to help you think strategically about expanding or relocating your business to the Greater Toronto Area:

  1. Access to the North American Markets:
  2. GTA: Economic Engine of Canada
  3. Diverse Economy
  4. World Class Educational Environment
  5. Cost Competitive
  6. Low Risk Business Environment
  7. Leader in Innovation
  8. Superior Infrastructure
  9. Sophisticated Quality of Life
  10. Openness to Diversity and Multiculturalism


1.  Access to the North American Markets: 

The GTA has access to 135 million people within a 500 mile radius (one-day drive or 1 hour flight), compared to 70 million people from New York. Through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canada is assured long-term access to the North American market of over 440 million people, with a combined GDP of more than $16 trillion.

2.  GTA: Economic Engine of Canada

The GTA is the Industrial and financial capital of Canada.

It generates 20% of Canada’s GDP with $323 Billion and is home to 40% of Canada’s business HQ’s, such as:

  • Sun Life Financial
  • RBC Dominion Securities
  • Scotiabank
  • General Motors of Canada
  • Ford Motor Company of Canada


In addition, GTA’s Key Sectors include:

  • ICT
  • Life Sciences
  • Financial Services & BPO
  • Energy & Environment
  • Automotive & Advanced Manufacturing


3.  Diverse Economy

The GTA is a city of innovation and ingenuity. A diverse economy is important because it will increase collaboration and, in turn, increase the competitiveness and profile of the industry. Businesses in the GTA hail from a wide range of sectors, such as:

  • Information and Communication Technology
  • Renewable Energy
  • Advanced Manufacturing: MRO
  • Financial Services
  • Business Process Outsourcing


4.  World Class Educational Environment

58% of Ontario’s Population has a Post-secondary Education:

  • University: 25%
  • College: 25%


Centennial College

Durham College

Seneca College

George Brown College

Humber College

Sheridan College

McMaster University

Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD)

Ryerson University

University of Toronto

York University

University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT)

Queen's University

Trent University Durham

5.  Cost Competitive

The combined Federal and Ontario Provincial Income Tax Rate will decrease annually from 31% in 2009 to 25% in 2013, making the Greater Toronto Area an economically efficient and competitive setting for locating a new investment both within Canada and internationally.


6.  Low Risk Business Environment

“Canada benefits from excellent transport and telephony infrastructure (7th for the infrastructure pillar), highly efficient markets, particularly labour and financial markets (ranked 7th and 11th, respectively), and well-functioning and transparent institutions (17th). In addition, the country has been successful in nurturing its human resources: it is ranked 7th for health and primary education and 9th for higher education and training.” Excerpt from The Global Competitiveness Report  2009–2010


7.  Leader in Innovation


  • The Toronto Region performs 35% of all research and development carried out in Canada.
  • The Toronto Region is home to 53 of the world’s most highly cited scientists, 1/3 of Canada’s total.
  • University of Toronto ranked Canada’s top research-intensive university with six Nobel Prize-winning graduates. Some examples of innovation in the Toronto region:
  • 335 patents in 2007, the GTA ranked 15th in the world – example, Xerox Research Centre of Canada generates over 10% of all of Xerox’s worldwide patents.
  • Medical and Related Sciences Centre (MaRS) Discovery District: Toronto designated 2 sq. km in its downtown as the Discovery District, home to the MaRS commercialization project.
  • Private: IBM Toronto Software Lab, Bell University Laboratories.
  • University of Toronto ranked Canada’s top research-intensive university with 6 Nobel Prize-winning graduates.


8.  Superior Infrastructure


Pearson International Airport

  • The busiest Canadian airport with direct flights operating to over 100 destinations.
  • $4.4 billion development program designed to increase passenger capacity to 52 million annually over the next two decades.


Toronto City Centre Airport (Toronto Island Airport)

  • Located in the heart of Toronto's financial, business and entertainment centre, Toronto City Centre Airport provides an unmatched advantage for quick, easy, first-class access for passengers.


Road and Rail

  • The GTA has the largest and busiest freeway network in Canada, consisting mainly of 400-Series Highways and supplemented by municipal expressways
  • The CPR Intermodal Terminal in Vaughan is one of the most advanced containerized freight facilities in Canada. The CN Brampton location is one of Canada’s largest intermodal terminals.


Public Transit

  • Metrolinx is overseeing a $50 billion, 25-year capital program to triple the amount of rapid transit in the region. Once completed, over 80 per cent of residents in the region will live within two km of rapid transit.
  • GO Transit carries more than 50 million passengers a year in an extensive network of train and bus services.The Corridor is a VIA Rail passenger train service area in the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario.The Corridor service area has the heaviest passenger train frequency in Canada.



  • One of the most extensive telecommunication networks in North America
  • A highly integrated telecommunications network including: the largest “free Calling” area in North America (416/647/289/905); 100% Digital Telecom Infrastructure; high speed data services; Internet connectivity; private lines and e-business services


9.  Sophisticated Quality of Life

GTA offers its residents the best of both worlds – the relaxed pace of a smaller community or the hustle and bustle of a large multicultural centre. With low crime, little threat from instability or terrorism and highly developed infrastructure, Canada has the most liveable destinations in the world – Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).Toronto ranked 54th on the Global Cost of Living Rankings 2008/2009.

source: Economist Intelligence Unite Liveability Report, 2011


10.  Openness to Diversity and Multiculturalism

  • Over 100,000 immigrants annually
  • Over 240 ethnic groups
  • Over 120 languages and major dialects
  • Over 169 countries of origin
  • English is the dominant mother tongue, followed by Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, Punjabi and Spanish
  • Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world