Toronto & the Toronto Region
Toronto is Canada’s largest city and a world leader in business, finance, technology, entertainment, and culture. Its large population of immigrants from all over the globe has also made Toronto one of the most multicultural cities in the world.
Quick facts about Toronto
- 307 km of rivers and creeks run through the city flowing into Lake Ontario.
- There are more than 1,600 named parks comprising more than 8,000 hectares of land (ravines, valleys, woodlots, parks, beaches, golf courses, and parkettes).
- Toronto has about 10 million trees, approximately 4 million of which are publicly-owned trees. These include 600,000 street trees and 3.5 million trees in parks, ravines, and other natural areas.
- The City of Toronto owns and operates nearly 100,000 housing units.
- There were more than 106,000 businesses in Toronto in 2017.
The land the City of Toronto stands on today is the traditional territory of many nations, including the Mississauga of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 signed with the Mississauga of the Credit, and the Williams Treaty signed with multiple Mississaugas and Chippewa Bands.
For more information about the Toronto and its traditional territory, visit Aboriginal Affairs.
About the Toronto Area
Located on a broad sloping plateau cut by numerous river valleys, Toronto covers 641 square kilometres and stretches 43 kilometres from east to west and 21 kilometres from north to south at its longest points.
The City of Toronto sits at the centre of a larger metropolitan area called the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), also known as the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) by Statistics Canada, with slightly different boundaries (See Figure 1).
Figure 1. Toronto and the Greater Golden Horseshoe
Toronto has a large and diverse population. It is home to about 2.9 million people and is expected to continue to grow steadily. In 2017, the Province of Ontario projected that the city of Toronto could grow by 500,000 people in the next 25 years (see Figure 2).
Figure 2 – Toronto’s Population and Population Projections
In 2016, there were 46,320 people living in the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area who identified as Indigenous. Of the people who identified as Indigenous, 60 percent were First Nations (North American Indian), 33 percent were Métis, and the remaining seven percent identified either as Inuk (Inuit) or as holding multiple or other Indigenous identities.
However, studies using different research methods to identify the city’s Indigenous population suggest the Census figures may under-represent the population. For example, the Our Health Counts Toronto study cited a 2016 Indigenous population in the city that was between 34,000 to 69,000 people.
Demographic and housing facts:
- Toronto’s population grew by 116,511 residents between 2011 and 2016, an increase of 4.5 percent.
- 80,805 new dwellings were added to the city’s housing stock between 2011 and 2016.
- In 2016:
- there were 1.1 million private households in Toronto. Of these, 53 percent of households owned their home, while 47 percent rented.
- 26 percent of private dwellings in Toronto were condominiums.
- 52 per cent or 1.4 million people belonged to a visible minority group– the first time this figure surpassed 50 per cent in Toronto.
- For the first time, there were more people over the age of 65 in Toronto than people under the age of 15. The average Torontonian was 41 years old.
Each month, the City releases to the public a Toronto Economic Bulletin that provides a snapshot of the regional economy and includes data on the labour market, the size of the economy, real estate activity, retail sales, transportation, and city rankings. This information is available at www.toronto.ca/toronto-economic-bulletin, and provides an update on the GTA as one of the largest regional economies in North America. An estimated $332 billion of goods and services are produced in the Toronto region. Toronto accounts for just over half of this total at $168 billion, about nine percent of Canada’s economic output.
Toronto offers a rich mix of partners, suppliers, and a talented workforce to companies who do business here.
- The 2017 City’s annual employment survey counted 1.5 million jobs at 75,620 business establishments in the city.
- Professional, scientific, and technical services companies are now the city’s largest employers, overtaking manufacturing and retail, since 2006 (see Figure 3).
- The number of technology employers in the Toronto region is the largest in Canada and third largest in North America, behind San Francisco and New York, employing more than 200,000 people at more than 14,600 technology companies.
- The financial services sector continues to grow in Toronto, directly employing more than 250,000 people. The Toronto region is home to the head offices of the five largest banks in Canada and the majority of international banks’ subsidiaries and branches in Canada.
- The production of domestic and foreign film and television is now a major local industry regularly contributing $1 billion to the economy and directly employing more than 30,000 people in Toronto.
Figure 3 – Toronto Census Metropolitan Area Top 10 Industries, 2006 vs 2016