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Centre for Urban and
Community Studies
University of Toronto
455 Spadina Ave.
Suite 400
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5S 2G8

Telephone:
(416) 978-2072
Fax:
(416) 978-7162

urban.centre@utoronto.ca



Information about Toronto

Toronto. It’s been called “New York run by the Swiss,” and “Vienna surrounded by Phoenix.” Early in its history it was called “Muddy York” or “Hogtown,” and a few decades ago, “Toronto the Good.” Many people call it “T.O.” for short.

In 1912, the English poet Rupert Brooke said that Toronto was “difficult to describe.” It still is. It is many things to many people. Canada’s largest city, one which is still growing rapidly. A financial centre. The capital city of the province of Ontario. A city filled with people from more than 120 countries. A lakeside city in which some residents live on islands. A city of trees, many of them below street level in hidden river valleys (ravines) that cross the city. A city of the arts, with many theatres, a major annual film festival, dozens of art galleries, resident ballet and opera companies, and most of Canada’s largest book and magazine publishers. A city of shops and restaurants of unbelievable variety, from Ukrainian bookstores to Moroccan eateries.

Just to add to the confusion, the word “Toronto” may apply to the City of Toronto (formerly known as the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto, with a population of about 2.4 million) or a larger region, known as the Greater Toronto Area, which includes a cluster of satellite cities (total population 5 million).

If you have time, explore the region around Toronto, which includes Niagara Falls, the wine-growing region of the Niagara Peninsula, the Stratford Shakespearean Festival, or the unique Canoe Museum in Peterborough. Canada’s capital, Ottawa, is a five-hour drive away.

We encourage you to learn a bit about Toronto before you arrive. Here are some places to start.

Tourism Toronto website

An interesting collection of information is available from the City of Toronto’s website: http://www.city.toronto.on.ca/toronto_facts/index.htm. The opening page states:

“You may already know that Toronto is home to the world’s tallest building (CN Tower at 553.33 m) and that the world’s longest street starts at the City’s lakeshore (Yonge Street at 1,896 km), but did you know that Toronto is as far south as the French Riviera or that more people live in Toronto than in Canada’s four maritime provinces combined? Here you will find interesting and sometimes startling facts about Toronto, Canada’s economic engine, with its 5th largest government and one of the world’s most diverse and multicultural populations.”

The official Toronto tourism website, http://www.torontotourism.com, offers a calendar of events, information on hotels and restaurants, and a guide to some of Toronto’s distinctive neighbourhoods – Chinatown, Kensington Market, St. Lawrence Market, the Financial District and Underground City, the Fashion District, Harbourfront, Toronto Islands, Bloor/Yorkville, Cabbagetown, Rosedale, Little Italy, Greektown, Indian Bazaar, the Beach, Little Poland, Portugal Village, and others.

The website, http://www.toronto.com, claims it has “all you need to know about T.O.” Find information on weather, events, Toronto news, shops, bars and nightlife, and even real estate prices!

Toronto has four daily newspapers and two regular weeklies that offer different perspectives on the city:

Globe and Mail: http://www.globeandmail.com
National Post: http://www.nationalpost.com
Toronto Star: http://www.thestar.com
Toronto Sun: http://www.canoe.com/NewsStand/TorontoSun/home.html
NOW Weekly: http://www.now.com
Eye Weekly: http://www.eye.net

Canada’s national radio and television network, the Canadian Broadcasting System (CBC) offers a perspective on Canadian events and news: http://www.cbc.ca

Canadian news and weather is also available on http://www.canoe.ca

If you would like to learn more about the University of Toronto, visit http://www.library.utoronto.ca/facts/ for an overview of the university’s research and educational programs.

The University’s website also provides a section on Toronto: http://www.utoronto.ca/toronto.htm

The Centre for Urban and Community Studies has published The Toronto Guide: An Illustrated Interpretation of Toronto’s landscapes by Edward Relph, which provides a wealth of information about the architecture and streets of the city.





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