Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Toronto

 


 


 
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about the city in Canada. For other uses, see Toronto (disambiguation).
"City of Toronto" redirects here. For the municipal government, see Municipal government of Toronto. For the historical part of the city prior to the 1998 amalgamation, see Old Toronto.
Toronto
City (single-tier)
City of Toronto
From top left: Downtown Toronto featuring the CN Tower and Financial District from the Toronto Islands, City Hall, the Ontario Legislative Building, Casa Loma, Prince Edward Viaduct, and the Scarborough Bluffs
From top left: Downtown Toronto featuring the CN Tower and Financial District from the Toronto Islands, City Hall, the Ontario Legislative Building, Casa Loma, Prince Edward Viaduct, and the Scarborough Bluffs
Flag of Toronto
Flag
Coat of arms of Toronto
Coat of arms
Official logo of Toronto
Logo
Nickname(s): T.O., T-Dot, Hogtown, The Queen City, Toronto the Good, The City Within a Park
Motto: Diversity Our Strength
Location of Toronto and its census metropolitan area in the province of Ontario
Location of Toronto and its census metropolitan area in the province of Ontario
Toronto is located in Canada
Toronto
Toronto
Location of Toronto in Canada
Coordinates: 43°42′N 79°24′WCoordinates: 43°42′N 79°24′W
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
Districts East York, Etobicoke, North York, Old Toronto, Scarborough, York
Established August 27, 1793 (as York)
Incorporated March 6, 1834 (as Toronto)
Amalgamated January 1, 1998 (from Metropolitan Toronto)
Government
 • Type Mayor-council
 • Mayor John Tory
 • Deputy Mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong
 • Council Toronto City Council
 • MPs
 • MPPs
Area[1]
 • City (single-tier) 630 km2 (240 sq mi)
 • Urban 1,749 km2 (675 sq mi)
 • Metro 7,125 km2 (2,751 sq mi)
Elevation 76 m (249 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • City (single-tier) 2,615,060 (1st)
 • Density 4,149/km2 (10,750/sq mi)
 • Urban 5,132,794 (1st)
 • Metro 5,583,064 (1st)
Demonym Torontonian
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Postal code span M
Area code(s) 416, 437, 647
NTS Map 030M11
GNBC Code FEUZB
Website www.toronto.ca
Toronto (/tɵˈrɒnt/, local /ˈtrɒn/) is the most populous city in Canada and the provincial capital of Ontario. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario, with the original city area lying between the Don and Humber rivers. According to the 2011 Census, the city has 2.6 million residents, making it the fifth-most populous city in North America. Including the extended urban area and nearby bedroom towns, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) had a population of 6,054,191.[3]
The history of Toronto began in the late 18th century when the British Crown purchased its land from the Mississaugas of the New Credit. The settlement established there became York, which lieutenant governor John Graves Simcoe designated as the capital of Upper Canada. The city was ransacked in the Battle of York during the War of 1812. In 1834, York became a city and renamed to Toronto. It was damaged in two huge fires in 1849 and 1904. Since 1954, the city occasionally expanded its borders through amalgamation with surrounding municipalities, most recently occurring in 1998. This process has left Toronto with clearly defined neighbourhoods that have retained their distinctive nature, earning it the nickname the "City of Neighbourhoods".[4][a]
Toronto is at the heart of the Greater Toronto Area, and of the densely populated region in Southern Ontario known as the Golden Horseshoe. Its cosmopolitan and international population[7] reflects its role as an important destination for immigrants to Canada.[8] Toronto is one of the world's most diverse cities by percentage of non-native-born residents, with about 49% of the population born outside Canada.[7][8][9]
As Canada's commercial capital, it is home to the Toronto Stock Exchange and the headquarters of Canada's five largest banks.[10] Leading economic sectors in the city include finance, business services, telecommunications, aerospace, transportation, media, arts, publishing, software production, medical research, education, tourism, and engineering.[11][12] Toronto is considered an alpha world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network and is placed among the Global Leaders in the Global Financial Centres Index.[13][14] The city is also consistently rated as one of the world's most liveable cities by the Economist Intelligence Unit and the Mercer Quality of Living Survey.[15][16]

