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17 Billion Reasons to Grow the Toronto-Chicago Corridor-BMO

$17 billion relationship between Ontario and Illinois



CHICAGO, ILLINOIS and TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 18, 2012) - The relationships between Chicago and Toronto - sister cities since 1991 - and Ontario and Illinois in a broader sense, are underpinned by close economic and trade ties, according to a new report from BMO Economics.

"Ontario and Illinois share significant economic ties through cross-border trade," said Robert Kavcic, Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "Last year, Ontario exported about $7 billion of goods to Illinois, or nearly 4% of total shipments. In fact, Ontario exports more to Illinois than 45 other U.S. states and all countries other than the United Kingdom. At the same time, this is a two-way street with about 4% of Ontario's imports coming from Illinois - more than only three other U.S. states and all countries but China and Mexico.

"Overall, Ontario traded nearly $17 billion worth of goods with Illinois, or about 4 per cent of Ontario's total trade in 2010. Illinois is Ontario's 5th most significant state trading partner, while Chicago itself sends about a third of its exports to Canada. In recent years, we have seen firms such as CN, Porter Airlines and BMO make major investments to facilitate trade and commerce between Chicago and Toronto."

Mr. Kavcic noted that a trade mission, led by Toronto Mayor Rob Ford which starts later today, is designed to help both centres grow their respective economic pies. "Chicago and Toronto are the economic engines of the Great Lakes. On a per-capita basis, Toronto and Chicago each produce more than $50,000 in economic output across a diverse range of industries including manufacturing, transportation & warehousing, finance and real estate. While both centres are seeing a long-term trend away from manufacturing and into services, trade missions like this will help both cities strengthen ties and position themselves for success in the years to come."

The full report can be downloaded at www.bmocm.com/economics.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $542 billion as at July 31, 2012, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

About BMO Harris Bank

Based in Chicago, BMO Harris Bank N.A. provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through over 650 branches and approximately 1,350 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. Deposit and loan products and services provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank(SM) is a trade name used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with 1,600 branches, and a retail deposit base of approximately $180 billion.

Media Contacts:
Peter Scott
(416) 867-3996
PeterE.Scott@bmo.com

Jim Kappel
(312) 461-2478
jim.kappel@harrisbank.com

Internet: www.bmo.com
Twitter: @BMOmedia