Published On: Thu, Jan 21st, 2016

Toronto drops out of Top 10 list of ‘desirable cities

toronto8Despite maintaining its reputation for having some of the most welcoming people in the world, Toronto dropped out of the top 10 list of desirable cities in the latest 2015 Anholt-GfK City Brands Index (CBI). Toronto placed 8th in the last CBI study, conducted in 2013.

The list also crowned Paris as the new top city, edging past London (2013’s winner) to take the lead position. London took the second spot, followed by New York, Sydney and Los Angeles.

Canada Performance Explained

Canada just missed out on a Top 10 placement this year, with its only city included in the survey, Toronto, ranking 11th. While Toronto maintained performance and made impressive gains in some categories, other global cities – such as Amsterdam, Berlin and Melbourne – made even greater strides, causing Canada’s financial capital to drop off the Top 10 list.

Toronto did, however, rank 2nd for friendliness and cultural diversity (the “People” category) and 5th for basic necessities and public amenities (“Prerequisites”), a gain higher than average. Toronto’s only downward move was for Pulse, a measurement of a city’s interesting events and activities.

Anholt-GfK City Brands IndexSM

– 2015 2013

Paris 1 3
London 2 1
New York City 3 4
Sydney 4 2
Los Angeles 5 7
Rome 6 5
Berlin 7 12
Amsterdam 8 11
Melbourne 9 10
Washington, D.C. 10 6

The biannual CBISM survey was conducted among citizens in 10 countries – both developed and developing – that play important and diverse roles in the flow of business, cultural, and tourism activities. In all, 5,166 online interviews were conducted with adults age 18 or over.

Simon Anholt, an independent government advisor and the creator of the Index, said: “Our survey was conducted before the November attacks in Paris – but, if past experience is anything to go by, such attacks do not change people’s perceptions of the city in any significant or long-lasting way. There may be a temporary change in people’s behaviour towards Paris – but the attacks do not affect the reasons why people might admire the city’s beauty, cultural life, opportunities, etc. and this is what CBI measures.”

The CBI study includes six key dimensions:

• Presence: International status and standing
• Place: Outdoors and transport
• Prerequisites: Basic necessities, public amenities
• People: Friendliness, cultural diversity
• Pulse: Interesting events and activities
• Potential: Economic and educational opportunities

“Paris, London and NYC, the top three cities globally, are still struggling to bring their world-class reputations into the specific dimensions of Prerequisites and People,” said Vadim Volos, GfK’s SVP of Public Affairs and Consulting and leader of the CBI study at GfK. “When it comes to affordability, these cities all rank at the bottom of the list (47th, 46th and 48th respectively), while New York is also marked down for its People dimension. This enables cities that are ranked lower in the overall Index to win spots among the top five for specific dimensions – giving them a foothold in the international arena.”