History

Before 1800

When Europeans first arrived at the site of present-day Toronto, the vicinity was inhabited by the Iroquois people,[17] who by then had displaced the Wyandot people people that had occupied the region for centuries before c. 1500.[18] The name Toronto is likely derived from the Iroquois word tkaronto, meaning "place where trees stand in the water".[19] This 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. In the 1660s the Iroquois established two villages within what is today Toronto, Ganatsekwyagon on the banks of the Rouge River and Teiaiagonon the banks of the Humber River. By 1701, the Mississauga had displaced the Iroquois, who abandoned the Toronto area at the end of the Beaver Wars.[20]
French traders founded Fort Rouillé on the current Exhibition grounds in 1750, but abandoned it in 1759.[21] 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.[22]
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,[23] believing that the new site would be less vulnerable to attack by the US.[24] Fort York was constructed at the entrance of the town's natural harbour, sheltered by a long sandbar peninsula. The town's settlement formed at the eastern end of the harbour behind the peninsula, near the present-day intersection of Parliament Street and Front Street (in the CorktownSt. Lawrence area).

1800–1945

Map of Toronto, 1894
In 1813, as part of the War of 1812, the Battle of York ended in the town's capture and plunder by US forces.[25] The surrender of the town was negotiated by John Strachan. US soldiers destroyed much of Fort York and set fire to the parliament buildings during their five-day occupation. The sacking of York was a primary motivation for the Burning of Washington by British troops later in the war. 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, some of whom were brought by the Loyalists, including Mohawk leader Joseph Brant.[26] 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 when the Great Irish Famine brought a large number of Irish to 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 and long-lasting influence over Toronto society.
Toronto was twice for brief periods the capital of the united Province of Canada: first from 1849 to 1852, following unrest in Montreal, and later 1856–1858 after which Quebec became the capital until 1866 (one year before Confederation); since then, the capital of Canada has remained Ottawa.[27] As it had been for Upper Canada from 1793, Toronto became the capital of the province of Ontario after its official creation in 1867, the seat of government located at the Ontario Legislature located at Queen's Park. Because of its provincial capital status, the city was also the location of Government House, the residence of the vice-regal representative of the Crown in right of Ontario.
Old Union Station Toronto, 1907
Yonge Street in 1900
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, commerce and industry, as had the Lake Ontario steamers and schooners entering port before which enabled Toronto to become a major gateway linking the world to the interior of the North American continent.
Toronto became the largest alcohol distillation (in particular, spirits) centre in North America; the Gooderham and Worts Distillery operations became the world's largest whiskey factory by the 1860s. A preserved section of this once dominant local industry remains in the Distillery District, the harbour allowed for sure access to grain and sugar imports used in processing. Expanding port and rail facilities brought in Northern Timber for export and imported Pennsylvania coal, industry dominated the waterfront for the next 100 years.
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.[28]
The Great Toronto Fire of 1904 destroyed a large section of downtown Toronto, but the city was quickly rebuilt. The fire caused more than $10 million in damage, and resulted in more stringent fire safety laws and expansion of the city's fire department.
Toronto Harbour, 1919; Union Station can be seen under construction
The city received new immigrant groups beginning in the late 19th century into early 20th century, particularly Germans, French, Italians, and Jews 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 Ward" which was centred on Bay Street, 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 established Montreal. However, by 1934, the Toronto Stock Exchange had become the largest in the country.

