Life in Toronto offers one of the most populous and multicultural ways of staying in Canada. With a population of over 2.7 million, Toronto is also a major center for media, education, industry, finance, and trade in North America and around the world. The most recognized landmark in Toronto would be soaring over the Horizon on Queen’s Quay West at sunset.
It’s a magnificent piece created by artist Gerald Emmett Cardinal; this is where everyone comes to see close to sunset on a summer evening while walking along Queens Quay West or Yonge Street towards Cherry Street or Dundas Square. In the beginning, Toronto was first a town with a fort, then became the capital of Upper Canada until 1849. However, interestingly enough, it wasn’t until 1908 that the City was incorporated as a city.
Then in 1998, York and East York were amalgamated with Toronto over the protests of some individuals and groups who were worried that this would mean too much loss of power for them. Toronto is not only diverse in its ethnicities but also economically as well. As a city, Toronto is bordered by Oakville, Mississauga, Brampton, and Pickering to the west. In the south, it faces Ajax and Bowmanville. To the east lies Oshawa, and to the north Vaughan. Across Lake Ontario lies Niagara Falls, New York, in the United States.
Is Toronto a city?
According to the Official Plan, the long-term vision for Toronto is that of a ‘World City’ – an international center of business, finance, culture, and tourism. Toronto’s economy is based on financial services, telecommunications, broadcasting and film production, and software development. The City is also a major tourist destination due to its many cultural attractions, including theaters and historical sites such as Fort York.
The City’s leading economic sectors are finance, business services (i.e., management consultancy), telecommunications, and broadcasting equipment manufacturing. In 2005, London-based consultancy firm Mercer found Toronto has one of the world’s top 10 best quality of life. In a report released by Mercer, Toronto was the fifth most expensive City for housing but had the eighth best quality of life.
The City is also ranked as one of the safest in the world, with a crime rate of 2.6 per 100,000 population, according to statistics from 2005. Toronto is also a major media, education, and industrial center in North America and worldwide. In addition, the City has the headquarters of Canada’s five largest banks and is home to the Toronto Stock Exchange, the fourth largest stock exchange in North America.
Toronto is considered one of the more fashionable cities in North America, using the latest trends and styles, with most major fashion designers having their flagship stores in downtown Toronto. Some notable shopping areas include Yorkville, Queen Street West, and Bloor Street West. In addition, the City is a major center for education, home to three universities: the University of Toronto, York University, and Ryerson University, as well as numerous public colleges scattered throughout every district from Scarborough to Etobicoke.
The City also has two publicly funded, non-profit, and non-sectarian university campuses: St. George College and Seneca College. Other prominent cultural and academic institutions in Toronto include the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, University Health Network, amongst others. The City’s educational institutions are noted for their academic success, sportsmanship, research, and technology.
For example, greats such as Roy Thomson Sr., Donald A. Smith, and Norman Rogers, among many others, were born or lived in the City. The City is considered one of the most educated in Canada, with the percentage of university graduates among the highest in the country. Toronto’s major daily newspapers are the “Toronto Star” and the “Toronto Sun.”
Living in Toronto:
Toronto’s most popular neighborhoods are Downtown, the trendy Yorkville, Bloor West Village, and in the suburbs, there are, amongst others, the:
- Bridle Path – is a very popular neighborhood in North York with beautiful parks. It is well known for its huge expanse of a new subdivision with its tower blocks that people built recently. Also situated at Bridle Path is the Lawrence Manor nursing home, which houses several hundred nursing and support staff.
- Rosedale – is one of the most expensive and luxurious neighborhoods in Toronto. Rosedale is located west of Downtown Toronto and is bordered by Yonge Street and the Rosedale Valley. This neighborhood, while not as trendy as it used to be, boasts some of the best architecture in the City; many of its homes were built by people during the 1930s and 1940s in an art deco style.
- Cabbage town – A popular neighborhood with many young families and professionals. It has some of the best housing stock in the downtown core, with homes having historic architecture such as those built in the Victorian era. It is home to several parks and has many beautiful old buildings. Today it is one of Toronto’s trendiest neighborhoods, partly in Cabbagetown and partly in Riverdale.
