August 27, 1793
March 6, 1834
January 1, 1998
| - City
||630 km² (243.2 sq mi)
| - Urban
1,749 km² (675.3 sq mi)
| - Metro
7,125 km² (2,751 sq mi)
| - City
| - Density
3,972/km² (10,287.4/sq mi)
| - Urban
| - Metro
| - Demonym
- Summer (DST)
|Postal code span
(416) and (647)
[tə'rɑnoʊ]) is the largest city
and is the provincial capital
It is located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario.
With over 2.5 million residents, it is the fifth-most populous
municipality in North America.
Toronto is at the heart of the Greater Toronto Area
(GTA), and is part of a densely-populated region in
south-central Ontario known as the Golden Horseshoe
which is home to 8.1 million residents. The census metropolitan area
(CMA) had a population of 5,113,149,
and the Greater Toronto Area had a population of 5,555,912 in
the 2006 Census.
As Canada's economic capital, Toronto
is considered a global city
and is one of the top financial cities in the world.
Toronto's leading economic sectors include finance,
business services, telecommunications, aerospace, transportation,
media, arts, film, television
production, publishing, software production, medical research,
and industries. The Toronto Stock Exchange,
the world's seventh largest, is headquartered in the city,
along with a majority of Canada's corporations.
Toronto's population is cosmopolitan
reflecting its role as an important destination for immigrants to Canada.
Toronto is one of the world's most diverse cities by
percentage of non-Canadian-born residents, as about 49 percent
of the population were born outside of Canada.
Because of the city's low crime rates,
clean environment, generally high standard of living, and
friendlier attitudes to diversity, Toronto is consistently
rated as one of the world's most liveable cities by the Economist Intelligence Unit
and the Mercer Quality of Living Survey.
In addition, Toronto was ranked as the most expensive Canadian
city in which to live in 2006.
Residents of Toronto are called
Map of Toronto, 1894
first arrived at the site of present-day Toronto, the vicinity
was inhabited by the Huron
tribes, who by then had displaced the Iroquois
tribes that occupied the region for centuries before c. 1500.
The name Toronto is likely derived from the Iroquois
word tkaronto, meaning "place where trees stand in the
It refers to the northern end of what is now Lake Simcoe,
where the Huron had planted tree saplings to corral fish. A portage
route from Lake Ontario to Lake Huron
running through this point, the Toronto Carrying-Place Trail,
led to widespread use of the name.
traders founded Fort Rouillé
on the current Exhibition grounds
in 1750, but abandoned it in 1759
During the American Revolutionary War,
the region saw an influx of British
settlers as United Empire Loyalists
fled for the unsettled lands north of Lake Ontario. In 1787,
the British negotiated the Toronto Purchase
with the Mississaugas
of New Credit,
thereby securing more than a quarter million acres (1000 km²)
of land in the Toronto area.
In 1793, Governor John Graves Simcoe
established the town of York on
the existing settlement, naming it after Prince Frederick, Duke of York and
Albany. Simcoe chose the town
to replace Newark
as the capital of Upper Canada,
believing the new site would be less vulnerable to attack by
the Americans. Fort York
was constructed at the entrance of the town's natural harbour,
sheltered by a long sand-bar peninsula. The town's settlement
formed at the eastern end of the harbour behind the peninsula,
near the present-day Parliament Street and Front Street.
In 1813, as part of the War of 1812,
the Battle of York
ended in the town's capture and plunder by American forces.
The surrender of the town was negotiated by John Strachan.
American soldiers destroyed much of Fort York and set fire on
the parliament buildings during their five-day occupation.
York was incorporated as the City of
Toronto on March 6, 1834,
reverting to its original native name. The population of only
9,000 included escaped African American
slaves fleeing Black Codes
in some states.
Slavery was banned outright in Upper Canada in 1834.
Reformist politician William Lyon Mackenzie
became the first Mayor of Toronto, and led the unsuccessful Upper Canada Rebellion
of 1837 against the British colonial government. The city grew
rapidly through the remainder of the 19th century, as a major
destination for immigrants to Canada. The first significant
population influx occurred with the Great Irish Famine
between 1846 and 1849 that brought a large number of Irish
into the city, some of them transient and most of them Catholic.
By 1851, the Irish-born population had become the largest
single ethnic group in the city. Smaller numbers of Protestant
Irish immigrants were welcomed by the existing Scottish and
English population, giving the Orange Order
significant influence over Toronto society.
Toronto was twice for brief periods
the capital of the united Province of Canada
first from 1849-1852, following unrest in Montreal, and later
1856-1858 after which Quebec became capital until 1866 (one
year prior to Confederation);
since then, the capital has been Ottawa.
As it had been for Upper Canada from 1793, Toronto became the
capital of the province of Ontario after its official creation
in 1867 and has remained so since with the Ontario Legislature
located at Queen's Park.
Because of its capital status, the city was also the location
of Government House,
the residence of the vice-regal representative of the Crown.