Since 1945

V-E Day celebrations on Bay Street, May 1945
Following the Second World War, refugees from war-torn Europe and Chinese job-seekers arrived, as well as construction labourers, particularly from Italy and Portugal. Following the 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 owing 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 Western Canadian cities.[29]
In 1954, the City of Toronto and 12 surrounding municipalities were federated into a regional government known as Metropolitan Toronto.[30] 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, police services, water and public transit. In that year, a half-century after the Great Fire of 1904, disaster struck the city again when Hurricane Hazel brought intense winds and flash flooding. In the Toronto area, 81 people were killed, nearly 1,900 families were left homeless, and the hurricane caused more than $25 million in damage.[31]
In 1967, the seven smallest municipalities of Metropolitan Toronto 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, Scarborough, and York. In 1998, the provincial government of Conservative Mike Harris dissolved the metropolitan government despite vigorous opposition from the component municipalities and overwhelming rejection in a municipal plebiscite. All six municipalities were amalgamated into a single municipality, creating the current City of Toronto, with Mel Lastman as its first mayor (after being mayor of North York). David Miller was the second mayor, and Rob Ford is the third, and John Tory is the current mayor.
On March 6, 2009, the city celebrated its 175th anniversary of its inception as the City of Toronto in 1834. Toronto hosted the 4th G-20 summit during June 26–27, 2010, for which the largest security operation in Canadian history and the biggest mass arrest (more than a thousand people) took place amidst large-scale protests.
On July 8, 2013, severe flash flooding hit Toronto after an afternoon of slow moving, intense thunderstorms. Toronto Hydro estimated that 450,000 people were without power after the storm and Toronto Pearson International Airport reported that 126 mm (5 in) of rain had fallen over 5 hours, more than during Hurricane Hazel.[32] Within six months, December 20, 2013, Toronto was brought to a halt by the worst ice storm in the city's history rivalling the severity caused by the 1998 Ice Storm. Toronto went on to host WorldPride in June 2014 and will host the Pan American Games in 2015.

Geography

Main article: Geography of Toronto
A simulated-colour image of Toronto taken by the NASA Landsat 7 satellite in 2004.
Toronto covers an area of 630 square kilometres (243 sq mi),[33] 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 northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. The Toronto Islands and Port Lands extend out into the lake, allowing for a somewhat sheltered Toronto Harbour south of the downtown core.[34] The city's borders are formed by Lake Ontario to the south, Etobicoke Creek and Highway 427 to the west, Steeles Avenue to the north and the Rouge River and the Scarborough-Pickering Townline to the east.

Topography

The city is intersected by three 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, and the Rouge River at the city's eastern limits. The harbour was naturally created by sediment buildup 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, Lawrence Avenue, and St. Clair Avenue terminating on one side of ravines and continuing on the other side. Other thoroughfares such as the Prince Edward Viaduct are required to span above the ravines. These deep ravines prove useful for draining the city's storm sewer system during heavy rains, but some sections, particularly near the Don River are prone to sudden, heavy floods.
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 observable 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 Road; the Casa Loma grounds sit above this escarpment. Despite its deep ravines, Toronto is not remarkably hilly, but does increase in elevation steadily away from the lake. Elevation differences range from 75 metres (246 ft) above sea level at the Lake Ontario shore to 209 m (686 ft) ASL near the York University grounds in the city's north end at the intersection of Keele Street and Steeles Avenue.[35] There are occasional hilly areas; in particular, midtown Toronto has a number of rolling hills. Lake Ontario remains occasionally visible from the peaks of these ridges as far north as Eglinton Avenue, 7 to 8 kilometres (4.3 to 5.0 mi) inland.
Much of the current lakeshore land area fronting the Toronto Harbour is artificial landfill filled during the late 19th century. Until then, the lakefront docks (then known as wharves) were set back farther inland than today. Much of the adjacent Port Lands are also fill. The Toronto Islands were a natural landspit until a storm in 1858 severed their connection to the mainland, creating a channel later used by shipping interests to access the docks.

