Toronto, Ontario, Canada, North America

Founded: 1720; Incorporated: 1834
Location: Northwestern shore of Lake Ontario, Ontario, Canada, North America
Flag: Blue field with white "T" design and red maple leaf.
Time Zone: 7 AM Eastern Standard Time (EST) = noon Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Ethnic Composition: more than 80 ethnic groups from Africa, Asia, and Europe
Elevation: 194 m (636 ft)
Latitude and Longitude: 43°40'N, 79°22'W
Climate: Continental climate moderated by Lake Ontario, with cold, damp winters, sunny springs, warm summers with some very hot days, and crisp autumns
Annual Mean Temperature: January-4°C (24°F); July 21.7°C (71°F).
Seasonal Average Snowfall: 141 cm (55.5 in)
Average Annual Rainfall: 64 cm (25 in)
Government: Mayor-council
Weights and Measures: Metric
Monetary Units: Canadian dollars (Can$)
Telephone Area Codes: 416, 905 (647 to be added in March 2001)
Postal Codes: Range of postal codes beginning with M5

2. Getting There

Toronto, the capital of the province of Ontario, is located on the northwestern short of Lake Ontario. Although it is a Canadian city, it is located further south than many points in the United States, including much of New England and the northern Midwest, and is highly accessible by both Canadians and Americans.


Toronto is accessible by several major highways running parallel to the Lake Ontario shore: Highways 401 and 402 enter Toronto from both the east and west, and the Queen Elizabeth Way enters the city from the west. Highway 400 enters the city from the north and connects with Highway 401.

Bus and Railroad Service

Toronto is on a number of major bus routes covered by both regional and national bus lines. Its bus terminal, located at 610 Bay Street, is the site of arrivals and departures to and from points in Ontario, elsewhere in Canada, and the United States. Canada's nationwide VIA Rail System provides service between Ontario and points throughout Canada. Service to the United States is provided through connections with Amtrak in Niagara Falls (on the U.S. side).


Toronto's Lester B. Pearson International Airport, located in the northwest part of Greater Toronto, serves major domestic and international airlines, including Air Canada, Canadian Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines, USAir, British Airways, Air France, KLM, Alitalia, Lufthansa, Korean Airlines, and others. In 1997, the airport handled 26.1 million passengers, of which nearly half were from Canada and almost one-third from the United States. Toronto can be reached within a 90-minute flight by about 60 percent of the U.S. population.

The Toronto City Centre Airport, located on an island in Toronto Harbour, handles scheduled, private, and corporate flights.


Toronto is one of the major port cities of the Great Lakes region. About 1.8 million metric tons (two million tons) of cargo move through its port annually.

Toronto Population Profile

City Proper

Population: 653,734
Area: 95.8 sq km (37 sq mi)
Ethnic composition: More than 80 ethnic groups from Africa, Asia, and Europe
Nicknames: Toronto the Good

Metropolitan Area

Population: 4,657,000
Description: Toronto, Etobicoke, York, North York, Scarborough, and East York
Area: 634 sq km (245 sq mi)
World population rank1: 49
Percentage of national population2: 15.2%
Average yearly growth rate: 1.5%
Ethnic composition: More than 80 ethnic groups from Africa, Asia, and Europe
Nicknames: Metro Toronto


  1. The Toronto metropolitan area's rank among the world's urban areas.
  2. The percent of Canada's total population living in the Toronto metropolitan area.

Bus and Commuter Rail Service

The Toronto Transit Commission operates bus, subway, rapid transit, and streetcar lines covering a total of almost 4,000 kilometers (2,486 miles). The main lines of Toronto's clean, efficient, U-shaped subway system are Bloor-Danforth and Yonge-University-Spadina.


Double-decker bus tours of Toronto's major sites are available between the spring and autumn months. Also offered are one-hour boat tours of the city's port and its islands in Lake Ontario, as well as cruises on the 29-meter (96-foot) schooner The Challenge. Walking and bicycling tours of various Toronto neighborhoods are also available, as are helicopter tours featuring an aerial view of the city.

7. Government

In January 1998 the City of Toronto was enlarged to include four neighboring cities (Etobicoke, North York, York, and Scarborough) and the borough of East York. The new city has a mayor-council form of government, with both the mayor and council members elected to three-year terms, representing 28 wards.

22. For Further Study


Visit the following High School Directory for a Directory and Collection of Secondary Schools in Various States in the U.S. Offers a Public School Search and Top Elementary Schools in the United States.

Toronto City Guide. [Online] Available (accessed October 14, 1999).

Toronto City Net. [Online] Available (accessed October 14, 1999).

Toronto Info Guide. [Online] Available (accessed October 14, 1999).

Government Offices

Mayor's Office
55 John St. Metro Hall, 7th Fl.
Toronto, ON M5V3C6
(416) 395-6464

Toronto City Hall
100 Queen St. W
Toronto, ON M5H2N1 (416) 392-7341

Tourist and Convention Bureaus

Metropolitan Toronto Convention &
Visitors Association
207 Queen's Quay W
Toronto, ON M5J1A7
(416) 203-6753

Metro Toronto Convention Centre
255 Front St. W
Toronto, ON M5V2W6
(416) 585-8000


Financial Post
333 King St. E
Toronto, ON M5A4N2

The Globe and Mail
444 Front St. W
Toronto, ON M5V2S9

Toronto Star
1 Yonge St.
Toronto, ON M5E1E6

Toronto Sun
333 King St. E
Toronto, ON M5A3X5


Arthur, Eric Ross. Toronto, No Mean City. 3rd ed. Rev. by Stephen A. Otto. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1986.

Dendy, William. Lost Toronto: Images of the City's Past. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1993.

Filey, Mike. Discover & Explore Toronto's Water-front: A Walker's, Jogger's, Cyclist's, Boater's Guide to Toronto's Lakeside Sites and History. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1998.

Fulford, Robert. Accidental City: The Transformation of Toronto. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1996.

Fulford, Robert, and Megan Oldfield. Toronto Tapestry. Sponsored by the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Toronto. Memphis, TN: Towery Pub., 1997.

Holloway, Anne. Toronto with Kids: The Complete Family Travel Guide to Attractions, Sites, and Events in Toronto. Macfarlane Walter & Ross, 1995.

Kilbourn, William. Toronto Remembered: A Celebration of the City. Toronto: Stoddart, 1984.

Kluckner, Michael. Toronto the Way It Was. Toronto: Whitecap Books, 1988.

Martyn, Lucy Booth. Toronto, 100 Years of Grandeur: The Inside Stories of Toronto's Great Homes and the People Who Lived There. Toronto: Pagurian Press, 1978.

Mitchell, Scott. Secret Toronto: The Unique Guidebook to Toronto's Hidden Sites, Sounds, & Tastes. Toronto: ECW Press, 1998.