Toronto tops 2023 Urban Work Index for young professionals

Bi-ennial Index evaluates 30 cities based on key indicators including climate action, equity, diversity, and inclusion, good youth jobs, digital access and affordability.

Photo by Conor Samuel on Unsplash.

Toronto has topped the 2023 Urban Work Index, according to results released today by RBC and Youthful Cities. The Index ranks 30 Canadian cities on a variety of factors appealing to young workers. Montreal, Quebec, and Vancouver, British Columbia, took the second and third spots respectively.

Presented by RBC Future Launch, the Index ranks cities on topics like Climate Action, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and Education and Training. The aim is to spark a national conversation about urban work’s future and youth’s critical role in it.

Mark Beckles, VP, Social Impact & Innovation at RBC, highlighted the importance of location in young Canadians’ career choices. “Our partnership with Youthful Cities helps us discuss urban work and potential improvements with governments, city builders, and the young people themselves,” Beckles said.

Despite its last-place ranking in affordability and youth population loss, Toronto led the Index. It scored highly in Education and Training, Digital Access, and Entrepreneurial Spirit, boasting a significant set of scholarships for BIPOC students, lowest-cost high-speed internet, and the most start-ups per capita.

Montreal stood second with strong scores in Transportation, Education and Training, and Entrepreneurial Spirit. Its public transit system is noted for its high hourly availability, safety features, and connectivity.

Vancouver took the third spot overall and led in Climate Action due to its stringent composting bylaws and extensive nature trails. Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, made its debut in the top ten, ranking fourth with strong urban health resources and mental health services.

The top ten list also included Kitchener-Waterloo, Ottawa-Gatineau, Mississauga, Quebec City, Laval, and Halifax. Notably, Brampton, Ontario, topped in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, while Moncton, New Brunswick, led in Good Youth Jobs. Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, made the top three in City Economy.

The Youthful Cities 2023 Urban Work Index is available now and will hopefully stimulate a nationwide discussion on making cities better places for young people to work.