Toronto, capital and largest city of Ontario and second city in size in Canada, is situated on the
north shore of Lake Ontario, opposite the mouth of the Niagara River, 333 miles s.w. of Montreal. It
has a water frontage of about 10 m. from e. to w. and extends inland from s. to n. about 6 m. The
harbor which recently has been greatly improved, is protected by a sandy islet, extending into the
lake to a distance of 5 miles. The port accommodates the largest vessels that come through the
Welland Canal. The Canadian Pacific and Canadian National railways pass through the city.
Surrounding it is a fertile agricultural region, of which it is the distributing point and outlet.
From The Source Book, Vol. VII.,
Perpetual Encyclopedia Corporation, Chicago, 1926.
STREETS AND PARKS
The streets are wide, well paved and lined with private residences,
churches and public buildings of imposing architecture. The 55 parks have a total of 1879 acres.
Chief of these are High Park, Exhibition Park, and Humber Boulevard, within the city limits. The
annual Canadian National Exhibition, famous for its agricultural, industrial, and art exhibits, is held
at Exhibition Park. The zoological gardens are in Riverdale Park. Sunnyside is a favorite
promenade. Island Park, a picnic resort, and Hanlan's Point, an amusement park, are located on
the sandy bar in front of the city.
PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
Toronto has 263 churches, the most
notable being St. James's Cathedral (Anglican), St. Paul's and Church of the Ascension (Anglican),
St. Michael's Cathedral (Roman Catholic, St. James and St. Andrews (Presbyterian), the
Metropolitan (Methodist), Jarvis Street(Baptist), Bond Street (Congregational), and Timothy Eaton
Memorial Church (Methodist). A group of buildings noted for their beauty are the Provincial
Legislative Building and the University of Toronto, at Queen's Park. Important other buildings are the
courthouse, new city hall, the custom house Parliament Buildings, post office, public library, the
Royal Alexandria Theatre, the Massey Music Hall, King Edward's Hotel, the Royal Bank Building,
the Canadian Pacific Railway building, and the new Union Station.
The University of Toronto is the center of learning in Canada. Its group of buildings are among the
most attractive in the city. Several new departments have recently been added, and its attendance
is over 5,000, the highest enrollment in the British Empire. Other fine educational buildings are
McMaster University, Trinity, Upper Canada and St. Andrews colleges. The Technical School is one
of the best equipped in the world. Toronto maintains an excellent library system, including a
reference library and 19 branches, with 250,000 volumes. It has three colleges of music and
creditable art galleries. The Royal Art Museum contains valuable collections of historical and
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRIES
Toronto is the chief distributing center of Ontario, particularly in
grain, fruits, and live stock. It is the wholesale jobbing center of Canada and mecca of its trade and
commerce. It contains about 1500 factories, employing 85,000, with an annual value of its products,
$300,000,000. It is the automobile center of Canada, and its industrial plants include iron and steel
foundries, shipbuilding and meat packing establishments, agricultural implement works and railway
shops. The five meat packing establishments have given to the city the name of the Chicago of
Canada, and its civic abattoir is a successful municipal enterprise. It possesses water, gas, electric
light plants and draws light and much of its heat and power from Niagara Falls. The Toronto
hydro-electric system is one of the largest municipal supply undertakings in America. It has six
daily newspapers, of which the Globe, was founded in 1846.
Being the second financial and commercial center of Canada, it has an active shipping trade. An
average of 3,000 vessels with a tonnage over 4,000,000 arrive annually at the port. Steamship lines
connect Toronto with Canadian and American lake and river ports from Port Arthur to Montreal, and
because of this it is known as the "Queen City of the Lakes." Fourteen of the chartered banks of
Canada have their headquarters here, and the annual bank clearings are over $6,000,000,000.
Toronto has an active mining stock exchange and a large industrial stock exchange.
Originally the site of Toronto was the junction of a number of Indian trails and was the
terminal point of those which formed the shortest and most convenient route between lakes Huron
and Ontario; hence the name Toronto, of Indian origin, meaning place of meeting. It was chosen by
the French in 1749 as the location of a fort and trading post and was called Ft. Rouille. Later it was
burned to prevent its falling into the hands of the British. It was the scene of continual strife between
the French, British and Indians in the half century which followed. In 1794 John Graves Simcoe, the
first governor of Upper Canada, removed the capital from Newark to Toronto, calling the new seat of
government York in honor of the son of King George III. During the War of 1812 the city was twice
captured and was partially burned by the Americans. It was incorporated, under its present name,
in 1834. Aside from a rebellion under William Lyon Mackenzie and several disastrous fires, the
subsequent history of Toronto has been purely civic - a history of rapid and substantial growth.