Thursday, September 29, 2005

Blink and you'd have missed it

Well - actually, you would have missed it. It was The Toronto Star coverage of a recent analysis that rated Toronto the most difficult place in Canada in which to conduct business. What's this you say? Well, if The Star is your only source of news, then you wouldn't have heard that Canadian Business Magazine rated Toronto 40th out of 40 Canadian cities as a location to start or expand a business. They simply decided not to rport on it.

Now the truth be told, Toronto does offer of advantages that cannot be captured or emasured in such a study. It has the size and diversity of skills, as well as the cultural amenities that can attract head offices. In fact Cadillac-Fairview has just announced that is considering a new office tower in the downtown core.

However, as everything in business, advantages and disavantages are weighed on opposing plates of the balance scale. If we go by the record of the last 15 years or so, the number of business voting with their feet to leave has outpaced those deciding to expand. The net result is that Toronto is the struggling economic heart to a robust overall regional economy. It isn't a healthy situation.

So while Mayor David Miller might well be right that "if your are serious about business, you come to Toronto", for many businesses, Toronto means Mississauga, Markham etc. GE has had its Canadian HQ out in Missisauga for as long as I can remember. IBM and many other technology companies seem to have set up their main shops in Markham. These companies are certainly serious about business.

It's troubling that the likes of The Star and the hard-left wingers running the city wish to minimize, hide, obfusctate etc about the issue. Then again, they do that about everything.

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