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Business & Professional Services Sector

Toronto's business and professional services cluster is among the largest in North America, and is growing in step with the city's highly diversified economy. Law and accounting firms, advertising and marketing agencies, customer care centres, management, technical, and design consultancies, and human resources services work together to create a vital business infrastructure that attracts corporate headquarters and global professional firms. Thanks to a highly educated workforce, great international connections and low operating costs, Toronto businesses have a powerful support network that is essential to success.

Business and professional services in Toronto - Facts

  • Toronto is home to 9 of Canada's 10 largest law practices, 9 of the top 10 accounting firms, 7 of the 10 largest advertising and communications agencies, and all 10 of the top human resources
  • Toronto designers are recognized leaders in architecture, interior design, product, and graphic communication design.
  • Toronto ranks first in overall call centre investment among North American cities, with 30% annual growth. Approximately 2,900 call centres in Toronto employ over 11,000 service staff.
  • With an annual growth rate of 6%, Toronto's business and professional services sector is among the largest in North America - and is growing faster than New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston and Washington.
  • In total, 316,480 people provide a broad spectrum of business and professional services in the City of Toronto.

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Employment and Concentration by Industry in Business & Professional Services

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  • A 2010 paper from the Martin Prosperity Institute, Knowledge in Cities, found that Toronto as a region has above average knowledge of clerical, customer and personal service, economics and accounting, sales and marketing and telecommunications.1
  • The sector's employment is comprised of an array of skills as people perform a number of different functions within business and professional service firms. Research by Richard Florida, Professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, has shown that what people do is a good proxy for their acquired skills. The figure below shows the occupational composition of the business and professional services sector.
Business & Professional Services by Occupation

1Todd Gab, J. A. (2010). Knowledge in Cities. Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Staff Reports.
Toronto's 20 Largest Law Firms
Canada's Top 6 Accounting Firms

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  • Easy access to US international networks - Toronto's many telecommunications carriers are well linked with major US carriers as well as overseas long-distance services.
  • As of 2010, the Toronto region features a state-of-the-art wireless network infrastructure, consisting of EVDO and HSPA+ technologies, which cover nearly 100% of the population.

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Employment in the Business Services sector by occupation.
Employment in the Business Services sector by sub-sector.
List of the 20 largest law firms in the Toronto region.
List of the top 6 accounting firms in the Toronto region
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