The city of Toronto encompasses a geographical area formerly administered by many separate municipalities. Each of these municipalities have developed a distinct history and identity over the years, and their names remain in common use among the inhabitants of Toronto. Previous municipalities include East York, Etobicoke, Forest Hill, Mimico, North York, Parkdale, Scarborough, Swansea, Weston and York. There exists, throughout the city, hundreds of small neighbourhoods and some larger neighbourhoods covering a few square kilometres.
The multiple communities of Toronto express a character distinct from the skyscrapers in the commercial core. Designs suchs as, Victorian and Edwardian-era residential buildings can be found in enclaves such as Rosedale, Cabbagetown, The Annex, and Yorkville. The area also know as Wychwood Park neighbourhood, historically significant for the architecture of its homes, and for being one of Toronto’s earliest planned communities, was designated as an Ontario Heritage Conservation district in 1985. In particular, the Casa Loma neighbourhood is named after “Casa Loma”, a castle built in 1911 by Sir Henry Pellat, complete with gardens, turrets, stables, an elevator, secret passages, and a bowling alley. The historical Spadina House is a 19th-century manor that is now a museum.
Victorian-era Bay-and-gable houses are a distinct architectural style of residence that is ubiquitous throughout the older neighbourhoods of Toronto.
The pre-amalgamated City of Toronto covers the downtown core and also older neighbourhoods to the east, west, and north of it. It is the most densely populated part of the city. The Financial District contains the First Canadian Place, Toronto-Dominion Centre, Scotia Plaza, Royal Bank Plaza, Commerce Court and Brookfield Place. This area includes, among others, the neighbourhoods of St. James Town, Garden District, St. Lawrence, Corktown, and Church and Wellesley. With that consideration, the Toronto skyline extends northward along Yonge Street.
The part of the city with inner suburbs are contained within the former municipalities of York and East York. Know as mature and traditionally working-class areas, consisting primarily of post–World War, small, single-family homes and small apartment blocks. Areas such as Crescent Town, Thorncliffe Park, Weston, and Oakwood Village comprise mainly of high-rise apartments, which are home to many new immigrant families. In the 2000s, numerous neighbourhoods have become ethnically diverse and have undergone gentrification as a result of increasing population, and a housing boom during the late 1990s and the early 21st century. The neighbourhoods affected were Leaside and North Toronto, gradually progressing into the western neighbourhoods in York. Numerous parts of the area’s housing is in the process of being replaced or remodelled.
The part of the city with outer suburbs, comprising the former municipalities of Etobicoke (west), Scarborough (east) and North York (north) largely retain the grid plan laid before post-war development. These sections were interestingly long established and quickly growing towns before the suburban housing boom began and the emergence of metropolitan government, existing towns or villages such as Mimico, along with Islington and New Toronto in Etobicoke; Willowdale, Newtonbrook and Downsview in North York; Agincourt, Wexford and West Hill in Scarborough where suburban development had incredible growth in around or between these and other towns beginning in the late 1940s and thereabout. The ritzy upscale neighbourhoods were built such as the Bridle Path in North York, the area surrounding the Scarborough Bluffs in Guildwood, and most of central Etobicoke, such as Humber Valley Village, and The Kingsway. Notably, one of largest and earliest “planned communities” was Don Mills, parts of which were first built in the 1950s. There does exist phased development, mixing single-detached housing with higher-density apartment blocks, became more popular as a suburban model of development. During the late 20th century and early 21st century, North York City Centre, Etobicoke City Centre and Scarborough City Centre have emerged as secondary business districts outside the Downtown core. High-rise development in these areas has given the former municipalities distinguishable skylines of their own with high-density transit corridors serving them.
Ye Old Toronto is also home to many historically wealthy residential enclaves, such as Yorkville, Rosedale, The Annex, Forest Hill, Lawrence Park, Lytton Park, Deer Park, Moore Park, and Casa Loma region, appear to be stretching away from downtown to the north. The east and west of downtown neighbourhoods such as Kensington Market, Chinatown, Leslieville, Cabbagetown and Riverdale are home to bustling commercial and cultural areas as well as communities of artists with studio lofts, with many middle- and upper-class professionals that reside in the region. The other neighbourhoods in the central city retain an ethnic identity, including two smaller Chinatowns, the Greektown area, Little Italy, Portugal Village, and Little India, along with other communities and second mortgage providers.
The city of Toronto is the capital city of the Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 2016, it is the most populous city in Canada and the fourth most populous city in the North American region of the world. In understanding, the city is the anchor of the Golden Horseshoe, an urban agglomeration of 9,245,438 people (as of 2016) surrounding the western end of Lake Ontario, while the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) proper as of 2016 had a population count of 6,417,516. The city of Toronto is an international centre of business, finance, arts, and culture, and is recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world.
Historically, many folks have travelled through and inhabited the Toronto area, located on a broad sloping plateau interspersed with rivers, deep ravines, and urban forest, for more than 10,000 years as known to date. Subsequent to the broadly disputed Toronto Purchase, when the Mississauga surrendered the area to the British Crown, the British established the town of York in 1793 and later designated it as the capital of Upper Canada, as per historic records. Amidst the War of 1812, the town was the site of the Battle of York and suffered heavy damage by American troops at that time. The region of York was renamed and incorporated in 1834 as the city of Toronto in Ontario. The city was designated as the capital of the province of Ontario in 1867 during Canadian Confederation period. Interestingly the city proper has since expanded past its original borders through both annexation and amalgamation to its current area of 630.2 km or thereabout.
Incredibly, the varied population of Toronto reflects its current and historical role as an important destination for immigrants to Canada. Seemingly more than 50 percent of residents belong to a visible minority population group, and over 200 distinct ethnic origins are represented among its inhabitants. In lines with the diversity of the city, the majority of Torontonians speak English as their primary language, over 160 languages are spoken in the city.
The city of Toronto is a prominent centre for music,motion picture production, and television production, and is home to the headquarters of Canada’s major national broadcast networks and media outlets in North America. The cities varied cultural institutions, which include numerous museums and galleries, festivals and public events, entertainment districts, national historic sites, and sports activities, attract over 43 million tourists each year to the region. The city is known for its many skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, in particular the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere,also known as, the CN Tower.
The Toronto Stock Exchange, the headquarters of Canada’s five largest banks, and the headquarters of many large Canadian and multinational second mortgage corporations call Toronto, home, for their daily operations. The economy is highly diversified with strengths in technology, design, financial services, life sciences, education, arts, fashion, aerospace, environmental innovation, food services, and tourism to name a few.
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