On March 14, 2016, Toronto’s new mayor, John Tory, was elected with the support of an overwhelming majority of the city’s residents.
The next day, he declared that Toronto was no longer an urban “city” and promised to rebuild the city with a more livable city.
In May, he delivered his second city-wide speech in a year, declaring that the Toronto region is “a thriving, dynamic city that will make Toronto proud”.
With a city of more than 13 million people and an economy worth over $5.2 billion, Toronto is one of the world’s most dynamic cities.
The challenge for the city is to build on that momentum and to sustain it.
But for Toronto to move forward as a city that can attract and retain a vibrant, thriving and successful population, it needs to develop a coherent, integrated vision for the future.
In the meantime, Toronto needs to be prepared for the inevitable.
We need to be aware of what it means for our future as a world city, and we need to consider how our current policies and strategies might affect our city’s future.
While we are not bound by any overarching plan or vision, it is important that we take a holistic approach to our future, with the focus on how to build a city which can attract, retain and grow its residents while also providing quality public services.
We are still in a time of rapid changes in our city.
The rapid growth of technology and urbanisation have created new and exciting opportunities for cities across the world.
These are exciting times for the people of Toronto.
But it is not enough to simply celebrate them.
To truly move forward, we must also build a new city, one that works for everyone, not just those who have a lot of money.
Toronto has to be a city for all citizens, not a city where the wealthy can afford to live in our cities.
We have to be an inclusive city.
To that end, we should be prepared to invest in our schools, transit and infrastructure, to improve our quality of life and to create new opportunities for people of all income levels and skill levels.
But this is just the start.
Toronto’s future must be determined not only by the actions we take in the short-term, but also by the long-term transformation of our city and its residents.
We cannot be complacent about the challenges ahead, nor can we be complacently optimistic about our prospects.
To make sure we can continue to meet these challenges in the long run, Toronto must make the most of its current opportunities, including the growth of new technologies and the introduction of more innovative and connected communities.
We must also invest in the needs of our residents and the city itself, as well as the long term future of the people who live and work in Toronto.
As Toronto grows, we need a strong, ambitious, inclusive and transparent city-building strategy that reflects the values that unite the people and the place of Toronto in the world: openness, inclusion, transparency and fairness.
Follow all of the coverage of this story at The Globe and Mail.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.