1919. In the foreground is the Harbour Commission
headquarters at the end of a pier; nowadays it is about
from the harbour. Union Station
can also be seen under construction.
A view of Queen Street
from Old City Hall,
In the 19th century, an extensive
sewage system was built, and streets became illuminated with gas lighting
as a regular service. Long-distance railway lines were
constructed, including a route completed in 1854 linking
Toronto with the Upper Great Lakes. The Grand Trunk Railway
and the Northern Railway of Canada
joined in the building of the first Union Station
in downtown. The advent of the railway dramatically increased
the numbers of immigrants arriving and commerce, as had the
Lake Ontario steamers and schooners entering the port and
enabled Toronto to become a major gateway linking the world to
the interior of the North American continent. Horse-drawn
streetcars gave way to electric streetcars in 1891, when the
city granted the operation of the transit franchise to the Toronto Railway Company.
The public transit system passed into public ownership in 1921
as the Toronto Transportation Commission, later renamed the Toronto Transit Commission.
The system now has the third-highest ridership of any city
public transportation system in North America.
In 1954, the City of Toronto was
federated into a regional government
known as Metropolitan Toronto. The postwar boom had resulted in rapid suburban development,
and it was believed that a coordinated land use strategy and
shared services would provide greater efficiency for the
region. The metropolitan government began to manage services
that crossed municipal boundaries, including highways,
water and public transit.
In 1967, the seven smallest municipalities of the region were
merged into their larger neighbours, resulting in a
six-municipality configuration that included the old City of Toronto
and the surrounding municipalities of East York, Etobicoke, North York,
In 1998, the metropolitan government was dissolved and the six
municipalities were amalgamated
into a single municipality, creating the current City of
Toronto, where David Miller
is the current Mayor.
The Great Toronto Fire of 1904
destroyed a large section of downtown Toronto, but the city
was quickly rebuilt. The fire had cost more than $10 million
in damage, and led to more stringent fire safety laws and the
expansion of the city's fire department.
on Yonge Street, 1949
The city received new immigrant
groups beginning in the late 19th century into early 20th
century, particularly Germans, Italians,
from various parts of Eastern Europe.
They were soon followed by Chinese, Russians, Poles
and immigrants from other Eastern European
nations, as the Irish
before them, many of these new migrants lived in overcrowded
shanty type slums, such as the "the Ward" which was between
now the heart of the country's finances. Despite its fast
paced growth, by the 1920s, Toronto's population and economic
importance in Canada remained second to the much longer
However, by 1934 the Toronto Stock Exchange
had become the largest in the country.
Following the Second World War,
refugees from war-torn poor Europe and Chinese people who
wanted jobs arrived as did construction labourers particularly
Following elimination of racially based immigration
policies by the late 1960s, immigration began from all parts
of the world. Toronto's population grew to more than one
million in 1951 when large-scale suburbanization
began, and doubled to two million by 1971. By the 1980s,
Toronto had surpassed Montreal
as Canada's most populous city and the chief economic hub.
During this time, in part due to the political uncertainty
raised by the resurgence of the Quebec sovereignty movement,
many national and multinational corporations moved their head
offices from Montreal
to Toronto and other western Canadian cities.
A simulated-colour image of
Toronto taken by NASA's Landsat
7 satellite from 1985. Yonge
Street can clearly be
seen bisecting the city just right of centre in the
image, the other prominent road, running east-west, is Highway 401.
Geography and climate of Toronto
Toronto covers an area of 630 square
kilometres (243 sq mi), with a maximum north-south distance of 21 kilometres (13 mi)
and a maximum east-west distance of 43 km (27 mi). It has a
46-kilometre (29 mi) long waterfront
shoreline, on the north-western shore of Lake Ontario.
Its borders are formed by Lake Ontario
to the south, and Highway 427
to the west, Steeles
Avenue to the north and the Rouge River
to the east.
The city is intersected by two rivers
and numerous tributaries: the Humber River
in the west end and the Don River
east of downtown at opposite ends of the Toronto Harbour.
The harbour was naturally created by sediment build-up from
lake currents that created the Toronto Islands.
The many creeks and rivers cutting from north toward the lake
created large tracts of densely-forested ravines,
and provide ideal sites for parks and recreational trails.
However, the ravines also interfere with the city's grid plan,
and this results in major thoroughfares such as Finch Avenue, Leslie Street,
and St. Clair Avenue
terminating on one side of ravines and continuing on the other
side. Other thoroughfares such as the Bloor Street Viaduct
are required to span above the ravines. These deep ravines
prove useful for draining the city's vast storm sewer system
during heavy rains but some sections, particularly near the
Don River are prone to sudden, heavy floods. Storage tanks at
waste treatment facilities will often receive too much river
discharge causing them to overflow, allowing untreated sewage
to escape into Lake Ontario closing local beaches for
During the last ice age,
the lower part of Toronto was beneath Glacial Lake Iroquois.
