has the largest population in Canada
and ranks as the 9th largest urban
area in North America
. Toronto's tremendous ethnic diversity
has made it one of the world's most cosmopolitan
cities. There are more than 70 ethnic groups residing in Toronto and over 100 languages are spoken.
In the summer, daytime temperature averages are approximately 25 degrees Celsius
(77 degrees Fahrenheit) with an occasional heat wave
that reaches a high of 35+ degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). Toronto's winters begin mid-December and last till late March. A snowfall of more than 10cm (4 inches) is unusual and the average temperatures hover slightly below the freezing mark of 0 centigrade or 32 Fahrenheit.
Toronto was founded in 1793 when a small palisaded garrison was constructed at Fort York
to protect the entrance to Toronto Bay. Toronto is the heart of Canada
's business financial centre. The Toronto Stock Exchange
is the largest in Canada and the seventh largest in the world. Most of Canada's major bank, law firms, service industries, property insurance companies, investment dealers, real estate companies, leading foreign owned companies, and top industrial companies are headquartered in Toronto.
Toronto is the home of the Ontario Provincial Legislature
at Queens Park
. The Ontario Government
is a major employer within Metropolitan Toronto
as is the Federal Government
and the Municipal Government
with the Metropolitan area.
Toronto is a major tourist attraction
due to its location on Lake Ontario
, its many parks and gardens, its wide variety of architecture and the general cleanliness and hospitality of the city. It is also a tourist destination
due to its close proximity to South-Western Ontario (Niagara Falls
and a number of other attractions) to the West, the Muskokas
to the immediate North, and Eastern Ontario with the Thousand Islands
and Ottawa Valley
to the East.