G-20: Toronto Mayor David Miller Welcomes the World's Media to the CityBy City Of Toronto, PRNE
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
TORONTO, June 24, 2010 - At a news conference held earlier today at the G-20 International Media
Centre Toronto Mayor David Miller welcomed the world's media to the city.
Mayor Miller spoke about Toronto's many strengths as an environmental
leader, diverse and culturally rich community and as a very reliable and
safe city to visit, live in and conduct business. The Mayor held the news
conference with representatives from Invest Toronto and Tourism Toronto and
Toronto's City Manager. Media may visit www.g20torontomedia.com for more
information about the City and the G-20. Media seeking information about
the City of Toronto, Invest Toronto or Tourism Toronto may call +1-416-397-
Below please find Mayor Miller's remarks
Mayor David Miller
Address to G-20 media
June 24, 2010, International Media Centre
Good morning, everybody and to our visitors from abroad, I'd like to
welcome all of you to Toronto. Welcome to the Direct Energy Centre. This
special facility, which was built through a three-government partnership,
is an example of the success of the infrastructure program.
My colleagues and I would like to tell you a little bit our very
special city and encourage you to get out and see as much of it as you can.
We've made it easy by including in your media packs a transit pass
that will allow you full access to our world class public transit system.
In fact there is a streetcar stop right behind this building to make things
easy for you.
Over the past few weeks in the lead up to the G20 conference, I've had
the opportunity to address dozens of your colleagues from all over the
world and I'm delighted with the response that, I in Toronto, have received.
Some of you may have been here before, many will not have been. But
the one thing that I hear over and over from our visitors is how diverse
and modern Toronto is.
And they always say, what's your secret?
I can't completely give the secret but perhaps this morning and over
the next three days you will hear and see for yourself what makes Toronto
special and unique.
Those who live here and those who visit seem often to come to the same
conclusion because they know the city is prosperous and liveable while also
being a great place to do business.
I'd like to take a few moments to highlight the areas in which Toronto
is a leader.
1) Toronto is a diverse world city
Toronto is one of the most ethnically, culturally and economically
diverse cities on the planet - it's home to people from well over 100
countries, including EVERY G20 nation.
We have many diverse neighbourhoods where more than 140 languages and
dialects are spoken.
And more than half of all Torontonians, including the Mayor, were born
outside of Canada but chose Toronto as their home.
Our G20 visitors will see themselves reflected in the faces of
Torontonians in our communities, and in the businesses that serve them.
Not only does this add to the cultural richness of our city, it's an
Financial services companies, for example, choosing to locate or
expand in Toronto frequently cite the diversity and talent of our workforce
as one of the reasons they settle here.
Our diversity is an important reason why millions of tourists visit
this city every year, and companies from around the globe choose Toronto as
a place to do business, as you'll hear more about that in a moment from
Terry and Renato.
2) Toronto is a green city
Most visitors to Toronto are struck by the number of parks that we
enjoy. But for Torontonians, the green movement is about more than parkland
. The City of Toronto is recognized around the world as a leader in
environmental stewardship and I'm very privileged to chair the C40
The Power to Live Green, the City's sustainable energy strategy, is
founded on greater conservation, renewable energy sources, reduced use of
fossil fuels, and the implementation of a 'smart' energy grid. The Power to
Live Green will help us reach our target reductions in greenhouse gas
emissions from 1990 levels by 2050, while maintaining energy reliability
The Direct Energy Centre is an example of a green building partnership
amongst all levels of government.
Meanwhile, the Toronto Green Development Standard is about designing
sites and buildings that are more environmentally friendly. Achieving the
Toronto Green Standard results in measurable improvements to air and water
quality; increases energy and water efficiency, and solid waste diversion
rates; reduces greenhouse gas emissions; and enhances ecology and the
By adopting sustainable principles at every level and providing green
options to all Torontonians - leaders of business, elected officials,
educators and citizens - the city has become a model of environmental
An important part of our economic strategy incorporates green thinking
. Last year we developed a Green Sector international marketing plan to
help Toronto's 1,500 green businesses generate new investment and export
opportunities - and raise the profile of our emerging green sector on the
And of course, we also promote the use of public transit to reduce our
carbon footprint. Public transit ridership today is at its highest level
it's ever been in Toronto.
