Toronto is the capital city of the Canadian province of Ontario. The city is the anchor of the Golden Horseshoe, an urban agglomeration surrounding the western end of Lake Ontario. Toronto is an international centre of business, finance, arts, and culture, and is recognised as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world.
Indigenous peoples 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. After 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. York was renamed and incorporated in 1834 as the city of Toronto.
The diverse population of Toronto reflects its current and historical role as an important destination for immigrants to Canada. More than 50 percent of residents belong to a visible minority population group, and over 200 distinct ethnic origins are represented among its inhabitants. While the majority of residents speak English as their primary language, over 160 languages are spoken in the city.
Toronto is a prominent centre for music, theatre, motion picture production, and television production, and is home to the headquarters of Canada's major national broadcast networks and media outlets. Its 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. Toronto is known for its many skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, in particular the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere, the CN Tower.
The city is home to the Toronto Stock Exchange, the headquarters of Canada's five largest banks, and the headquarters of many large Canadian and multinational corporations. Its economy is highly diversified with strengths in technology, design, financial services, life sciences, education, arts, fashion, aerospace, environmental innovation, food services, and tourism.
Toronto is an international centre for business and finance. Generally considered the financial and industrial capital of Canada, Toronto has a high concentration of banks and brokerage firms on Bay Street in the Financial District. The Toronto Stock Exchange is the world's seventh-largest stock exchange by market capitalisation. The five largest financial institutions of Canada, collectively known as the Big Five, have national offices in Toronto.
The city is an important centre for the media, publishing, telecommunication, information technology and film production industries; it is home to Bell Media, Rogers Communications, and Torstar. Other prominent Canadian corporations in the Greater Toronto Area include Magna International, Celestica, Manulife, Sun Life Financial, the Hudson's Bay Company, and major hotel companies and operators, such as Four Seasons Hotels and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts.
Although much of the region's manufacturing activities take place outside the city limits, Toronto continues to be a wholesale and distribution point for the industrial sector. The city's strategic position along the Quebec City–Windsor Corridor and its road and rail connections help support the nearby production of motor vehicles, iron, steel, food, machinery, chemicals and paper. The completion of the Saint Lawrence Seaway gave ships access to the Great Lakes from the Atlantic Ocean.
Bay Street The Financial District in Toronto centres on Bay Street, the equivalent to Wall Street in New York. The city hosts the headquarters of all five of Canada's largest banks, Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Scotiabank, Bank of Montreal and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and was ranked as the safest banking system in the world. Toronto's economy has seen a steady boom in growth thanks to a large number of corporations relocating their Canadian headquarters into the city, and Canada's growing cultural significance. Resulting in a number of companies setting up shop in Toronto.
Hollywood North Toronto is one of the centres of Canada's film and television industry, due in part to the lower cost of production in Canada. The city's streets and landmarks are seen in a variety of films, mimicking the scenes of American cities such as Chicago and New York. The city provides a diversity of settings and neighbourhoods to shoot films, with production facilitated by Toronto's Film and Television Office.Toronto's film industry has extended beyond the Toronto CMA into adjoining cities such as Hamilton and Oshawa.
Technology Toronto is a large hub of the Canadian and global technology industry, generating $52 billion in revenues annually. Toronto tech firms offered almost 30,000 jobs which is higher than the combination of San Francisco Bay area, Seattle and Washington, D.C. The area bound between the Greater Toronto Area, the Kitchener-Waterloo region and the City of Hamilton was termed a "digital corridor" by the Branham Group, a region highly concentrated with technology companies and jobs similar to Silicon Valley in California. It is the third largest centre for information and communications technology in North America, coming in behind New York City and Silicon Valley, with over 168,000 people and 15,000 companies working in the Toronto technology sector alone. Toronto is also home to a large startup ecosystem. The city was ranked as the 8th best startup scene in the world and 3rd when it came to performance and support.
Tourism Tourism is a vital industry for Toronto. The Toronto Eaton Centre is the primary tourist attraction in Toronto, with over 47 million visitors per year. Other commercial areas that receives many tourists include the PATH network, which is the world's largest underground shopping complex and the eclectic Kensington and St. Lawrence Market. The Toronto Islands are a major tourist draw, attracting people for the beauty of the scenery, the ban of private motor vehicles on the islands outside of the airport, and proximity to downtown Toronto. As well, the CN Tower, Casa Loma, Toronto's theatre and musicals as well as Yonge-Dundas Square, Ripley's Aquarium of Canada are magnets for tourists.
Real estate Real estate is a major force in the city's economy, Toronto is home to some of the nation's—and the world's—most expensive real estate. The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB), formerly the Toronto Real Estate Board, is a non-profit professional association of registered real estate brokers and salespeople in Toronto, and parts of the Greater Toronto Area. Many large Real estate investment trusts are based in Toronto.
Toronto is rated Alpha by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation. Alpha level cities are linked to major economic states and regions and into the world economy.
Toronto is the #16 city in the world according to the Global Power City Index (GPCI) which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to their magnetism, or their comprehensive power to attract people, capital, and enterprises from around the world. It does so through measuring six key functions: Economy, Research and Development, Cultural Interaction, Liveability, Environment, and Accessibility.
Toronto is the #31 city in the world according to the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) which evaluates and ranks the competitiveness of the major financial centres of the world according to a wide range of criteria – Human Capital, Business, Finance, Infrastructure and Reputation.
Toronto is ranked #30 by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. Toronto is rated B by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. B cities are international hub cities. Toronto was ranked #6 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Toronto has a population of over 2,731,571 people. Toronto also forms part of the Greater Toronto metropolitan area which has a population of over 6,417,516 people. Toronto is the #339 hipster city in the world, with a hipster score of 2.287 according to the Hipster Index which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to the number of vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques, and record stores per 100,000 city residents.