Toronto, a city, port of entry, and the capital of Ontario, Canada, county seat of York co., on the N. shore of Lake Ontario, 310 m. S. W. of Montreal and 36 m. N. E. of Hamilton; lat. 43° 39' N., Ion. 79° 21' W.; pop. in 1861, 44,-821; in 1871, 56,092. The bay S. of the citv is formed by an island, and is about 3 m. long and 2 m. wide. The river Don,which falls into the bay on the east, is not navigable. The site of the city rises gradually from the water and extends back about 2½ m., connecting on the north with the villages of Yorkville and Seaton, and on the east with Lesslieville, all of which, except in name, form part of the city. The corporation limits include more than 5,000 acres. The Queen's park, in the centre of the N. part of the city, contains over 35 acres; the jail farm is to be converted into a park in the east; and a few miles W. of the present corporation limits, on Humber bay, 300 acres has been secured for a park. The streets intersect at right angles. The buildings in the chief business streets are of brick, white or red, or of cut stone; and whole streets of fine residences of white brick have been built up within a few years, while other streets are occupied chiefly with wooden structures.
Among the public buildings are Toronto university and University college building, the finest in the province, erected in 1859 at a cost of about $900,000; the government house, the official residence of the governor of Ontario; the custom house and the post office; the Grand opera house and the Royal opera house, each capable of seating over 1,500 persons; the central prison, which cost nearly $500,000; the city hall and St. Lawrence hall; Trinity college, a church of England institution; Knox's college, a Free church theological institution, just completed at a cost of about $80,-000; the college of technology; the normal school buildings; the legislative buildings, in which also are some of the executive departments; Upper Canada college, a preparatory school for University college; and Osgoode hall, the seat of the principal law and equity courts of the province and the headquarters of the benchers of the law society. There are 78 churches, the principal of which are St. James's cathedral, commenced in 1852, and recently completed by the erection of a spire 316 ft. high, at a cost of about $220,000; St. Michael's cathedral, Roman Catholic; the Metropolitan church, Methodist, costing $100,000; St. Andrew's, church of Scotland, $80,000; and the Baptist church.
The two principal markets are the St. Lawrence and the St. Andrew's, the latter just completed. - Toronto has railroad communication with the United States and with the principal points of the provinces of Ontario and Quebec by means of the Grand Trunk, the Great Western, the Northern, the Toronto, Grey, and Bruce, and the Toronto and Nipissing lines. The imports for the year ending June 30, 1874, were $14,-716,824, and for the next year $14,436,091. The official returns of exports show in each of these years less than $1,900,000, but they are imperfect. The customs revenue collected in the first of these years was $1,967,997 60, and in the last $1,293,644 34. The value of manufactures according to the census of 1871 was $13,686,093, the chief items being furniture, boots and shoes, rail cars, ale, and whiskey. There are five banks having their headquarters in the city, and branches of five Quebec and Montreal banks. Besides the Toronto savings bank, the assistant receiver general's office, a branch of the Dominion treasury department, receives money on loan at interest; and there are numerous loan societies. - The city is divided into eight wards, each of which annually elects four aldermen, who are vested with legislative and executive powers, and can act as magistrates if possessed of a legal property qualification.
The mayor is annually elected by a vote of the rate payers. The assessed value of the real and personal property (not counting stocks in public companies) in 1873 was $44,765,000; in 1874, $43,462,512; in 1875, about $46,000,000. The taxes in 1874 yielded $608,475. The funded debt is about $5,000,000; and at the close of 1874 there was $258,293 to the credit of the sinking fund. The city has a fire alarm telegraph, a paid fire department, and street railways. The water works, which the corporation recently acquired from a private individual, are undergoing improvement and extension, at a cost that will exceed $2,000,000. The water is taken from the lake, and the sand of the island, across which it passes, is made to act as a filtering basin; the filtered water then passes across the bay in sunken pipes, and is pumped up to a reservoir on a height N. of the city. Among the charitable institutions are the asylum for the insane, supported by grants of the provincial legislature, and accommodating about 700 patients; the city hospital, the resources of which, arising from an endowment of public lands, are supplemented by an annual legislative grant; a boys' home and a girls' home, for unprotected children; a newsboys' home; a home for female servants out of employment; a house of industry; a Protestant orphan asylum; and the house of providence, belonging to the Catholics, and mainly supported by them.
There are a number of common schools, supported at a cost of about $40,000 a year, besides Roman Catholic separate schools. St. Michael's college (Roman Catholic) has not, like Trinity college, university powers. There are no strictly public libraries, but several semi-public ones, including the legislative library; the library in the normal school, intended for the council of public instruction; Osgoode Hall library; University college library; the Canadian institute (scientific) library; and the mechanics' institute library. Four newspapers are issued daily, and 17 weekly; and there are 15 literary, scientific, and theological magazines, 11 monthly, 4 bimonthly, and 1 quarterly. - The site of Toronto was selected by Governor Simcoe in 1794 as the seat of the provincial government; and here the capital of Upper Canada remained till 1841, when Upper and Lower Canada (now Ontario and Quebec) formed a legislative union. From 1849 to 1858 Toronto was alternately with Quebec the seat of the united government; and in 1867, when the confederation was formed, it became the permanent capital of the province of Ontario. It was taken by the Americans in 1813, and the legislative buildings and archives were burned.
It was known as York till 1834, when it was incorporated as a city.
University of Toronto.