The announcement this week of the new Toronto Inc partnership marked an important milestone in the move toward more (and more meaningful) collaboration on economic development in Toronto.
Toronto Inc is a partnership among Destination Toronto, Toronto Global, and the Toronto Region Board of Trade working closely alongside other community stakeholders, including City Economic Development teams. Mayor Tory helped make the announcement and has been an early and consistent champion for the need to combine resources and networks so that Toronto has the greatest relevance and impact in key international markets.
At its core, this partnership is about alignment — alignment on the message, and alignment on how it gets delivered.
The partners are committed to promoting a narrative about Toronto that is not only authentic to the true DNA of Toronto but also consistent and compelling. In delivering that message, the partners are already collaborating on shared sales missions to key markets, and shared presence at key Toronto events including this week’s Collision conference where the partners and the City of Toronto hosted the large and high-impact Toronto Pavilion.
Toronto Inc formalizes a growing collaboration that began prior to the pandemic and provides an opportunity to support the City’s recovery.
There are different models for this level of collaboration in place around the world. London & Partners, for example, is a single agency with responsibility for foreign investment, meetings, leisure tourism and even attracting international students to London’s post-secondary schools. Other cities like Houston also have more formal, single-organization models. On the other hand, in many cities, there is little collaboration among such organizations. The Toronto Inc partnership puts a process and name to the collaboration, recognizing the need to elevate and sustain the strategic and executional alignment.
Regardless of the model, what’s important is the actual, on-the-ground combining of resources, expertise and networks to make each organization’s work that much more effective. The crossover and shared purpose are easily evident: A person visits Toronto for business or leisure and recognizes the global diversity at the heart of the city, and begins to consider opening their company’s new research facility here. Or perhaps a company leader who has just opened a Toronto office also sits on a key global board and suggests Toronto for their next international congress.
These are common audiences, people that wear multiple hats, and Toronto Inc is aimed squarely at reaching them with greater efficiency and impact.