Climate

Toronto has a humid continental climate (Köppen: Dfa/Dfb), with warm, humid summers and cold winters. The city experiences four distinct seasons, with considerable variance in day to day temperature, particularly during the colder weather season. Owing to urbanization and its proximity to water, Toronto has a fairly low diurnal temperature range (day-night temperature difference). The denser urban scape makes for warmer nights year around and is not as cold throughout the winter as surrounding areas (particularly north of the city); however, it can be noticeably cooler on many spring and early summer afternoons under the influence of a lake breeze. Other low-scale maritime effects on the climate include lake-effect snow, fog and delaying of spring- and fall-like conditions, known as seasonal lag.
Toronto winters sometimes feature cold snaps where maximum temperatures remain below −10 °C (14 °F), often made to feel colder by wind chill. Snowstorms, sometimes mixed with ice and rain, can disrupt work and travel schedules, accumulating snow can fall any time from November until mid-April. However, mild stretches also occur in most winters melting accumulated snow. The summer months are characterized by long stretches of humid weather. Usually in the range from 23 to 31 °C (73 to 88 °F), daytime temperatures occasionally surpass 35 °C (95 °F) accompanied by high humidity making it feel oppressive during these brief periods of hot weather. Spring and autumn are transitional seasons with generally mild or cool temperatures with alternating dry and wet periods.
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 about 831 mm (32.7 in), with an average annual snowfall of about 122 cm (48 in). Toronto experiences an average of 2,066 sunshine hours, or 45% of daylight hours, varying between a low of 28% in December to 60% in July.[citation needed]

Cityscape

360-degree panorama of Toronto as seen from the CN Tower. The Toronto Islands and the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport on Lake Ontario are visible on the left side of the image while buildings of Downtown Toronto are visible on the right.

Architecture

Allen Lambert Galleria in Brookfield Place
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."[37] Toronto buildings vary in design and age with many structures dating back to the mid-19th century, while other prominent buildings were just newly built in the first decade of the 21st century. Bay-and-gable houses, mainly found in Old Toronto, are a distinct architectural feature of the city. Defining the Toronto skyline is the CN Tower, a telecommunications and tourism hub. Completed in 1976 at a height of 553.33 metres (1,815 ft 5 in), it was the world's tallest[38] freestanding structure until 2007 when it was surpassed by Burj Khalifa.[citation needed]
Toronto is a city of high-rises, having 1,800 buildings over 30 metres (98 ft).[39]
Through the 1960s/70s, significant pieces of Toronto's architectural heritage were demolished to make way for redevelopment or, simply, parking. In contrast, since the 2000s, Toronto has experienced a period of architectural revival, with several buildings by world-renowned architects having opened during the late 2000s. Daniel Libeskind's Royal Ontario Museum addition, Frank Gehry's remake of the Art Gallery of Ontario, and Will Alsop's distinctive Ontario College of Art & Design expansion are among the city's new showpieces.[40] The historic Distillery District, located on the eastern edge of downtown has been redeveloped into a pedestrian-oriented arts, culture and entertainment neighbourhood.[citation needed]

Neighbourhoods

A group of "The Annex" style houses, a style of house that was popular in Toronto in the late nineteenth century.
The many residential communities of Toronto express a character distinct from that of the skyscrapers in the commercial core. Victorian and Edwardian-era residential buildings can be found in enclaves such as Rosedale, Cabbagetown, The Annex, and Yorkville. Wychwood 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 storybook castle built in 1911 complete with gardens, turrets, stables, an elevator, secret passages, and a bowling alley. 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 kilometres. Former municipalities include East York, Etobicoke, North York, Old Toronto, Scarborough, and York.

