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Youthful Cities 2023 Urban Work Index ranks Toronto as top city for youth to work in Canada

Bi-ennial Index evaluates 30 cities based on key indicators including climate action, equity, diversity, and inclusion, good youth jobs, digital access and affordability

TORONTO, May 30, 2023 /CNW/ - Today, RBC and Youthful Cities announced the results of the 2023 Urban Work Index, providing insight into what makes a city appealing for young people to work in. Toronto, Ontario was ranked the top city for young people to work in, followed by Montreal, Quebec and Vancouver, British Columbia, in second and third place respectively.


The Index, presented by RBC Future Launch, ranks 30 Canadian cities on a range of topics, including Climate Action, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Good Youth Jobs, Education and Training, Digital Access, City Economy, Entrepreneurial Spirit, Affordability, Transportation and Health. The results provide key information to young people across Canada about the most inclusive and accessible places to work in Canada, sparking a national dialogue on the future of urban work and youth's critical role in it.

"RBC Future Launch focuses on preparing young Canadians for the jobs of tomorrow, and where they live is one of the biggest decisions at the beginning of their careers," said Mark Beckles, vice president, Social Impact & Innovation, RBC. "Our partnership with Youthful Cities allows us to bring together governments, public and private sector partners, city builders and young people to explore the topic of urban work – what's working well and what needs to improve."

While it was ranked last in affordability and showed the biggest loss of youth population, Toronto, Ontario was still ranked the top city for young people to work in. It ranked in the top five for seven of 10 topics and ranked number one in:

  • Education and Training – Toronto has a dedicated set of scholarships available for BIPOC students, diverse availability of post-secondary exchange programs, a good network of libraries, and a competitive gender enrolment balance in its largest post-secondary institution.

  • Digital Access – Toronto is tied for the lowest cost high-speed broadband internet and access, most free Wi-Fi locations per geographic area, and multiple internet and mobile service providers.

  • Entrepreneurial Spirit – Toronto is home to the most start-ups, investors (pre-seed and seed stage), and coworking spaces per capita. It is also the third best city for start-up accelerators.

Montreal, Quebec, was ranked second, with strong scores in Transportation, Education and Training, and Entrepreneurial Spirit. Its public transit system has the highest hourly availability per week, a transit app, strong safety features such as distress buttons and a night stop program, and high connectivity scores for its links to the airport. Montreal also had the best bike and walk scores.

While Vancouver, British Columbia, ranked third overall, it came in number one for climate action with its strong composting bylaws, including curbside pickup and multi-unit programs, a well-rounded recycling program, and the most nature trails for residents. Vancouver also finished third best in Entrepreneurial Spirit.

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, is currently in fourth overall, making it into the top 10 for the first time. Per capita, it has the most urban health resources such as family doctors, hospitals and community health clinics, the third most food banks, and is in the top five for number of mental health professionals.

Top Ten Cities

1. Toronto, ON.

2. Montreal, Que.

3. Vancouver, B.C.

4. Charlottetown, P.E.I.

5. Kitchener-Waterloo, ON.

6. Ottawa-Gatineau, ON.

7. Mississauga, ON.

8. Quebec City, Que.

9. Laval, Que.

10. Halifax, N.S.

Other notable rankings include:

  • Brampton, Ontario, which took the number one spot for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, with the highest population of immigrants per capita and a high population with a non-official first language. It also has strong municipal policies for anti-racism and anti-discrimination, as well as accessible public spaces.

  • Moncton, New Brunswick, ranked number one in Good Youth Jobs, with the second highest percentage of youth (15-29) employed. It has strong scores for access to post-secondary career services, including job boards for students, co-op programs and career services available to graduates.

  • Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, was ranked in the top three for City Economy, as it has the youngest population, one of the smallest gender gaps in labor force participation and the fifth lowest gender wage gap among the 30 cities.

"As post-pandemic recovery continues, the future of work for young adults remains precarious," said Raj Dhaliwal, index lead, Youthful Cities. "Work environments, emerging changes across sectors, wages and inflation will continue to impact young people's decisions around work, and in doing so, how they live and contribute to a city. We hope the 2023 Urban Work Index, Best Work City Quiz, and upcoming Urban Work Summit will jumpstart the dialogue on making cities better places for young people to work."

How the Index works:

  • Ten topics were identified in consultation with youth at the Urban Work Summit Edmonton 2019

  • Measurements were reviewed and developed based on relevancy

  • Data sources were identified, and data was collected across 30 cities

  • Data and measurements were reviewed for accuracy and relevancy

  • Cities were scored and feature scaled on each measurement, receiving between 0 and 100 points

  • Scores were weighted based on a survey of how important each topic is to youth, producing the final ranking

The Youthful Cities 2023 Urban Work Index is available now.

About Youthful Cities

Since 2012, Youthful Cities has designed programs that build a unique base of urban knowledge while engaging youth (15-29 years) to design and develop innovative solutions to their cities' critical issues. Our urban Indexes ignite an important dialogue about the importance of youth to the future of cities.

About RBC

Royal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance. Our success comes from the 98,000+ employees who leverage their imaginations and insights to bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and communities prosper. As Canada's biggest bank and one of the largest in the world, based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to our 17 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 27 other countries. Learn more at

We are proud to support a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities. See how at



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