Toronto

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Introduction

  • Toronto is the largest city in Canada.
  • Although Ottawa is the political capital of Canada, Toronto is its financial capital.
  • Toronto's population figures are as follows:
    • The City of Toronto has a population of 2.5 million.
    • The Greater Toronto Area (GTA), which is comprised of the City of Toronto and adjacent municipalities, has a population of 5.5 million.
    • If you expand that further, and look at the "Golden Horseshoe" that starts in Oshawa, wraps itself around the west end of Lake Ontario, and ends at Niagara Falls, you're looking at a population of 8.1 million.
  • Toronto attracts immigrants from all of the world, and has a very diverse population. As we often say on the BE forum, Toronto is a city in which you can find any kind of ethnic cuisine, served by a person who comes from the country in which the cuisine originated.
  • Many newcomers to the BE forum start off by asking about Toronto, as if it's the only city in Canada. Some of the more established members of the forum often step in and advise newbies to research the whole of Canada, which after all is a vast country encompassing six time zones.
  • Amongst Canadians generally, Torontonians often are accused of assuming that their city is the Centre of the Universe. So prospective immigrants who start off thinking that Toronto is Canada and Canada is Toronto feed into that stereotype.
  • But, with that having been said, Toronto may indeed be the right Canadian destination for you. It really depends what you're looking for.

Useful Sites

  • Forum discussions on this site are normally carried out by people who are living in Toronto and so is a great source of information. Some topics covered include - Toronto Issues; Neighbourhoods; Real Estate and Photos. There's also a useful section on neighbourhoods! http://urbantoronto.ca/forum/forums/neighbourhood-node.6981/
  • The City Photos section of the forum includes some fantastic shots of the City and surrounding areas, and is a valuable resource for anyone wanting a visual impression of their potential new home.

Lots of pictures of neighbourhoods, with gentle comments, here.

Toronto is unusual for North America in that it's a city in which it's common for people not to have a car and even not to have a driving license. Within the city proper there's a subway and a network of streetcar lines, several of which run 24 hours. There are also many bus routes all of which include a subway station.

There's also an extensive network of bicycle paths, enough to make commuting feasible without using the roads; that's just as well as the combination of streetcar tracks and drivers unconcerned about cyclists makes the use of the roads imprudent. There are car sharing pools as an alternative to car hire for those who need a vehicle from time to time.