Toronto is the capital of the province of Ontario, and is situated along the northwest shore of Lake Ontario. The city has many green spaces, such as Queen’s Park and High Park, which has an area of 400 acres. Toronto is the largest city in Canada, is one of the most diverse and cosmopolitan cities in the world, and is a leading center for international businesses, culture, arts, and finance.
Indigenous inhabitants lived on the land occupied by present-day Toronto for thousands of years. Toronto was established as the town of York in 1793, and was named the capital of Upper Canada. During the War of 1812, York was heavily damaged by American fighters. York was later renamed Toronto, officially incorporated as the City of Toronto in 1834, and named capital of the province of Ontario in the Canadian Confederation in 1867. Toronto has continued to grow and expand by incorporating other neighboring municipals and by annexation.
The city occupies an area of 243.3 square miles. The south portion of the city borders Lake Ontario, and Toronto's islands and Port Lands create harbors. Toronto is flat in most of its parts, although some areas have gentle hills. Another main geographical feature of Toronto is its escarpments.
Toronto’s population grew by 4% between 1996 and 2001, 1% from 2001 to 2006 and 4.6% between 2006 and 2011. The city has a higher percentage of females, and has a higher foreign population than any other major city in the world. No single culture or nationality dominates the city, which is why it is considered a multicultural city. A large part of Toronto’s population speaks English, but a variety of other languages are spoken, such as French, Chinese, and Italian.
Toronto is the financial capital of Canada, and it is the international capital center for business and finance. The city’s financial district, particularly on Bay Street, has a high concentration of brokerage firms and banks. The city is home to the world’s seventh largest stock exchange in the world, the Toronto Stock Exchange. Canada’s "Big Five" banks have national offices in Toronto. Toronto is also a vital center for information technology, telecommunications, publishing, media, and film production. Other leading Canadian companies in Toronto area include Bell Media, Torstar, Rogers Communication, Magna International, Sun Life Financial, Celestica, the Hudson’s Bay Company, and Manulife. According to the figures of 2016, the unemployment rate in Toronto stood at 6.7%, and the cost of living index was ranked 10th in the whole country.