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  Toronto 175
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  Toronto 175 (1834-2009)  
The City of Toronto was incorporated on March 6 1834, following a significant increase in demand for public services in the former municipality of York. Toronto is now Canada's largest city and home to a diverse population of more than 2.7 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won more than 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. For more information on the Culture Services of Toronto click here!

Vizaria engaging imagery  
Vizaria presents Toronto's Legacy
Watch the video

Toronto 175 (1834-2009)

Toronto's 175 was a year-long festival of events, some big, some small that marked the anniversary, said Joe Pantalone - Deputy Mayor and Chair of the Toronto 175 Steering Committee.

The City of Toronto, worked with various organizations in 2009. The goal was to create a celebration allowing residents to reflect upon Toronto’s many attributes, as well as accomplishments. It linked Toronto's past, its present and future into one anniversary year.

Since Toronto's incorporation in 1834, this city has grown into a world class urban centre that is recognized around the world for its quality of life, its environmental stewardship and its multiculturalism.

Torontonians love their city and we have learned during 2009, that they are eager to celebrate Toronto's heritage, unite with their fellow Torontonian and share their diverse experiences with one another. Over 900,000 members of the public engaged in Toronto 175 events.

Highlights of Toronto 175 events and partnerships:

City Hall   On Friday, March 6 2009, City Hall opened its doors and invited the public to join the City of Toronto for a day of literature, dance, film, music, photography, visual arts, archival displays and multi-media exhibits. Highlights included:
Mayor Miller and William Lyon Mackenzie   William Lyon Mackenzie (Toronto's first Mayor) portrayed by Eric Peterson challenging our present Mayor, David Miller to a debate using the City Council chambers as a theatrical venue.
Well and Good logo
Manifesto logo
  Well and Good and Manifesto, presented an art exhibit showcasing street art in all its forms and the impact on the city's neighbourhoods.
Schools Without Borders logo   "School without Borders" presented, "My City My Story" a photo exhibit by Toronto-based youth. New media artist, Faisal Anwar, presented, "360-Extended " an art installation created for the "My City" campaign inside the City Hall Rotunda
The Council Fire Youth Drum Group   Several films were showcased: "Toronto in Silent Cinema, 9 Months, 6 Blocks, Tkaronto, Behind the Bohemian Embassy and Let’s All Hate Toronto." The rotunda featured artists: Tej Hunjan. Chris Church. Yoshi and Chie, Michelle St. John, the Council Fire Youth Drum Group
1991 Emergency Medical Services Ambulance   Nathan Phillips Square featured presentations by a number of Toronto's service organizations. Toronto Police Service exhibited vintage vehicles, police dogs and motorcycles. Emergency Medical Services showcased a number of vehicles including a 1954 Henny Packard Deluxe Ambulance, a 1966 Superior Pontiac Consort Ambulance, as well as a 1991 Dodge Van Ambulance. Toronto Fire Services also displayed vintage vehicles once used by the fire department

Toronto's Visual Legacy – Official City Photography from 1856 to the Present   Toronto's Visual Legacy - Official City Photography from 1856 to the Present Launched during March 6th celebrations, this publication is comprised of archival photographs provided by the City of Toronto archives.

Toronto's Visual Legacy celebrates Toronto’s history, documents attitudes and provides insight into Toronto values expressed by Council. The first edition print run is almost sold out. Visit your bookstore or contact the City of Toronto archives.

Doors Open Toronto   Doors Open Toronto, celebrated its 10th anniversary and produced a special commemorative program entitled Lit City-Toronto Stories, Toronto Settings. Doors Open Toronto expanded its annual roster to 175 buildings and complimented Lit City programming by connecting books and authors with architecture.

175th Anniversary Picture-Postage stamp   The City of Toronto unveiled the Toronto 175 limited edition, Canada Post Picture-Postage anniversary stamp on November 12, 2009. Tourism Toronto funded this initiative and donated 4,000 stamps to the City of Toronto. These stamps were distributed to the public for free at City of Toronto events. The public was also allowed to purchase full sheets from the Canada Post-Picture Postage website until December 31, 2009.

Toronto 175 Song Contest  

The Toronto 175 song contest invited song writers to submit their Toronto song. Over 21,000 votes were cast on-line with remaining votes being calculated during the live finale performance at the CNE on opening day. The public enjoyed the general admission price of $1.75.

