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History of Toronto , Name of Toronto , and Amalgamation of Toronto Before When Europeans first arrived at the site of present-day Toronto, the vicinity was inhabited by the Iroquois , [39] who had displaced the Wyandot Huron people, occupants of the region for centuries before c. However, the word "Toronto", meaning "plenty" also appears in a French lexicon of the Huron language, which is also an Iroquoian language.

In the s, the Iroquois established two villages within what is today Toronto, Ganatsekwyagon on the banks of the Rouge River and Teiaiagon on the banks of the Humber River. By , the Mississauga had displaced the Iroquois, who abandoned the Toronto area at the end of the Beaver Wars , with most returning to their base in present-day New York. These routes together were known as the Toronto Passage. The Crown granted them land to compensate for their losses in the Thirteen Colonies.

The new province of Upper Canada was being created and needed a capital. Simcoe decided to move the Upper Canada capital from Newark Niagara-on-the-Lake to York, [47] believing that the new site would be less vulnerable to attack by the United States. American soldiers destroyed much of the garrison and set fire to the parliament buildings during their five-day occupation.

American forces attacked York in The Americans subsequently plundered the town, and set fire to the legislative buildings. York was incorporated as the City of Toronto on March 6, , reverting to its original native name.

Reformist politician William Lyon Mackenzie became the first Mayor of Toronto and led the unsuccessful Upper Canada Rebellion of against the British colonial government. Most of the latter were resettled in Nova Scotia. In the s, an eating house at Frederick and King Streets, a place of mercantile prosperity in the early city, was operated by a man of colour named Bloxom. Toronto became a major destination for immigrants to Canada in the second half of the 19th century.

As a major destination for immigrants to Canada, the city grew rapidly through the remainder of the 19th century. The first significant wave of immigrants were Irish, fleeing the Great Irish Famine ; most of them were Catholic. By , the Irish-born population had become the largest single ethnic group in the city. Smaller numbers of Protestant Irish immigrants, some from what is now Northern Ireland, were welcomed by the existing Scottish and English population, giving the Orange Order significant and long-lasting influence over Toronto society.

For brief periods Toronto was twice the capital of the united Province of Canada: After this date, Quebec was designated as the capital until one year before Canadian Confederation.

Since then, the capital of Canada has remained Ottawa , Ontario. Because of its provincial capital status, the city was also the location of Government House , the residence of the viceregal representative of the Crown in right of Ontario. Long before the Royal Military College of Canada was established in , supporters of the concept proposed military colleges in Canada.

Staffed by British Regulars, adult male students underwent a three-month long military course at the School of Military Instruction in Toronto. In , Schools of cavalry and artillery instruction were formed in Toronto. In the 19th century, the city built an extensive sewage system to improve sanitation, and streets were illuminated with gas lighting as a regular service.

Long-distance railway lines were constructed, including a route completed in linking Toronto with the Upper Great Lakes. The advent of the railway dramatically increased the numbers of immigrants arriving, commerce and industry, as had the Lake Ontario steamers and schooners entering port before. These enabled Toronto to become a major gateway linking the world to the interior of the North American continent. Toronto became the largest alcohol distillation in particular, spirits centre in North America.

A preserved section of this once dominant local industry remains in the Distillery District. The harbour allowed for sure access to grain and sugar imports used in processing.

Expanding port and rail facilities brought in northern timber for export and imported Pennsylvania coal. Industry dominated the waterfront for the next years. Horse-drawn streetcars gave way to electric streetcars in , when the city granted the operation of the transit franchise to the Toronto Railway Company.

The public transit system passed into public ownership in as the Toronto Transportation Commission , later renamed the Toronto Transit Commission. The system now has the third-highest ridership of any city public transportation system in North America.

The city received new European immigrant groups beginning in the late 19th century into the early 20th century, particularly Germans, French, Italians, and Jews from various parts of Eastern Europe. They were soon followed by Russians, Poles, and other Eastern European nations, in addition to Chinese entering from the West. As new migrants began to prosper, they moved to better housing in other areas, in what is now understood to be succession waves of settlement. However, by , the Toronto Stock Exchange had become the largest in the country.

