International Alliance Program
The City of Toronto’s formal relationships represent all corners of the globe and are based on the partner and friendship city’s demographics, economic growth and similarities, GDP, and the potential for export development.
Program Goals & Objectives
- Build economic links, expand business contacts, relationships and communications by creating and executing programs.
- Increase Toronto’s profile on the world stage and help Toronto businesses increase the exposure of products and services.
- Attract business and investment creating high quality jobs and new sources of revenue for Toronto.
- Generate export development leads and build market intelligence.
- Promote Toronto as the Creative City of the future with robust cultural and creative industries.
- Invigorate and promote Toronto’s cultural tourist attractions.
- Facilitate interaction and collaboration amongst cultural institutions in Toronto and relationship cities.
- Enhance the potential for Toronto’s flagship arts organizations to act as cultural ambassadors in relationship cities.
Cross-cultural community development
- Capitalize on the ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and religious diversity of our city.
- Market Toronto as home to virtually all of the world’s culture groups and where more than 100 languages are spoken.
Partner City activities are driven by city staff and focus heavily on economic development goals such as building business links, increasing Toronto’s profile, cultural exchanges, and promoting trade.
Chicago, USA (Partnership established in 1991)
Chicago, America’s third largest city is the largest city in the Midwest United States. With a population of nearly 3 million people the city anchors the Chicago metropolitan area, commonly called Chicagoland, which has a population of over 9.5 million. Rich in history and renowned for its architecture, the city is classified as an alpha world city.
The Chicago region generated $496 billion according to 2011 estimates. The city has also been rated as having the most balanced economy in the United States due to its high level of diversification. The city is also a major financial centre with the second largest central business district in the U.S.
Chicago features prominent buildings noted for their originality rather than their antiquity and is very well known for its architecture. The city has long been connected with some of architecture’s most important names: Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, Mies van der Rohe, and Holabird & Root.
Chongqing, China (Partnership established in 1986)
Chongqing is the largest and most populous of the People’s Republic of China’s four provincial-level municipalities. Formerly a provincial city within Sichuan Province, the municipality of Chongqing has a registered population of 31.4 million.
Important industries in Chongqing include mining, iron, steel, aluminum, military, auto and motorcycle, chemical production, textiles, machinery, electronics, building materials, food processing, retail, and tourism.
Chongqing is also home to Asia’s largest aluminum plant, South West Aluminium, which rolls out 213,000 tonnes of finished products for companies engaged in building materials, printing, electrical appliances, aerospace, packaging, and vehicle production.
Chongqing and surrounding areas are full of tourism resources. The most famous is the Three Gorges, a scenic area along the Yangtze Rver. The 200 km long area is the most visited canyon in China. Also of note are the Dazu Rock Carvings, a series of religious sculptures and carvings, dating back as far as the 7th century A.D. Listed as a World Heritage Site, the Dazu Rock Carvings are made up of 75 protected sites containing some 50,000 statues.
Chongqing is the cradle of Ba Ethnic culture and enjoys a great cultural heritage. It is particularly rich in cultural relics and historical sites. There are now 49 national, provincial and municipal preservation places of treasured historical relics in Chongqing. The city also has 12 museums and memorial halls for displays and exhibitions.
Frankfurt, Germany (Partnership established in 1989)
Frankfurt; is the centre of the FrankfurtRhineMain region where 5.52 million people live. 365,000 companies and a workforce of 2.88 million people produce an annual GDP of $258.9 billion (CAD).
Frankfurt is the financial centre of Germany and one of the largest financial centres in Europe. The European Central Bank, the German Federal Bank, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and the Frankfurt Trade Fair are all located in the city.
Frankfurt International Airport is one of the world’s busiest airports, and Central Station is one of the largest terminal and rail stations in Europe and the Frankfurter Kreuz (Autobahn interchange) is the most heavily used interchange in Europe. Frankfurt is the only German city listed as one of 10 Alpha world cities.
It is the most international city in Germany, home to many cultural and educational institutions including the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, many museums and a large botanical garden, the Palmengarten. The Business School of Finance and Management is Frankfurt’s second major university which focuses on finance.
Milan, Italy (Partnership established in 2003)
Milan is the second largest city in Italy and one of the most highly developed urban centres in Europe.
The municipality (Comune di Milano) has a population of 1.3 million while the population of the urban area is 3.1 million. The Milan Metropolitan Area, by far the largest in Italy is estimated to have a population of 7.4 million.
Milan is renowned as one of the world capitals of design and fashion. The Lombard Metropolis is famous for its fashion houses and shops (such as via Montenapoleone) and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in the Piazza Duomo (known to be the world’s oldest shopping mall).
