As Canada’s largest city, not to mention one of the most multicultural cities on Earth, there’s no shortage of cool, interesting, and fun Toronto facts. The city has loads of history and is one of the most interesting developed cities in the world.
However, very few people, including Torontonians themselves, know much about the history, culture, and unique facts about Toronto. But that’s okay. We’re here to help!
After writing a popular guide about Canada facts, we’re here to give you the rundown on some of the coolest and most fun facts about Toronto.
Fun Facts about Toronto, Ontario
To begin, let’s start with some fun general facts about Toronto, such as its population, buildings, transportation, and more.
- Toronto is the capital of Ontario and is the largest city in Canada with over 3 million residents. However, the Greater Toronto Area boasts a population of almost 6.5 million!
- Toronto covers an area of 641 square kilometres, stretching 43 km from east to west and 21 km from north to south.
- Toronto is the largest city in Canada, and the 4th largest city in North America.
- Toronto also has one of the fastest growing populations in all of North America.
- Almost 25% of Canada’s population lives within a 160 km radius of Toronto.
- There are around 160 completed skyscrapers in Toronto and 112 more are being constructed. (This number will likely change quite quickly)
- The CN Tower, however, is the most famous of them all. At 1,815-ft tall, it was the tallest freestanding structure in the world up until 2007 and held that title for 32 years. Despite losing that title to the Burj Khalifa, the CN Tower remains the largest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere. It is also the most identifiable structure in Toronto.
- Toronto has a total of 9,520 streets.
- Yonge Street is the longest street in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. It’s 1,896 km long. However, we’ve been told that Guinness thinks one part of Yonge is actually a separate highway, so perhaps this will change. Either way, it’s long!
- Dundas Street is actually the product of multiple smaller streets being joined together.
- Despite so many streets, there are over 10 million trees in Toronto, so it’s not just a concrete jungle! In fact, Toronto reportedly has over 25% forest coverage, which is a lot for such a major city!
- With so many trees, Toronto also has over 1,500 parks, which take up 18.1% of the city’s total area.
- In addition, there’s the Toronto Islands, which is the largest urban car-free community in North America.
- Toronto’s shoreline stretches 43 km long (138 km if bays/islands are included).
- Toronto has the second-largest public transit system in North America.
- Around 200,000 people pass through Union Station on standard business days.
- There are 301 measurable days of sunshine in Toronto. December has the fewest days (19), while July/August have the most days (30).
- The lowest recorded temperature Toronto has ever had was -31.3 degrees C (without wind chill) in 1943. While this type of weather doesn’t stick around very long, you can still expect cold days if you’re visting during the winter in Canada.
- Toronto gets average yearly precipitation of about 831 mm, with summer usually being the wettest season in Toronto.
- Toronto is 76.5 metres above sea level, with the highest point being the intersection at Steeles and Keele at 209 metres.
- The TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange) is the seventh-largest in the entire world (based on market capitalization).
- Several past Canadian Prime Ministers were University of Toronto grads, including Arthur Meighen, William Lyon Mackenzie King, Lester B. Pearson and Paul Martin.
- Speaking of university, over 50% of Toronto’s workforce possesses a university degree or college diploma.
Toronto Facts about Arts, Culture, and Sports
As you might expect, with so many people and cultures, Toronto is home to a lot of arts, culture, and sports. Here are some of the best Toronto facts relating to those themes.
- Toronto was recently named the most multicultural city on Earth.
- In fact, approximately half of Toronto’s population was born outside of Canada.
- There are roughly 180 languages and dialects spoken in Toronto and 44% of residents have a first language that isn’t English or French.
- The top five visible minority groups in Toronto are South Asians (12% of the population), Chinese (11.4%), Black (8.4%), Filipino (4.1%), and Latin American (2.6%).
- Little Italy, Little Portugal, and Chinatown have dual-language street signs written in both English and a language other than French.
- The multicultural population of the GTA is expected to reach 9 million people by 2036.
- 56.7% of Torontonians are Christian, making Christianity the largest faith group in the city.
- Toronto is the third-largest city for English theatre, being just behind New York and London.
- There are over 23,700 artists in Toronto, which is almost twice as many artists as any other Canadian city.
- Toronto is also the top city in Canada for screen-based movie production and is the third most popular in North America after Los Angeles and New York.
- In fact, many popular Hollywood actors have come from Toronto or learned their craft in Toronto including Christopher Plummer, Will Arnet, Mike Myers, Rick Moranis, Chris Farley, and many more.
- Around 25% of Hollywood movies are actually filmed in Toronto.
- The film industry is so big in Toronto that it employs 28,000 jobs and brings in approximately $1.5 billion each year.
- The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is one of the top film festivals in the world and has attracted up to nearly 500,000 when it occurs. It has become one of the city’s most important events, and something that citizens look forward to all year.
- The Toronto Public Library is the largest neighbourhood-based library system in the world. In total, there are over 100 branch libraries, and over 10 million items in the Toronto Public Library collection.
- Toronto is the only Canadian city with representation in 7 major league sports. It’s also the only Canadian city with an MLB team and an NBA team.
- The Rogers Centre is the first stadium in the world to have a fully retractable roof.
- Hanlan’s Point Stadium in Centre Island is where Babe Ruth made his first professional home run.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs are a historic NHL team. Not only are they part of the original 6 teams, but despite not having won a Stanley Cup for many decades, they do still hold 2nd place with 13 Stanley Cups.
- Toronto is also home to the NHL Hockey Hall of Fame, a great place to visit for hockey fans.
- Toronto (and area) is also home to some of the world’s most famous bands and musicians, such as Justin Bieber, Drake, and Blue Rodeo.
Travel and Tourism Facts about Toronto
Toronto is one of the top destinations to visit in Canada and below are some of the reasons why.
- Toronto welcomes over 40 million visitors annually, which amounts to approximately $7.2 billion during their visits.
- Toronto Pearson International Airport is the busiest airport in Canada. In 2019, Toronto Pearson International Airport handled nearly 50 million passengers and almost 500,000 flights.
- Need a place to stay? There are over 35,000 hotel rooms in Toronto.
- Toronto is also a great place to eat. With so many cultures, Toronto is home to 8,100 restaurants and bars, representing 6.5% of all businesses in the city.
- The Toronto Zoo is the largest zoo in Canada and the third-largest in the world, housing 16,000 animals of 491 different species. Located in Scarborough, the Toronto Zoo spans an incredible 710 acres.
- Toronto is also home to Casa Loma, a popular attraction that is often cited as being the only truly authentic castle in North America. However, we don’t believe this to be true, especially considering Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City. Still, it’s one of very few castle-looking homes in North America.
- The PATH is the largest continuous underground shopping mall in North America, featuring over 1200 stores. It is also home to a series of tunnels and walkways that connect around 70 buildings in downtown Toronto.
- If you happen to find yourself on Spadina Avenue, one of Toronto’s most well-known streets, you should know that it comes from Ojibwe origins, whom are an Anishinaabe people who reside in southern Canada and the northern US. The name Spadina comes from the Ojibwe word “ishpadinaa,” which appropriately means “high place or ridge” or “sudden rise in the land.”
- If you like festivals, Toronto is the place to be. In fact, Caribana is North America’s largest street festival with an overall attendance of approximately 2 million people. This multi-weekend cultural festival celebrates Caribbean culture and traditions.
Want More Facts?
Would you like to more Toronto facts about specific things? Let us know in the comments and we’ll do our best to research more facts about Toronto. However, we’ve also written a number of other popular fact guides, which you can find below: