Toronto, Ontario has the highest population of any city in Canada and is the fourth most populous city in North America. The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) as a whole had a 2016 population of 6,417,516.
Toronto covers an area of 630.20 square kilometres (243.32 sq mi) and comprises six districts:
These districts we brought together to form Toronto’s present boundaries in 1998.
Toronto is an international centre of business, finance, arts, and culture, and is recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world.
The City of Toronto is located on the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
Toronto’s diverse population reflects its current and historical role as an important destination for immigrants to Canada.
Greater than 50 percent of Toronto residents belong to a visible minority population group, and there are over 200 distinct ethnic origins represented among Toronto residents.
The majority of Torontonians speak English as their primary language, but there are over 160 languages spoken in the city.
Toronto is a prominent centre for the arts, including music, theatre, and move and television production. It is home to the headquarters of Canada’s major national broadcast networks and media outlets, including The Globe & Mail and National Post newspapers, Rogers Media and CBC.
The city is home to numerous museums and galleries including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), Bata Shoe Museum, Casa Loma, Hockey Hall of Fame, Textile Museum of Canada, Aga Khan Museum, Gardiner Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
These along with festivals and public events, entertainment, sports and a thriving economy attract over 43 million tourists each year.
The city is home to the Toronto Stock Exchange, the headquarters of Canada’s five largest banks, and the headquarters of many large Canadian and multinational corporations.
Its economy is highly diversified with strengths in technology, design, financial services, life sciences, education, arts, fashion, aerospace, environmental innovation, food services, and tourism.
Toronto is known for its many skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, in particular the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere, the CN Tower.
Toronto cannot be pinned down to one architectural style, with buildings varying in design and vintage. The oldest structures date back to the early 19th century, while other prominent buildings were just newly built in the first decade of the 21st century.
During the 1960s and 1970s, significant areas of Toronto were demolished to make way for redevelopment or parking, with a lot of the core financial district being constructed at this time, including the Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed Toronto Dominion (TD) Centre, completed in 1969.
Since 2000, Toronto has experienced a period of condo construction boom and architectural revival, with several buildings by world-renowned architects having opened.
Notable buildings include Daniel Libeskind’s Royal Ontario Museum addition, Frank Gehry’s remake of the Art Gallery of Ontario, and Will Alsop’s Ontario College of Art & Design expansion.
In addition, older neighbourhoods are being reinvigorated, with the mid-1800s Distillery District, on the eastern edge of downtown, redeveloped into a pedestrian-oriented arts, culture and entertainment neighbourhood.
The Toronto ravine system is one of the most distinctive features of the geography of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is a network of deep ravines that form a large urban forest that runs throughout much of the city. Wildlife present in the ravines includes coyotes, red fox, white-tailed deer and many small mammals.
Robert Fulford has stated that the “ravines are the chief characteristic of the local terrain, its topographical signature. They are both a tangible (though often hidden) part of our surroundings and a persistent force in our civic imagination. They are the shared subconscious of the municipality, the places where much of the city’s literature is born.”
Toronto’s slogan: “The city within a park” partially stems from the extensive ravine green space.
There are many large downtown parks which Toronto residents make ample use of during the warmer months. These include Allan Gardens, Christie Pits, Grange Park, Little Norway Park, Moss Park, Queen’s Park, Riverdale Park and Trinity Bellwoods Park.
Large parks in the outer areas managed by the city include High Park, Humber Bay Park, Centennial Park, Downsview Park, Guild Park and Gardens, and Morningside Park.
In addition to public parks managed by the municipal government, parts of Rouge National Urban Park, the largest urban park in North America, is in the eastern portion of Toronto.
A “city of neighbourhoods”, throughout the city of Toronto there are hundreds of small neighbourhoods. These all express an individual character and charm that’s distinct from the downtown core, and from each other.
The many residential communities of Toronto express a character distinct from the skyscrapers in the commercial core.
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.
Many of Toronto’s former industrial sites close to downtown have been redeveloped including parts of the Toronto waterfront, the rail yards west of downtown, and Liberty Village. Condo constructuction has been a dominant feature of these redevelopments.
The real estate market in Toronto has been booming since 2000.
In a report recently released from Ryerson University’s Centre for Urban Research (CUR), Toronto was recognized as the fastest-growing metropolitan area in both Canada and the US.
The City of Toronto added 45,742 persons last year, more than the two fastest-growing US central cities combined, Phoenix and the city of San Antonio, which grew by 26,317 and 17,237 persons, respectively.
This growth puts continuous demand on the city’s rental and real estate market.
It is projected that in the near future, Toronto will have the most high-rise condominiums in the world.