Milan is one of the major financial and business centres of the world. The city is the seat of the Italian Stock Exchange (the Borsa Italiana) “Piazza Affari” and its hinterland is an avant-garde industrial area. Milan is also well known for the production of silks and the Alfa Romeo motorcar company.
Milan is hosting Expo Milano 2015, a non-commercial universal exposition that takes place May 1 to October 31, 2015. Watch video that shows how Milan prepared for this event. For more information on events taking place during the Expo, including the inauguration of a new museum showcasing Michelangelo’s Pieta Rondanini, visit the Turismo Milano website.
Friendship City activities are driven by the community with endorsement from the City through a Council representative. Official activities include preparing official letters of greeting and flag-raising ceremonies on dates of significance to the Friendship City.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (Friendship established in 2006)
Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city in Vietnam is situated on the banks of the Saigon River, 60 km from the South China Sea and 1,760 km south of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.
The metropolitan area, which consists of Ho Chi Minh City, Thu Dau Mot and surrounding towns, has more than 9 million people, making it the largest metropolitan area in Vietnam and Indochina.
Ho Chi Minh City is the most important economic centre in Vietnam. In 2007, the city’s Gross Domestic Product was estimated at $14.3 billion, or about $2,180 per capita and accounting for 20 per cent of Vietnam’s GDP.
The economy of Ho Chi Minh City covers different fields, from mining, seafood processing, agriculture, construction to tourism, finance, industry, trading. Approximately 300,000 businesses, including many large enterprises, are involved in high-tech, electronics, light industries, construction, building materials and agro-products.
Kyiv, Ukraine (Friendship established in 1992)
Kyiv is Ukraine’s capital and largest city with a population of nearly 3 million.
It is a major industrial centre that includes companies specializing in electronics, engineering, aviation, textiles, food processing, building materials, gas, oil and chemical production.
The cultural life of the Ukrainian capital is extremely rich and diverse and represents a wide range of experimental and traditional styles. The art collections, world-famous historical landmarks and architecture of this city are recognized as world treasures. There are over 100 museums, 33 theatres and theatre-studios, 53 cultural buildings and 140 libraries.
The city also has an extensive infrastructure and highly developed system of public transport, including the Kyiv Metro.
Quito, Ecuador (Friendship established in 2006)
Quito officially San Francisco de Quito, is the capital city of Ecuador. Quito’s population, at 2.1 million makes it the second most populous city in Ecuador, after Guayaquil.
It is also the seat of the Quito Metropolitan District and the capital of the Pichincha province. As the headquarters of the newly formed Union of South American Nations, Quito is also the capital of South American integration.
The city’s elevation is, on average, 2,850 m (about 9,350 ft), making Quito the second highest capital city in the world.
Quito has also become a centre for international business. As a major industrial centre, Quito produces textiles, leather goods, pharmaceuticals, light consumer goods, and objects made of wood, gold, and silver. Ecuador’s two main petroleum pipelines run through the city.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Friendship established in 2015)
Rio de Janeiro is the second-largest city in Brazil and the sixth-largest city in the Americas, with a population of 6.4 million (2015). Its GDP is the second largest of any city in Brazil. The services sector comprises the largest portion of GDP (more than 65% according to a 2008 study by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics), followed by commerce and industrial activities.
Rio de Janeiro is headquarters to several Brazilian oil, mining, and telecommunications companies, including two of the country’s major corporations – Petrobras and Vale – and Latin America’s largest telemedia conglomerate, Grupo Globo. Rio de Janeiro is also home to many universities and institutes, and is the second-largest centre of research and development in Brazil.
Sagamihara, Japan (Friendship established in 1991)
Sagamihara is located in the Kanagawa territory in north central Japan, bordering Tokyo. It is the third most populous city in the territory, after Yokohama and Kawasaki, and the fifth most populous suburb in Greater Tokyo. The city has a population of 705,141, and a total area of 328.84 km². It occupies the second largest area in the territory, after Yokohama.
The City of Sagamihara is one of the largest renowned industrialized cities in Japan, with a concentration of metallurgical, food processing and electrical appliances. Sagamihara’s surrounding agricultural region produces rice, wheat, tobacco and livestock.
Warsaw, Poland (Friendship established in 1990)
Warsaw is the largest city and capital of Poland. The city has a population of 1.7 million and the metropolitan area has a population of approximately 2.6 million. Warsaw is the eighth largest city in the European Union.
Warsaw, especially its city centre, is home not only to many national institutions and government agencies, but also to many international companies. Warsaw produces more than 15% of Poland’s national income and it is the financial centre of the eastern part of Europe. It has become the focal point of foreign investment and a driving force in the development of the entire country’s economy.
Warsaw has a booming economy and offers an attractive business environment with a full range of modern business services and well-trained professionals familiar with western standards.