Toronto, the 6ix or the Queen city, is a major Canadian city known as one of the most sophisticated cities in the world. It has proven itself as a city worth all the buzz. There are numerous facts about Toronto that significantly captures people’s attention. Some of these facts are worth knowing.
Common Facts About Toronto
Toronto is an interesting city; beyond the arts, culture, and rich history, it is a popular city worldwide.
You may already know some common facts about Toronto, like the nickname “the 6ix” and that it is aged around 229 years. Or probably know about the iconic free-standing CN Tower. The Canadian metropolis is also known for its amazing sports facilities, zoo, and lots more.
However, there are numerous fascinating facts about Toronto that are less known. Here we have 20 interesting and fun facts about Toronto that you probably don’t know about.
Historical Facts On Toronto
Toronto was formerly called York
From August 1793 to March 1834, this Canadian city was known as York. It shared the same name as the country that harbored it. It was the second capital of Upper Canada, the predecessor to the old city of Toronto.
In August of 1793, Simcoe, who was in charge of the city, gave it the name York. He preferred English names to those of the First Nations.
Toronto is over 1000 years
Sound unbelievable, right? Well, that is one interesting fact about Toronto. It’s approximately 12,500 years ago now since Toronto’s history began. That was towards the end of the Ice Age.
Before 1000AD, a group of indigenous people moved to the area and established a settlement. Which have evolved over the years. For now, the city of Toronto is officially 229 years and counting since it was rechristened in 1793.
The first air-conditioned theater in Canada was in Toronto (Royal Alexandra Theatre)
The Royal Alexandra Theatre was built in 1907. Toronto’s youngest millionaire, Cawthra Mulock, led the funding of the Beau-Arts style building.
It was Toronto’s first steel-framed structure. You can imagine the wealth poured into this building. It boasts interior features, including crystal chandeliers, marble, fine silk, and velvet.
The building was also the first playhouse in Canada to have air conditioners. Back then, ice was normally kept in a pit below buildings to cool the auditorium.
Toronto had the First Gas-lit Street lamps in Canada
One historic fact of Toronto is the gas-lit street lamps. In a bid to aid infrastructure and provide safety and security to the region’s people, Toronto had the first gas-lit street lamps in 1841. The experience was amazing, as recorded by Charles Dickens when he visited.
The 1500 workers participated in the construction of Toronto’s CN Tower, which took 40 months
Toronto was formally a regional hub, but in the 1960s, its growth became rapid. It was thriving and had many tall buildings. The transmission towers available then could not broadcast radio and television signals efficiently.
The need for a new and taller broadcasting tower was prioritized to handle the situation. In 1973 the construction began with over 1500 workers. It took about 40 months for the construction to be completed.
Upon completion, the CN Tower became the tallest tower in the world then. The structure was also able to transmit signals efficiently far and wide. Today, this remains one of the iconic landmarks in Toronto.
Facts About Toronto For Tourists
Toronto is the 4th largest city in North America and also the largest in Canada
Toronto is the largest city in Canada and the 4th largest in North America. Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of things to do in Toronto that will keep you entertained.
The city has a population of approximately 3 million people, although the greater Toronto region boasts about 6.5 million people. One interesting fact about Toronto is that it has the fastest-growing population in North America currently.
Toronto has more than 10 million trees
A fact about Toronto that is hard to believe outright since it looks much like a modern metropolis.
However, Toronto houses over 10 million trees. A whopping number that is almost 27 percent of Canada’s population. The oldest tree is reportedly a 300-year-old red oak situated somewhere in North York.
Statistics have shown that 25 percent of the city is forest coverage, which is a significantly high number. If you are an adventurer, then there is no limit to your forest hiking journey in Toronto. This is another fun fact of Toronto. It is always evergreen.
Toronto plays home to the only Castle in North America
This is huge. One fun fact of Toronto is that it houses the only actual Castle in North America. Casa Loma is the only Castle in the wonderful continent of North America.
Interestingly, some sects are critical of the Casa Loma, citing it as another style of a modern mansion, not a castle. If we let them win that one, it will not be fun at all. This Castle is always busy, and for your next tour of Toronto, you should visit Casa Loma to experience it firsthand.
Toronto thousand island has some castle-like estates you can always visit. However, if you are looking for the real deal, Casa Loma is your stop.
Yonge Street is one of the longest streets in the world
This is an interesting fact of Toronto that has recently faced some contention. Despite being nearly 200km long, Yonge’s credibility as the longest street in the world has been thrown into question.
The street has held the title for quite some years as endorsed by the Guinness Book of Record. Although the record also noted that part of the street is a separate highway. Regardless, it is still one of the longest streets in the world.
