Health care is one of the fastest-growing economic sectors in the world. Toronto has one of the largest medical and biotech clusters of any metropolitan area in North America.
More than $1 billion is directed annually to research activities in the city’s aptly named Discovery District, a global centre of groundbreaking research in bioinformatics as well as new diagnostic and therapeutic tools for every imaginable disease. Discovery District researchers have a world-class reputation for breakthroughs ranging from breast cancer and cardiovascular disease to Alzheimer’s and cystic fibrosis.
The biomedical cluster’s growth has been dramatic in recent years, and all indications are that this rapid pace will continue into the future. In total, the biomedical industry in Toronto has over 700 companies providing jobs for more than 80,000 people.
The Discovery District continues to grow and to attract investment. More than $500 million has recently been invested in new infrastructure that will support basic research and the commercialization of new scientific discoveries in the Toronto area.
The MaRS Centre – 750,000 square feet of research labs, business incubator facilities and business services – has emerged as the new biomedical convergence centre and, in 2011, an additional 900,000 square feet of research and commercial space for advanced technology research and commercialization is expected to be added.
The main location of Toronto’s Discovery District is a unique 2.5 square kilometre research park that is fully integrated into Toronto’s downtown core. The Discovery District is probably the most concentrated mix of research, biomedical companies, and finance and business support services anywhere in the world.
The centrepiece is the University of Toronto, and its affiliated teaching and research hospitals. The University of Toronto is ranked in the top three North American institutions for medical publications and citations – a measure of medical science impact. Three additional nodes of the Discovery District, also in Toronto’s downtown core, exist where a concentration of medical research activity is found. Close by is Bay Street – Canada’s financial and business centre – with legal, accounting and venture capital investment experts. These advisors are well versed in the unique requirements of medical and biotechnology matters. One block away is the seat of the Ontario government.
Very close by is the new Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Bio-Molecular Research, a multi-storey, $110 million research centre and the new Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. These are part of a series of major capital investments that will house a new generation of biomedical researchers and continue to keep Toronto at the forefront of biomedical excellence for decades to come.
Toronto’s Discovery District is more than just world-class science and discovery. It is working hard to take that new knowledge and create new opportunities for business. Contact Toronto Economic Development for access to any one of the institutions profiled in this brochure and find out how you can benefit commercially from the innovative technologies that can be found in Toronto.
Toronto Economic Development is ready to help. The expert team of specialists can answer all of your questions about business and investment opportunities in our community. Toronto Economic
Development also offers an in-depth biomedical cluster profile and liaison with other government agencies and with industry.