Today, a series of escarpments
mark the lake's former boundary, known as the Iroquois Shoreline.
The escarpments are most prominent from Victoria Park Avenue
to the mouth of Highland Creek,
where they form the Scarborough Bluffs.
Other noticeable sections include the area near St. Clair Avenue
West between Bathurst Street
and the Don River, and north of Davenport Road from Caledonia
to Spadina Avenue, the Casa Loma
grounds sit above this escarpment. Although not remarkably
hilly, Toronto does have elevation differences ranging from
75 metres (246 ft) above-sea-level at the Lake Ontario shore
to 270 m (886 ft) ASL near the York University
grounds in the city's north end.
Much of the current lakeshore land
area fronting the Toronto Harbour is actually artificial
landfill. In the mid-19th century the lakefront was set back
up to 1 kilometre (0.6 mi) further inland than it is today.
Much of the Toronto harbour (the quays, formerly known as
wharves) and adjacent Portlands are also fill. The Toronto
Islands were actually a landspit until a storm in 1858 severed
its connection to the mainland, creating a channel later used
by shipping interests to access the docks.
Late spring scene in High Park,
in Toronto's west end
Mid-Winter scene at the
intersection of Dundas
Street and University Avenue
Toronto's climate is moderate for
Canada due to its southerly location within the country and
its proximity to Lake Ontario. It has a humid continental climate
climate classification Dfa),
with warm, humid summers and generally cold winters. The city
experiences four distinct seasons with considerable variance
in day to day temperature, particularly during the colder
weather season. Due to urbanization and proximity to water,
Toronto has a fairly low diurnal temperature range, at least
in built-up city and lakeshore areas. At different times of
the year, this maritime influence has various localized and
regional impacts on the climate, including lake effect snow
and delaying the onset of spring- and fall-like conditions or seasonal lag.
Toronto winters sometimes feature
short cold snaps where maximum temperatures remain below
−10 °C (14 °F), often made to feel colder by
Snowstorms, sometimes mixed with ice and rain can disrupt work
and travel schedules, accumulating snow can fall anytime from
November until mid-April. However, mild stretches also occur
throughout winter melting accumulated snow, with temperatures
reaching into the 5 to 14 °C (40 to 57 °F) range and
infrequently higher. Summer in Toronto is characterized by
long stretches of humid weather. Daytime temperatures
occasionally surpass 35 °C (95 °F), with high humidity making
it feel oppressive during usually brief periods of hot
weather. Spring and Autumn are transitional seasons with
generally mild or cool temperatures with alternating dry and
Precipitation is fairly evenly
distributed throughout the year, but summer is usually the
wettest season, the bulk falling during thunderstorms. There
can be periods of dry weather, but drought-like conditions are
rare. The average yearly precipitation is 83 cm (33 in), with
an average annual snowfall of about 133 cm (52 in). Toronto
experiences an average of 2,038 sunshine hours or 44% of
possible, most of it during the warmer weather season.
Toronto Climatologically Data
|Record high °C (°F)
|Average high °C (°F)
|Mean °C (°F)
|Average low °C (°F)
|Record low °C (°F)
Precipitation and Sunshine Hours
|Total mm (in)
|Rainfall mm (in)
|Snowfall cm (in)
Data recorded at The Annex
for Environment Canada.
Average data recorded over a 30 year span from 1971 to
Panoramic view of downtown
Toronto from Panorama Lounge
in the Manulife
can be seen in the distance.
Architecture in Toronto
Tower viewed from Rogers Centre
According to some prominent residents
of the city and some important architects who have designed
buildings there, Toronto has no single dominant, architectural
style. Lawrence Richards, a member of the faculty of
architecture at the University of Toronto, has said "Toronto
is a new, brash, rag-tag place—a big mix of periods and
styles". Toronto buildings vary in design and age with some
structures dating back to the mid 1800s, while other prominent
buildings were just newly built in the 2000s.
Defining the Toronto skyline is the CN Tower.
At a height of 553.33 metres (1,815 ft, 5 in) it is the
world's second tallest
freestanding structure, and the tallest tower in the western
hemisphere surpassing Chicago's Sears Tower
by 110 metres in height. It is an important telecommunications
hub, and a centre of tourism in Toronto.
Toronto is a city of high-rises,
having over 2,000 buildings over 90 metres (300 ft) in height,
second only to New York (which has over 5,000 such buildings)
in North America. Most of these buildings are residential (either rental or
condominium, where as the Central business district contains
the taller commercial office towers). There has been recent
media attention given for the need to retrofit many of these
buildings, which were constructed beginning in the 1950s as
residential apartment blocks to accommodate a quickly growing
population. Many of the older buildings are shown to give off
high concentrations of CO2
and are thought to be a significant contributor to the urban heat island effect,
in addition to the aesthetic concerns as many of the buildings
are viewed by many as urban blights often surrounded by
limited landscaping and concrete parking lots without
integration with the surrounding neighbourhoods.
