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Toronto is a Canadian city located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario, and is the provincial capital of Ontario. Toronto is a global city, exerting significant regional and international influence, and is one of the world's most multicultural and ethnically diverse cities. It is Canada's financial centre and economic engine, as well as one of the country's most important cultural, artistic, and health sciences centres. Toronto was named the world's most livable city in 1994 by The Economist. It was displaced in 2005 by Vancouver, but is still ranked among the top ten.


The city of Toronto proper has a population of 2,481,494 (2001 census) and is the most populous city in Canada. The population of the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) is estimated at 5,304,100 in 2005. The Greater Toronto Area (GTA), slightly larger than the Toronto CMA, is defined by provincial authorities for urban planning purposes. Toronto is at the centre of the Golden Horseshoe, a densely populated region in Ontario which is home to roughly eight million people, or one quarter of the population of canada.







In 1998, the current City of Toronto was amalgamated from its six prior municipalities and regional government. The current mayor of Toronto is David Miller. In January 2005, it was designated by the federal government as one of Canada's cultural capitals. Toronto is sometimes nicknamed T.O., T dot, The Big Smoke, or Hogtown.





'Toronto' means 'place where trees stand in the water'. It is an Iroquois name in reference to what is now Lake Simcoe (then Lake Toronto) to the north, where Hurons installed tree saplings to corral fish. The portage between Lake Ontario and Lake Huron that went this route was called the 'Toronto Portage', or 'Passage'. The first European presence was established by French traders at Fort Rouill in 1750. The first large influx of Europeans was by United Empire Loyalists fleeing the American Revolution in the mid-to late-1780s. Toronto grew slowly in the initial years and was used by the British primarily as a naval base. When Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe moved the capital of Upper Canada from Newark to Toronto in 1793 he renamed the town York. By 1800 the town was still very small, smaller than Kingston, and consisted of probably not more than fifty families. York was captured, its surrender negotiated by John Strachan, and its major buildings burned by U.S. soldiers in 1813 (during the War of 1812).


After the war, the city grew more rapidly throughout the remainder of the nineteenth century by becoming one of the main destinations of immigrants to Canada. On March 6, 1834, the Township of York reverted to its original name of Toronto. A bustling steamboat entry port burgeoned in the 1840s and the city's development was aided by the addition of gaslit streetlights and sewers. The city grew even more rapidly after it was linked by rail to the upper Great Lakes in 1854. By the 1870s, industrialization reached a feverish pace and helped to ensure Toronto's place as a major centre of urban growth in the new Canadian Confederation. In the second half of the Twentieth Century, with an influx of post-war immigrants, and, after 1970, immigrants from the developing world, Toronto surpassed Montreal as Canada's most populous city. At the same time, the city's banking and exchange centers also surpassed those of Montreal. This happened at a time when Canada had repatriated much of its stock and bond trade from London, requiring the establishment of a domestic trading center. Its stock market, which, until the early 1960s, primarily capitalized high-risk ventures, expanded to become one of the world's major exchanges.





Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world. In 2004, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) ranked Toronto second, behind Miami, in its "List of World Cities with the Largest Percentage of Foreign-born Population". Though ranking first, Miami's foreign-born population is mostly Hispanic, whereas Toronto's is significantly more diverse. Toronto also ranked ahead of Los Angeles, Vancouver, New York City, Singapore and Sydney. The resulting cultural diversity is reflected in the numerous ethnic neighbourhoods of the city.


Toronto represents a multicultural mosaic. The 2001 Canadian census indicates that 42.8% of Toronto's population belong to a visible minority group. In March 2005, Statistics Canada projected that the visible minority proportion will comprise a majority in both Toronto and Vancouver by 2012.


In 1900, the overwhelming proportion of Toronto's population originated in Great Britain and Ireland. During the 20th century, large scale immigration has changed the demographics of Toronto and there are now people from many different ethnic and national origins living in the city. Areas like Koreatown, Malta Village, Chinatown, Little Jamaica, Little India, Greektown, Portugal Village, Corso Italia, Bloor West Village, Roncesvalles Village and Little Italy are examples of these large changes in the population's origins.


