Toronto is Canada’s largest city with 2,731,571 inhabitants (in 2016) and is the capital of the province of Ontario. It is also the fourth most populous city in all of North America after Mexico City, New York and Los Angeles.
The area has been inhabited for more than a thousand years by indigenous Iroquois. It is believed that the name Toronto itself is derived from their word “tkaronto” which roughly means “the place where the trees stand in water”. In the mid-1750s, French merchants founded the Fort Rouillé settlement, but abandoned it nine years later. In 1787, the area passed to British rule after being purchased from the natives by Lord Dorchester, and the British founded the city of York, which was later renamed Toronto in 1878.
During the 19th century, Toronto was the main target for immigrants from Europe, such as Irishmen who fled across the Atlantic to escape the great Irish famine. In 1851, the largest ethnic group in the city was Irish Catholics. Canada has always been a country that received many immigrants, and throughout the 20th century, there were streams of people from countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Russia, China, Poland, and Jewish ethnic groups from Eastern Europe.
For two periods, Toronto has been the capital of Canada: 1849-1852 and 1856-1858. Since 1866, however, the capital has been Ottawa.
Climate and geography
According to Shoppingpicks, geographically, the city is located on the northwest shore of Lake Ontario and is surrounded by ravines, rivers and forests. The surrounding landscape is relatively flat.
The climate is so-called humid continental climate with fairly hot summers and cold winters, and four different seasons. Winters are often snowy and the temperature can drop to minus 20 degrees.
Culture in Toronto
Toronto is in many ways a city teeming with culture. Among other things, the city houses fifty ballet and dance companies, six opera companies and two symphony orchestras.
The production of both domestic and foreign film is very high, and in 2011 the city was third on the list of the world’s largest production cities for film and television. The Toronto International Film Festival is also held every year.
Toronto is one of Canada’s most visited tourist destinations with 9,620,000 visitors in 2006. The city center has more than twenty-five museums, the largest of which is the Royal Ontario Museum, which displays natural history and cultural objects from around the world. Another interesting museum is the Bata Shoe Museum, where you can look at shoes from many different geographical locations, eras and peoples. Toronto Zoo is Canada’s largest zoo with over 5,000 animals from 500 different species, including a huge indoor aquarium.
Toronto is home to, among others, the ice hockey team Toronto Maple Leafs, which has been incredibly successful and won the Stanley Cup 13 times. The city also has the hockey Hall of Fame.
The Toronto Blue Jays baseball team and the Toronto Raptors basketball team also have their home arena in the city, as well as successful teams in Canadian football, European football, rugby and lacrosse.