Old Toronto

Map of Toronto with major traffic routes. Also shown are the boundaries of six former municipalities, which form the current City of Toronto.
The Old City of Toronto covers the area generally known as downtown, but also older neighbourhoods to the east, west, and north of downtown. It includes the historic core of Toronto and remains the most densely populated part of the city. The Financial District contains the First Canadian Place, Toronto-Dominion Centre, Scotia Plaza, Royal Bank Plaza, Commerce Court and Brookfield Place. This area includes, among others, the neighbourhoods of St. James Town, Garden District, St. Lawrence, Corktown, and Church and Wellesley. 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, Deer Park, Moore Park, and Casa Loma, most stretching away from downtown to the north. East and west of Downtown, neighbourhoods such as Kensington Market, Chinatown, Leslieville, Cabbagetown and Riverdale are home to bustling commercial and cultural areas as well as communities of artists with studio lofts, with many middle and upper class professionals. Other neighbourhoods in the central city retain an ethnic identity, including two smaller Chinatowns, the Greektown area, Little Italy, Portugal Village, and Little India, along with others.

Suburbs

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, and Oakwood–Vaughan mainly consist of high-rise apartments, which are home to many new immigrant families. During the 2000s, 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 first two decades of the 21st century. The first neighbourhoods affected were Leaside and North Toronto, gradually progressing into the western neighbourhoods in York. Some of the area's housing is in the process of being replaced or remodelled.
The outer suburbs comprising the former municipalities of Etobicoke (west), Scarborough (east) and North York (north) 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 emergence of Metro Government, existing towns or villages such as Mimico, Islington and New Toronto in Etobicoke; Willowdale, Newtonbrook and Downsview in North York; Agincourt, Wexford and West Hill in Scarborough where suburban development boomed around or between these and other towns beginning in the late 1940s. Upscale neighbourhoods were built such as the Bridle Path in North York, the area surrounding the Scarborough Bluffs in Guildwood, and most of central Etobicoke, such as Humber Valley Village, and The Kingsway. One of largest and earliest "planned communities" was Don Mills, parts of which were first built in the 1950s.[41] Phased development mixing single-detached housing with higher density apartment blocks became more popular as a suburban model of development. Over the late 20th century and early 21st century, North York City Centre, Etobicoke City Centre and Scarborough City Centre have emerged as secondary business districts outside Downtown Toronto. High-rise development in these areas have given the former municipalities distinguishable skylines of their own with high-density transit corridors serving them.

Industrial

In the earlier industrial era of Toronto, industry became concentrated along the Toronto Harbour and lower Don River mouth.
The Distillery District contains the largest and best-preserved collection of Victorian industrial architecture in North America. Once an alcohol processing centre, related structures along the Harbour include the Canada Malting Co. grain processing towers and the Redpath Sugar Refinery. Although production of spirits has declined over the decades, Toronto still has a growing microbrewery industry. The District is 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 post-industrial character, but are now largely residential are the Fashion District, Corktown, and parts of South Riverdale and Leslieville. Toronto still has some active older industrial areas, such as Brockton Village, Mimico and New Toronto. In the west end of Old Toronto and York, the Weston/Mount Dennis and The Junction areas still contain factories, meat packing facilities and railyards close to medium density residential.
Beginning in the late 19th century as Toronto sprawled out, industrial areas were set up on the outskirts. Over time, pockets of industrial land mostly followed rail lines and later highway corridors as the city grew outwards. This trend continues to this day, the largest factories and distribution warehouses have mostly moved to the suburban environs of Peel and York Regions; but also within the current city: Etobicoke (concentrated around Pearson Airport), North York, and Scarborough. Many of Toronto's former industrial sites close to (or in) Downtown have been redeveloped including parts of the Toronto waterfront and Liberty Village, large-scale development is underway in the West Don Lands.
The still mostly vacated Port Lands remain largely undeveloped, apart from a power plant, a shipping container facility and out-of-commission industrial facilities. There are future plans for development, including residential areas under the guidance of Waterfront Toronto.

