Top 3 Advantages of Being a College Student in Toronto
It's a big city that's always on the move. And it also happens to consistently rank among the most livable urban regions in the world. So Toronto serves as an amazing location for memorable, immersive, and life-enhancing experiences. Plus, it's growing. As a college or trade-school student, that means having a world of opportunities that might be hard to find anywhere else.
Just look at the fast growth that is projected for this region (and imagine the compelling possibilities it could create):
- Toronto's population is expected to rise to over 3.6 million people by 2041—an increase of more than 31 percent from 2013.*
- The whole Greater Toronto Area (GTA), which includes the city of Toronto as well as the surrounding Durham, Halton, Peel, and York regions, is projected to grow by nearly three million people to total more than 9.4 million by 2041—the fastest rate of growth in the province of Ontario.*
With those facts in mind, consider these three common benefits of being a student in Toronto:
1. You Can Find Almost Anything You Might Want
Toronto's vast diversity of people, neighborhoods, restaurants, cafes, shops, and entertainment venues is astonishing. As a result, it's easy to discover new things that inspire you—things that might lead to greater opportunities than you ever expected. For example, consider that:
- Toronto is made up of 140 neighborhoods, each one with its own special charm.** They are found in several distinctive areas within the core of the city as well as five larger regions surrounding it (i.e., Richmond Hill, Markham, Scarborough, North York, and Etobicoke).
- Some of Toronto's most popular neighborhoods are home to fun, hip, eclectic, and fascinating places like Kensington Market, the Distillery District, West Queen West, Chinatown, Little Italy, and the Entertainment District. The city even has an area along the shore of Lake Ontario known as "the Beaches" where you can sunbathe in the summer or stroll the boardwalk.
- Toronto is easily one of the world's most culturally diverse places. In fact, more than 180 languages and dialects are spoken among the city's residents.** That makes it possible to learn about different cultures firsthand while also sampling nearly any kind of ethnic cuisine imaginable. And just think of the potential friendships you can establish with interesting people you might not otherwise encounter.
2. The City Supports an Outstanding Variety of Career Pursuits
As Canada's largest hub for business, finance, and several other sectors, Toronto is a terrific setting for building a career with real impact. Some of the many industries that consistently generate good opportunities for qualified professionals in the city include:
- Design—No other city in Canada has such a high density of educated designers. In fact, Toronto ranks third in North America for the size of its design workforce, which consists of more than 27,970 designers across a significant variety of disciplines such as graphic design fashion design, interior design, web design, and video game design.**
- Business, Financial, and Legal Services—Toronto's professional community includes more than 316,400 workers specializing in areas like marketing, legal assisting, office administration, accounting, communications, and human resources. Plus, the city is home to 70 percent of Canada's most elite accounting firms, advertising agencies, and law practices.**
- TV, Film, and Music Production—In 2013 alone, close to $1.2 billion was spent on shooting television and film productions in Toronto, providing jobs for over 25,000 creative and technical people. The production of TV series, in particular, has grown an incredible amount in recent years. And Toronto is also a major North American center for music recording. In fact, it's where roughly 80 percent of Canada's recording industry does business.**
- Health Care—Toronto has over 20 major hospitals, many of which are recognized as some of Canada's leading medical facilities.** And with the city's fast-growing population, it's a good bet that many new health and medical professionals will continue to be needed in a wide range of specialties.
- Technology—About 35 percent of Canada's technology companies are located in Toronto, along with the nation's largest data center. That translates to more than 14,600 technology businesses providing jobs for about 159,000 tech professionals in specialties like network engineering, database administration, and software and mobile app development.**
- Hospitality Services—With over 25 million annual visitors, Toronto is Canada's top destination for tourists. That's led to over 329,000 people being employed by more than 19,000 businesses related to tourism and hospitality, almost half of which are in the food and beverage sector.**
- Skilled Trades and Construction-Related Services—As Toronto's population and economy continues to grow, so does the demand for new construction and renovations to existing buildings and infrastructure. That's why going into a trade like HVAC technology, plumbing, carpentry, or electrical work can be a smart career choice in this region.
3. You Can Get Around Easily in Several Different Ways
Getting from point A to point B in Toronto is often convenient and fun. You don't even need a car. Torontonians have access to features like:
- Extensive Mass Transit—The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) operates over 150 public transit routes and lines, including more than 140 bus routes, over 10 streetcar routes, three subway lines, and a rapid-transit line. In 2013, people took more than 525 million passenger trips on TTC lines. And it's possible to reach just about every part of the city through public transit.*** The TTC system even connects with other transit systems in the GTA so that you can travel to and from areas far from the center of Toronto.
- PATH—This system of underground walkways in downtown Toronto allows people to move between over 50 buildings and office towers without stepping out into uncomfortable weather. Plus, the walkways are lined with about 19 miles of shopping outlets, restaurants, and entertainment venues, which makes PATH the world's biggest underground shopping complex.**
- Trails—Toronto has more than 124 miles of walking, biking, and jogging trails throughout the city, many of which run through scenic parks.
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* Ontario Ministry of Finance, website last visited on May 11, 2015.
** City of Toronto, website last visited on May 11, 2015.
*** Toronto Transit Commission, website last visited on May 11, 2015.