Religion: Roman Catholicism (33.4%), Anglican Church (5.9%) Protestant Christian (Pentecostal, Baptist, Church of God etc.) (11.3%). Islam (5.5%) Hinduism (4.1%), Judaism (3.5%) Buddhism (4.0%) Sikhism (4.0%) No religion or beliefs (16.6)%


While English is the predominant language spoken by Torontonians, Statistics Canada reports that other language groups are significant, including Chinese, Portuguese, Tamil, Persian, Spanish, Punjabi and Italian. Italian is spoken second to English in languages used at work.



Geography and climate


The City of Toronto covers an area of 641 square kilometres (247 sq mi) and is bounded by Lake Ontario to the south, Etobicoke Creek and Highway 427 to the west, Steeles Avenue to the north, and the Rouge River to the east. In addition to Etobicoke Creek and the Rouge River, the city is intersected by two major rivers and their tributaries, the Humber River in the west end and the Don River just east of the central core. The concentration and protection of ravines allows for large tracts of densely forested valleys with recreational trails within the city. However, the ravines also interfere with the city's street grid, and many of the major thoroughfares such as Finch Avenue, Leslie Street, Lawrence Avenue, St. Clair Avenue and Keele Street are terminated as a result, but continue on the other side of the ravines. Many others, such as Bloor Street/Danforth Avenue viaduct require large bridges to cross high above the ravines.


Toronto's climate is moderated by its southerly location within Canada and its proximity to Lake Ontario; its climate is among the mildest of any place in Canada east of the Rocky Mountain range. However, the daily weather is highly variable, particularly during the winter months. Mild periods often occur throughout the winter (temperatures in the 5-10 C range (40sF) or even higher are not uncommon) triggering regular melting of snow on the ground, so that there are snow free periods even in mid-winter. There are usually two or three bitter cold snaps each year, where maximum temperatures only reach into the -10C (14F) to -20C (-4F) range, and minimums can drop to near -30C (-22F) , often accompanied by strong winds making it feel even colder. The coldest ever temperature recorded at Toronto Pearson International Airport was -31.3C (-24.3F) on January 4, 1981, and the coldest ever wind chill reading was -44.7C (-48.5F) also on January 4, 1981. The average January maximum temperature is -2.1 C (28.2F), and the average minimum is -10.5C (13.1F).


In the summer, daytime temperatures can climb as high as 35C (95F), but high humidity often causes the equivalent humidex value to be 40C (104 F) or even higher. The highest ever temperature recorded at Toronto Pearson was 38.3C (100.9F) on August 25, 1948, and the highest ever humidex reading was 50.3C (122.5F) on July 14, 1995. The average July maximum temperature is 26.8C (80F), and the average minimum is 14.8C (58.6F).


Autumn offers pleasant daytime temperatures followed by refreshingly cool nights. Spring is typically the shortest season of the year, generally with warm days and cool nights. The average yearly precipitation is 793 millimetres (31.7 inches), with an average annual snowfall of about 115 centimetres (46 inches). Precipitation is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year, but summer is usually the wettest (and also sunniest) season. Severe weather phenomena include periods of intense cold in winter and extreme heat in summer (such temperature extremes are usually short-lived, however), freezing rainstorms, thunderstorms, and hail. Toronto is rarely affected by the remnants of Atlantic hurricanes, although Hurricane Hazel in 1954 produced widespread flooding and damage throughout the area.








