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Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, among top five most livable cities in the world

Torontonians read results of surveys that rank cities with great interest. After all, Toronto always figures in the first five top cities in the world for livable places. 

Vancouver and Calgary also regularly make the top five, giving Canadians much to brag about. In a recent rankings poll released by The Economist, Toronto was placed fourth, just below Vancouver and just above Calgary, which placed third and fifth respectively. The cities are ranked on 30 factors including stability, infrastructure, healthcare and education. 

Immigrants who choose to make Toronto their home would seem to agree with the poll results. Newcomers make up 30 per cent of Ontario’s labour force. Ninety-eight per cent of Ontario’s provincial nominees remain in the province. The Peel region has the highest proportion of immigrants in the Greater Toronto Area. Over 50 per cent identified as immigrants in Peel as compared to 43.8 in the Greater Toronto Area. Nearly 10 per cent of  Peel’s population is Sikh, 9.4 per cent Muslim, and 8.8 per cent Hindu.

Provincial and federal programs help newcomers settle in quickly and find their feet. Last year, Ontario helped over 120,000 immigrants improve their English or French through tuition-free adult language programs.

Since 2003, Ontario has increased funding for settlement programs for newcomers by almost 80 per cent. To help new Canadians, Ontario will invest $63.6 million and the federal government will contribute $16.6 million over three years to the Ontario Bridge Training Program.

Accessibility to places of worship and ethnic foods play a role and Toronto celebrates its diversity with an abundance of both. Last month, the 12th annual Festival of South Asia kicked off at Gerrard India Bazaar bia with the Dandy Parade with a group of musicians in colourful costumes leading sponsors, city councillors and bia board members through Little India on Gerrard Street East in Toronto. 

The street has over 100 shops and restaurants representing regional diversities of South Asian culture, food, music and products and the array of merchandise available here helps South Asians maintain ancient cultural and religious ties.

Posted: Sep 30, 2014

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