In contrast, Toronto has also begun
to experience an architectural overhaul within the past five
years. The Royal Ontario Museum,
the Gardiner Museum
of Ceramic Art, the Art Gallery of Ontario
and the Ontario College of Art and Design
are just some of the many public art buildings that have
undergone massive renovations. The historic Distillery District,
located on the eastern edge of downtown, is North America's
largest and best preserved collection of Victorian era
industrial architecture. It has been redeveloped into a
pedestrian-oriented arts, culture and entertainment
neighbourhood. Modern glass and steel high-rises have begun to
transform the majority of the downtown area as the condominium
market has exploded and triggered widespread construction
throughout the city's centre. Trump International Hotel and Tower,
Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
are just some of the many high rise luxury condominium-hotel
projects currently under construction in the downtown core.
Royal Ontario Museum
The many residential communities of
Toronto express a character distinct from that of the
skyscrapers in the commercial core. Victorian
residential buildings can be found in enclaves such as Rosedale,
Forest Hill, Cabbagetown, the Annex, the Bridle Path
and Moore Park.
Park is historically
significant for the architecture of its homes, and for being
one of Toronto's earliest planned communities. The Wychwood
Park neighbourhood was designated as an Ontario Heritage
Conservation district in 1985. The Casa Loma
neighbourhood is named after Casa Loma,
a castle built in 1911 that had an elevator, secret passages,
and bowling alleys. Spadina
House is a 19th century manor
that is now a museum.
The City of Toronto encompasses a
geographical area formerly administered by six separate
municipalities. These municipalities have each developed a
distinct history and identity over the years, and their names
remain in common use among Torontonians. Throughout the city
there exist hundreds of small neighbourhoods and some larger
neighbourhoods covering a few square kilometers. Former
in urban Toronto
View of skyscrapers in the
from the CN
The Old City of Toronto
covers the area generally known as Downtown.
It is the historic core of Toronto and remains the most
densely-populated part of the city. The Financial District
contains the largest cluster of skyscrapers
in Canada, including the First Canadian Place, Toronto Dominion Centre,
Scotia Plaza, Royal Bank Plaza, Commerce Court
and Brookfield Place.
From that point, the Toronto skyline extends northward along
Yonge Street. Old Toronto is also home to many historically
wealthy residential enclaves, such as Yorkville, Rosedale, The Annex,
Forest Hill, Lawrence Park, Lytton Park, Moore Park,
and Casa Loma,
most stretching away from downtown to the north. These
neighbourhoods generally feature upscale homes, luxury
condominiums and high-end retail. At the same time, the
downtown core vicinity includes neighbourhoods with a high
proportion of recent immigrants and low-income families living
in social housing and rental high-rises,
such as St. James Town, Regent Park, Moss Park, Alexandra Park
East and west of Downtown, neighbourhoods such as Kensington Market,
are home to bustling commercial and cultural areas as well as
vibrant communities of artists with studio lofts, with an
increasing proportion of middle and upper class professionals
that mix with the working poor or those on some form of
Other neighbourhoods in the central city retain an ethnic
identity, including two Chinatowns,
the popular Greektown
area, the very trendy Little Italy, Portugal Village,
and Little India
along with others.
The inner suburbs are contained
within the former municipalities of York
and East York.
These are mature and traditionally working class areas,
primarily consisting of post-World
War I small, single-family
homes and small apartment blocks. Neighbourhoods such as Crescent Town,
Thorncliffe Park, Weston,
mainly consist of high-rise apartments which are home to many
new immigrant families. Recently, many neighbourhoods have
become ethnically diverse and have undergone gentrification,
as a result of increasing population and a housing boom during
the late 1990s and 2000s. The first neighbourhoods affected
and North Toronto,
gradually progressing into the western neighbourhoods in York.
Some of the area's housing is in the process of being replaced
The outer suburbs comprising the
former municipalities of Etobicoke, Scarborough
and North York
largely retain the grid plan
laid before post-war development. Sections were long
established and quickly growing towns before the suburban
housing boom began and the advent of Metro Government, such as
and West Hill.
Suburban development grew quickly after the second war to
include such upscale neighbourhoods as the Bridle Path
in North York, the area surrounding the Scarborough Bluffs
and most of central Etobicoke, such as Humber Valley Village,
and The Kingsway.
One of largest and earliest "planned communities" was
parts of which were first built in the 1950s.Phased development mixing single-detached housing with higher
density apartment blocks became more popular as a suburban
model of development. To some this model has been copied in
other GTA municipalities surrounding Toronto, albeit with less
population density. More recently, North York Centre
that runs along Yonge
Street and the Scarborough City Centre
have emerged as secondary business districts outside the
downtown core. High-rise development in these areas have given
North York and Scarborough distinguishable skylines of their
own and a more downtown feel with high-density transit
corridors serving them.
