Welcome to Toronto
The capital of Canada’s largest province, Toronto stands as Canada’s answer to other world-class metropoles around the globe. Beyond its status as an economic powerhouse, it is known for its abundant cultural diversity, vibrant night life, eclectic restaurants, theater and festivals.
Toronto is situated on the edge of Lake Ontario, with easy access to neighbouring municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). This lakeside city also features its own communities, each with their own unique characteristics, highlighting the versatility Toronto offers.
Originally home to the Wyandot First Nation, the land where Toronto now stands was first made known to European settlers by Frenchman Étienne Brûlé. In 1793, after control of Canada had been ceded to the British, the first Governor of Upper Canada, John Graves Simcoe, founded the town of York. After many years of building infrastructure and growing its population, York was incorporated to become the City of Toronto in 1834.
Since then, Toronto has seen widespread urbanization which has created the metropolitan city that stands today. It claims the title of Canada’s largest city at close to three million residents, with much of its population coming from outside of Canada. This has created a unique cultural “mosaic”, which has come to be the defining characteristic of the city.
People and Lifestyle
Toronto, being Canada’s largest city with a perfect blend of live/work/play options for all tastes and ages. The neighbourhoods within Toronto each provide their own unique living experiences and attractions. From the bohemian Kensington Market to the luxury of Yorkville, Toronto can be said to be a city of neighbourhoods.
Within the financial district, there is a hub of activity during the day and evening, each season brings their own festivals and events celebrated by the Torontonians throughout the year. Enjoy a night out with large theatre productions at Mirvish or Canadian Stage theatres. Four Seasons for the Performing Arts season performances highlight world class ballets and classical productions. The entertainment district with its clubs and bars are equipped to make each night a memorable one.
Amongst the dozens of events hosted by the City throughout the year, some of the highlighted ones that attract locals, visitors and tourists alike are the Waterfront Harbourfront festival during the summer with upbeat live bands, music and food, right along the water, the St. Clair Festival where you can salsa along to latin rhythms, or The Beach Jazz Festival, where you can enjoy the repertoire of the jazz crooners.
Other notable events in Toronto include fairs at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), Nuit Blanche, and the well renowned Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), which is known as one of the “Big Five” film festivals in the world alongside Cannes and Sundance. Communities such as Toronto’s Greektown and Little Italy also offer their own cultural festivals that are well known among Torontonians.
The Distillery District is another stunning venue, positioned just east of the downtown core with ongoing summer and Christmas festivals held with the backdrop of Toronto’s beautiful heritage buildings.
With the vast appeal that the City of Toronto has for young professionals as well as families, the neighbourhoods within Toronto offers housing choices for all lifestyles and budgets.
Finding a family home can be a challenge in major cities. Fortunately, Toronto offers a variety of residential neighbourhoods conducive to family life all while providing easy access to the city’s amenities.
The Beaches on Toronto’s east end offers a small-town feel and is a top summer destination, drawing families and tourists alike to its sandy beaches and quaint boardwalk. It is also home to the Beaches International Jazz Festival that takes place at the end of July.
Closer to the city’s core is the Annex, which provides a wonderful mix of Edwardian and Victorian homes. With Bloor Street West acting as the neighbourhood’s southern border, the community is brimming with many shops and restaurants, as well as concert venues and other attractions.
One particularly notable area in the north end is that of the Bridle Path, a high-end neighbourhood which has been and continues to be home to many well-known celebrities such as Drake and Prince. This area represents the height of luxury and opulence in Toronto all while maintaining the peace and tranquility often found only in the suburbs.
For those looking for the full metropolitan experience, Toronto provides a plethora of options. The downtown core is the obvious choice for the Torontonian urbanite, with immediate access to all of the city’s attractions and entertainment venues. For those working downtown who enjoy city life, the core is the ideal choice.
Liberty Village, positioned to the west of downtown, is another popular community, typically among young professionals who desire a gritty, urban feel. It features a variety of art galleries, furniture and design shops, and trendy urban fusion restaurants.
Further north is the intersection of Yonge and Eglinton which has been up-and-coming for a number of years. This area has become the centre of Toronto’s uptown, offering an urban feel outside of the downtown core. The neighbourhood features many bars, restaurants, and movie theatres as well as several retail shops. Its proximity to the major subway lines makes it the ideal community for those who enjoy exploring the city.
Schools & School Boards
Toronto is home to hundreds of public, public Catholic and private schools. The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is the largest and one of the most diverse school boards in Canada, serving approximately 247,000 students in 583 schools. The Toronto Catholic District School Board serves more than 91,000 students in 196 Catholic schools.
Toronto District School Board
Toronto Catholic District School Board
TOP PRIVATE SCHOOLS
Upper Canada College
The Bishop Strachan School
Crestwood Preparatory College
St. Clement’s School
TFS Canada International School
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TOP UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES
Toronto is home to many universities and colleges, including Ryerson University, the University of Toronto, York University, OCAD (Ontario College of Art and Design), George Brown College, Humber College, Centennial College and Seneca College.