Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario, and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. With over 2.5 million residents, it is the fifth most populous municipality in North America. Toronto is at the heart of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and is part of a densely populated region in Southern Ontario known as the Golden Horseshoe, which is home to over 8.1 million residents—approximately 25% of Canada’s population.The census metropolitan area (CMA) had a population of 5,113,149,and the Greater Toronto Area had a population of 5,555,912 in the 2006 Census.
As Canada’s economic capital, Toronto is considered an alpha world city by the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) study group and is one of the top financial centres in the world.Toronto’s leading economic sectors include finance, business services, telecommunications, aerospace, transportation, media, arts, film, television production, publishing, software production, medical research, education, tourism and sports industries.The Toronto Stock Exchange, the world’s eighth largest in terms of market value, is headquartered in the city, along with the most Canadian corporate headquarters of a major Canadian city.
Popular as the booming “condo town” Toronto is attracting young urban dwellers who are in search of a fast paced lifestyle. Toronto real estate is structured to suit the tastes of the semi-urban population. The many residential communities of Toronto express a character distinct from that of the skyscrapers in the commercial core. Victorian and Edwardian-era residential buildings can be found in enclaves such as Rosedale,Cabbagetown, The Annex, and Yorkville. Wycdsh wood Park is historically significant for the architecture of its homes, and for being one of Toronto’s earliest planned communities. The Wychwood Park neighbourhood was designated as an Ontario Heritage Conservation district in 1985. The Casa Loma neighbourhood is named after Casa Loma, a storybook castle built in 1911 complete with gardens, turrets, stables, an elevator, secret passages, and a bowling alley. Spadina House is a 19th-century manor that is now a museum.
The City of Toronto encompasses a geographical area formerly administered by six separate municipalities. These municipalities have each developed a distinct history and identity over the years, and their names remain in common use among Torontonians. Throughout the city there exist hundreds of small neighbourhoods and some larger neighbourhoods covering a few square kilometres. Former municipalities include East York, Etobicoke,North York, Old Toronto, Scarborough, and York.