Historically, as Toronto sprawled
out, industrial areas were set up on the outskirts. Over time,
they would become part of the inner city as more land was
developed further out. This trend would repeat itself, and
continues to this day, as the largest factories and warehouses
have moved to Peel
Regions, and the vast majority of industrial areas are in the
more suburban parts of the city; Etobicoke (particularly
around the airport),
North York, and Scarborough. Thus, many of Toronto's former industrial sites
have been redeveloped, most notably the Toronto waterfront,
and Liberty Village.
One of Toronto's most unusual neighbourhoods, the Distillery District
contains the largest and best-preserved collection of Victorian
industrial architecture in North America. A national heritage
site, it was listed by National Geographic
magazine as a "top pick" in Canada for travellers. Similar
areas that still retain their character, but are now largely
residential are the Fashion District, Corktown,
and parts of South Riverdale
Toronto still has some active older industrial areas, such as
the Brockton Village,
and New Toronto
areas. In the west end of Old Toronto and York, the Weston/Mount
Dennis and Junction
areas have a sense of grit to them, as they still contain
factories, but are mostly residential.
Square, one of the
busiest squares in the city\
Park, Toronto's first
Toronto has a diverse array of public
spaces, from city squares to public parks overlooking ravines.
There is even a group called the Toronto Public Space Committee,
formed to protect the city's public spaces. Nathan Phillips Square
is the city's main square in downtown, and forms the entrance
to City Hall. Yonge-Dundas
Square, a newer square not
far from City Hall, has also gained attention in recent years
as one of the busiest gathering spots in the city. Other
squares include Harbour-front Square, on the revitalized Toronto waterfront,
and the civic squares at the former city halls of the defunct
Metropolitan Toronto, most notably Mel Lastman Square
in North York.
There are many large downtown parks; Grange Park,
Moss Park, Allan Gardens, Queen's Park, Riverdale Park, Trinity Bellwoods Park,
and Christie Pits,
which contains the downtown core's only baseball field for
recreational use. The Toronto Islands
have several acres of park space, accessible from downtown by
ferry. Large parks in the outer areas include High Park, Humber Bay Park,
Centennial Park, Downsview
Park, and Rouge Park.
Nathan Phillips Square
is currently undergoing a major redesign by PLANT Architect
Inc., Shore Tilbe Irwin & Partners, Peter Lindsay Schaudt
Landscape Architecture Inc., and Adrian Blackwell (winners of
the International Design Competition in 2006/2007).
West 8, a Dutch architecture firm,
won the Central Waterfront Innovative Design Competition in
2006 to redesign the central part of the Toronto waterfront
In 1999, Downsview
Park initiated an
international design competition to realize its vision of
creating Canada's first national urban park.
In May 2000, the winning park design was announced: "TREE
CITY", by the team of Bruce Mau Design, Office for
Metropolitan Architecture, Oleson Worland Architect and
Roy Thomson Hall,
home of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Culture in Toronto
Toronto is a major scene for theatre
and other performing arts,
with more than fifty ballet and dance companies, six opera
companies, and two symphony orchestras. The city is home to
the National Ballet of Canada,
the Canadian Opera Company,
and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Notable performance venues include the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing
Arts, Roy Thomson Hall,
the Princess of Wales Theatre,
the Royal Alexandra Theatre, Massey Hall,
the Toronto Centre for the Arts,
the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres
and the Hummingbird Centre
(formerly the "O'Keefe Centre"). Ontario Place
features the world's first permanent IMAX
movie theatre, the Cinesphere,
as well as the Molson Amphitheatre,
an open-air venue for large-scale music concerts. Each summer,
the Canadian Stage
Company presents an outdoor Shakespeare
production in Toronto’s High Park
called "Dream in High Park". Canada's Walk of Fame
acknowledges the achievements of successful Canadians, with of
a series of stars on designated blocks of sidewalks along King
Street and Simcoe Street.
The Distillery District
is a pedestrian village containing boutiques,
art galleries, restaurants, artist studios and small
breweries, including the well-known Mill Street Brewery.
A new theatre in the district, the Young Centre for the Performing Arts,
is the home of the Soulpepper
Theatre Company and the drama
productions of nearby George Brown College.
The production of domestic and
foreign film and television is a major local industry. Many
movie releases are screened in Toronto prior to wider release
in North America. The Toronto International Film Festival
is one of the most important annual events for the
international film industry. Europe's largest film studio, Pinewood Studios
Group of London, is scheduled to open a major new film studio
complex in west-end Toronto, with five sound stages, with the
first two to open by fall 2008.
festival takes place from mid-July to early August of every
summer, and is one of North America's largest street
festivals. For the most part, Caribana is based on the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival,
and the first Caribana took place in 1967 when the city's Caribbean
community celebrated Canada's Centennial
year. 40 years later, it has grown to attract one million
people to Toronto's Lake Shore Boulevard
annually. Tourism for the festival is in the hundred
thousands, and each year, the event brings in about $300
in Toronto takes place in mid-June, and is one of the largest LGBT
festivals in the world. It attracts more than one million
people from around the world, and is one of the largest events
to take place in the city. Toronto is a major centre for gay
and lesbian culture and entertainment, and the gay village
is located in the Church and Wellesley
area of Downtown.
