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YEAR IN REVIEW: Scoring high in everything from banking to sustainability

Whatever it felt like on the ground for Torontonians, our city's star continued to shine brightly internationally in 2011. Surveying the international media, Toronto received rave reviews.
That was especially the case in rankings of global cities. We were never far from the top. Name the rating system—happiness, innovationreputationeconomic powereconomic securitymuseumsentrepreneurshipsustainability, as a travel destinationliveability or well-being, Toronto usually scored high. In some areas, Toronto came out of nowhere. As the Grasshopper Group wrote in February: "Although not historically known as a nexus of entrepreneurship, Toronto has come onto the scene as a fast-moving startup city."
But spreadsheets weren't the only thing telling us we're doing just fine. Visiting reporters also found Toronto to have charms and attractions that can't necessarily be measured by cold, hard numbers. Our diversity and snow-free streets attracted attention, as did our vintage shops and movie locations, our life-sciences sector, the reinvented Roncesvalles village, TIFF, our 3D and game industries, our music scene, Luminato, the Distillery District (multiple times—a real travel-writer fave), our "creative force"  and, of course, the CN Tower's newest thrill, the Edgewalk.

But if we had to pick the top two things that people were talking about when they talked about Toronto on 2011, it would have to be our banks and our love of towers. Not only did we avoid a real estate and banking crisis, we decided to keep moving onward and upward—especially upward—making us the North American city with the most tower construction currently in progress.
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