Toronto’s history dates back, long before Europeans came to settle Canada. It initially was a meeting place for First Nations people (North American Indians) and has a protected harbour that the French and British also used for trade and settlements. Toronto is derived from the Huron word for “meeting place”.
In 1788, the British purchased the land from the Mississauga Indians under the leadership of Lieutenant-Colonel John Graves Simcoe. He named the new town “York” and it’s beginnings can still be seen in the historic garrison of York near the Canadian National Exhibition grounds in downtown Toronto. It’s current name was adopted in 1834 when the town was incorporated.
Over the years the city has grown despite two major fires. It has established many educational, cultural and architectural facilities. Toronto offers an extensive public transit system which includes buses, subways and streetcars. It is one of the safest cities in the world, with a crime rate lower than many other cities of equivalent size.
Toronto has wonderful live theatre, rivalled only by New York City and London, England. It’s restaurants and communities are diverse as a result of the variety of people who have immigrated to Canada and settled in Toronto. This can be seen in Toronto neighborhoods named Greektown, Little Italy, Indian Bazaar, Little Poland, Portugal Village, Chinatown & others. Visiting these places is like taking a trip around the world without leaving Toronto.
Sports fanatics can get their fill by taking in a hockey game with the Leafs, basketball with the Raptors or a Blue Jay baseball game at the Dome.
Shopping is plentiful as well and in the winter months – you don’t even need to go outside! Walk the labyrinth of shops under Toronto’s streets – no coat required!
Geographically, Toronto is situated on Lake Ontario’s northern shore, closeToronto Skyline to its western end. It is within a couple hours drive to the American border, Niagara Falls and recreational activities such as skiing, camping & hiking outside of the city. There are many golf courses too!
It is the geographic location that has helped to build Toronto into the finance, industry and commerce powerhouse it is today. Half of the population of the United States is within a days drive of Toronto. It is the second largest car manufacturing area in North America (after Detroit), the third largest stock exchange based on value’s traded, and 7 of the top 10 information technology companies have Canadian headquarters in Toronto.