About Canada - links to a lot of information
An American's Guide to Canada - cool site - Canadian search engine and directory
Barren Lands Collection - includes 5000 images of area now known as Nunavut
CN Tower - Toronto's premiere attraction and event destination
Calgary, Alberta - from
Canada - activities from Enchanted Learning Software's Zoom School
Canada - tons of links to Canadian info from galaxy
Canada - Games - more than 3 dozen games and quizzes from Geography World
Canada at Scale - maps of Canadian history
Canada by Train - from the National Library of Canada
Canada Day Ecard's - send online greeting cards absolutely FREE !!!
Canada e-Book - sound, images, tables, graphs and text - Land, People, Economy and The State
Canada International - govt. services, info and resources, for citizens of other countries
Canada Online - from
Canada Postal Code Lookup - with areacode, lat., long., elevation, street name, timezone
Canada: Regional Gross Domestic Product Data - from Demographia
Canada: 20 Top Census Metropolitan Areas: Population from 1951 thru 2001
Canada for Visitors - from
Canada's 360' Web Portal - 360 degree views of many areas of Canada
Canada's Aquatic Environments - 5 different categories of information
Canada's Arctic - Canada's Polar Life and Polar Environments
Canada's Cities - ranked by population - from Demographia
Canada's Wonderland - a Paramount Park
Canada City Population History - Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto & Vancouver
Canada's Demography - population statistics on Canada
Canada's Digital Collections - Geography
Canada's National Forest Inventory - reports, publications, and maps
Canada's Parliament - today in Parliament, more
Canada's Wetlands - Canadian Wetland Classification System and the Wetland Regions of Canada
Canadian Atlas Online - interactive atlas from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society
Canadian Biodiversity Web Site - 8 different categories of information
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation - CBC
Canadian Climate Data - available by city or province
Canadian Climate Normals or Averages 1971-2000
Canadian Communities Atlas Project - easy-to-use format for schools that can be adapted to any curriculum
Canadian Confederation: The Territorial Evolution of Canada
Canadian Council for Geographic Education - the importance of geographical literacy
Canadian Economy Online - statistics, govt. information, and more
Canadian Encyclopedia Online - Histor!ca
Canadian Forest Service - from Natural Resources Canada
Canadian Geographic Online
Canadian Geographical Names - from Natural Resources Canada
Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN)
Canadian History - from
Canadian Holidays and Celebrations - a thinkquest project
Canadian Ice Service - Environment Canada
Canadian Information By Subject
Canadian Landscapes - collection of photos
Canadian Movies / TV - from
Canadian Music - from
Canadian National Earthquake Hazards Program
Canadian Newspapers Online - a selected list
Canadian Online Newspapers - national and daily
Canadian Politics - from
Canadian Politics on the Web - from Nelson Political Science
Canadian Provinces Outline Maps
Canadian Remembrance Day - send free online greeting card -
Canadian Social Research Links - 138 pages with thousands of links
Canadian Studies - A Guide to the Sources (bibliographic essay)
Canadian Tourism Commission - offers tourist information
Canadian Waters - overview of oceans issues, activities and programs
The Canadian West - the years prior to the 1930s
Canadiana - The Canadian Resource Page
CANOE - Canada news, sports, entertainment, finance and business news
CanPix Gallery - 3,500 pictures and audiovisual resources for Canadian Studies
CanSIS On-line Maps - 7 maps from Canadian Soil Information System
Canuck Abroad - resource for Canadian expats abroad, or Canadians planning to travel
Centre for Topographic Information (Ottawa)
Census of Canada: Census of Population, Census of Agriculture
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island - from
Cities in Canada - from OfficialCitySites
CPC - Canada's Political Channel - funded by Canada's cable comapnies
CultureCanada - more than 2 dozen topics with tons of information to explore
CultureQuest World Tour - Canada, US and Mexico - Internet Public Library
Current Events:  Canada - from
Discover Canada's Geoscience Heritage - through text and images
Ecozones and Ecoregions of Canada - click on map for descriptions (Environment Canada)
Ecozones of Canada - 5 categories of information available
Edmonton, Alberta - from
Edmonton's Official Visitors Guide Online - hotels, restaurants, tours, events, and more.
Educational Resources - from the Geological Survey of Canada
