Photo of Toronto skyline
Here + Now,  History + Community

Happy 186th Birthday, Toronto!

March 6, 2020 marks Toronto’s 186th birthday when the town of York became the city we now know and love! Starting out with a humble population of 9,000, Toronto has now grown to become the fourth largest city in North America which includes other regions like Etobicoke, North York, York, East York, and Scarborough. 

As one of North America’s most multicultural hubs, with representations of many different cultures and neighbourhoods, Toronto is a unique place to live, work, and play. From the construction of the CN Tower in 1976 to the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal renovation of the Royal Ontario Museum in 2007, Toronto has seen a lot of development over the years. Each part of Toronto feels like stepping into a different place and time — think of the hustle and bustle of Yonge-Dundas Square to the charming storefronts on the Danforth.

With a city as unique as ours, there are definitely some lesser known aspects of it. Here are ten fun facts about our awesome Hogtown!

  1. The CNE uses 15,240 decks of cards every year. 
  2. The nickname “Hogtown” came from the William Davies Company, one of Canada’s earliest and largest meat packers.
  3. Danforth Avenue is named after Asa Danforth Jr., the man who was charged with building a route that would head east from Scarborough towards Trenton in the 1850s.
  4. Yonge Street is the longest street in the world at 1,896 km in length.
  5. Over 180 languages and dialects are spoken in the city.
  6. The PATH is the largest continuous underground shopping mall in North America with over 1,200 stores.
  7. Over 200,000 people pass through Union Station on a regular business day.
  8. Casa Loma is the only real castle in North America.
  9. Toronto is the only Canadian city with eight major sports teams — the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Raptors, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Toronto Argonauts, the Toronto Rock, the Toronto Marlies, the Toronto F.C., and the Toronto Nationals.
  10. About 25% of films set in American cities are filmed in Toronto.

As a born and raised Torontonian, I’m happy and proud to have planted my roots in this wonderful city and celebrate this day. The city hosts its own birthday celebrations so head down to Nathan Phillips Square on March 7 and 8 from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm for Toronto’s 186th Anniversary Festival!

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