Will Toronto be the World’s Safest City Post Pandemic?

Covid has altered the quality of life in major cities such as Toronto and changed the landscape of cities worldwide. Large cities are now pushing hard to provide the most outstanding facilities for their inhabitants to improve their preparedness in terms of health protection. Toronto is one of the cities featured in the Safe Cities Index for 2021, which evaluates 60 cities based on 76 safety indicators encompassing infrastructure, personal security, environmental elements and health, including public readiness for pandemics.


Since more than 57% of the world's population lives in cities today and overall safety measures need to protect as much of the population as possible, the necessity for vigilance in terms of health protection in our cities cannot be disputed. Toronto, like Singapore and Tokyo, is at the top of the rankings, marginally missing out on first place and its highest position on the index yet. With a prominent population inclusion, it is regarded as a city that provides a strong feeling of social cohesiveness, trust, and safety. Because of this, real estate investing has considerably increased in the area and people want to buy homes and do business here. It is fair to say that the residents are much happier in cities like Toronto, where they can expect a high level of security, resilience, and safety regardless of global pandemics.


What Makes Toronto One of the Safest Cities?


Toronto is Canada's largest city, with well-developed infrastructure and an advanced health care system for its residents. An inclusive culture also allows for targeted communication which was particularly appreciated as vaccines were rolled-out to residents. Health authorities were able to easily raise public knowledge of vaccination, making the adoption process much easier. As a result, people enjoy a high degree of healthiness, earning Toronto a close second place in the overall safety score.

Toronto City made great use of its digital security and security infrastructure capabilities to assure the safety of its inhabitants during the early phases of the epidemic by swiftly establishing contact tracing tools and raising public awareness of outbreaks. Even though numerous variants of COVID19 have evolved, the city still boasts one of the greatest levels of immunization in the world, with over 80% of the population fully vaccinated. Only strong administration, public cooperation, and electronic contact tracking throughout the region have made this happen.


As part of the safe cities index, local residents were also questioned about security plans and it’s clear that effective procedures and communication secured residents' safety and protection. The Homebound Sprint Vaccine Plan, for example, was created to ensure that people who weren’t able to physically leave their homes received their first vaccinations without delay.


While the virus kept us locked down for longer than was expected, the right vaccination approach combined with the collaboration of the general public increased the efficacy of vaccination efforts. The government also recruited the Black Scientists' Task Force On Vaccine Equity, a group that was put together to address the highest rate of COVID!19 in the city (26%) and the highest rate of vaccine hesitancy (around 30%), both of which were found to be in people of African and Caribbean descent.


The city's long history of multiculturalism also makes residents feel comfortable and welcome in Toronto. Being born outside of Canada is common, in fact 41% of Canadians are either first or second generation immigrants and by 2031, Statistics Canada expects half everyone over the age of 15 to be either foreign-born or have one foreign-born parent. Most immigrants in Toronto will confirm that diverse ethnic and cultural groups are often found interacting and coexisting with each other here rather than living in isolation. Because of the understanding towards everyone's diversity, there is very little conflict or confrontation between Toronto residents.


What Makes Toronto The Safe Commercial Real Estate Investment?


Toronto is a world-class metropolis in the making, competing with New York, Hong Kong and London. The Toronto real estate market is set to continue its upward trend, particularly in the industrial and multifamily classes. So, if you've been debating whether or not it's worthwhile to invest in Toronto real estate, the answer is yes.


Dealing in Toronto real estate is lucrative, and the market for rentals is stable due to the city's population boom; this will only continue upwards as the borders have now reopened and the city not only has to meet big targets for accepting skilled immigrants but needs those immigrants to fulfill labor and skills shortages in areas that were highlighted as inadequate during the pandemic. Covid may have caused a transitory dip in the rental market but we're again back on track and can expect stable but growing interest in rental inventory from newcomers particularly.


The boom in industrial property is not disappearing anytime soon either as ecommerce businesses can’t secure enough space, retail moves towards omni-channel offerings and the incessant need for data centers continues. It’s also become clear that office as an asset class is likely to stabilize this year as many companies return to hybrid work and are not reducing space but simply repurposing it to better fit their needs.


A Safe Bet for Individuals and Business


As an individual, Toronto should be your first pick if you're looking for a city that is diverse and inclusive and also has the right combination of business, culture, history, and entertainment.


Toronto has something for everyone, no matter who you are or where you come from. Young professionals and tourist enthusiasts from all over the world flock to Canada's largest metropolis for a variety of compelling reasons, including multiculturalism, advanced infrastructure and the draw of the vast open spaces that so many of us have highly valued of late. One of the reasons Toronto scored so highly in regards to the environmental pillar of the safe cities index was that we were all forced to stay home during the pandemic and access to green spaces to exercise and get fresh air became imperative for both physical and mental health as did the environment immediately surrounding our homes - excellent urban forest cover, water and air quality and commitment to green economic initiatives all contributed to Toronto’s ranking here.


Just as individuals and families want to base themselves in Toronto, it’s just as appealing to growing businesses, startups and entrepreneurs of every kind. Thus, post-pandemic may be the appropriate time for real estate investment, especially in the commercial niche. Business leaders recognize Toronto's status as an increasingly safe city and a city that represents a growing centre for tech excellence and a sustainable proposition for investment which they want to be part of..


However, remember that property investment in Toronto isn't a one-size-fits-all approach and social and economic conditions continue to be uncertain. Having an expert realtor who knows the investing process on your side can help you make informed decisions. They'll be able to advise you on how to increase your return and equity over and above market predictions.


The Bottom Line


For everyone, living in the big city of Toronto post-pandemic will be a completely new experience but it’s sure to be a peaceful, innovative and more safe and sustainable experience than ever. It is one of the finest global destinations with world-class amenities that will only improve to accommodate a growing population.


No city is perfect but if Toronto concentrates on improving digital safety as it transitions towards a smart city, follows through on ambitious sustainability policy and also addresses the resilience of the health system to future crises, then we believe it will be a force to be reckoned with globally.


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