- Queen West – Over the past few years, Queen Street West, between University Avenue and Spadina Ave – has become one of the City’s most popular shopping areas. This street offers a wide variety of shops ranging from well-known chain stores (such as H&M) to trendy boutiques (such as Edifice).
What is Toronto?
People gave the original title “York” to Toronto and Yorkville, located east and north of present-day Downtown. However, the City’s legal name remains “Toronto” because it includes part of York County. The City has a population of 2.5 million people and is the center of the Greater Toronto Area with 5.5 million people.
The City is often categorized as the most multicultural in Canada due to its many ethnic minorities. Over half of the residents belong to a visible minority group, and over 200 different languages are spoken in Toronto’s schools. According to the 2006 Canadian census, 35 distinct ethnic groups with at least 10,000 members reside in Toronto.
Where to live in Toronto?
You can choose any of the below-mentioned areas for living a better life in Toronto.
Downtown is the center of Toronto, and the area is filled with high-rise apartment buildings. This neighborhood has a large selection of shops, restaurants, nightclubs, and bars. The major attractions for tourists are the CN Tower and Toronto’s lively Theater District. Some parts of Downtown have a reputation as less classy areas of the City, for example, in parts towards the western end between University Avenue and Bathurst Street.
Yorkville is a former village located in the north part of Toronto that the City annexed in the 1960s. During the summer months, Yorkville is filled with tourists.
Originally a working-class neighborhood near downtown Toronto, Cabbagetown became famous for its lovely Victorian-style houses built in the 1870s. This area has always been home to artists, musicians, actors, and other creative people who enjoy the affordable housing prices and the proximity to downtown Toronto. However, today the area has become trendy again, with many young couples moving in eager to live close to their work or school and still afford a great place to live.
The climate of Toronto:
Life in Toronto offers a climate characterized by hot and humid summers, with an average annual temperature of approximately 14 to 21 °C, and short winters with an average of 8 to 14 °C. The City receives only some 350 millimeters (13 in) of precipitation annually. The hot summers are partly caused by long-wave radiation from the Gulf of Mexico and the large-scale movement of air masses.
The City has been described as “Canada’s Florida” because it often has much higher temperatures than Florida, despite being farther north. When this occurs, Toronto is occasionally subject to heat waves, which regularly makes the Toronto Star newspaper headline “Meteorologists issue dire warning.” Weather patterns affect Toronto’s weather significantly.
The Great Lakes and other large bodies of water to the south help trap warm, humid air over the area during summer. In the winter, cold fronts from the northwest out of Canada bring cold and are often responsible for snowstorms.
Cost of living in Toronto:
Many factors affect Toronto’s cost of living, including the high number of rental units and an influx of immigrants to Canada and Toronto. The average annual cost to rent a two-bedroom apartment in Toronto is $1648, and utilities add another $906 a year. It comes out to $3366 per month and $6856 per year. A studio apartment costs an average of $1445 ($2300) a month, while a three-bedroom house costs on average $3047 ($5600) per month. The annual cost to own a house is much higher because of the high cost of real estate in downtown Toronto.
Toronto is multicultural:
Over half of Toronto’s residents do not have European origins. In 2001, many non-native English speakers were counted in the City (1,043,971). In 2006, half of all residents in the City of Toronto were either born outside of Canada or had at least one parent born outside of Canada.
Toronto is a center for refugees:
Toronto’s diversity has made it a cultural center for refugees from all over the world. Recently, it has become one of the leading Canadian cities where refugees have started new lives. It is often referred to as “Little Mogadishu” due to the many Somali immigrants who have relocated there.
Life in Toronto has become one of the most dynamic feels in North America. It offers a large number of cultural attractions for residents and tourists alike. The City has many skyscrapers and is famous for its skyline, with over half of it situated on the waterfront. Toronto also has many historic buildings and sites dating back to the 19th Century. The City has traditionally been an industrial center and has recently become a very important financial center. Many people have moved to Toronto because of the low cost of housing and transportation, low taxes, and high quality of life.