Toronto Eaton Centre,
the largest shopping mall
in the City of Toronto
brightens Christmas and Winter at Alexander the Great
Attractions in Toronto
Toronto is currently ranked 14th in
the world with over 4 million tourist arrivals a year Toronto's most prominent landmark is the
which stood as the tallest free-standing land structure in the
world at 553 metres (1,815 ft). To the surprise of its creators,
the tower held the world record for over 30 years.
The Royal Ontario Museum
(ROM) is a major museum for world culture
and natural history.
The Toronto Zoo,
one of the largest in the world, is home to over 5,000 animals representing over 460 distinct
species. The Art Gallery of Ontario
contains a large collection of Canadian, European, African and
The Gardiner Museum
of ceramic art which is the only museum in Canada entirely
devoted to ceramics and the Museum's collection contains more
than 2,900 ceramic works from Asia, the Americas, and Europe.
The Ontario Science Centre
always has new hands-on activities and science displays
particularly appealing to children, and the Bata Shoe Museum also features many unique exhibitions. The
Don Valley Brick Works
is a former industrial site, which opened in 1889, and has
recently been restored as a park and heritage site. The Canadian National Exhibition
is held annually at Exhibition Place,
and it is the oldest annual fair in the world. It is Canada's
largest annual fair and the fifth largest in North America,
with an average attendance of 1.25 million.
neighbourhood is one of Toronto's most elegant shopping and
dining areas. On many occasions, celebrities from all over
North America can be spotted in the area, especially during
the Toronto International Film Festival.
The Toronto Eaton Centre
is one of North America's top shopping destinations, and
Toronto's most popular tourist attraction with over 52 million
on the Danforth, is another one of the major attractions of
Toronto which boasts one of the highest concentrations of
restaurants per kilometre in the world. It is also home to the
of the Danforth" festival
which attracts over one million people in 2 1/2 days. Toronto is also home to Canada's most famous "castle" -
the former estate of Sir Henry Pellatt,
a prominent Toronto financier, industrialist and military man.
Other notable neighbourhoods and attractions include The Beaches,
the Toronto Islands, Kensington Market, Fort York,
and the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Professional sport in Toronto,
Amateur sport in Toronto,
and List of sports teams in Toronto
The Hockey Hall of Fame,
housed in a former bank erected in 1885, is located at
the intersection of Front Street and Yonge Street in
Toronto is home to the Toronto Maple Leafs,
one of the National Hockey League's Original Six
clubs. The city has also served as home to the Hockey Hall of Fame
since 1958. The city has a rich history of hockey
championships. Along with Toronto's 14 Stanley Cup
titles, The Toronto Marlboros
and St. Michael's College School
based Ontario Hockey League
teams combined have won a record 12 Memorial Cup
titles. The Toronto Marlies
of the American Hockey League
also play in Toronto at and are the farm team for the Maple Leafs. They are one of
only two teams who are in the same market as their NHL
affiliate (the other is the Philadelphia Phantoms, the AHL
affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers).
Toronto is the only Canadian city
with representation in six major league sports
through National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, National Lacrosse League,
National Basketball Association, Canadian Football League
and Major League Soccer
teams. The major sports complexes include the Air Canada Centre,
(formerly known as SkyDome), Ricoh Coliseum
and BMO Field.
The city is represented in the Canadian Football League
by the Toronto Argonauts
who have won 15 Grey Cup
titles. Toronto played host to the 95th Grey Cup
in 2007, the first held in the city since 1992. The city is
also home to Major League Baseball's Toronto Blue Jays
who have won two World Series
titles. Both teams play their home games at the Rogers Centre,
in the downtown core.
Toronto is home to the International Bowl,
sanctioned post-season football game that puts a Mid-American Conference
team against a Big East Conference
team. Beginning in 2007, the game is played at the Rogers
Centre annually in January. In addition to team sports, the
city annually hosted Champ Car's Steelback
Grand Prix of Toronto
(formerly known as Molson Indy Toronto) at Exhibition Place,
from 1986 to 2007. Both thoroughbred
and standardbred horseracing
are conducted at Woodbine Race Track
Historic sports clubs of Toronto
include the Granite Club (est. 1836), the Royal Canadian Yacht
Club (est. 1852), the Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club
(est. pre-1827), the Argonaut Rowing Club (est. 1872), the
Toronto Lawn Tennis Club (est. 1881), and the Badminton and
Racquet Club (est. 1924).
