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30 years of twinning between Frankfurt and Toronto

18.09.2019 | 15:25 Clock | Citywhispers
30 years of twinning between Frankfurt and Toronto
30 years of twinning between Frankfurt and Toronto

A great skyline, a colourful, cosmopolitan city with residents from all over the world, a diverse cultural offering with first-class museums, prestigious theatres and a green recreation area on the waterfront - all this stands for Frankfurt. But also for the Canadian city of Toronto, which has been a twin city of Frankfurt am Main for 30 years. To celebrate this anniversary and at the same time put the city partnership on a new footing, a delegation led by Lord Mayor Peter Feldmann travelled to Canada for a few days.

During the visit to Frankfurt's twin city, about which we presented you a special HERE, the agenda included an exchange about Toronto's economic and socio-political challenges, as well as a meeting with Mayor John Tory and the subsequent signing of the new city friendship declaration.

Mayor Feldmann emphasized the importance of the "Toronto Resilience Strategy" against the backdrop of the growing challenges of both cities in terms of population growth, housing, education, environmental protection and climate. "What is currently challenging for city governments is to turn unchecked urban growth into productivity," Feldmann said. "Sharing knowledge and experience is at the heart of this long-standing city partnership." Especially since Toronto is by far Canada's largest academic and scientific centre. In addition to the four public universities, more than 100,000 employees work in a total of 1400 educational institutions.

Both metropolises see the diversity and variety of resident companies, as a central lever and prerequisite for their dynamism, stability as well as their economic prosperity. But tourism is also an important pillar for both Frankfurt and Toronto. In 2018, more than ten million tourists visited the Main metropolis for the first time. "In 2017, over 43.7 million tourists from all over the world were drawn to Toronto. 15.5 million of them stayed overnight, while the remaining 28.2 million were day tourists. They spent a combined $8.8 billion," Toronto Mayor John Tory elaborated.

But the similarities between the twin cities don't end there: "Both cities are the region's job engines and have strong economies. The high quality of life is the result of their creative potential, the many green spaces and the distinctive cultural scene of both cities," Feldmann emphasized the similarities between Frankfurt and Toronto.

Frankfurt's mayor and his counterpart signed a joint declaration on the occasion of the 30th anniversary as a symbol of the bond between the two metropolises. In doing so, Feldmann thanked his counterpart for Canada's initiative on the occasion of the anniversary and highlighted exemplary new partnership projects in his speech. These include the academic exchange between the University of Toronto and Frankfurt's Carl Schurz School, supported by the NGO Maximum City, and the long-standing cooperation between Goethe University and the University of Toronto, as well as Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences with Ryerson University.

At the conclusion of his speech, Feldmann recalled the unveiling of the mural by Frankfurt graffiti artist Justus Becker on Sunday, September 15. Becker alias COR is a renowned street artist of the Main metropolis. The mural marks the beginning of a street art exchange between the twin cities. The exchange is to find its creative continuation during the Frankfurt Book Fair next year. Feldmann also mentioned the exhibition of pictures by the Frankfurt photographer "DiverCity FFM". The exhibition focuses on Frankfurt's cultural and religious diversity in an open and peaceful coexistence.

The city partnership between Frankfurt and Toronto has existed for 30 years. Clearly visible signs of the functioning partnership are, above all, the student exchanges with the University of Toronto Schools and NGO Maximum City, which have been taking place on an annual rotating basis since 2017, and the project weeks on the topic of urban development. In the area of university partnerships, Goethe University maintains a cooperation with the University of Toronto and Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences with Ryerson University. There was also a Sister Cities conference in Toronto and an exchange of experiences between the planning and environmental departments. This year, Toronto already welcomed a delegation from Frankfurt's creative industries on the occasion of a trip to the Toronto International Film Festival.

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