Canada is the world’s eleventh-largest economy, with a nominal GDP of approximately US$1.82 trillion. It is a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the G8, and is one of the world’s top ten trading nations, with a highly globalized economy. Canada is a mixed economy, ranking above the US and most western European nations on the Heritage Foundation’s index of economic freedom, and experiencing a relatively low level of income disparity. Canada’s imported goods are worth over $442.9 billion, of which $280.8 billion originated from the United States, $11.7 billion from Japan, and $11.3 billion from the United Kingdom.
Montreal has the second-largest economy among Canadian cities based on GDP and the largest in Quebec. The city is today an important centre of commerce, finance, industry, technology, culture, world affairs and is the headquarters of the Montreal Exchange. Montreal industries include aerospace, electronic goods, pharmaceuticals, printed goods, software engineering, telecommunications, textile and apparel manufacturing, tobacco, petrochemicals, and transportation. The service sector is also h2 and includes civil, mechanical and process engineering, finance, higher education, and research and development. Montreal ranks as the 4th largest centre in North America in terms of aerospace jobs. The Port of Montreal is the largest inland port in the world handling 26 million tones of cargo annually. As one of the most important ports in Canada, it remains a trans-shipment point for grain, sugar, petroleum products, machinery, and consumer goods. For this reason, Montreal is the railway hub of Canada and has always been an extremely important rail city; it is home to the headquarters of the Canadian National Railway, and was home to the headquarters of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Toronto is an international centre for business and finance. Generally considered the financial capital of Canada, Toronto has a high concentration of banks and brokerage firms on Bay Street, in the Financial District. The Toronto Stock Exchange is the world’s seventh-largest stock exchange by market capitalization. The five largest financial institutions of Canada, collectively known as the Big Five, have national offices in Toronto. The city is an important centre for the media, publishing, telecommunication, information technology and film production industries; it is home to Bell Media, Rogers Communications, and Torstar. Other prominent Canadian corporations in the Greater Toronto Area include Magna International, Celestica, Manulife Financial, Sun Life Financial, the Hudson’s Bay Company, and major hotel companies and operators, such as Four Seasons Hotels and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. Although much of the region’s manufacturing activities take place outside the city limits, Toronto continues to be a wholesale and distribution point for the industrial sector. The city’s strategic position along the Quebec City – Windsor Corridor and its road and rail connections help support the nearby production of motor vehicles, iron, steel, food, machinery, chemicals and paper. The completion of the Saint Lawrence Seaway gave ships access to the Great Lakes from the Atlantic Ocean.
With its location on the Pacific Rim and at the western terminus of Canada’s transcontinental highway and rail routes, Vancouver is one of the nation’s largest industrial centres. The Port of Vancouver, Canada’s largest and most diversified, does more than C$75 billion in trade with over 130 different economies annually. Port activities generate $10.5 billion in gross domestic product and $22 billion in economic output. Vancouver is also the headquarters of forest product and mining companies. In recent years, Vancouver has become an increasingly important centre for software development, biotechnology, aerospace, video game development, animation studios and a vibrant television production and film industry. Vancouver’s scenic location makes it a major tourist destination. Many visit to see the city’s gardens, Stanley Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, VanDusen Botanical Garden and the mountains, ocean, forest and parklands which surround the city. Each year over a million people pass through Vancouver on cruise ship vacations, often bound for Alaska.