geographical name


Central Toronto.—Alan Schein Photography/Corbis

City (pop., 2006: city, 2,503,281; metro. area, 5,113,149), capital of Ontario, Canada. Canada's most populous metropolitan area, it lies on the northern shore of Lake Ontario. Originally inhabited by Seneca tribes, its site was occupied by a tiny French fort in the mid-18th century. It was founded in 1793 as York by American colonists loyal to the British. U.S. troops pillaged it during the War of 1812. In 1834 it received its city charter and current name. It became the capital of Ontario in 1867. In 1953–54 it joined neighbouring villages, towns, and townships to form the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto. In 1967 those 13 municipalities were reduced to six (Toronto, Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, York, and the borough of East York), which amalgamated to form the City of Toronto in 1998. It is Canada's financial and commercial centre, the seat of the Toronto Stock Exchange, and a major international trading centre, with access to Atlantic shipping via the Saint Lawrence Seaway and to major U.S. ports via the Great Lakes. It produces more than half of Canada's manufactured goods. Extensive immigration (1950s–70s) brought a variety of foreign cultures that transformed it into one of the liveliest cities on the continent. It is the site of the CN Tower (1,815 ft [553 m] tall), the Hockey Hall of Fame, and the annual Canadian National Exhibition. Its educational institutions include the University of Toronto (1827).

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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