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Toronto Global Takes On Smart City Expo World Congress


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The Investment Attraction team at Toronto Global is thrilled to have attended this year’s Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC), along with the Toronto Region Board of Trade and Destination Toronto. Held in Barcelona, Spain with 120 participating countries, this international congress is one of the largest smart city events in the world dedicated to fostering smart cities and empowering urban innovation.

Toronto Global team meets with the Consul of the Canadian Consulate in Barcelona & the Senior Trade Commissioner & Counsellor of the Embassy of Canada to Spain in Madrid, in-person, and learn about their mandates, current activities, and trends in SpainFrom left: Mr. Mazen Mahfouz (Senior Trade Commissioner & Counsellor at the Embassy of Canada in Madrid), Stephen Lund (CEO, Toronto Global), Ms. C.J. Scott (Consul at the Canadian Consulate in Barcelona), JanWillem Gille (Toronto Global), Bart Deelen (Toronto Global)

Stephen presenting at the conferenceStephen Lund presenting welcome remarks, City Technology Exchange Program (CTEP) at La Salle Campus Barcelona

Jan Willem presenting at the conferenceJanWillem Gille presenting on the Toronto Region and Smart City opportunities, City Technology Exchange Program (CTEP) at La Salle Campus Barcelona

Bart in BarcelonaFrom left: Bart Deelen (Toronto Global), Fernando Goñi (FDI Trade Commissioner at the Embassy of Spain in Madrid)

Smart City and the Toronto Region
If you’ve never heard of the phrase “Smart City,” it’s because it’s all around us. Smart City is a concept that touches every part of our lives – from transportation to infrastructure, and from environmental policy to advanced technologies like hybrid vehicles.

As champions for the Toronto Region, our team and partners are strategically positioned to bring our home to the SCEWC stage as Smart City leaders. Not only is the Toronto Region home to emerging initiatives and developments in sustainable, well-connected communities, but we are also at the forefront of introducing innovative urban activities, such as 5G network, autonomous vehicle testing, and electric vehicle charging.

The Toronto Region looks to the future, by proactively confronting the challenges of a projected population growth from 7.1 million to 10 million people in the next 25 years and the weight of protecting our citizens by advocating for environmental sustainability. And as the fastest growing city in the U.S. and Canada, the Toronto Region has embraced the concept of Smart City as a driving force for future-proofing our economic development and an area of opportunity for international companies to expand into one of the most diverse places in the world.

Primed for Smart City opportunities to flourish
The Toronto Region didn’t just stumble into being a Smart City – it was designed to be one. With more than 50% of our population being foreign-born, combined with being one of the largest tech hubs in North America, the region has been uniquely primed to adapt technological advancements coming from local and international expertise. Our adaptability is rooted in a strong, multifaceted business environment, incentivizing organizations to work here. But the region’s high quality of life, universal healthcare, openness to diverse perspectives, and ability to build communities based on shared values is what attracts cultures from around the globe to live in the Toronto Region.

Furthermore, Canada is the only G7 country to have free trade agreements with every other G7 country, becoming a key economic gateway and allowing for seamless access to the U.S. markets. Canada’s 14 active trade agreements, including the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), means that it is easier than ever before for foreign companies to bid on local government projects.

Building tomorrow’s Smart City today
Canada has the lowest tax rate on new business investment in the G7, and the nation is investing $180 billion in infrastructure over the next 12 years. From improving digital urban infrastructure to building a micro-grid of integrated smart devices to benchmarking for a low-carbon economy, we see the potential for building a robust region. Here are three examples of how forward-thinking Smart City opportunities have developed the Toronto Region, today:

  • Mississauga’s Lakeview Innovation District – The City of Mississauga is transforming 177 acres of former industrial lands to a vibrant waterfront destination projected to accommodate over 1.8 million square feet in office space and create 9,000 jobs. Developed on a decommissioned coalfired power plant, this community is creating a model for sustainable mixed-use development.
  • Vaughan Smart City – The first Smart City Task Force has led to a new Smart City Program, establishing Vaughan’s first-ever Smart City business unit within the Economic and Cultural Development department. Major city-building projects include the Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital (Canada’s first smart hospital) and the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (the only urban growth centre in the Greater Toronto Area).
  • Toronto Waterfront Development – Currently under development, the Waterfront Innovation Centre on the east downtown Toronto shoreline will be a 350,000 square foot two-building centre, housing more than 2,000 employees. The centre will add several high-tech, sustainable elements to the development, such as energy-efficient heating and cooling systems and solar panels that will generate 5 per cent of the building’s energy.

What’s next?
Everything is in place for the Toronto Region to be the next Smart City global leader, and we’re here to assist companies looking to join the workforce of the future. Along with our partners, the Toronto Region Board of Trade and Destination Toronto, our team at Toronto Global leveraged the SCEWC event to arrange meetings with 20+ international businesses in market to support potential expansions into the Toronto Region.

Toronto Global is the best choice and a trusted partner for organizations looking to access Smart City opportunities and bring their expertise to an unparalleled pipeline of highly educated talent and rich, diverse communities.

If you’re interested in learning more about Smart City opportunities and how Toronto Global can support you, contact:

JanWillem Gille 
Director Investment Attraction Western Europe
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 437 775 8096

Bart Deelen
Senior Advisor, Investment Attraction Europe
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 416 567 4122

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