District Profile

The Metropolitan Centre (MC) is our region’s dominant urban centre. The MC’s towers, people, and energy define us for ourselves and the world. The MC is the centre of finance, consulting, marketing, and government. It is anchored by a concentration of teaching hospitals and higher education and research institutions. It is also the Corridor’s central hub of culture and entertainment that drew more than 28 million annual visitors before the pandemic.

The MC sits at the core of the fastest-growing central city in North America. It is the nexus of Ontario and Canada’s economic and innovation ecosystems. Pre-pandemic, it was facing challenges that come with such strong growth: congestion and a stressed transit system, affordability, and rising inequality.

The pandemic has had a deep impact on the Metropolitan Centre. The majority of workers in the MC shifted to remote or hybrid work. Visitor and tourist traffic declined sharply, resulting in $8.35 billion in lost economic activity tied to visitor spending for the City of Toronto in 2020. The MC’s once-bustling streets have grown quiet, with in-person spending declining by more than 60%. Questions are being raised about the prospect of workers returning to the MC at a pre-pandemic scale.

The pandemic, as tragic as it has been, is also a once-in-a-century opportunity to build back better and reimagine our urban environment and redesign our transportation systems to make them work better for everyone. We must leverage digital and smart city technology to build confidence that our core is a safe place to live, work, and visit. A post-pandemic recovery also requires a bold strategy to help revitalize the visitor economy and re-establish the MC as a preeminent destination for leisure and business tourism. Finally, we must seize this opportunity to reskill, upskill, and ultimately empower our workers.

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Partners

Business District Reports developed in partnership with Moneris
Business District Reports supported by EBI Founding Partner GTAA

Stats at a Glance: Metropolitan Centre District

>550k Employment (2016)
67% Employees with Remote Work Capacity (% share)
27KM2Geographic Size

# of Businesses
(Dec. 2018, 1+ employees):

  • Small (1-19): 17,130
  • Medium (20-99): 3,580
  • Large (100+): 1,170

Top 3 Sectors by Employment (% share):

  • Finance and Insurance (21%)
  • Professional, scientific and technical services (18%)
  • Health care and social assistance (9%)

Pilot Zone in this District

Financial District Pilot Zone
In the Metropolitan Centre, the Financial District is the heart of downtown Toronto. This zone employed approximately 118,000 workers, 21% of the Metropolitan Centre's 550,000 pre-pandemic workers.
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News

March 2, 2021

64% of downtown Toronto employees say they’re comfortable returning to the office
According to the survey conducted by Nanos for the Toronto Region Board of Trade, 64 per cent said they are comfortable returning to work.

August 11, 2021

Business leaders push Ontario to follow Quebec — and ban unvaccinated people from restaurants, bars and gyms
Jan De Silva, president and CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade, said the board has been advocating for a “COVID safe pass” that would accommodate both proof of vaccination or a recent negative […]

Explore Other Districts

Learn more about the other types of business districts and what they need to be revitalized and strengthened.

Goods Production & Distribution

Services & Mixed Use

Regional Centres

Knowledge Creation

Leading Practices

Search this online database of the Metropolitan Centre Business District’s leading practices to identify COVID-19 safety measures appropriate for your business. These measures have been informed by public health expertise.

Explore the full list of practices

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