Public spaces

High Park in Toronto, with Menashe Kadishman's Yellow Circles (1967)
Toronto has a diverse array of public spaces, from city squares to public parks overlooking ravines. A group called the Toronto Public Space Committee was 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, privately owned square near to City Hall, has also gained attention in recent years as one of the busiest gathering spots in the city. Other squares include Harbourfront 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, which include Grange Park, Moss Park, Allan Gardens, Little Norway Park, Queen's Park, Riverdale Park, Trinity Bellwoods Park, Christie Pits, and the Leslie Street Spit, which mainly consists of Tommy Thompson Park and opens on weekends. 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, Guildwood Park, and Rouge Park. An almost hidden park is the compact Cloud Gardens,[42] which has both open areas and a glassed-in greenhouse in downtown Toronto.
Nathan Phillips Square, Harbourfront Centre, and Mel Lastman Square feature popular rinks for public ice-skating. Etobicoke's Colonel Sam Smith Trail opened in 2011 and is Toronto's first skating trail. Centennial Park and Earl Bales Park offer outdoor skiing and snowboarding slopes with a chair lift, rental facilities, and lessons.
Nathan Phillips Square is 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 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.[43][44] 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 Inside/Outside.

Culture

Main article: Culture in Toronto
Toronto's gay pride celebration is one of the world's largest
The Taste of the Danforth weekend attracts over 1 million visitors
Toronto theatre and performing arts scene has more than fifty ballet and dance companies, six opera companies, two symphony orchestras and a host of theatres. The city is home to the National Ballet of Canada, the Canadian Opera Company, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Electronic Ensemble, and the Canadian Stage Company. 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 Sony Centre for the Performing Arts (originally the "O'Keefe Centre" and formerly the "Hummingbird Centre").
Ontario Place features the world's first permanent IMAX movie theatre, the Cinesphere,[45] as well as the Molson Amphitheatre, an open-air venue for music concerts. In spring 2012, Ontario Place closed after a decrease in attendance over the years. Although the Molson Amphitheatre and harbour still operate, the park and Cinesphere are no longer in use.
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 a series of stars on designated blocks of sidewalks along King Street and Simcoe Street.
The production of domestic and foreign film and television is a major local industry. Toronto as of 2011 ranks as the third largest production centre for film and television after Los Angeles and New York City,[46] sharing the nickname "Hollywood North" with Vancouver.[47][48][49] The Toronto International Film Festival is an annual event celebrating the international film industry. Another prestigious film festival is the Toronto Student Film Festival, that screens the works of students ages 12–18 from many different countries across the globe.
Toronto's Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival (also known as Caribana) takes place from mid-July to early August of every summer.[50] Primarily based on the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, the first Caribana took place in 1967 when the city's Caribbean community celebrated Canada's Centennial. More than forty 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 generates over $400 million in revenue into Ontario's economy.[51]
One of the largest events in the city, Pride Week takes place in late June, and is one of the largest LGBT festivals in the world.

Tourism

Toronto Eaton Centre is the largest and busiest shopping mall in Toronto.
Royal Ontario Museum is one of Canada's leading museums[52]
The CN Tower is a major tourist attraction in Toronto.
The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is a museum of world culture and natural history. The Toronto Zoo,[53][54] 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 contemporary artwork, and also plays host to exhibits from museums and galleries all over the world. The Gardiner Museum of ceramic art 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 city also hosts the Ontario Science Centre, the Bata Shoe Museum, and Textile Museum of Canada. Other prominent art galleries and museums include Design Exchange, Museum of Inuit Art, TIFF Bell Lightbox, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Institute for Contemporary Culture, Toronto Sculpture Garden, CBC Museum, Redpath Sugar Museum, University of Toronto Art Centre, Hart House, TD Gallery of Inuit Art and the future Aga Khan Museum. The city also runs its own museums, which includes the Spadina House.
The Don Valley Brick Works is a former industrial site, which opened in 1889, and was partly restored as a park and heritage site in 1996, with further restoration and reuse being completed in stages since then. The Canadian National Exhibition is held annually at Exhibition Place, and it is the oldest annual fair in the world. The ex has an average attendance of 1.25 million.[55]
City shopping area's include the Yorkville neighbourhood, Queen West, Harbourfront, the Entertainment District, the Financial District, and the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood. The Eaton Centre is Toronto's most popular tourist attraction with over 52 million visitors annually.[56]
Greektown on the Danforth is home to the annual "Taste of the Danforth" festival which attracts over one million people in 2½ days.[57] Toronto is also home to Casa Loma, 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.

