Calgary tops Toronto on Hogtown’s own prosperity list

For the second year in a row, Calgary’s strong job market and robust economy have landed it in second place overall in Toronto’s Board of Trade’s annual Scorecard on Prosperity.

The scorecard, intended to compare the Toronto metropolitan area with 23 others around the world, examined 33 indicators related to either economy or labour attractiveness.

Calgary scored well in both categories, sixth in economy and fourth in labour attractiveness, both of which were factors in its overall standing.

The assessment shows Paris as the top global metro region, followed by Calgary, Toronto, Oslo and London.

“Calgary’s solid economic performance continues, out-performing all other Canadian metros,” the report stated.

Lori Williams is an academic advisor for Political Science at Mount Royal University, and she believes Calgary’s resource sector, highly educated workforce, and demographics are major contributors to the repeat second-place performance.

“Calgary’s dependable economic performance keeps it near the top on many classifications,” said Williams.

In terms of attractiveness, the city earned high marks for its “low crime rate, relatively low commuting time, and young labour force,” according to the report

Calgary’s relatively small size compared to the other cities surveyed, earned it top marks for commuting times despite its transit system being less robust than its larger competing cities. The city also scored well in affordable housing.

Calgary was rated best for income growth, where it outperforms all 24 metros, and on employment growth, where it is second, behind the rapidly-growing Shanghai economy.

“Calgary is a very stable and established city and although our weather can change drastically, our economy and prosperity remain consistent,” said Williams

“That’s a pretty cool thing for a city of a million people to be ranked as a top-five city globally. It’s pretty remarkable, maybe that’s what gives us the edge,” said Williams

While second place is the best score Calgary has been able to accomplish, the city has always been top five.

“The energy industry, primarily oil, remains strong and will continue to benefit from economic growth around the world,” said Williams.

“The Calgary economy continues to post solid gains despite the disruption caused by summer flooding,” says the report.

Margaret Stangard, director of Prairie and Territories region at the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, believe the influx of young families to Alberta is a major contributing factor to our overall prosperity.

“The strong economy encourages steady interprovincial in-migration to Alberta. These migrants are often at the age of starting young families,” said Stangard.

“A young population brings many economic benefits. Young people spend disproportionately more than older people. They tend to be taking out mortgages on houses and spending money on things like eating out, new clothes for children and recreational activities,” said Stangard.

“Calgary, while growing faster than any other metros in the 2006-2011 period, remains a livable and attractive metro region,” the report states.

Other Canadian cities that made the list are Vancouver in 11th spot, Montreal in 12th, Halifax in 16th. Edmonton apparently didn’t make the list.

About Daniel Mantai 9 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Daniel Mantai worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2013-2014 academic year.