Toronto was a candidate city for the 1996
and 2008 Summer Olympics,
which were awarded to Atlanta
respectively. The Canadian Olympic Committee
is currently considering a Toronto bid for the 2020 or 2024 Summer Olympics.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Air Canada Centre
Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto Blue Jays
Air Canada Centre
Air Canada Centre
Panoramic view of Rogers Centre
during an Argonauts game
The Canadian Broadcasting Centre
Toronto is Canada's largest media
and the fourth largest media centre in North America (behind New York City,
with four conventional dailies and two free commuter papers in
a greater metropolitan area of about 5.5 million inhabitants.
are the prominent daily city newspapers, while the national
The Globe and Mail
are also headquartered in the city. Toronto contains the
headquarters of the major English-language Canadian television
networks, including the English-language branch of the
national public broadcaster Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
(CBC), the largest private broadcaster CTV,
and the flagship stations of Citytv
Canada's premier sports television networks are also based in
Toronto, including The Sports Network (TSN), Rogers Sportsnet
and The Score.
The bulk of Canada's periodical publishing industry is centred
in Toronto including magazines such as
The Toronto-Dominion (TD) Centre
in the heart of downtown
Economy of Toronto
Toronto is a major international
centre for business and finance. Generally considered the
financial capital of Canada, Toronto has a high concentration
of banks and brokerage firms on Bay Street,
in the Financial District.
The Toronto Stock Exchange
is the world's seventh-largest
stock exchange by market capitalization. All of the Big Five banks
of Canada are headquartered in Toronto.
The city is an important centre for
the media, publishing, telecommunications, information technology
and film production
industries; it is home to Thomson Corporation, CTVglobemedia, Rogers Communications,
Other prominent Canadian corporations in Toronto include Four Seasons Hotels,
the Hudson's Bay Company
Although much of the region's
manufacturing activities take place outside the city limits,
Toronto continues to be an important wholesale and
distribution point for the industrial sector. The city's
strategic position along the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor
and its extensive road and rail connections help support the
nearby production of motor vehicles, iron, steel,
food, machinery, chemicals
The completion of the St. Lawrence Seaway
in 1959 gave ships access to the Great Lakes
from the Atlantic Ocean.
by year, within present boundaries
The last complete census
by Statistics Canada
estimated there were 2,503,281 people residing in Toronto in
The city's population grew by 4% (96,073 residents) between
1996 and 2001, and 1% (21,787 residents) between 2001 and
2006. Persons aged 14 years and under made up 17.5% of the
population, and those aged 65 years and over made up 13.6%.
age was 36.9 years. Foreign-born people made up 49.9% of the
As of 2001, 42.8% of the residents of
the city proper belong to a visible minority
and visible minorities are projected to comprise a majority in
Toronto by 2017.
According to the United Nations Development Programme,
Toronto has the second-highest percentage of foreign-born
population among world cities, after Miami, Florida.
Statistics Canada's 2006 figures indicate that Toronto has
surpassed Miami in this year.
While Miami's foreign-born population consists mostly of Cubans
and other Latin Americans,
no single nationality or culture dominates Toronto's immigrant
population, placing it among the most diverse cities in the
In 2001, people of European
ethnicities formed the largest cluster of ethnic groups in
mostly of English, Irish, Scottish, Italian,
origins, while the five largest visible minority groups in
Toronto are Chinese
(10.6%), South Asian/Indo-Caribbean
(3.5%) and Latin American
This diversity is reflected in Toronto's ethnic neighbourhoods
which include Little Italy, The Junction, Little Jamaica, Little India,
Chinatown, Koreatown, Greektown, Portugal Village, Corso
Italia, Kensington Market,
and The Westway.
is the largest religious group in Toronto. The 2001 Census
reports that 31.1% of the city's population is Catholic,
followed by Protestant
at 21.1%, Christian Orthodox
at 4.8%, and other Christians at 3.9%. Other religions in the
city are Islam
(0.9%), and other Eastern Religions
(0.2%). 18.7% of the population professes no faith.
is the predominant language spoken by Torontonians, many other
languages have considerable numbers of local speakers,
including French, Italian, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Punjabi,
Chinese and Italian are the second and third most widely
spoken language at work.
As a result, the city's 9-1-1
emergency services are equipped to respond in over 150
Toronto City Hall
viewed from Nathan Phillips Square
Municipal government of Toronto
Politics of Toronto
and Public services in Toronto
Toronto is a single-tier municipality
governed by a mayor-council system.
The structure of the municipal government is stipulated by the
City of Toronto Act.
The Mayor of Toronto
is elected by direct popular vote to serve as the chief executive
of the city. The Toronto City Council
is a unicameral
legislative body, comprising 44 councillors representing
throughout the city. The mayor and members of the city council
serve four-year terms without term limits.
(Prior to the 2006 municipal election,
the mayor and city councillors served three-year terms.)
