Why Toronto?

Toronto is a sophisticated, cosmopolitan city and a gateway to a vast and diverse region including the awesome Niagara Falls, and neighbouring cities of Mississauga and Brampton – each of which have a compelling combination of natural escapes, Canadian heritage, ethnic diversity and a growing urban core with big-city amenities like shopping, arts and dining.

Destination Toronto

See more of the Toronto Region on our official YouTube Channel.

Toronto at a Glance

  • Toronto is the fourth-largest city in North America, after Mexico City, New York and Los Angeles
  • Centrally located between New York City, Chicago and Montreal, Toronto is within a 90 minute flight for over half the U.S. and Canadian population.
  • Toronto is the top Canadian domestic business travel destination and the most popular choice for U.S. sponsored association meetings outside the U.S.
  • There are more than 38,000 hotel rooms in over 230 hotels
  • Toronto is home to the largest convention centre in Canada ranking among the top ten largest continuous-space facilities in North America
  • Famous for its diversity, Toronto may be the world’s most global city, with 50 per cent of the population born outside of Canada.
  • Some 130 languages and dialects are spoken in Toronto; The City of Toronto publishes information for residents in 30 languages.

Canada’s Centre of Business and Excellence

  • Toronto is both the financial services capital of Canada and the fastest growing financial centre in North America, employing 222,400 people across the region.
  • TORONTO REGION IS HOME TO: Canada’s 5 Largest Banks headquartered in Toronto | 2 of the largest 10 Global Life Insurers | 7 of the 10 Largest Global Hedge Fund Administrators | 9 of Canada’s TOP 10 Mutual Fund companies, based on Assets under management
  • It is the Canadian headquarters for 4 of the world’s 25 largest banks and home to 2 of the largest global life insurers. Toronto also houses 55 foreign bank subsidiaries, 119 securities firms, 58 pension fund managers, and 5 of Canada’s largest pension plans with combined assets of over USD$300 billion. The Toronto Stock Exchange is the global leader in mining listings and is the third largest exchange in North America.
  • The Canadian financial sector is among the worlds strongest and offers many examples of best practices. Toronto’s financial institutions are underpinned by Canada’s ranking as the world’s soundest banking system five years in a row (World Economic Forum, 2008–2012). The World Bank ranks Canada 5th worldwide for its strength of investor protection, and assigns Canada a maximum score for depth of credit information.
  • Toronto is the 2nd largest financial services centre in North America by direct employment, behind only New York.

History

  • First settled more than 11,000 years ago, the area that now makes up Toronto was home to a wide array of Aboriginal groups for centuries.
  • The British established a settlement and fort in the late 1700’s, calling the settlement York. The Battle of York was a key battle in the War of 1812 and left the fledgling town badly damaged. In 1834 the city was incorporated and named Toronto.
  • Over two centuries Toronto has attracted large waves of immigration from Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. In the early 1980s, on the strength of sustained immigration, it surpassed Montreal as Canada’s largest city.