Toronto (, ) is the most populous city in Canada and the provincial capital of Ontario. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario, with the original city area lying between the Don and Humber rivers. According to the 2011 Census, the city had 2,615,060 residents while its census metropolitan area (CMA), which comprises the majority of the Greater Toronto Area, had a population of 5,583,064. The history of Toronto began in the late 18th century when the British Crown purchased its land from the Mississaugas of the New Credit. The settlement established there became York, which lieutenant governor John Graves Simcoe designated as the capital of Upper Canada. The city was ransacked in the Battle of York during the War of 1812. In 1834, York became a city and renamed to Toronto. It was damaged in two huge fires in 1849 and 1904. Since 1954, the city occasionally expanded its borders through amalgamation with surrounding municipalities, most recently occurring in 1998. This process has left Toronto with clearly defined neighbourhoods that have retained their distinctive nature, earning it the nickname the “City of Neighbourhoods”. Toronto is at the heart of the Greater Toronto Area, and of the densely populated region in Southern Ontario known as the Golden Horseshoe. Its cosmopolitan and international population reflects its role as an important destination for immigrants to Canada. Toronto is one of the world’s most diverse cities by percentage of non-native-born residents, with about 49% of the population born outside Canada. As Canada’s commercial capital, it is home to the Toronto Stock Exchange and the headquarters of Canada’s five largest banks. Leading economic sectors in the city include finance, business services, telecommunications, aerospace, transportation, media, arts, publishing, software production, medical research, education, tourism, and engineering. Toronto is considered an alpha world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network and is placed among the Global Leaders in the Global Financial Centres Index. The city is also consistently rated as one of the world’s most liveable cities by the Economist Intelligence Unit and the Mercer Quality of Living Survey.
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