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  • Writer's pictureTanya

Toronto, the city of neighbourhoods

Toronto is the largest city in Canada and is known by many names. The nickname Hogtown dates back to the 1800’s when Toronto was home tothe William Davies Company, the largest pork packer in the country at the time. Toronto has also been called ‘Tee dot’ or ‘Tee oh’ because of the short-form spelling of its location in Toronto, Ontario: T.O.

Most significantly, Toronto is known as the City of Neighbourhoods. A census in the early 2000’s showed Toronto to be one of the most multicultural cities of the world, where more than half of the 2.5 million downtown residents were born outside of Canada, over 1 million were visible minorities, and over 150 languages and dialects were identified as used within the city. The city has experienced few, if any, notable interracial conflicts, showing a peaceful cohabitation of this mix of people throughout its history.Where the United States has been known as a ‘melting pot’, Canada is known as a‘cultural mosaic’ or a ‘salad bowl’ where immigrants can bring their culturewith them and be Canadian as well.

The area stretching to the west of Toronto along the coastof Lake Ontario is known as the Golden Horseshoe. It defines the highly industrialized area that houses everything from steel manufacturing plants to the Niagara Escarpment, a world biosphere reserve designated by the United Nations.The history of Toronto is tied closely to the occupations of both the British and the French in the 1700s and 1800s. It was greatlyinfluenced by changes occurring in the United States, as well as activities overseas; for example, the Irish Famine in the mid 1800’s brought a spike in immigration from Ireland to Toronto. Though the people of the First Nations lay original claim to the area, Toronto the City was born in the late 1700’s when the British purchased the land.

Learn more about the history of Toronto:

The population of Toronto is approximately 2.5 million people and that’s just within the main boundaries of the city. The GTA (GreaterToronto Area) is closer to 10 million in total. Half of Toronto’s population in the 2011 census was defined as immigrants, which continues to bring amulti-cultural flavour to the city. There are peak periods for travel toToronto, primarily in the summer, where tourist traffic will be highest and theweather will be the most pleasant. Autumn is a gorgeous time of year when thetrees will be in colour as their leaves prepare to drop for winter. Wintertime will see temperatures falling well below freezing and snowfall is guaranteed. Springtime can be hit or miss depending on the year, with anything from snow in April to swimsuit-weather. 

The iconic CN Tower
The beach in summer near Harbourfront


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