There are many interesting cities in North America, but one of them stands out from the crowd – it’s Toronto. If you ever end up in Toronto and can’t visit other cities in Canada, do not be particularly upset – Toronto can offer you almost everything you would expect to see in a big city in North America.
It’s one of those cities that never sleeps, because there is always something going on there. If you consult a Toronto entertainment calendar, you will get a glimpse of Toronto’s rich cultural life.
Toronto is the largest city in Canada and the fifth largest city in North America with a population of over 2.5 million people. Toronto owes its success to its strategic geographical position – it has easy access to other large mega-cities such as New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Montreal, etc. This position was an important factor in the city’s historic development and emergence as one of the largest business, cultural, scientific and sports centers in North America.
Another peculiarity of Toronto is that it’s one of the most diverse city in the world, formed by waves of immigrants from all over the world.
Canada is actively attracting immigrants, and most of them decide to settle in Toronto, which gives the city its ethnic flavor. Toronto has no equal in the world in the abundance of ethnic restaurants, variety of places of worship and cultural centers, and in the number of ethnic festivals and celebrations held throughout the year.
History of Toronto
Toronto appeared on the map in 1750, as a small fort called Fort Rouillé, used by the French salesmen as a trading point with the Indians. The fort existed only until 1759, then it was abandoned.
In 1793, the governor of Upper Canada (today’s Ontario), John Simcoe assigned Fort York the status of a city. The current name of Toronto the city received on March 6, 1834.
During all the years Toronto has grown rapidly, attracting a large volume of immigrants arriving in Canada. The Irish were the first major ethnic group that settled and dominated in Toronto for a long time.
This was changed by a large wave of immigration in the late 19th – early 20th century, when many Germans, Frenchmen, Italians and Jews arrived in Toronto. Then the city saw an influx of immigrants from China and Eastern Europe, primarily from Poland, Ukraine and Russia.
After the Second World War, the city accepted another wave of immigrants, mainly from Western and Eastern Europe. As a result, the city’s population reached one million.
However, for a long time Toronto remained primarily an industrial city, overshadowed by Montreal, which played the role of the financial and cultural capital of Canada.
This changed in 1980, when thanks to the rapid development of Toronto and an increase in its population, Toronto gradually surpassed Montreal and turned into a major financial center.
From that moment the city began a new chapter in its history. Toronto rapidly developed into an important focal point of cultural and business life, joining the echelons of such mega-cities as New York, London and Tokyo.
Today, Toronto is one of very important tourist destinations in the world. It’s attracting millions of tourists every year thanks to its colorful ethnic neighborhoods, festivals, and a large number of world-class museums, amusement parks and other attractions.
About the author:
Svetlana Rubejov lives and works in Toronto, expressing her love for the city by writing Life in Toronto City Guide – a guide for immigrants and tourists, covering everything from cheap hotels Toronto and the city’s attractions to its real estate and job search tips.