Environment Canada's Green Lane - weather and environmental information
Finding Your Way Into The Millennium - maps showing development of Canada
Fredericton, New Brunswick - from
French-Canadian Culture - from
Freshwater Website - from Environment Canada
Geobopological Survey: North America - symbols, quick facts, history, geography, and more!
GeoExpress - a guide to Canada's geographic databases: natural resources and environment
Geological Survey of Canada - earth science information
Geoscape Canada - posters and websites describe issues for 15 Canadian communities
Great Lakes Atlas - Environmental Atlas and Resource Book
Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System - lots of information available
Gross Product per Capita - Canadian Provinces and US States - 2001 - from
Gross Domestic Product Data - Regional - 1999 info from Demographia
Government of Canada - overview of key institutions and Acts of the government
Governments on the WWW - Canada. Huge list of government links
Halifax, Nova Scotia - from - A Guide to Women in Canadian History
Historical Atlas of Canada - Online Learning Project
Hudson Bay Project - Ecosystem Studies and Conservation of Coastal Arctic Tundra
Images Canada - over 65,000 images hosted by the National Library of Canada
Immigration Guides - your essential guide on moving to Canada
Info Niagara - Niagara Falls Tourist Information Guide
Interactive Map of Canada - provinces, capitals, and more
Inuit Life In Nunavik - near Ungava Bay in northern Quebec
Investing: Canada - from
Journeys & Transformations: British Columbia Landscapes - requires Macromedia Flash Player
K-12 Study Canada - wealth of resources for teaching and learning about Canada
Large Canada Urban Areas Population & Density: 2001 - from
LookSmart - Canada
Maps 101 - topographic maps of Canada
Maps of North America - from Internet Geography
Meteorological Service of Canada - Canada's source for meteorological information
Metropolitan Areas & Core Cities: Canada (1951-2001) - from Demographia
Most Dense Urban Areas & Urban Agglomerations in Canada: 2001 - from
National - network
National Air Photo Library - six million aerial photographs covering all of Canada
Natural Hazards / Canada - map of 9 types of hazards (downloadable)
Natural Resources Canada - Maps
NewsExpress National News - Sympatico
Niagara Falls, Canada - The Niagara Falls, Canada Visitor & Convention Bureau
Niagara Falls Origins - Geology of the creation of the famous landmark - resource of choice for information about Canada
Oh Canada! - this page will attempt to define what it is to be Canadian
Online Resources for Canadian Heritage
Ottawa - network
Ottawa, Ontario - from
Our Climate is Changing
Panoramas - the North American Landscape in Art
Parks Canada - Canada's National Parks
Pathfinders and Passageways: The Exploration of Canada (National Library of Canada)
Passages: A Treasure Trove of North American Exploration (National Library of Canada)
The Peopling of Canada: 1891-1921 (University of Calgary)
The Peopling of Canada: 1946-1976 (University of Calgary)
Places Online: Northern Lands - Association of American Geographers
Politics Watch - Canada's Political Portal
Quebec City, Quebec - from
Quebec Home Page - many links to information about the city of Quebec, Quebec
Sable Island, Nova Scotia: The Green Horse Society
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan - from
Statistics Canada - Canada's national statistical agency profiling Canada
Strategis - Canada's Business and Consumer Site
Teaching and Learning About Canada - tons of information available here!
Terrain Sciences, Geological Survey of Canada - several databases of information offered
Toporama - topographic maps of Canada
Tour Canada From Space - currently 43 tours available
Tour Canada Without Leaving Your Desk - many links to all areas of Canada
Travel Canada - good resource Canada - fun information
US/Canada 49th Parallel Boundary Monument Trip 1994 - Lake of the Woods to the Continental Divide
US / Canadian Parks - from
VIA Rail Canada - attractions, destinations, photos of Canada
Victoria, British Columbia - from
Virtual Field Trips - Canada
Virtual Museum of Canada - Canada's Business and Consumer Site
Virtual Tour - Canada
Volcanoes of Canada - database of more than 200 Canadian volcanic features
Weather Office - from Environment Canada
Welcome to Nunatsiaq News! - 3 different editions of native newspapers
Welcome to Statistics Canada - stats on economy, land, people, government, and more
Well Known Canadians - famous people who happen to be Canadian
Winnipeg, Manitoba - from
Women in Canadian History - links to women who have made a difference










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