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The Greater Toronto Area

The Greater Toronto Area (locally abbreviated as the GTA) is the most populous metropolitan area in Canada. The GTA is a provincial planning area with a population of 5,555,912 at the 2006 Canadian Census.

The Greater Toronto Area is the 7th largest metropolitan area in North America. In addition to the City of Toronto, it includes the Regional Municipalities of York, Halton, Peel and Durham. The GTA is home to a number of post-secondary educational institutions, including 4 universities and 7 colleges.

  • Toronto Real Estate Neighbourhood Map
  • Select a region to live and find your neighbourhood
  • The following regional municipalities are included in describing the Greater Toronto Area:
  • Regional Municipality of Durham
  • Regional Municipality of Halton
  • Regional Municipality of Peel
  • Regional Municipality of York

Durham Region consists of the following local municipalities

  • The City of Pickering
  • The Town of Ajax
  • The Town of Whitby
  • The City of Oshawa
  • The Municipality of Clarington
  • The Township of Uxbridge
  • The Township of Scugog
  • The Township of Brock

Regional Municipality of Halton, Ontario

The city of Burlington and The towns of Oakville,  Milton, and Halton Hills. The Regional Municipality of Peel is made up of : The cities of Brampton and Mississauga, and the town of Caledon.

Towns and cities in York Region include

  • Town of Aurora
  • Town of East Gwillimbury
  • Town of Georgina
  • Township of King
  • Town of Markham
  • Town of Newmarket
  • Town of Richmond Hill
  • City of Vaughan
  • Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville

Toronto is, without a doubt, the most cosmopolitan city in Canada, if not all of North America. Writer and actor Peter Ustinov described Toronto as New York run by the Swiss. Although Toronto gets far less press than its American counterpart, New York City, many savvy travelers prefer the relaxed Canadian pace with its clean city image and one of the lowest crime rates in the North America. Toronto is the financial heartbeat of Canada and competes Montreal for the cultural center of Canada with its heritage and World renowned theatre shows and modern architecture unmatched anywhere in Canada.

Did You Know

  • … that Toronto has twinned city with Amsterdam, Holland.
  • … that Yonge Street, our main thoroughfare, is the longest street in the World (1896 km long)?
  • … that “Toronto” is the Huron Indian (Aboriginal/Natives of Canada) word that means “Place of meeting”?
  • … that the United Nations has designated Toronto as the World’s “most ethnically-diverse city” five times in a row?
  • … that the world’s tallest building, the CN Tower, has been identified as one of the Seven Wonders of the modern World?

Quick Facts

  • Total 4.7 million residents in the Greater Toronto Area.
  • GTA is the 5th largest metropolitan area in North America.
  • The capital of the central province of Ontario and Canada’s largest city.
  • A multicultural city, with more than 80 ethnic groups speaking over 100 languages.

The Economy

Toronto is one of the top five financial centres in North America – it ranks as the fourth largest financial centre in terms of income and third largest by direct employment. It is also one of the fastest growing financial centres on the continent.

  • Toronto is Canada’s largest financial centre. The financial sector in Toronto (GTA) is more than twice the size of any of its Canadian counterpart cities.
  • Toronto employs more people in finance than any other Canadian city, approx. 25% of the national workforce.
  • Most of Canada’s banks are headquartered in Toronto. Together, the six major banks hold 98% of all assets held by Canada’s banks.
  • The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE) ranks as North America‘s third largest by dollar value traded. The value of shares traded on the TSE accounts for 85% of the total value of Canadian stocks.
  • The T.S.E. is ranked the tenth largest stock exchange in the world.

A Lively & Enjoyable Place

  • Over 5,000 restaurants and eateries.
  • The Third-Largest Theatre Centre in the English-speaking World after New York and London.
  • Some of the finest shopping centres in the world, including the Eaton Centre and Queen & Cumberland Streets.
  • Located in the area of the Five Great Lakes, known as the largest Fresh Water reserves in the World. Toronto has a population of 2.3 million people. The suburban is growing faster than the city itself, known as the GTA or Greater Toronto Area with a population totaling around 4.7 million people. It is the largest city in Canada and the sixth largest metropolitan in North America coming only after New York City, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Chicago, Miami. It has been voted five times in a row by United Nations as the most cosmopolitan and best multi-cultural city in the World including this year. It is also the financial headquarters of Canada. Toronto has the third largest library system in North America, the busiest library system in North America ahead of New York and Los Angeles and Chicago.
  • People: The GTA, home to the World. Its a World within a city or better would be known as a global village. People from 169 countries speaking 100 languages now call GTA home. Over 70,000 new immigrants come to the city every year. Certainly, it is our diversity that distinguishes us from other great cities in he World. Religion is very diverse as well, Christianity still dominating the city with about 55% of the population, with Islam being the second largest religion in the city followed by Judaism and Buddhism. The visible minority will be a majority by the year 2010, representing 54% of the population of Toronto. In fact, Toronto is home to 42% of Canadas total non-European population. GTA is home to approximately 15,000 – 17,000 Afghans.

The Places:

The city of Toronto has now amalgamated or joined together five smaller cities into one since 1997. The city’s main street, Yonge Street is the longest street in the World, running from north and west from Toronto. Its official length, now extended to Rainy River on the Ontario-Minnesota border, is 1896 km long.

The city has great scenery with having a beachfront with Lake Ontario that stretches miles and miles. It is also home to CN Tower, the tallest self-supporting tower in the World which has a record height of 553 meters high. The World’s largest Dome with retractable roof is the 54 thousand seating capacity SkyDome of the Toronto. Located very near to CN Tower. The diameter of the roof is 207 meters. The city has many parks and squares that can accommodate a lot of people during festivals including the Toronto Island.  Torontos large underground city known as PATH, which runs along eight city blocks beneath the financial district and some of the major hotels, offers 11 kilometers of interconnected walkways lined with more than 1,110 stores, services, and eateries.

Events and Festivals:

To experience Torontos vast cultural diversity, visit during Festival Caravan, an international celebration held in June. If you like a carnival atmosphere and dancing in the streets, come for Caribana, the festival of the Caribbean people (late-July through early-August). From mid-August to the beginning of September, Toronto hosts the huge Canadian National Exhibition known as C.N.E., featuring midway rides, technological and agricultural exhibits, food, and concerts. Movie lovers and filmmakers from around the world flock to the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival in mid-September.

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is the one of the most visited museums in the World. The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is the eighth largest art museum in North America. Its collection comprises more than 24,000 works representing 1,000 years of extraordinary European, Canadian, modern, Inuit, and contemporary art. Other attractions or places to visit in Toronto  include:

  1. Canadian National Exhibition Center
  2. Ford Center for the Performing Arts
  3. Massey Hall & Roy Thomson Hall
  4. Queen’s Park (Seat of Government)
  5. Hummingbird Centre for Arts
  6. Toronto Harbourfront Center
  7. Royal Alexander Theatre
  8. SkyDome
  9. Nathan Phillips Square
  10. Air Canada Centre
  11. Edwards Gardens
  12. Ontario Place
  13. Olympic Pool
  14. Casa Loma
  15. CN Tower
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