Sports

The Hockey Hall of Fame, housed in a former bank erected in 1885, is located downtown
BMO Field immediately after Danny Dichio scored the first goal in Toronto FC history
The Toronto Raptors play at the Air Canada Centre
Toronto is represented in seven major league sports, with teams in the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, Canadian Football League, Major League Soccer, Canadian Women's Hockey League and W-League. The National Football League's Buffalo Bills also play select home games in the city. The city's major sports venues include the Air Canada Centre, Rogers Centre (formerly SkyDome), Ricoh Coliseum, and BMO Field. In 2011, Toronto was rated the worst sports city in North America by ESPN, due to years of underperformance of the city's professional teams.[58][59]
Toronto is home to the Toronto Maple Leafs, one of the National Hockey League's Original Six clubs, and has also served as home to the Hockey Hall of Fame since 1958. The city had a rich history of hockey championships. Along with the Maple Leafs' 13 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 Ricoh Coliseum and are the farm team for the Maple Leafs.
The Toronto Raptors entered the National Basketball Association in 1995, and have since earned six playoff spots in 19 seasons. The Raptors have won two Atlantic Division titles (2007, 2014). The Raptors are the only NBA team with their own television channel, NBA TV Canada. They and the Maple Leafs play their home games at the Air Canada Centre.
The Toronto Rock are the city's National Lacrosse League team. They won five Champion's Cup titles in seven years in the late 1990s and early first decade of the 21st century, appearing in an NLL record five straight championship games from 1999 to 2003, and are currently first all-time in the number of Champion's Cups won. The Rock share the Air Canada Centre with the Maple Leafs and the Raptors.
The city is represented in the Canadian Football League by the Toronto Argonauts, who have won 16 Grey Cup titles. Toronto played host to the 95th Grey Cup in 2007, the first held in the city since 1992. Later in 2012, while hosting the 100th Grey Cup but also participants, they won the game to the delight of the home fans. In addition, the city has hosted several National Football League exhibition games; Ted Rogers leased the Buffalo Bills from Ralph Wilson for the purposes of having the Bills play eight home games in the city between 2008 and 2012. The city is also home to Major League Baseball's Toronto Blue Jays, who have won two World Series titles (1992, 1993). Both the Argonauts and Blue Jays (as well as the Bills when they are in town) play their home games at the Rogers Centre, in the downtown core.
Toronto was home to the International Bowl, an NCAA sanctioned post-season football game that pitted a Mid-American Conference team against a Big East Conference team. From 2007 to 2010, the game was played at Rogers Centre annually in January.
Toronto, along with Montreal, hosts an annual Tennis Tournament called the Rogers Cup between the months of July and August. In odd-numbered years, the men's tournament is held in Montreal, while the women's tournament is held in Toronto, and vice-versa in even-numbered years.
Besides team sports, the city annually hosted Champ Car's Molson Indy Toronto at Exhibition Place from 1986 to 2007. The race was revived in 2009 as the Honda Indy Toronto, part of the IndyCar Series schedule. Both thoroughbred and standardbred horse racing events are conducted at Woodbine Racetrack in Rexdale.
Historic sports clubs of Toronto include the Granite Club (established in 1836), the Royal Canadian Yacht Club (established in 1852), the Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club (established in pre-1827), the Argonaut Rowing Club (established in 1872), the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club (established in 1881), and the Badminton and Racquet Club (established in 1924).
Toronto was a candidate city for the 1996 and 2008 Summer Olympics, which were awarded to Atlanta and Beijing respectively. The Canadian Olympic Committee was considering a Toronto bid for the 2020 Games,[60] however, in August 2011 it was announced that Toronto would not bid for the 2020 games.[61] It has been suggested that Toronto may bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics.[62]
Toronto will be hosting the 2015 Pan American Games in July 2015, and the 2015 Parapan American Games in August 2015. It contested against the cities of Lima, Peru and Bogotá, Colombia.[63]
Professional and amateur sports teams in Toronto
Club League Sport Venue Established Championships
Toronto Argonauts CFL Football Rogers Centre 1873 16 (Last in 2012)
Toronto Maple Leafs NHL Ice hockey Air Canada Centre 1917 13 (Last in 1967)
Toronto Blue Jays MLB Baseball Rogers Centre 1977 2 (Last in 1993)
Toronto Raptors NBA Basketball Air Canada Centre 1995 0
Toronto FC MLS Soccer BMO Field 2007 0
Toronto Maple Leafs IBL Baseball Christie Pits 1969 8
Toronto Rock NLL Box lacrosse Air Canada Centre 1998 6 (last in 2011)
Toronto Rebellion RCSL Rugby Fletcher's Fields 1999 0
Toronto Marlies AHL Ice hockey Ricoh Coliseum 2005 0
Toronto City Saints CRL Rugby league Newtonbrook Secondary School 2010 0
Toronto Furies CWHL Women's ice hockey Lakeshore Lions Arena 2007 1
Toronto Lady Lynx USL Women's soccer Centennial Park Stadium 2005 0
Toronto Eagles AFLO Australian Football Humber College North 1989 12
Toronto Rush AUDL Ultimate Frisbee Varsity Stadium 2013 1

