OpinionInternational

What do athletic games, average home price and stable banking systems have in common?

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

Are you set up for success in 2016? Join 2,500 real estate industry leaders Aug. 4-7, 2015, at Inman Connect in San Francisco. Get Connected with the people and ideas that will inspire you and take your business to new heights. Register today and save $100 with code Readers.


Takeaways:

  • The 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games are bringing visitors from all over the continent — 7,000 athletes from 41 countries plus 23,000 volunteers.
  • The average price of a detached home in Central Toronto exceeded $1.1 million, and the price of a standard condominium exceeded $400,000.
  • The stability of the Canadian banking system, the vast reserves of natural resources, the stable government, the universal health care and integrated tolerant culture continues to attract many immigrants from all over the world.

The arrival of the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games was, at first, considered by some to be a cost sinkhole that did nothing but further complicate our traffic problems. The official opening of the games changed everything.

This spectacular event orchestrated by our home-grown Cirque du Soleil unveiled a world-class show as the 7,000 athletes from 41 different countries walked into the Pan Am Dome to a thunderous welcome.

The accompanying pyrotechnic display from the CN Tower lit up the city of Toronto and honestly revealed that Toronto had truly arrived on the international scene.

With over 23,000 volunteers participating and spreading the goodwill of the Greater Toronto area, many South Americans and U.S. citizens were starting to experience Canada for the first time.

9 tips to dominate video marketing
Video is the future, dive in now and avoid playing catch-up READ MORE

Most Torontonians are not only supporting and attending the games, but many are realizing that they have another reason to be proud of their great city. As you might know, Canadians are used to apologizing for everything, even if it is not their fault. So many Torontonians are now apologizing for feeling so good about their city.

Angelica Perez Juarez is a recent permanent Canadian, who arrived three years ago from Mexico City. Perez, a Pan Am volunteer, is now hosting Paraguay’s Pan Am delegation, working alongside their chef de mission, spreading her love of Toronto and providing support to their team.

Natursports / Shutterstock.com

Natursports / Shutterstock.com

When Mexico and Canada compete, especially in soccer, she faces a real dilemma of which team deserves her cheer. “Many Americans and  South Americans are not expecting or prepared for the beauty, the multiculturalism, the cleanliness and the warmth of Toronto,” Perez said.

Sharing the spotlight with the Pan Am Games in Toronto was news that for the first time the average price of a detached home in Central Toronto exceeded $1.1 million, and the price of a standard condominium exceeded $400,000.

Even as some pundits talk of a real estate bubble, the Bank of Canada recently dropped the bank rate even lower, which should only deliver more buyers to the housing market.

The influx of migrants from other provinces and the arrival of 250,000 immigrants annually is fueling demand for housing as well. The Pan Am games might well serve as the best form to show many Americans the attractions of Canada as a destination city.

The Pan Am Games, in essence, clearly signify Canada’s arrival on the world scene as a truly global destination. There are many who predict that in the next five to 10 years, Toronto will be one of the key global banking centers of the world.

The stability of the Canadian banking system, the vast reserves of natural resources, the stable government, the universal health care and integrated tolerant culture continues to attract many immigrants from all over the world.

In the short term, the big test for the Pan Am Games will be whether the Canadian athletes will be able to win more gold medals than our American brothers and sisters in the south.

Don Kottick is the executive vice president of corporate development for Peerage Realty Partners, the parent company for Chestnut Park Real Estate and Baker Real Estate based in Toronto.

Email Don Kottick.