Toronto Drops Out of Top 10 in Latest “City Brands Index” Report

Canada’s largest city still ranked 2nd for
People and 5
th for Prerequisites

TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Despite maintaining its reputation for having some of the most welcoming
people in the world, Toronto dropped out of the top 10 list of desirable
cities in the latest 2015 Anholt-GfK City Brands Index (CBI). Toronto
placed 8th in the last CBI study, conducted in 2013.

The list also crowned Paris as the new top city, edging past London
(2013’s winner) to take the lead position. London took the second spot,
followed by New York, Sydney and Los Angeles.

Canada Performance Explained

Canada just missed out on a Top 10 placement this year, with its only
city included in the survey, Toronto, ranking 11th. While
Toronto maintained performance and made impressive gains in some
categories, other global cities – such as Amsterdam, Berlin and
Melbourne – made even greater strides, causing Canada’s financial
capital to drop off the Top 10 list.

Toronto did, however, rank 2nd for friendliness and cultural
diversity (the “People” category) and 5th for basic
necessities and public amenities (“Prerequisites”), a gain higher than
average. Toronto’s only downward move was for Pulse, a measurement of a
city’s interesting events and activities.

Anholt-GfK City Brands IndexSM
      2015       2013
Paris       1       3
London       2       1
New York City       3       4
Sydney       4       2
Los Angeles       5       7
Rome       6       5
Berlin       7       12
Amsterdam       8       11
Melbourne       9       10
Washington, D.C.       10       6

The biannual CBISM survey was conducted among citizens in 10
countries – both developed and developing – that play important and
diverse roles in the flow of business, cultural, and tourism activities.
In all, 5,166 online interviews were conducted with adults age 18 or

Simon Anholt, an independent government advisor and the creator of the
Index, said: “Our survey was conducted before the November attacks in
Paris – but, if past experience is anything to go by, such attacks do
not change people’s perceptions of the city in any significant or
long-lasting way. There may be a temporary change in people’s behaviour
towards Paris – but the attacks do not affect the reasons why people
might admire the city’s beauty, cultural life, opportunities, etc. and
this is what CBI measures.”

The CBI study includes six key dimensions:

  • Presence: International status and standing
  • Place: Outdoors and transport
  • Prerequisites: Basic necessities, public amenities
  • People: Friendliness, cultural diversity
  • Pulse: Interesting events and activities
  • Potential: Economic and educational opportunities

“Paris, London and NYC, the top three cities globally, are still
struggling to bring their world-class reputations into the specific
dimensions of Prerequisites and People,” said Vadim Volos, GfK’s SVP of
Public Affairs and Consulting and leader of the CBI study at GfK. “When
it comes to affordability, these cities all rank at the bottom of the
list (47th, 46th and 48th
respectively), while New York is also marked down for its People
dimension. This enables cities that are ranked lower in the overall
Index to win spots among the top five for specific dimensions – giving
them a foothold in the international arena.”

For more information on the full CBISM 2015 ranking, please
contact Vadim Volos.

About the Anholt-GfK City Brands IndexSM 2015

The Anholt-GfK CBISM Index measures the image of 50 cities
with respect to Presence, Place, Pre-requisite, People, Pulse and
Potential. For the 2015 study, 5,166 interviews were conducted in total,
consisting of at least 500 interviews in each of Australia, Brazil,
China, France, Germany, India, Russia, South Korea, UK and USA. Adults
aged 18 or over are interviewed online in each country. Using the most
up-to-date online population parameters, the achieved sample in each
country has been weighted to reflect key demographic characteristics
including age, gender, and education of the online population in that
country. Fieldwork was conducted from September 10 – 23, 2015.

The 50 cities ranked in the survey are as follows:

  • Western Europe: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Basel, Berlin, Brussels,
    Dublin, Edinburgh, Geneva, London, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Rome,
    Stockholm, Munich*
  • Central/Eastern Europe: Istanbul, Moscow, Prague, Vienna, Warsaw
  • Asia Pacific: Auckland, Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Melbourne,
    Mumbai, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo
  • North America: Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York,
    Philadelphia, Seattle, Toronto, Washington D.C., Dallas Fort Worth*,
  • Latin America: Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro
  • Middle East/Africa: Cairo, Cape Town, Doha, Dubai, Durban,

About Simon Anholt

Professor Simon Anholt is recognized as the world’s leading authority on
national image and identity. Professor Anholt was Vice-Chair of the UK
Government’s Public Diplomacy Board for several years, and has worked as
an independent policy advisor to the Heads of State and Heads of
Government of more than 50 other countries. Anholt developed the concept
of the Nation Brands IndexSM and the City Brands IndexSM
in 2005. He is President of the Anholt Institute in Copenhagen and the
founder and Editor Emeritus of the quarterly journal, Place Branding and
Public Diplomacy, as well as author of Brand New Justice, Brand America,
Competitive Identity, and Places: Image, Identity, Reputation.

About GfK

GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information
that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000
market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing
data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global
insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100
countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns
big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their
competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.

For more information, please visit
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Emma Cauldwell
Stanton, +01 908 875 9844
VP, MarComm