Discovering Toronto

Toronto is probably one of the most famous cities in Canada. It is the provincial capital of Ontario and is located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario.

It is also well known as one of the most multicultural cities in the entire world because of its diverse population.  With the Chinatown, Greektown and Little Italy areas, it’s easy to see how this city got that acclaim.

Here are some interesting facts about Toronto.

      Geography and Climatemontreal

  • Its land area is mostly flat with gentle hills sloping upward from the lake.
  • Toronto has numerous ravines with creeks and valleys from its three major rivers, Humber River, Don River and Rouge River.
  •  The city has a humid continental climate which means humid summers and cold winters.
  • Toronto winters are often very cold with temperatures usually below 0 degrees Celsius.
  • The city gets snow from November until mid April which at times includes ice and rain.
  • Summer months are very warm with temperatures averaging above 20 degrees Celsius.  This can also shoot up to over 30 degrees Celsius.

      Historyuniversity_toronto

  • The earliest recorded inhabitants of the area now known as Toronto were the Wyandot.  They were displaced by the Iraquois.
  • When European settlers arrived, the Iraquois were already the current inhabitants.
  • The city’s name may have been derived from the Iraquois word “tkaronto” which means “place where trees stand in water.”  This word was used to describe an area in Lake Simco.   Tree saplings where planted in the water to corral fish.
  • At the end of the Beaver War, the Iraquois abandoned their villages on the banks of Rouge and Humber River.  They were driven out by the Mississagua.
  • During the American Revolution, there was an increase of British settlers in the Ontario area.   American immigrants had fled to the unsettled parts of Northern Ontario.
  • Over a quarter million acres were secured by the British from the Mississagua during the Toronto Purchase.
  • Ontario was originally called the Town of York, named after Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany.
  • In 1813, the town was captured and plundered by US soldiers.  During the battle of York, most of the city’s façade were destroyed.
  • The biggest immigration population to Toronto happened during the Great Irish Famine.
  • Toronto was the capital of Canada for two brief periods.  One was from 1849 to 1852 and the other was from 1856 to 1858.
  • The provincial seat of government is at Queen’s Park where the Ontario Legislature is located.
  • Toronto was the largest alcohol distillation centre in North America.
  • Most of the downtown area was destroyed in the Great Toronto Fire in 1904.  It caused over $10 million dollar worth of damages but resulted in stricter fire safety laws.
  • In 1954, another tragedy struck the city.  Hurricane Hazel left 81 people dead and over a thousand families displaced.  It caused a damage of more than $25 million
  • In 2010, the city hosted the 4th G-20 summit, a year after it celebrated its 175th anniversary as a city.
  • Toronto has hosted other international events such as WorldPride in 2014 and the Pan American Games in 2015.

Culturecrowd

  • Toronto is the center of Canada’s art scene.
  • Its cultural institutions include museums and art galleries, national historic sites, entertainment districts and sports activities.
  • Over 250 million tourists visit the city for its rich history and culture.
  • Toronto has over fifty ballet and dance companies, six opera companies and not to mention a host of theatres to enjoy cultural activities at.
  • Toronto was home to the Ontario Place which features the world’s first permanent IMAX theatre.  Unfortunately, due to a decrease in attendance, it was closed down in 2012.
  • The performing arts scene in Toronto becomes even more colorful during the summer months.  The Canadian Stage Company has open air Shakespeare productions in High Park.
  • Toronto has its own local version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame which is aptly called Canada’s Walk of Fame.  It acknowledges the achievements of local Canadians and is found along King and Simcoe Street.
  • As of 2011, the city ranked the third largest film and television production center.  It has actually been dubbed as “Hollywood North”
  • Toronto holds annual film festivals like the Toronto Internation Film Festival and the Toronto Student Film Festival to celebrate both the international and local film industry.
  • The city has numerous cultural places to visit such as The Royal Ontario Museum, the Gardiner Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art.

Toronto is definitely a city worth exploring.  With its diverse culture and interesting history, it is a destination for a trip that you won’t forget for a long time