Media

Main article: Media in Toronto
Toronto is Canada's largest media market,[64] and has four conventional dailies, two alt-weeklies, and three free commuter papers in a greater metropolitan area of about 6 million inhabitants. The Toronto Star and the Toronto Sun are the prominent daily city newspapers, while national dailies, The Globe and Mail and the National Post are also headquartered in the city. The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, and National Post are broadsheet newspapers. Metro and 24 Hours are distributed as free commuter newspapers. The city's two most prominent general-interest weeklies are Now and The Grid.
Toronto contains the headquarters of the major English-language Canadian television networks CBC, CTV, City, Global, The Sports Network (TSN) and Sportsnet. MuchMusic, MuchMore and MTV Canada are the main music television channels based in the city, though they no longer primarily show music videos as a result of channel drift.

Economy

Main article: Economy of Toronto
Toronto is an 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.[65] The five largest financial institutions of Canada, collectively known as the Big Five, have national offices in Toronto.[11]
The city is an important centre for the media, publishing, telecommunication, information technology and film production industries; it is home to Bell Media, Rogers Communications, and Torstar. Other prominent Canadian corporations in the Greater Toronto Area include Magna International, Celestica, Manulife Financial, Sun Life Financial, the Hudson's Bay Company, and major hotel companies and operators, such as Four Seasons Hotels and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts.
Although much of the region's manufacturing activities take place outside the city limits, Toronto continues to be a wholesale and distribution point for the industrial sector. The city's strategic position along the Quebec City – Windsor Corridor and its road and rail connections help support the nearby production of motor vehicles, iron, steel, food, machinery, chemicals and paper. The completion of the Saint Lawrence Seaway in 1959 gave ships access to the Great Lakes from the Atlantic Ocean.
The city's net debt stood at $4.4 billion as of the end of 2010 and has a AA credit rating.[66] Toronto is expected to pay $400 million of the debt in 2011.[66] The city's debt increased by $721 million in 2010.[66] The city’s unemployment rate was 8.1% in November 2011, down from 8.3% year over year.[67] The cost of living in Toronto was ranked highest in Canada in 2011.[68]

2 comments:

Janet Buffet Robert Levatich said...

a profound city to know from Canada.

Kimberly Erica Jack Schmidly said...

so long information,
rich and nformative