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Living in Toronto – Security, Beauty, Recreation, Good Health and Education

Security. With the lowest crime rate in Canada of any city with a population of at least 500,000 people, Toronto ranks as the safest city in North America according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2015 Safe Cities Index, and the 2nd safest city in the world according to the Pricewaterhouse Coopers 2014 Cities of Opportunity ranking.

Beauty. Toronto is known as the city within a Park – enclosed by a natural greenbelt – enriched by a wonderful park system and magnificent open spaces. Torontonians enjoy 90km of maintained trails, which are perfect for enjoying the natural settings created by three rivers and countless streams and riverbeds. Toronto's beaches along Lake Ontario are noted worldwide. A favourite summer destination, the east-end neighbourhood known as the Beaches offers residents and visitors a long boardwalk, sandy beaches and beautiful parks and gardens. In addition, as part of the massive redevelopment of the Toronto Waterfront, the city recently reclaimed former industrial lands and is transforming them into new beaches and parkland for residents and visitors to enjoy. For bird watching enthusiasts, the city also provides excellent viewing of colonial water birds, waterfowl, and shorebirds.

Recreation. Toronto is rich with countless green spaces and modern recreational facilities. Its 1,500 parks are well maintained and central to neighbourhood life. With 54,000 recreational programs serving over one million participants, Toronto has something for all interests and ages, including hundreds of indoor and outdoor pools, playgrounds, tennis courts, and community centres. With over 200 sports fields, the city supports informal outdoor play with more than one field for every three kilometres of land – among the highest concentrations in the world. For more information on parks and recreation, visit www.toronto.ca/parks.

Good Health. Toronto has been a pioneer in personal wellness and supports a wide variety of sports and fitness programs and activities. Toronto has also maintained a high standing in providing the finest health care to its citizens, ranging from preventative programs to world-class hospitals and medical centres. The city and its environs enjoy some of the most sophisticated, abundant, and comprehensive health services in the world

Access to provincial health care is provided under the Ontario Health Insurance Program (OHIP), a publicly funded, single payer system which funds medically necessary hospital and physician services. In addition, there are no insurance deductibles or co-payment fees on basic health care.

Ontario also covers a wide range of other health services, including a variety of community and mental health services, a portion of the cost of long-term care facilities, and most of the cost of prescription drugs for seniors, people on social assistance, and for Ontario residents who face high drug costs.

Every Canadian doctor deals only with one insurer, the provincial government.

Ontario's publicly funded health care system is recognized as among the best in the world for quality service, facilities, administration, and innovation.

Education. A leader in academia at all levels of learning, Toronto is a progressive, education-focused city where high literacy, attendance and graduation rates prevail. Toronto's schools provide students with a variety of options to suit diverse skill sets, needs and interests.

Parents can choose from one of the city's well-established public school boards or from a variety of private institutions. Toronto's public educational institutions are open to students of all nationalities and religions.

Ontario is among the first jurisdictions in North America to offer full-day early childhood education.

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is the 4th largest in North America. Made up of 591 schools and 257,000 students, the TDSB serves a remarkably diverse community of students. Nearly one-quarter of its students were born outside of Canada in one of more than 175 countries (Toronto District School Board, 2014).

The TDSB prepares students for success with over 80% of graduates continuing on to post-secondary studies.

The Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) provides publicly funded Catholic education to more than 93,000 students. The TCDSB consists of 201 Catholic schools supported by over 10,000 support and academic staff (Toronto Catholic District School Board, 2014).

For those choosing to send their children to a private school, Toronto offers over 106 options, which are also regulated to the standards of the Ontario Ministry of Education.

Map of Toronto's 140 neighbourhoods
The percentage of immigrants in the Toronto region benchmarked against large US metropolitan areas.
The percentage of visible minorities in the Toronto region benchmarked against large US metropolitan areas.