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Toronto Fun Facts
- Toronto is the 4th largest North American city, behind Mexico City, New York and Los Angeles. Almost 25% of Canada’s population lives within a 160 km radius of Toronto.
- Toronto is largely considered to be one of the most diverse and multicultural cities in the world. According to the 2016 census there are 230 different nationalities represented in the population and just under 50% belong to a visible minority of which the top five are East Asian (12.7%), South Asian (12.3%), Black (8.5%), Southeast Asian (7.0%), and Latin American (2.8%). The city has many ethnic neighborhoods like Little India, Greektown, Little Italy, Chinatown and Little Jamaica.
- Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and is Canada’s most populous city with just under three million people, and over six million in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) (2018 Census) A 2019 study by Ryerson University’s Centre for Urban Research and Land Development found that Toronto is the top growing city in all of the United States and Canada.
- There are an estimated 10 million trees in Toronto! The City has implemented a Tree Planting Strategy to increase the canopy of trees from 30% to 40%.
- The Toronto Transit Commission is the third-largest public transit system in North America with over 200,000 people passing through Union Station on a standard business day.
- Toronto has 301 days of measurable sunshine!
- Toronto’s Front Street is one of the city’s original streets and used to follow Lake Ontario’s shoreline up until the 1920s. The Toronto Harbour Commission then began a project to fill in over 200 feet of the shoreline which expanded the city into the harbour.
- The Gooderham Building (49 Wellington Street East) is an iconic flatiron heritage building. Completed in 1892, it was actually built before the Flatiron Building in New York City. It is also known for the Flatiron Mural by renowned Canadian artist Derek Michael Besant that covers the entirety of the back of the building.
- The Ontario Greenbelt, which protects nature, watersheds and farmland from sprawl around the Toronto area, is considered one of the largest greenbelts in the world, with an area of permanently protected land spanning 1.8 million acres.
- Toronto was the first city in North America to adopt a Pollinator Protection Strategy in April 2018, with the goal to preserve a wide range of pollinators, including over 360 species of bees and 112 species of butterflies.
Things to Do in the City
- The Toronto Islands are accessible by a city ferry or water taxi and are considered to be the largest car-free community in North America.
- The PATH is downtown Toronto's underground walkway. According to Guinness World Records, it is the largest underground shopping complex with 30 km (19 miles) of shopping arcades. It has 371,600 square metres (4 million square feet) of retail space. You can reach the PATH from the conference hotel to connect to over 50 downtown buildings and businesses as well as some of Toronto’s major tourist destinations like the CN Tower, the Hockey Hall of Fame, Scotiabank Arena, Rogers Centre and Roy Thomson Hall. You might want to bring a map - it's easy to get lost!
- The CN Tower is the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere and one of Canada’s most iconic buildings. Visitors can ascend to one of two observation platforms, dine at a restaurant or a bistro, walk on a glass floor, and experience the Edge Walk. If you look up at night you can see the Tower lit up in different colors representing various charities, important days, or the local team!
- Graffiti Alley is one of Toronto’s most unique tourist destinations. Featuring over a kilometre of street art, it is an open-air gallery that has works from some of the city’s most talented street artists. Artists are regularly painting over old works and replacing them with new creations, so make sure you bring your camera!
- Toronto’s 10 city-owned museums hold 147,000 artifacts and 1 million archaeological specimens in their historical collections. More than 200 City-owned public artworks and historic monuments enrich Toronto’s urban landscape with artistic flair. Toronto is also home to the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario.
- The City is home to more than 80 film festivals including the Toronto International Film Festival also known as TIFF, Hot Docs, 200 professional performing arts organizations, internationally recognized symphony, and ballet and opera companies.
- The Cultural Hotspot project implemented in 2014 celebrates and promotes Toronto’s neighbourhoods as cultural and economic destinations.
- Toronto is home to some of the most vibrant markets in Canada including St. Lawrence Market, Chinatown, Kensington Market and Downsview Park Merchants Market.
- Toronto has over 1,500 parks and ravines, which take up almost 18% of the city’s total area. Some must-visits during Summer and Fall seasons are High Park, Trinity Bellwoods, Christie Pits and Dufferin Grove Park.
- The Entertainment District is the heart and soul of Toronto’s thriving theatre scene that can be found throughout the city. Considered to be the third largest English language theatre scene in the world after New York’s Broadway and London’s West End, Toronto’s theatres and production companies have something for everyone!
- Toronto’s size and multicultural population has allowed a truly unique and wonderfully diverse cuisine and restaurant scene to develop. Considered to be a global food destination, you can find traditional and authentic favorites or try something completely new with some of Toronto’s finest chefs utilizing the diversity of the city to create fusion dishes. Although if you would like to try a true Toronto staple, visit the St. Lawrence Market and pick up a peameal bacon sandwich.
- Toronto has six major professional sports teams: Toronto Maple Leafs (National Hockey League), Toronto Raptors (National Basketball Association), Toronto Blue Jays (Major League Baseball), Toronto FC (Major League Soccer), Toronto Argonauts (Canadian Football League), and Toronto Wolfpack (Betfred Super League Rugby).