Toronto, derived from the Huron word for fishing weir, is on the northwest shore of Lake Ontario. Having a population of 2.7 million, Toronto is the 5th largest city in North America and one of the most multicultural cities in the world. With over 140 languages and dialects spoken, Toronto is a mosaic of diversity. Toronto is Ontario’s capital city and Canada’s financial and business capital. With 138 km of shoreline along Lake Ontario, bays and islands as well as 307 km of rivers and creeks running through the city, Toronto’s natural beauty is not to be overlooked.
25 municipalities make up the Greater Toronto Area, including the cities of Toronto, Brampton, Burlington, Markham, Mississauga, Oshawa, Pickering, and Vaughan; the towns of Ajax, Aurora, Caledon, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, Halton Hills, Milton, Newmarket, Oakville, Richmond Hill, and Whitby; the townships of Brock, King, Scugog, and Uxbridge; and the municipalities of Clarington and Whitchurch-Stouffville.
With over 1.1 million homes, Toronto is one of Canada's densest cities. The tenth most economically powerful city in the world and one of the fastest growing, Toronto's economic base includes finance, telecommunications, aerospace, media and the arts, publishing, I.T. industries, medical research, and engineering sectors among many others.
In 1996, Toronto became known as the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) incorporating the municipalities of York, East York, North York, Etobicoke and Scarborough. When referring to Toronto before amalgamation, people often refer to it as "Toronto Proper" or "Old Toronto". Currently, Toronto is affectionately known as "the T-Dot" and “the Six”.
The city of Toronto is an eclectic mix of ethnic and interesting communities, divided into the West End, East End, Midtown (formerly North Toronto), North York and Downtown. Yonge Street is the East-West division, Bloor Street the North-South division. North of Bloor lies Midtown and North York, South of Bloor is Downtown. East of Yonge is the East End, East York and Scarborough. West of Yonge is the West End and Etobicoke.
Toronto’s downtown core is a hub of financial and cultural activity. Outlying neighbourhoods include Alexandra Park, The Annex, Cabbagetown, Chinatown, Corktown, Distillery District, The Entertainment District, The Financial District, Harbourfront, Kensington Market, Harbourd Village, Queen St West, St.James Town, St. Lawrence Market, the University of Toronto, Yorkville, and The Toronto Islands.
Toronto’s West End boasts Toronto’s largest public park, the beautiful High Park. Surrounding this park is a number of neighbourhoods catering to both families and students. These include Bloor West Village, Bracondale Hill, Brockton Village, Carleton Village, Little Italy, Fort York, The Junction, Koreatown, Liberty Village, West Queen West, Little Portugal, Mirvish Village, Parkdale, Roncesvalles, Seaton Village, Swansea, Trinity Bellwoods, Queen West, and others.
Toronto’s East End is a hub of cultural diversity. Greektown, Little India, Little Ethiopia and Danforth Village are all ethnically integrated, creating a community both unique and full of flavour... literally. The food in the East End of Toronto is authentic and amazing. Don’t judge a book by its cover: it may not look fancy on the outside but for a true taste of Toronto's diversity, the East End can't be beat.
What used to be known as North Toronto has more recently become synonymous with Midtown Toronto. It is an affluent business and residential area. Neighbourhoods in midtown include Rosedale, Forest Hill, Deer Park, Summerhill, Davisville Village, Bedford Park, Chaplin Estates, Lawerence Park, Lytton Park, Wanless Park, and Yonge and Eglinton.