Richard Florida is in ur Toronto, loving ur creatives

By now old news, but worth repeating: Richard Florida is coming to Toronto! A major coup for Roger Martin and Premier Dalton McGuinty, this is a huge development in the continuing story of Toronto’s efforts to become a world-leading creative city.

For some context, read this piece in the Globe and Mail. For a hilarious articulation of his theory, see his appearance on Monday’s Colbert Report. Introduced as Dr. Richard Florida, from University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, he did a great job keeping up with Colbert’s madness (video online until August 15th):

Stephen: So should I be following gay people around, to see where they’re living?
Rich: Absolutely!
Stephen: Ok good, because I do it already and now I have a reason.
Rich: Absolutely! Me too.
Stephen: You know what I think sir? I think that you are a gay bohemian artist that just wants to sell his house!
Rich: You know we just sold our house on Sunday, my wife and I, to move to Toronto!
Stephen: So you made a quick buck on this study!

What would draw the creative class guru to Toronto? Well sure, he loves the place. But a $120 million budget and a welcoming political leadership sure don’t hurt:

The Centre for Jurisdictional Advantage and Prosperity is a $120-million project, made possible by a $50-million donation to Rotman from the Province of Ontario. The federal government contributed an additional $10-million. The balance will be raised from the private sector.

I am looking forward to meeting Richard Florida again. My work is being drawn into the gravity well of this meteoric academic star. He comes to Toronto at a time when a critical mass of attention is being drawn to his ideas and those of like-minded leaders in creativity-driven community and economic development.

This is going to be fun!

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