Canada's Condominium Magazine

Toronto among world’s wealthiest cities

So Toronto has made it onto another one of those top twenty this or that lists, this one ranking the top twenty cities in the world by the number of millionaires who live there. Toronto ranks fifteenth out of twenty, which puts it ahead of Venice, Brussels, Houston, San Francisco and Paris. (Surprisingly, Dublin has more millionaires than Toronto.) Toronto is the only Canadian city on the list. The list was compiled by Spear’s magazine with Wealthinsight consultants.

Most of the cities on the list are in the same general range: Paris at number twenty has 2.04 per cent millionaires, while New York, at number four, has a little more than twice that number, with 4.63 per cent. Toronto has 2.29 per cent. But the top three cities, Monaco, Zurich and Geneva are truly in a totally different league.

As you stroll the streets of tiny Monaco, the world’s second smallest and most densely populated independent state (pictured above), almost three out of every ten people you bump into (native Monacans, that is) are millionaires. Monaco is famous. of course, for having no income tax, very low business taxes, and for being a tax haven. With its gorgeous location on the French Riviera, its casinos and aura of glamour, little wonder that millionaires flock to the little principality.

Zurich, famous financial centre and global city of 1.83 million, is similarly chock-a-block with millionaires: 27.34 per cent of the population (1.83 million) are rich. Its smaller neighbour, Geneva, has 17.92 per cent millionaires. Geneva is also an international centre of finance, as well as being the headquarters for more UN and other international agencies than any other city in the world. According to Spear’s magazine, one of the things that attracts millionaires to a city is the availability of wealth managers and private banks.

Blythwood-Huntington-Tridel-luxury-millionaire-Toronto-Condo.ca
The bar at Blythwood at Huntington from Tridel (rendering). Luxury Toronto condominiums are available in the $1–$2 million-plus range.

These cities at the top are also among the world’s most expensive to live in, with populations who seldom get their hands dirty. Geneva had just five people employed in the primary economic sector (agriculture, fishing, mining, forestry) in 2008. Five people. Compare that to the 134,429 people working in the tertiary sector, i.e. the service industries, and you get a sense of the kind of place it must be.

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