Toronto title

And now, my city...and no comments please, this is still my city.  I'll give you the version that sounds like something you'd see out of a historical book or one of those old National Film Board movie versions, then I'll find new stuff to throw in.  So sit back, grab some popcorn and take a read...

Toronto Skyline
Toronto Skyline
  • Effective January 1, 1998, the area formerly known as the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto became the new, unified City of Toronto.  This change was made by legislation passed by the Ontario Legislature (Ontario's parliament) on April 21, 1997.  Currently, the new City of Toronto includes five former cities (Toronto, North York, Scarborough, Etobicoke and York) and the former borough of East York.

  • Toronto is the commercial, industrial and financial centre of Canada and is located on the Northwestern shores of Lake Ontario.

  • The name Toronto originated from Huron Indians and it means "place of meeting".
  • In 1750, the French built Fort Rouillé on the site of modern day Toronto.  It was built to protect against increasing English interference with French trading, but was abandoned in 1759 during the Seven Years' War.
  • Many Loyalists came to British North America after the American Revolution.  To settle them, the government bought land from the Mississauga Indian tribe and built a small town.  In 1793, Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe named the town York.  In 1796, Simcoe moved the capital of Upper Canada from Niagara (modernday Niagara-on-the-Lake) to York, and work on the first parliament buildings began.  The town of York became a city in 1834, and its name was changed to Toronto.  William Lyon Mackenzie was Toronto's first mayor. (image: Fort York)
Fort York
  • The city grew and changed. Massive fires in 1849 and 1904 wiped out much of Toronto's downtown.  Sewers and gas lighting arrived in the 1840s.  The railway came in the 1850s, connecting Toronto with the United States and Quebec -- this increased the city's role as a financial and commercial centre.
  • Canada's first horsedrawn streetcars appeared in Toronto in 1861, and were replaced by electric ones in the 1890s.  When the Dominion of Canada was formed in 1867, Toronto became the capital of the new Province of Ontario.  The city began absorbing the surrounding towns and villages in 1883.  Within 30 years, Toronto had doubled in physical size and increased its population by five times.
  • An industrializing Toronto entered the twentieth century.  World War I added to its prosperity, and the varied economy of the area reduced the impact of the Great Depression.  Growth continued through the Second World War and beyond, leading the province to set up Metropolitan (Metro) Toronto in 1953.
  • The first North American government of its kind, Metro linked the City of Toronto and 12 suburbs into a federation.  Metro's 13 individual municipalities gave some responsibilities (like policing) to a regional government, while retaining others (including fire protection) for themselves.  In the early 1950s, Canada's first subway opened in Toronto, forming the core of North America's best public transit system.
  • In 1967, the 12 suburbs became five "boroughs", and by 1984 every borough except East York had become a city within Metro.  New downtown areas began developing in North York and Scarborough.
  • Today's Toronto is Canada's banking centre, and the location of many company head offices.  The City of Toronto has dozens of arts organizations, thousands of restaurants, and many amateur and professional sports facilities, such as the unique SkyDome (home of the Blue Jays and Argonauts) and the beautiful Air Canada Centre (home of my Maple Leafs and Raptors).  While the skyline is filled with mirrored skyscrapers and is home to the world's tallest free-standing structure (the CN Tower), many old buildings remain.  The waterfront combines parkland, hotels, housing, cultural attractions, and entertainment centres.

Here are a few images of places to see throughout the city:

Roy Thompson Hall
City Hall
City Hall
Ontario Science Centre
Eaton Centre
Ontario Place
cave painting

CN Tower view3
CN Tower view1 CN Tower view2
CN Tower view5
CN Tower view4
Casa Loma

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