Ontario has a two-speed economy: Toronto and Ottawa are creating employment and opportunity, while the rest of the province is, on average, seeing stagnant employment growth. This is a difficult but not impossible problem to solve — and failing to solve it would have significant economic and political consequences.
There are real differences between Toronto/Ottawa and the rest of the province. One is that, due to their size, the two cities’ economies are more diversified than those elsewhere in the province. Our two regions — Toronto/Ottawa and the rest of Ontario — are roughly the same size when it comes to population and employment numbers. In October 2002, an estimated 3,045,700 people worked in Toronto and Ottawa, while 3,044,900 worked in the rest of the province. Data on employment by CMA goes back to 2001; since then, Toronto and Ottawa have seen a dramatic increase in net new jobs, but the rest of the province has experienced little growth.