Creative Toronto: Harnessing the Economic Development Power of Arts and Culture
Over the 2000s, Toronto initiated and instituted a process of cultivating itself as a creative city. Entrepreneurial city visionaries found that in order to enter the global market, their planning had to be strategic. This paper explores how Toronto's policy entrepreneurs used planning, partnerships, and an expanded definition of economic development to create a “Cultural Camelot.” In addition to competing on the financial and revenue-generating fronts, a coalition of cross-sector leaders took on the challenge of fostering a livable city with a deep social ethos imbued within a variety of dimensions of urban life. This new focus gave Toronto the chance establish itself as a center for innovation, which strengthened urban cultural capital and helped promote the strategic agenda of becoming a competitor in the creative economy sector. Investment in research and creative city strategic planning, coupled with the allocation of financial and human capital resources across a variety of industries, served to encourage creativity, promote culture and competitiveness, and drive economic development.