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Toronto’s Beginnings

Ten thousand years ago, native tribes of what is now Canada had communities in present-day Toronto, ON. One of the first Europeans to reach this wild and untamed region was a Frenchman by the name of Etienne Brule in 1615. A hundred years later, his countrymen established the French trading fort called Fort Rouille around the year 1750. War shortly ensued, however, and after The Seven Years War (1756-1763) was over, control of this territory was passed to Britain. In 1793, the already famous British Army general, John Graves Simcoe founded a new town. He called it York, in honor of The Duke of York in England. Making it the capital of Upper Canada, and becoming the city’s lieutenant governor.

Nineteenth Century Toronto

On April 1813, at the Battle of York, British forces were overrun, and the Americans captured Toronto. Under the command of Major Roger Sheaffe, the Americans burned a large number of buildings and looted rampantly. The American forces soon withdrew, however, suffering heavy casualties. After the war ended in 1815, Toronto proliferated because of hundreds of British immigrants. The prestigious Toronto University was built in 1827. Population growth slowed in 1832 when Toronto suffered countless deaths because of the outbreak of cholera. The town soon recovered yet again after the tragedy, continuing to flourish once cholera disappeared. In 1834-only a year before York had opened its first post office, York was incorporated as a city, its name changing to Toronto. Toronto’s first gas street lights were installed in 1841, a sign the town was quickly becoming a major metropolitan area.

The fire of 1849, also called the Cathedral Fire, caused the destruction of numerous buildings by its flames- and yet still, because of its high commerce and location, the city thrived. St. Lawrence Hall was founded in 1850 and by 1851 Toronto was a prospering town of 30,00 people. By 1853, railroad companies had reached the city, expanding the commerce between other areas even further. In 1861, scores of horse-drawn cars ran up and down the streets of this township, and a little time later, public transportation became electric by 1892.

Meanwhile, in 1867 Toronto was made capital of the state of Ontario. During which time the population of Toronto ascended, as once again immigrants poured into the city- this time traveling from areas other than Britain. By 1891, the population of the city was over 180,000.

Toronto in The Twentieth Century

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Photograph has been sponsored by Canada’s Bridal Directory @

In 1904 Toronto suffered from the flames of tragic fire yet again. The fire broke out on April 19, 1904, and raged throughout the night-miraculously, not a single citizen was killed. With The Great Depression of 1930’s, jobs were lost, and hunger and crime were rampant throughout.

At the start of the Second World War, however, robust industry and much-needed jobs were brought, bringing prosperity again to this great city. With the availability of French, once again the city’s population grew.

The first subway line opened in 1954, mobilizing Toronto’s workforce in new ways. The primary areas of business and law developed. In turn, structures were raised and inaugurated in the mid-1960’s to house these growing entries. Buildings like Yorkdale Shopping Centre opened in 1964, and Toronto City Hall, which opened 1965. Ontario Science Museum opened on September 26, 1969. CN Tower, a real Canadian landmark, was erected in 1975. Huge shopping centers like Eaton Centre also opened in 1977.

Always a place filled with vibrant music and culture, Roy Thomson Hall opened in 1982. The Rogers Centre, originally named SkyDome, was inaugurated in 1989 and functions as a multi-purpose stadium, giving Major League Baseball’s The Toronto Blue Jays a home. In 1998, leaders decided to bring several municipalities together to form a single city- giving the area the nickname, Mega City Toronto.

Present-day Toronto remains a vital city, major factors such as growth, business, and commerce continue to be big players in the city’s growth. The population of Toronto today is 2.6 million-a far cry from the wooden French fort of its beginnings. Toronto continues to thrive and expand and has been the fifth largest city in North America for quite some time. It is no surprise that couples and partners in this metropolitan city are very picky about choosing their Toronto engagement rings.