PATH, the world’s largest underground shopping complex, is in Toronto
The PATH is situated in downtown Toronto. It is a network of tunnels and walkways connecting over 70 buildings downtown. Although the initial purpose of the design was not for a shopping complex, it has evolved accordingly.
Shopaholics will be excited to know that The PATH host the largest sidewalk sales yearly. There are over 1200 retail stores there. Amazing right? The PATH is approximately a 30km underground space. One secret about PATH is that it is a safe space when you want to escape winter storms.
The complex is much different from what it used to be before. In previous years, there have been records of a minimum of 200,000 workers and residents using the PATH daily.
Toronto has over 43,000 hotel rooms
Another fun fact about Toronto is that Toronto has over 43,000 hotel rooms. The city attracts over 40 million people yearly, so it is no surprise it has so many hotel rooms.
Cultural Fun Facts On Toronto
The most multicultural city in the world
Another amazing fact on Toronto is that it has over 200 ethnic groups. In Toronto, over 180 languages are spoken. Only 50 percent of the population have English as their primary language.
In fact, Toronto is such a melting pot of culture that around 50 percent of the city’s population are not Toronto born.
Toronto’s annual 30+ Festival
Toronto’s spot as Canada’s number one cultural city is almost incontestable. One of Toronto’s fun facts is that it hosts at least 30 festivals yearly. Some are quite the low-key kind, like the Winterlicious. Some festivals strictly celebrate Toronto’s special culture, like the Ukie fest.
Toronto also has weird festivals like the zombie parade on Halloween or the annual naked bike ride downtown.
The Caribana Festival
This festival ranks top among the most popular festivals in Canada. It is Toronto’s most celebrated tradition and one of the largest street festivals in North America. This event hosts a minimum of 2 million people annually.
The festival is designed to celebrate Caribbean traditions and culture. It is always held in the summer. No street parade in North America compares to the Caribana. Relegating the fun fact about Toronto, it’s pure joy to be able to witness and experience the Caribana firsthand.
Canada’s cultural capital is Toronto.
This is one of the most contested facts about Toronto. Canada has many cities with good music, arts, and dance culture. However, Toronto houses some of Canada’s best theatre, music, and dance coverage.
Other cities like Vancouver and Montreal can plead their cause, but the popular city serves as home to the National ballet company, Mendelssohn choir, and even the Toronto symphony.
Toronto stands shoulder-to-shoulder with London and New York when you consider English theatre. The city is home to many modern and old theatres like the Royal Alexandra theatre.
Interesting Facts About Toronto
Toronto Zoo is one of the largest in the world and the largest in Canada
For animal lovers, this can feel like a match made in heaven. The zoo has been up and running since 1974. An exciting fact about Toronto zoo is that it houses over 16,000 animals. That’s a big number.
That said, the zoo offers a great blend of education and entertainment. It makes for a fun outing for visitors of all age groups.
One of the world’s largest neighborhood-based library systems is the Toronto Public Library
The Toronto public library has served residents exceptionally, and the people certainly take advantage of it.
One fun fact of Toronto’s public library is that it has the highest circulation per capita of any other public library in the world.
The Toronto public library has more than 10 million items in its collection. It also has a total of 100+ branch libraries. It is proof that Toronto is a city filled with book lovers. This is an interesting fact about Toronto if you consider the numerous entertainment options available in the city.
Toronto has more than 8,000 restaurants.
You read right; Toronto has over 8,000 restaurants. For foodies and those who love food adventure, there is no better place to explore food, snacks, and even flavor.
Due to the cultural diversity of Toronto, it is natural to also have different outstanding cuisine available. That is part of the reason why there is such a high number of restaurants.
Bonnie and Clyde
One of the funny facts about Toronto is that it has some unexpectedly famous characters. Bonnie and Clyde are two 100 pounds size rodents. They are arguably the most popular Capybaras in Canada and the world. They escaped the zoo in 2016 but were captured after a month of freedom and a crime spree.
Toronto and Graffiti
Looks shrewd, right? Well, this is one of Toronto’s fun facts. The city has a special relationship with graffiti.
In Kings West, there is a 2km Graffiti Alley spoiled with beautiful graffiti. The city sanctions it, so you have nothing to worry about. Be sure to go there and check out some creative street art. You can also take some stunning pictures.
In addition, you can also find a graffiti car at Kensington market. It is a living art and is the only car legally allowed to park there.
Discovering More Fun Facts About Toronto
There are so many fascinating facts about Toronto that it’s hard to know where to start. From the city’s diverse culture and cuisine to its world-renowned zoo and library system, there are many things to discover in Toronto; and there is no better way than visiting yourself!
If you’re looking for a city with plenty of entertainment options, history, and culture, Toronto should definitely be on your radar.