is Canada's largest city and the provincial
capital of Ontario. Toronto's population
is 2,518,772 (Statistics Canada, 2004).
The population of the Greater Toronto
Area (GTA) is 5,203,686 (Statistics Canada,
2004). Residents of Toronto are called
Torontonians (in French: Torontois). The
city is part of the Golden Horseshoe region
of Ontario, a densely populated region
of around 7 million people. Approximately
one-quarter of the Canadian population
lives within the Golden Horseshoe, and
about one-sixth of all Canadian jobs lie
within the city limits. Toronto is a global
city, exerting significant regional, national,
and international influence, and is one
of the world's most multicultural cities.
Toronto is Canada's financial centre and
'economic engine,' as well as one of the
country's most important cultural, art,
and health sciences centres. In January
2005, it was designated by the federal
government as one of Canada's cultural
is one of the safest cities to live in
North America; its violent crime rate
is lower than that of any major U.S. metropolitan
area and is one of the lowest in Canada.
The current City of Toronto was –
in 1998 – amalgamated from its six
prior municipalities and regional government.
The current mayor of Toronto is David
Miller. His predecessor, and first mayor
of the amalgamated city, was Mel Lastman.
The last mayor of the pre-amalgamated
city was Barbara Hall. The Toronto area
was home to a number of First Nations
groups who lived on the shore of Lake
Ontario. The first European presence was
the French trading fort Fort Rouillé
established in 1750. The first large influx
of Europeans was by United Empire Loyalists
fleeing the American Revolution. In 1793
Toronto, then known as York, was named
capital of the new colony of Upper Canada.