The city of Toronto, in Ontario, Canada, is called “the city of neighbourhoods” because of the strength and vitality of its many communities. The city has upwards of 240 distinct neighbourhoods within its boundaries. Before 1998, Toronto was a much smaller municipality and formed part of Metropolitan Toronto. When the city amalgamated that year, Toronto grew to encompass the former municipalities of York, East York, North York, Etobicoke, and Scarborough. Each of these former municipalities still maintains, to a certain degree, its own distinct identity, and the names of these municipalities are still used by their residents. The area known as Toronto before the amalgamation is sometimes called the “old” City of Toronto, “Toronto proper”, the Central District or simply “Downtown”.
The “former” City of Toronto is, by far, the most populous and dense part of the city. It is also the business and administrative centre of the city.
The “inner ring” suburbs of York and East York are older, predominantly middle-income areas, and ethnically diverse. Much of the housing stock in these areas consists of old pre-war single-family houses and post-war high-rises. Many of the neighbourhoods in these areas were built up as streetcar suburbs and contain many dense and mixed-use streets. Mostly they share many characteristics with sections of the “old” city, outside of the downtown core.
The “outer ring” suburbs of Etobicoke, Scarborough, and North York are much more suburban in nature (although these boroughs are developing urban centres of their own, such as North York Centre around Mel Lastman Square).
Toronto – the name derived from the Huron word for “place of meeting” – is on the northwest shore of Lake Ontario. Located on a broad sloping plateau cut by numerous river valleys, Toronto covers 641 sq.km. and stretches 43 km from east to west and 21 km from north to south at its longest points. The perimeter is approximately 180 km. Toronto is home to the worlds tallest building (CN Tower at 553.33 m) and the world’s longest street starts at the City’s lakeshore (Yonge Street at 1,896 km). The present Toronto-region reaches to near-suburban Richmond Hill on the north, east to Oshawa, and west to approximately to Oakville.
With a population of 2.6 million, Toronto is the 5th largest city in North America. Its residents include more than 100 different ethnic groups and speak almost as many languages making Toronto a unique mosaic. Toronto is a leader in many other ways. It is Canada’s corporate capital, with more nationally and internationally top-ranked companies than any other Canadian city. It is the country’s financial and business services headquarters. As well, it is the call centre and shared-uses hub for the region. In addition to being Canada’s key financial and business location, Toronto is strong in other clusters including biomedical/pharmaceutical, information and communications technologies, food and beverage, fashion, industrial and graphic design, and tourism. Finally, Toronto has earned an international reputation for its unrivalled quality of life offering an impressive array of cultural, entertainment and recreational attractions.
Old Toronto or Downtown Toronto is the heart of this urban core, with Yonge Street running almost directly in the middle of this district. More information on Downtown Toronto condos…
York is formerly a separate city, the second smallest of the six former municipalities, yet it is one of the most ethnically diverse.
North York is home to Parc Downsview Park, Canada’s first national urban park, Downsview Airport and the North York Performing Arts Centre.More details on North York condos…
East York was formerly a semi-autonomous borough within the overall municipality of Metropolitan Toronto. One of East York’s claims to fame was that, before the amalgamation, it was Canada’s only borough.More on East York condos...
Etobicoke is largely composed of industrial factories and suburban homes. The area is home to Sherway Gardens, Woodbine Race-track, and St George’s Golf Course.More information on Etobicoke condos…
Scarborough has characteristics of a suburb of old Toronto, but retains much of its own character and flavour.
New neighbourhoods in Toronto
By the 1980s almost all the open areas within the limits of Metro Toronto had been developed, with most of the growth in brand new developments occurring in the belt around Toronto known as the 905. This same era saw the rapid deindustrialization of Toronto, as almost all the factories and warehouses that had once dominated the waterfront disappeared. This created wide expanses for new developments and new neighbourhoods. A number of new communities have developed and are developing in these post-industrial zones, the largest of them being CityPlace on the former railway lands.
With the disappearance of open spaces in the city of Toronto and the revitalization of the downtown there has been considerable condominium construction creating residential communities in areas that were once almost wholly commercial.