Toronto now has an official song; “Love to Live in Toronto by George Axon and Aidan Mason” who won the grand prize of $5,000.

Deputy Mayor, Joe Pantalone said, "We hoped to find a song that celebrated the people, the communities, the relationships and experiences that we all share in Toronto . I believe that we have found that song."

“Love to Live in Toronto”
Windows Audio Listen to the new re-recorded version of "Love to Live in Toronto", featuring vocals by Divine Brown (2009 Juno winner) and Wade O Brown. Right click (or option on a MAC) the link to download the song for free.
Windows Video Watch the video

You'll need the Window Media Player. If you don't already have the player, you can safely download it for free.

Watch their performances:

Toronto International Film Festival Logo  

Toronto International Film Festival

  • Film trailers featuring key Toronto films and film coverage of seminal events were played at TIFF theatre venues.
  • An Anthology book publication featuring contributions by Piers Handling, Matt Hays, Brenda Longfellow and Wyndham Wise, along with a list of significant Toronto films is also available for purchase.
  • Pearson International Airport featured a selection of film stills from the Toronto 175 film trailers.
  • The Art Gallery of Ontario (Jackman Hall) presented a film series of memorable films shot in Toronto, by local Torontonian filmmakers, which explored the dynamics of urban living until the end of 2009

St. Lawrence Market Artists  

St. Lawrence Market turned 205!
During the markets birthday bash, Torontonians of all ages enjoyed a day of live entertainment, heritage theatre, buskers, storey tellers, children's activities, Toronto $1.75 meal deals and much more!

Highlights included performances by: Human Statues, Dirty Dishes, Shibaten Spirits, Afterhours, Chris McKool, 2009 Juno nominee, Jorge Lopez, Mysterion the Mentalist, Peter Jarvis, Max T Oz, Batman, Dylan Studibaker and Brent Matthews.

Watch the videos:


Santa Claus Parade Snowman  

Toronto Santa Claus Parade.
Torontonians of all ages experienced the magic of the holiday season. Seen all over the world this parade consisted of 24 floats (Toronto 175 snowman), 24 bands and 1,700 participants. Toronto's Historic Museums featured its holiday brochure highlighting the Toronto 175, free weekend in December.

On March 27 at 8 p.m, tune in to WNED (PBS) to watch Toronto 175, the 90-minute television special that celebrates the end of the 175th anniversary year of Toronto's incorporation. Produced by veteran tv host, Anne Martin, the program is a fast-paced review of how an isolated trading outpost evolved into a world-class city. In the 1790's the Queen's envoy, John Graves Simcoe, arrived at what was once a small French trading post on Lake Ontario and decided it was a perfect location for York, the new capital of the province of Upper Canada.

Incorporated in 1834, Toronto's history is filled with intriguing characters, tremendous challenges, tragedy and triumph; a history that Martin brings to life with the assistance of archaeologists, historians, authors and curators. Toronto175is an intriguing look at the evolution of the little town of Yorkthat became the modern metropolis of Toronto.

More information on the broadcast can be obtained from contacting the producer at 416/969-9390 or emailing her at

Toronto 175, would like to acknowledge the partnerships of other great organizations that celebrated Toronto's heritage, unity and diversity.

  • The St. George's Society of Toronto
  • Center for Spanish Speaking Peoples
  • Masala! Mehndi!, Masti
  • DVxT Theatre
  • City Sonic
  • West Toronto Junction Historical Society
  • Royal Ontario Museum
  • Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
  • Brown's, A Short Man's World of Fashion
  • York Pioneers
  • Science Rendezvous 2009
  • Toronto Arts Council
  • Vizaria
  • Toronto Public Library
  • The Garden Club of Toronto
  • Dominion Modern Gallery
  • The Hudson's Bay Company on Queen St
  • Horticultural Society of Parkdale & Toronto (HSPT)
  • Allstream Centre at Exhibition Place
  • City of Toronto, Cultural Services
  • Vortex Media
  • The Dominion Institute Heritage Toronto
  • Toronto Suite

For further information please contact:
Tina Hurl-Priestley, Program Development Officer

Joe Pantalone, Councillor and Deputy Mayor,
Chair – Toronto 175 Steering Committee


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