Following the Second World War, refugees from war-torn Europe and Chinese job-seekers arrived, as well as construction labourers, particularly from Italy and Portugal. Following the elimination of racially based immigration policies by the late s, Toronto became a destination for immigrants from all parts of the world. During this time, in part owing to the political uncertainty raised by the resurgence of the Quebec sovereignty movement , many national and multinational corporations moved their head offices from Montreal to Toronto and Western Canadian cities.

During the s several Canadian financial institutions moved to Toronto. In , the City of Toronto and 12 surrounding municipalities were federated into a regional government known as Metropolitan Toronto. The metropolitan government began to manage services that crossed municipal boundaries, including highways, police services, water and public transit. In that year, a half-century after the Great Fire of , disaster struck the city again when Hurricane Hazel brought intense winds and flash flooding.

All six municipalities were amalgamated into a single municipality, creating the current City of Toronto, the successor of the old City of Toronto. John Tory is the current mayor. The city attracted international attention in when it became the centre of a major SARS outbreak. Public health attempts to prevent the disease from spreading elsewhere temporarily dampened the local economy.

Toronto hosted the 4th G20 summit during June 2627, This included the largest security operation in Canadian history. Following large-scale protests and rioting, law enforcement conducted the largest mass arrest more than a thousand people in Canadian history. On July 22 of the same year, there was a mass shooting in the Danforth neighbourhood that killed two people; police later shot the perpetrator dead. The Toronto Islands and Port Lands extend out into the lake, allowing for a somewhat sheltered Toronto Harbour south of the downtown core.

Topography This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. The city is mostly flat or gentle hills and the land gently slopes upward away from the lake.

The flat land is interrupted by numerous ravines cut by numerous creeks and the valleys of the three rivers in Toronto: Most of the ravines and valley lands in Toronto today are parklands, and recreational trails are laid out along the ravines and valleys. The original town was laid out in a grid plan on the flat plain north of the harbour, and this plan was extended outwards as the city grew.

The width and depth of several of the ravines and valleys are such that several grid streets such as Finch Avenue , Leslie Street , Lawrence Avenue , and St. Clair Avenue , terminate on one side of a ravine or valley and continue on the other side.

Toronto has many bridges spanning the ravines. Large bridges such as the Prince Edward Viaduct were built to span wide river valleys. Despite its deep ravines, Toronto is not remarkably hilly, but its elevation does increase steadily away from the lake. Lake Ontario remains occasionally visible from the peaks of these ridges as far north as Eglinton Avenue , 7 to 8 kilometres 4.

The Scarborough Bluffs is an escarpment along the eastern portion of the Toronto waterfront , which formed during the last glacial period. The other major geographical feature of Toronto is its escarpments.

During the last ice age , the lower part of Toronto was beneath Glacial Lake Iroquois. Other observable sections include the area near St. The geography of the lake shore is greatly changed since the first settlement of Toronto.

Much of the land on the north shore of the harbour is landfill, filled in during the late 19th century. Until then, the lakefront docks then known as wharves were set back farther inland than today. Much of the adjacent Port Lands on the east side of the harbour was a wetland filled in early in the 20th century.

The shoreline from the harbour west to the Humber River has been extended into the lake. Further west, landfill has been used to create extensions of land such as Humber Bay Park. The Toronto Islands were a natural peninsula until a storm in severed their connection to the mainland, [69] creating a channel to the harbour. The peninsula was formed by longshore drift taking the sediments deposited along the Scarborough Bluffs shore and transporting them to the Islands area.

The other source of sediment for the Port Lands wetland and the peninsula was the deposition of the Don River, which carved a wide valley through the sedimentary land of Toronto and deposited it in the harbour, which is quite shallow.

The harbour and the channel of the Don River have been dredged numerous times for shipping. The lower section of the Don River was straightened and channelled in the 19th century. The former mouth drained into a wetland; today the Don drains into the harbour through a concrete waterway, the Keating Channel. Dfb , with warm, humid summers and cold winters.


Amherstburg. Gibson Gallery (Fort Malden Guild of Arts & Crafts) Richmond Street Amherstburg, Ontario, N9V 1G4 Bonnie Deslippe, Office Administrator/ Publicity Chair. From top left: Downtown Toronto viewed from the Toronto Islands, City Hall, the Ontario Legislative Building, Casa Loma, Prince Edward Viaduct, and the Scarborough Bluffs.

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