All About Toronto
All About Toronto
As the most populous city in Canada, Toronto is the capital of Ontario. Lying at the heart of the Greater Toronto, this multicultural city is home to nearly 3 million residents. Toronto sits on the shores of Lake Ontario, part of the Great Lakes found across the northern USA and southern Canada.
History of Toronto
First settled by French traders and then expanded upon by British colonists, Toronto was originally known as York. The city was a useful trading post that connected other settlements across Upper and Lower Canada with resources and supplies. Over the last two centuries, Toronto became a major settlement area for new immigrants to Canada, leading to the creation of large suburban areas that now cover present-day North York, Scarborough, Etobicoke, and Danforth. By the end of the 20th century, Toronto had overshadowed Montreal and became the largest and most populous city in Canada. As the suburbs began to swell and boom, the decision was made to amalgamate the entire area into one big “megacity”.
Toronto attracts all sorts of people from all over the world. The Financial District, home to some of the major banks such as BMO and RBC on Bay Street, see thousands of workers pass through it every day. Similarly, the city is a hub for students, with institutions such as University of Toronto, George Brown College and Ryerson University attracting young people from far and wide.
Meanwhile, tourists flock to Toronto to see events such as the Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto Pride, the Toronto International Film Festival, and Caribana. Other sights such as Nathan Phillips Square, Casa Loma and St Lawrence Market attract weekender visits for those looking for a city break out in Toronto.
Locals can often be found enjoying the cities’ vast array of diverse restaurants, whether those out in Koreatown, Chinatown, Little Italy, or Little Portugal. Similarly, Torontonians and other GTA residents regularly head downtown to support the city’s local sports teams. At the Rogers Centre, baseball fans turn out to see the Toronto Blues Jays take on teams across North America. Basketball, home to 2019 NBA championship winners the Toronto Raptors, is now popular among many young Torontonians. As Canada’s signature sport, the Toronto Maple Leafs represent the city in Ice Hockey as they compete for the Stanley Cup.
The unique skyline stands out among Canadian cities. With the iconic CN Tower standing at the foot of Lake Ontario and giving a view stretching as far as Mississauga and North York, the views at the top are endless. Visitors can also benefit from the CN Tower’s revolving restaurant and the new SkyPod, offering panoramic vistas of Toronto and Lake Ontario. As a booming city, Toronto is now one of North America’s fastest growing skylines, with new condo towers being worked on every day.
Toronto’s climate is unique. Like many Canadian cities, Toronto experiences cold to very cold winters, with temperatures reaching lower than -20 degrees Celsius on multiple occasions throughout the year. However, unlike other lakeside cities that succumb to the lake snow effect, Toronto is typically milder and less snowy than other cities in the province. That being said, Toronto experiences around 40 days of snow a year, amounting to 47.8 inches in total. Summers arrive late and are brief, with warmer temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius being observed in June or possibly late May. The summer is hot and humid, which sees temperature regularly reaching over 30 degrees Celsius and the humidex levels sending this even higher. Comparatively, Fall and Spring tend to bring milder and wetter weather Toronto, with occasional snowfalls and flurries.
Transportation in Toronto
Accessing Toronto is fairly easy, with the city having one of the best public transportation systems in Canada and North America. Conveniently connected to the rest of Ontario with the GO Transit, TTC, and Via Rail at Union Station. The station also includes connections to Toronto Pearson Airport located just outside the city in Mississauga. The lakeshore also houses a local airport, Billy Bishop Airport, which provides flights to other Canadian destinations as well as the US. For drivers, Toronto is easily accessible to Highway 401 and The Queen Elizabeth Way thanks to the city’s grid system. This portion of Highway 401 is known to be the busiest highway in North America, as many commuters travel to Toronto from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) or even other cities such as Guelph, Kitchener, Oakville and Hamilton.