Private real estate group Grosvenor has come out with a report called “Resilient Cities” ranking Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary as the top three most reliant cities out of 50 cities around the world. When investors read reports like this, they not only look at these cities as places to invest in real estate – they will also look at these cities to put business investments into.
The Grosvenor report explains that “vulnerability is a city’s exposure to shocks in terms of both magnitude and frequency. Shocks may be due to changes in the climate, environmental degradation, shortage of resources, failed infrastructure or community strife due to inequality…..So resilience increases when cities have more adaptive capacity and decreases when they are more vulnerable.”
So you ask “Why does a report by a private real estate firm matter?” Well, because investors are interested making money and not losing it due to vulnerability. It’s important for major cities to maintain high rankings on lists like this in order to attract investment. It is interesting to note the integrity and objectivity of this report because Grosvenor listed Toronto at the top of its list – yet they do not hold and property interests in Toronto (neither residential or office space). This will probably change soon based on their own findings.
When foreign investors need a Canadian head office or a branch office, many will look at office business centres for serviced offices to rent while they are testing the market or looking for a permanent home of their own. Serviced office space offer foreign companies all the amenities of having their own office, without immediate capital investments into furniture, office equipment (photocopiers, fax machines etc.) and telephone systems.
Some foreign investors want a presence in Canada, but may not want to have a physical office space here. This type of investor can choose to have a Virtual Office in Canada – meaning they have a prestigious business address, a local phone number (that can be forwarded to any phone number around the world) and on-demand support staff that perform various secretarial services for them locally.
It is not just foreign investors who will read the Grosvenor’s “Resilient Cities” report. Many domestic and local investors will read this type of article to re affirm their existing investments and to encourage them to make future investments in the cities that are resilient. A Vancouver investor who may look at Toronto and want to have an office space here without any staff, will most likely have a serviced office or a virtual office in an office business centre.