Our most recent plan to expand public
transit and increase its use is Transit City, a 120-kilometre network of
light rail or European-style trams that will bring higher order transit to
all parts of the city including our poorest neighbourhoods.
3) Toronto is a great place to do business
The third point I'd like to make is that Toronto is a great place to
We are all aware of the challenges of these economic times. But the
diversity of Toronto's economy is allowing us to withstand these challenges
better than many cities.
We benefit from global competitiveness in a number of industry sectors
- financial services, green industries, biotechnology, design, food and
beverage, film, tourism, and business services.
Toronto is the heart of Canada's banking system. For the second year
in a row, Canada's banks were rated best in the world in terms of soundness
in the Global Competitiveness Report, released by the World Economic Forum.
Along with London, Toronto is the fastest growing G8 financial centre.
According to an FDI ranking of North American Cities of the Future,
Toronto is in the top five for economic potential and infrastructure. No
doubt because of our reputation as a trusted business centre - one with
accountability, transparency, regulation and ethical business practices -
and that's earned us high praise from international fiscal leaders and high
marks as a global business centre.
We also benefit from having a strategy to guide our success in the
21st Century. It's called the Agenda for Prosperity.
Developed in 2008 through partnership with the business, labour and
academic communities, the Agenda for Prosperity is our roadmap to guide the
future of Toronto and the surrounding region.
The Agenda for Prosperity is based on four simple principles:
- improving the business climate within the city (we call that Proactive Toronto) - diversifying our international portfolio by increasing economic activity with cities beyond North America, especially those in emerging markets (we call that Global Toronto) - supporting and expanding strategic industry sectors (we call that Creative Toronto), and - enhancing Toronto's labour force so that all residents benefit from economic opportunity (we call that One Toronto).
4) Toronto is a livable city with a thriving cultural sector
The final point I'd like to make is that Toronto is a liveable city,
with a thriving cultural sector.
Business travelers and industry leaders appreciate the fact that
Toronto is a highly liveable and safe city, making it a much sought-after
destination. The Economist Intelligence Unit "Liveability Survey" this
January ranked Toronto 4th in the world for liveability. Well, I would call
it first but fourth isn't bad.
In the past decade, Toronto has undergone a dramatic cultural
renaissance. New opera and ballet houses have been built, landmark museums
and galleries have been revitalized, the Toronto International Film
Festival has been given a new home and Toronto has added a host of new
festivals like ScotiaBank Nuit Blanche.
In a global survey of 60 cities across 40 countries, Toronto was
ranked the fourth-best city in the world to experience culture, behind only
New York, London and Paris.
And I believe that the strength of Toronto's Film and Television
sector illustrates the bond between culture and economy.
The volume of filming in Toronto is 3rd in North America - behind only
Los Angeles and New York City. Total film and television spending last year
contributed almost $1 billion to our economy.
Toronto's geography also makes it a liveable City:
- Our network of ravines is unique to our City. - One of the largest freshwater lakes is just a few metres from this building and serves as our southern border.
I should also mention that with respect to our lake shore, we are
working in partnership with the federal and provincial governments on the
largest urban renewal project in North America and one of the most
significant waterfront revitalization projects in the world.
It totals more than 800 hectares, and includes the creation of 40,000
residential units, one million square metres of commercial space and 300
hectares of parks.
These are just of few of the elements that make Toronto a truly
And I hope that you have a chance during your stay to take a few
minutes or an hour to go outside and experience this great city.
We have a great story here and we're ready to tell it. And I think if
you are able to experience Toronto, you will agree. Thank You.
Kevin Sack, Director, Strategic Communications, City of Toronto,
Office +1-416-397-5277, Cell +1-416-919-6500, www.toronto.ca
For further information: Kevin Sack, Director, Strategic Communications,
City of Toronto, Office +1-416-397-5277, Cell +1-416-919-6500,
Kevin Sack, Director, Strategic Communications, City of Toronto, Office +1-416-397-5277, Cell +1-416-919-6500, www.toronto.ca. For further information: Kevin Sack, Director, Strategic Communications, City of Toronto, Office +1-416-397-5277, Cell +1-416-919-6500
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