Media Planner overview and Insights

Toronto is Canada’s largest city with over 6 million residents in the CMA, which represents 17% of the 35.9 million Canadians.  The population has risen by 8.4% from 2011. 47% of the people live within the city’s boundaries, and 1.4 million Torontonians work in the city.  Toronto has 8.2% of Canada’s workforce

Toronto is the financial and industrial centre of Canada and the country’s #1 tourist destination. The city was chosen to host the 17th annual Pan Am and ParaPan Games in 2015, which attracted more than 250,000 visitors to watch elite athletes from more than 40 countries compete.

Toronto is a mosaic of languages.  According to the 2011 Census, 45% of Toronto residents had a mother tongue other than English or French.  Just over half of the residents (51%) reported English as their mother tongue.  Chinese languages, Tamil, Spanish, Tagalog and Italian were the top non-English languages spoken at home.

Toronto is booming with academically renowned colleges and universities. To name only a few, The University of Toronto, one of Canada’s top schools, recognized for its research and teaching faculties, welcomes an astounding 84,000 students; York University, Canada’s third largest university with over 53 thousand students; and Ryerson University, a career-focused school of just under 40, 000 students.

Some of the most important festivals attract hundreds of thousands of tourists each year, including the Toronto International Film Festival, the Pride Festival, the Jazz Festival and the Caribana Festival, without forgetting the unforgettable Canada Day celebrations on July first of every year.

Toronto is where the nightlife is happening with tons of hip neighborhoods such as the Little Italy, which is without a doubt the place to be for good food, unique boutiques and groovy lounges. The Annex neighborhood is also a friendly favorite, especially amongst college and university students and is uber trendy and hipster-friendly while Yorkville is rather posh and classy. Leslieville and the Beaches neighborhoods, found along the eastern stretch of Queen Street, are now home to art galleries, gourmet coffee houses and fun restaurants, making it an up-and-coming area. 

The PATH is a 30km network of pedestrian tunnels in downtown Toronto that connect more than 50 office towers or buildings, parking garages, shopping centers, hotels and the railway terminals.

The Toronto Transit System (TTC) is the fourth largest transit system in North America which is used by 1.6 million Torontonians weekly. The TTC also operates an extensive network of buses and streetcars with a weekly ridership of 1.3 million people.  There are expansion plans for both the subway and light-rail lines.

Lester B. Pearson Airport is 23 km west of downtown and is Canada’s busiest airport. In 2015, the airport handled over 41 million passengers. There are over 65 airlines operating at Toronto Pearson, connecting the airport to over 180 international destinations worldwide.

Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is located on an island in Toronto Harbour, just offshore of the city’s downtown business and tourism districts.  The airport is connected to the mainland by ferry, carrying passengers across a 400 ft. gap, often noted as the world’s shortest scheduled ferry run.  Approximately 2.4 million passengers annually use the city airport. A pedestrian tunnel was built and officially opened on July 30, 2015, allowing travellers to walk right into the airport.

You can target specific ethnic groups, lifestyles and neighborhoods with OOH advertising through the selection of indoor venues and placement of outdoor and street level ads.

There are a number of municipal expressways and provincial highways that serve Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area.  In particular Highway 401 bisects the city from west to east, bypassing the downtown core.  The main municipal expressways in Toronto include the Gardiner Expressway, the Don Valley Parkway, 404, 427 and the Allen Road. 

GO Transit /Metrolinx is the regional public transit service and connects with every municipal transit system in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas, including the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC).  Go trains and buses serve a population of seven million stretching from Hamilton and Kitchener-Waterloo in the west to Newcastle and Peterborough in the east and from Orangeville, Barrie and Beaverton in the north to Niagara Falls in the south. The average weekday ridership is 271,000; 215,000 on the trains and 56,000 by bus. About 91% of the train ridership is to and from Union Station in downtown Toronto, while about 70% of all bus passenger travel to and from the City of Toronto.

Torontonians spend an average of 32.8 minutes commuting to work (Stats Can 2011) – it is the longest average commuting time of Canada’s urban regions. 28.5% of commuters in the GTA spend 45 minutes or more travelling to work. According to Statistics Canada’s General Social Survey 2010, people commuting by car spend an average of 29 minutes to go to work vs. 49 minutes for those using the public transit. Public transit, street level and outdoor advertising can be used to reach commuters.  The automobile is the primary mode of transportation (81% of inbound trips) for commuters entering into the City of Toronto during the morning rush hour.  Almost one half (46%) use public transit to travel into the central area of the city. (Transportation Tomorrow Survey)


There are many OOH advertising companies in Toronto but not every operator is a member of the Canadian Out-of-Home Measurement Bureau (COMB), which sets the industry standard for measurement of OOH advertising audiences. Astral Out-of-Home, Branded Cities, OUTFRONT Media, PATTISON Outdoor Advertising and Quebecor Media Out-of-Home are members of the Canadian Out-of-Home Measurement Bureau which ensures that the audience information you are being provided with is accurate. For more information on COMB click here.

For a summary of OOH operators, products and networks in Toronto, click here.
Click here to create and download a map that shows the coverage of operator products and networks in Toronto.