At the start of the 2007 term, the
city council will have seven standing committees, each
consisting of a chair,
a vice-chair and four other councillors. The Mayor names the
committee chairs and the remaining membership of the
committees is appointed by City Council.
An executive committee is formed by the chairs of each of
standing committee, in addition to the mayor, the deputy mayor
and four other councillors. Councillors are also appointed to
oversee the Toronto Transit Commission
and the Toronto Police Services Board.
There are about 40 subcommittees,
advisory committees and round tables
within the city council. These bodies are made up of city
councillors and private citizen volunteers. Examples include
the Pedestrian Committee, Waste Diversion Task Force 2010, and
the Task Force to Bring Back the Don.
Additionally, the city has four community councils that make
recommendations on local matters to the city council, but
possess no final authority. Each city councillor serves as a
member on a community council.
Toronto had an operating budget of C$7.6
billion in 2006.
The city receives funding from the Government of Ontario
in addition to tax revenues and user fees, spending 36% on
provincially-mandated programs, 53% on major municipal
purposes such as the Toronto Public Library
and the Toronto Zoo,
and 11% on capital financing and non-program expenditures.
The main building of
in the University of Toronto
Education in Toronto
Toronto is home to a diverse range of
public and private educational institutions. The Toronto District School Board
(TDSB) operates 451 public schools and 102 secondary or high
schools. This makes the TDSB the largest school board in
Canada. Additionally, the Toronto Catholic District School Board
manages the city's publicly-funded Roman Catholic
schools, while the Conseil
scolaire de district du Centre-Sud-Ouest
and the Conseil
scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud
manages public and Roman Catholic French-language schools.
There are also numerous private university-preparatory schools,
such as Upper Canada College, Crescent School, Toronto French School,
University of Toronto Schools, Havergal
College, Bishop Strachan School, Branksome
Hall, and St. Michael's College School.
The University of Toronto,
established in 1827, is the oldest university in the province
of Ontario and a leading public research institution. It is a
worldwide leader in biomedical research and houses North
America's third largest library system, notably after Harvard University
and Yale University.
In addition, York University,
located in the north end
of Toronto, houses the largest law library in the Commonwealth of Nations.
The city is also home to Ryerson University, Ontario College of Art & Design,
and the University of Guelph-Humber.
There are five diploma-granting community colleges
in Toronto: Seneca College, Humber College, Centennial College,
and George Brown College.
In nearby Oshawa
-- usually considered part of the Greater Toronto Area
-- are Durham College
and the new University of Ontario Institute of
Technology. The Royal Conservatory of Music,
which includes The Glenn Gould School,
is a major music school located in downtown. The Canadian Film Centre
is a film, television and new media training institute founded
by filmmaker Norman Jewison. Tyndale
University College and Seminary
is a Tran denominational Christian post-secondary institution
and Canada's largest seminary.
The Toronto Public Library
is the largest public library system in Canada, consisting of
99 branches with more than 11 million items in its collection.
Atrium of the Hospital for Sick Children
Health in Toronto
Toronto is home to at least 20 public
hospitals, including the Hospital for Sick Children, Mount Sinai Hospital,
St. Michael's Hospital, North York General Hospital, Toronto General Hospital,
Toronto Western Hospital, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre,
and Princess Margaret Hospital,
as well as the University of Toronto Faculty of
Toronto's Discovery District
is centre of research in biomedicine.
It is located on a 2.5 square kilometre (620 acre) research
park that is fully integrated into Toronto’s downtown core. It
is also home to the
Medical and Related Sciences Centre (MaRS),
which was created in 2000 to capitalize on the research and
innovation strength of the Province of Ontario. Another
institute is the McLaughlin Centre for Molecular Medicine (MCMM).
The main entrance of the
style Union Station
built in 1927
Transportation in Toronto
The Toronto Transit Commission
(TTC) is the third largest public transit system in North
America after the New York City Transit Authority,
and the Mexico City Metro.
The TTC provides public transit within the City of Toronto.
The backbone of its public transport
network is the subway system.
The TTC also operates an extensive network of buses
The Government of Ontario also
operates an extensive rail and bus transit system called GO Transit
in the City of Toronto, as well in its suburbs. With
thirty-eight trains, and seven train lines, GO Transit run 179
trips, and carry over 160,000 passengers in the Greater
Toronto Area every day. An additional 288 GO buses feed the
main rail lines.
Canada's busiest airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport
(IATA: YYZ), straddles the city's western boundary with the suburban
city of Mississauga.
Limited commercial and passenger service is also offered from
the Toronto City Centre Airport,
on the Toronto Islands. Toronto/Buttonville Municipal Airport
provides general aviation
facilities. Toronto/Downsview Airport,
near the city's north end, is owned by de Havilland Canada
and serves the Bombardier Aerospace
There are a number of expressways and
highways that serve Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. In
particular, Highway 401
bisects the city from west to east, bypassing the downtown
core. It is one of the busiest highways in the world.
The square grid of major city streets was laid out by the concession road