Feb 21, 2018
In the Global Spotlight: Leo Salom on becoming Chair of the Toronto Region Board of Trade
In 2018, Leo Salom, Group Head Wealth and TD Insurance, TD Bank Group, was appointed Chair of the Toronto Region Board of Trade. Below are some of the thoughts he shared at the Board's 130th Annual Dinner on what working and living in Toronto means to him, as well as the Board's role in preparing the Toronto region for the global spotlight.
As someone who has worked overseas for most of your 30-year career, you have broad insights into living and working all around the globe. How is Toronto unique compared to other world-class cities?
I moved to Toronto nearly 7 years ago to work with TD Bank Group. For my family and I, it's become so much more than just another interesting posting --- it has become our home… a home that, in many ways, is an example for cities across North America and indeed the world.
At a time when political and social rhetoric has become more divisive and destructive, in 2017, the Toronto Region welcomed over 100,000 new Canadians from around the world, including countless families from Syria.
Fittingly, out of a global list of 60 prominent cities, last year the Economist named Toronto the 4th most livable city, and the 4th safest city on the planet.
But, international recognition aside, it is my opinion that Toronto’s heart is what makes it a truly special place:
On average, Torontonians donate over $1 billion* every year to a wide variety of charities. Just one example of our generosity was the region’s donation of $105MM to the 2017 United Way Annual Fund Raising Campaign – a record achievement amongst all United Way regional campaigns world-wide.
Those attributes certainly make Toronto a great place to live and conduct business; however, they alone cannot sustain growth. What are some of the challenges facing the Toronto region?
Despite Torontonians' generosity, we are not immune to the growing pains of a big city: greater income inequality, increased pressure on our infrastructure and the rise of a new “gig” economy are just some of the challenges we’ll need to overcome as we continue to press ahead on Our Core Priorities --- Trade, Transportation, Talent and Technology -- cornerstones of any vibrant metropolitan region.
The Toronto Region Board of Trade will continue to promote innovative initiatives designed to drive sustainable economic growth and prosperity, based on the insights and recommendations of our world-class policy staff and committee members. In 2018, their role will become even more prominent as we work to expand and amplify our voice over the coming year.
*Source: The Giving Report 2017, p.35, CanadaHelps.org