Toronto, a city increasingly segmented between rich and poor, now has more super-rich residents than any other city in North America except New York, a new survey has found.
The report from real estate consultancy Knight Frank ranked Toronto as the 12th “most important” city in the world for people with a net worth of US$30 million or more, referred to as “ultra high net worth individuals” (UHNWIs).
The survey found there are 1,216 such super-rich people in Toronto, the second-highest number in North America, behind only New York, with 3,008 super-rich people. Los Angeles recorded 969 people with US$30 million or more, while Chicago had 827.
Only London, with 4,364 super-rich residents, has more than New York.
To determine the world's "most important" cities for the super-rich, Knight Frank combined data on super-rich populations with the results of an "attitude survey" that reflected where the rich like to spend time for business and leisure. Here are the results:
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But Toronto is also setting some records at the other end of the income ladder. The proportion of children living in poverty — 29 per cent — is now the highest in Canada, tied for worst place with St. John's, Nfld.
Despite economic data suggesting Canada has been recovering relatively smoothly from the economic crisis of 2008-09, food bank use in Toronto continues to soar, with the number of first-time food bank users up 20 per cent last year compared to the year before.
A recent report from the United Way said Toronto is at risk of becoming “Canada’s inequality capital” due to the sharp rise in inequality in the city in recent years.
That report found the gap between rich and poor in Toronto is growing at twice the national average, and the city has gone from having the smallest wage gap among major Canadian cities to the largest.
“There is a growing gap in access to opportunities that's connected to a growing income gap in our society,” United Way CEO Susan McIsaac wrote.
“For too many people, stability and security is out of reach. And it doesn't matter how hard they work. When people are doing everything ‘right’ and still can't get ahead — we have a problem.”