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Toronto

Toronto is the capital of the province Ontario and the most populous city in Canada with 2.6 million residents. It is a prominent destination for immigrants to Canada, with a large international population of 49 per cent foreign-born residents. It is the commercial capital of Canada with the Toronto Stock Exchange and the five largest Canadian banks. Metropolitan Toronto occupies a total area of 7,125 square kilometres.

Toronto Real Estate

The median listing sales price for housing in Toronto was C$538,881 in 2013, up 11 per cent from the previous year. Total real estate sales were up 2 per cent in the year 2013 and are expected to rise in 2014 by a higher rate than the rate of inflation.

Architecture

As an important financial centre, Toronto features contemporary business buildings in its downtown area. Its urban architecture represents both European and North American influences. Residentially, Toronto has developed its own unique styles such as the Annex House and bay and gable style houses. The rise of suburbs in Toronto managed to avoid urban sprawl thanks to an unusually dense population. Apartment and condominium units are typically reserved for the downtown parts of Toronto.

Climate

The humid continental climate of Toronto provides the city with warm summers and cool winters. It experiences steady precipitation year-round with the exception of the summer months, which are prone to thunderstorms. Despite the occasional dry spell, Toronto very infrequently experiences drought conditions. Winters in Toronto typically have a minimum of negative ten, accentuated by wind chill and lake-effect snowfall.

Demographics

Toronto has a metropolitan population of 5,583,064 and a population density of 783.59 people per square kilometre. Its population breakdown is 50.3 per cent White, 49.1 per cent Visible Minority, and 0.6 per cent Aboriginal. Toronto owes much of its diverse population to its high immigration rate, with nearly 100,000 immigrants arriving annually.

Main Attractions

The 550-metre high CN Tower in the middle of Toronto is one of the most popular tourist attractions, along with the commercial shopping mall the Eaton Centre, featuring over 250 stores and artist Michael Snow's famous “Flight Stop” display. The Royal Ontario Museum draws attention with its unusual exterior architecture and houses over 40 galleries. The vehicle-free Centre Island is a favorite of outdoor enthusiasts and environmentalists alike.

Transportation

Toronto Transit Commission runs bus, streetcar, and metro routes throughout the city. High-traffic downtown routes tend to run very frequently and some operate on a 24-hour basis. Metro trains typically run every five minutes in non-peak hours and every two minutes during peak hours. The above-ground streetcar rides offer ample opportunity to see the sights of Toronto.

Economy

An international hub, Toronto is home to a significant amount of finance and is regarded as Canada's financial capital. It is a prolific spot for arts and entertainment media with several publishing and film production industries. It had Canada's highest cost of living in 2011, although its low cost of film production attracts producers internationally who use the streets and skyscrapers of Toronto to stand in for major U.S. cities in films.