I’ve went to Toronto for only 5 days, but I pretty much have a good idea of what I like and do not like. So here it is.
Nice urban planning. Toronto is Philadelphia if it weren’t built in the 1700′s. Wide open roads, good zoning, and a great public transport, it’s a wonderful example of a well-planned city. I’ll even overlook the aggressive drivers and garbage strewn all over the city (see below).
Low food prices. I was wondering why menu items in Canada are lower than their American counterparts. Plus, produce and seafood in Canada are significantly cheaper. It could be America’s extremely generous farm subsidies, but that warrants further study. Even with a 15% consumption tax, it’s cheaper (and in the case of Chinese food, way better) in Canada. Everything else, on the other hand…
Massive government encroachment. Just discussing what one can and cannot do with their yard is nauseating enough. No pesticides and alternate watering days and among the regulations people of Ontario have to deal with.
Massive public sector. Speaking of nausea, Toronto is in the midst of a public workers strike. Unfortunately, that meant many services shut down during my visit, most notably garbage collection. It’s nice to see a city shutdown when one public worker’s union feels like it.
Healthcare. Good for you, Canada. That’s a lovely healthcare system you have. But as long as you only have 30 million people and depending on America for advances in medicine, don’t try exporting your system south. In Ontario I saw the Canadian HQ’s for dozens of Fortune 500 companies, but one sector absent is Pharmaceuticals. The only pharma building I saw was a Novopharm factory in Markham, which only manufacture generics. For new innovations in pharma, New Jersey is king.
Taxes. Canada, on average, has a lower corporate tax rate than the US. Unfortunately, it also has a combined PST and GST of 15% in Ontario. Neither of which benefit a tourist like me but the US should be more competitive in keeping its business advantage.
In conclusion, I had a nice vacation visiting family and eating very well. Sorry I got all political on your asses.