Located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario, Toronto is situated on a broad sloping plateau intersected by an extensive network of rivers, deep ravines, and urban forest, with 140 independently unique and clearly defined official neighborhoods making up the city. The diverse population of Toronto reflects its current and historical role as an important destination for immigrants to Canada, with nearly 50% of residents belonging to a visible minority population group, and over 200 distinct ethnic origins represented among its inhabitants. While the majority of Torontonians speak English as their primary language, there are over 160 different languages spoken in the city.
Toronto is a prominent center for music, theater, motion picture production, and television production, and is home to the headquarters of Canada’s major national broadcast networks and media outlets. Its varied cultural institutions, which include numerous museums and galleries, festivals and public events, entertainment districts, national historic sites, and sports activities, attract over 25 million tourists each year. Toronto is known for its many skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, in particular the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere, the CN Tower. As Canada’s commercial capital, the city is home to the Toronto Stock Exchange, the headquarters of Canada’s five largest banks, and the headquarters of many large Canadian and multinational corporations. Its economy is highly diversified with strengths in technology, design, financial services, life sciences, education, arts, fashion, business services, environmental innovation, food services, and tourism.
Toronto encompasses a geographical area formerly administered by many separate municipalities. These municipalities have each developed a distinct history and identity over the years, and their names remain in common use among Torontonians. Former municipalities include East York, Etobicoke, Forest Hill, Mimico, North York, Parkdale, Scarborough, Swansea, Weston and York. Throughout the city there exist hundreds of small neighbourhoods and some larger neighbourhoods covering a few square kilometres.
The many residential communities of Toronto express a character distinct from that of the skyscrapers in the commercial core. Victorian and Edwardian-era residential buildings can be found in enclaves such as Rosedale, Cabbagetown, The Annex, and Yorkville. The Wychwood Park neighborhood, historically significant for the architecture of its homes, and for being one of Toronto’s earliest planned communities, was designated as an Ontario Heritage Conservation district in 1985. The Casa Loma neighborhood is named after Casa Loma, a castle built in 1911 by Sir Henry Pellat, complete with gardens, turrets, stables, an elevator, secret passages, and a bowling alley. Spadina House is a 19th-century manor that is now a museum.
Toronto is represented in six major league sports, with teams in the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, Canadian Football League, Major League Soccer and Canadian Women’s Hockey League. It was formerly represented in a seventh, the USL W-League, until that announced on November 6, 2015 that it would cease operation ahead of 2016 season. The city’s major sports venues include the Air Canada Centre, Rogers Centre (formerly SkyDome), Ricoh Coliseum, and BMO Field.
According to the United Nations Development Programme, Toronto has the second-highest percentage of constant foreign-born population among world cities, after Miami, Florida. While Miami’s foreign-born population has traditionally consisted primarily of Cubans and other Latin Americans, no single nationality or culture dominates Toronto’s immigrant population, placing it among the most diverse cities in the world. Visible minorities are projected to increase to 63% of the city’s population by 2031. Over 100,000 immigrants arrive in the Greater Toronto Area annually.
The Toronto Caribbean Carnival, formerly and still commonly called Caribana, is a festival of Caribbean culture and traditions held each summer in the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is a Caribbean Carnival event, that has been billed as North America‘s largest street festival, frequented by over 1.3 million visitors each year for the festival’s final parade and an overall attendance of 2 million.
The festival was introduced to Canada by immigrants from Caribbean Islands most notable Trinidad & Tobago. Much of the music associated with the event, such as steel pan, soca and calypso. Caribana reflects the Carnival events that take place in several Caribbean Islands, such as Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados, Grenada, St. Lucia, St Vincent and Antigua. The entire event, which is one of the first Caribbean Carnivals along with those in New York City, Notting Hill and Boston to be held outside of the Caribbean region, brings in over one million people to Toronto and over $400 million into Ontario’s economy, annually.
Following a trademark law dispute between the original operators of the festival, who still owned the Caribana name, and the current organizers, the festival was renamed Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival in May 2011.
In 2016, the name was changed to “Toronto Caribbean Carnival” after Scotiabank ended its sponsorship. In 2017 the festival will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary.
On June 1, 2017, Peeks (a Canadian mobile live streaming app) became Toronto Caribbean Carnival’s title sponsor, renaming the festival to the Peeks Toronto Caribbean Carnival.
When I was about 9 years old, my parents took our family on a trip to Disneyland. As a young child, going on my first family vacation that didn’t result in lodging with distant relatives, invoked a plethora of thoughts, feelings and emotions within me.