Music is a vital part of Toronto’s identity. Our city is the largest centre of music in Canada and one of the most varied and vibrant music cities in the world.

Toronto’s music scene draws in people across the city, attracts visitors and artists, and engages with film, television, fashion, food, and interactive media. Music is a significant industry and a major cultural asset within the city of Toronto.

  • The Canadian music industry is clustered primarily around Toronto and the Toronto region, making it one of the most concentrated music sectors in North America.
  • An economic impact study commissioned by Music Canada determined that the Canadian recording industry (including both foreign-owned and independent, Canadian-owned companies) had a total economic impact output of $400 million in 2010. About 80% of recording industry expenditure in Canada is in the Toronto region.
  • The live music sector generates an estimated $455 million in revenues and contributes $252 million to the Canadian economy. Overall, the Canadian live music market has grown at an annual average rate of 6.4 per cent since 2010. Ontario’s live music sector generates 80 per cent of total national revenues, up from 65 per cent in 2005.
  • The Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) reports that the independent, Canadian-owned music industry sector generated approximately $292 million in revenues in 2011 and contributed more than $300 million in GDP to the Canadian economy. The report found that more than 13,400 people are employed by the independent music industry in Canada.
  • According to The Great Musical North (2009), a report done by the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, the Toronto music industry has a larger share of the region’s employment than New York City and Austin, Texas.

Toronto’s strength in the music industry comes from having high quality talent in all areas that make up the sector, including:

  • venues
  • festivals
  • studios
  • recording and distribution
  • artist associations
  • business management (e.g. legal, financial) unions and guilds
  • talent development firms
  • publishers
  • marketing and promotion firms
  • communications media (e.g. broadcasting, telecom, internet)
  • software developers
  • educational and training institutions
  • suppliers
  • financiers and funders.

Toronto is home to major record labels and festival promoters, many smaller independent record labels, numerous recording studios and live music venues, and a Toronto Music Sector, thriving music community with a balance of commercial and non-profit music initiatives; and most importantly a wealth of tremendously talented performers. The diversity of age, cultural background, life experience and music genre within this talent is also a critical driving force in Toronto’s success in the music industry.

As the fourth largest city in North American, Toronto (population ~2.8 million) within a region of about 6 million (GTA) to 9 million (GGH), this diversity benefits Toronto by ensuring that there is a sizeable local market for every type of music and providing a unique platform for creativity and innovation through the fusion of different genres, styles and instruments.