Toronto is the largest city in Canada and is the fifth most populous municipality in North America, with a population of 2.8 million people.

The Greater Toronto Area, often called the GTA, is home to more than 6 million people.

The Government of Canada expects the population of the GTA to reach 7.7 million by 2025.

Toronto is located in the ‘Golden Horseshoe’ of southern Ontario: 8 million people, more than a quarter of Canada’s total population, live in this densely populated region.

The city is located on a largely flat terrain, with few hills.

Toronto’s latitude, 43 degrees north, is similar to Bordeaux, France and, in the southern hemisphere, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Although Toronto’s climate is partially moderated by its location on the Great Lakes, it is more extreme than Bordeaux and Christchurch, with somewhat hotter summers and considerably cooler winters.

Character

Toronto’s motto is “Diversity, Our Strength”.

Known as one of the most multicultural cities in the world, Toronto prides itself on its wide range of cultures, languages, food, and arts. Almost half of its population are immigrants.


Business and jobs

Forbes magazine kept track of the “World’s Most Economically Powerful Cities” and included Toronto in its top ten list.

Toronto - Capital financiera de Canadá
Toronto – Canada’s Financial Capital

According to Forbes, powerhouse cities like Toronto attract investment due to the size of their economy, their projected future prosperity, cost of living, and quality of life. Forbes describes Toronto as the economic center of one of the world’s richest countries, and it is projected to continue operating until 2020.

The other ten most economically powerful cities identified by Forbes were London, Hong Kong, New York, Tokyo, Chicago, Seoul, Paris, Los Angeles and Shanghai.

Toronto is the banking/finance capital of Canada and home to its main stock exchange, the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Toronto has the third largest concentration of private IT companies in North America, second only to San Francisco and New York.

In addition to IT and high finance, Ontario’s abundant natural resources, such as hydroelectricity and raw materials, have helped Toronto and its neighboring municipalities become major industrial centers, producing more than 50 percent of Canada’s manufactured goods. .

From the perspective of today’s more troubled economic times, Canada’s banks have never stretched as recklessly as some of their US and European counterparts and have relatively strong balance sheets.

Toronto currently has a construction boom dominated by condominium developments and office buildings. Both the Conference Board of Canada and Oxford Economics predict that Toronto’s economy will grow healthily in 2019 and 2020, at about 2% per year.

Figures released by Statistics Canada show that more than 96,000 net jobs were created in the Toronto region in the 12 months to June 2018. As a result of these new jobs, the unemployment rate in the Toronto region is 6.4% a end of June 2018


Where to live in Toronto?

Nieve en los suburbios de Toronto
Snow in Suburban Toronto

Suburbs like North York, Markham, and Richmond Hill (north, east) and the Halton region (Oakville and Milton, for example) are favored by families and are among the best places to live in Toronto.

Single men and women tend to prefer downtown, where the condo market has exploded in the last decade.

Government housing is prominent in some parts of western Toronto and higher crime rates are recorded in these areas, such as Jane & Finch, Lawrence Heights, and parts of Etobicoke such as Rexdale. In downtown Toronto, Parkdale, St. James, Regent Park, and Moss Park have high crime rates. To the east of the city, parts of Scarborough such as Malvern also have higher crime rates.

In general, the city of Toronto’s crime rates are low compared to many North American cities, including Canadian cities such as Vancouver, Montreal, Edmonton, Halifax, and Winnipeg. Toronto’s crime rates are similar to Calgary and Ottawa.

The crime rate in parts of the Greater Toronto Area is lower than that of the city; Areas like Markham, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Oakville, and Burlington enjoy crime rates less than half of the city.


Education

Edificio de la universidad de Toronto
Toronto University Building

The University of Toronto is one of the most prestigious post-secondary institutions in the world, ranking 23rd in the Academic Ranking of World Universities. There are three different campuses, located in the downtown area, as well as west (Mississauga) and east (Scarborough).

Toronto is also home to two other universities, Ryerson and York University, as well as several community colleges.

Ontario school teachers are among the highest paid teachers in Canada. Unfortunately, the supply of teachers in Ontario exceeds the demand, and finding work is not easy. In fact, it is common for trained Canadian teachers to move abroad to gain experience.


Environment and travel

Union Station Skywalk
Union Station Skywalk

Toronto is one of the few cities in North America where people can choose not to own a car without great inconvenience. This is largely due to the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), the third largest public transportation system in North America.

TTC’s long-range and reliable network of buses and streetcars is interconnected by an extensive underground subway system. The buses are newly manufactured electric hybrids, introduced to reduce air pollution.

The transportation corridor image to the left shows a variety of transportation methods leading to and from downtown Toronto: road, bike path, rail, and the Don River.

Toronto also has Zipcar, a membership car-sharing service that is billed by the hour. This service is most often used in the city center.

Ontario operates a rail and bus system called GO Transit, which connects the TTC and the Greater Toronto Area. The surrounding regions (York, Peel, and Durham) also have transit systems that connect to the TTC, making traveling with the public transportation system nearly seamless.

The 400 series expressways merge into the core of Toronto. The 401, which is the busiest highway in North America, is the backbone of the infrastructure of Ontario and Toronto.

Festival de los faroles chinos, Toronto
Chinese Lantern Festival, Toronto

The rapid population growth of the Golden Horseshoe has caused an explosion in the number of vehicles on the highway, creating a significant gridlock during rush hour periods on most, if not all highways.

Toronto’s air quality is not as good as Canada’s other large metropolitan cities; has been compromised by the large number of vehicles in the city. Despite this, Toronto still achieved the 21st position in the 50 cleanest cities reported by Forbes magazine.

Toronto’s citywide Green Bin program has been acclaimed for its focus on waste management.


What to do in Toronto?

mundo maravilloso
Wonderland

Toronto is known for its healthy arts scene, numerous sporting events, vibrant nightlife, and restaurants, bars, and eateries that offer cuisine from just about any nationality you can think of.

The Art Gallery of Ontario and the Royal Ontario Museum are popular with tourists and residents.

Toronto is a major center for the performing arts, with more than fifty ballet and dance companies, six opera companies, and two symphony orchestras, performing in many notable venues, including Roy Thompson Hall, The Hummingbird Center, and The Center for the Performing Arts.

The city is also known for its many amusement parks; the best known is Canada’s Wonderland.

Toronto has 6 major sports teams in Hockey, Basketball, Baseball, Soccer, Football, and Lacrosse.

The main venues for sporting events are the Air Canada Centre, the Rogers Center (see image), and BMO Field.

Summarizing

Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, famous for a wide variety of foods, arts, festivals and weather patterns! Smaller suburbs surround the big city offering options for people who prefer to get away from big city life.

For those who love the big city, it feels like places like New York and Los Angeles, but with less crime, Toronto is a great option.

Toronto is ranked as the second best city in the Americas, behind Vancouver and the sixteenth best in the world.

The Toronto Negatives

  •  Large and constantly growing population.
  •  Winter a bit cold.
  •  Constant entry of traffic and vehicles on the road.
  •  Pollution: It is not the cleanest city.
  •  Expensive housing compared to most Canadian locations.

The positives of Toronto

  •  Prestigious schools, from primary to tertiary.
  •  The art scene and leisure options.
  •  Surrounding suburbs to get away from the big city.
  •  Transit system covering a large area.
  •  Opportunities for the educated.
  •  The financial, computing and manufacturing center of Canada.
  •  Long hot summers, too humid for some people.