Toronto#by Dmitry Moiseenko, member of the AirPano Team that is a member of the global-geography Consortium.
9 February 2012
with kind permission of AirPano
Toronto is the biggest Canadian city and 5th largest city in North America after Mexico City, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. In 1998 the rapidly growing Toronto and six other communities are merged to form a new Mega-city, else known as GTA (Greater Toronto Area).
With a population of 2.48 million people (5.5 million in the GTA — Greater Toronto Area) is heralded as one of the most multicultural cities in the world and is ranked as the safest large metropolitan area in North America. Over 140 languages and dialects are spoken here, and just over 30 per cent of Toronto residents speak a language other than English or French at home.
Toronto is not the capital of Canada but it is cultural, entertainment, and financial capital of the nation. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from the Mississaugas of the New Credit. The settlement was later established as the Town of York and proclaimed as the new capital of Upper Canada by its lieutenant-governor, John Graves Simcoe. In 1834, York was incorporated as a city and renamed to its present name.
One o the biggest attractions of the city is the CN Tower standing 553.33 metres (1,815.4 ft) tall, it was completed in 1976, becoming the world's tallest free-standing structure and world's tallest tower at the time. It held both records for 34 years until the completion of Burj Khalifa and Canton Tower. It remains the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere, a signature icon of Toronto's skyline, and a symbol of Canada, attracting more than two million international visitors annually.
Another record was created by Yonge Street as "the World's Longest Street" 1,896 km (1,178 mi). Indeed, the Guinness Book of World Records published Yonge Street's status as the true record until 1999. Some people think that Yonge Street still remains the longest street in the world, some people think the claim is false because they say the HW11 is not part of the Yonge Street.
Walking on the streets of Toronto making almost impossible to believe that city has another town (PATH) hidden under the ground. According to Guinness World Records, PATH is the largest underground shopping complex with 28 km (17 miles) of shopping arcades. It has 371,600 sq. metres (4 million sq. ft) of retail space. In fact, the retail space connected to PATH rivals the West Edmonton Mall in size. The approximate 1,200 shops and services, such as photocopy shops and shoe repairs, found in PATH, employ about 5,000 people. Once a year, businesses in PATH host the world's largest underground sidewalk sale.
The Niagara Falls located about two hours away from downtown core but still considered to be one of the biggest Toronto's attractions. The waterfall has highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world and has a vertical drop of more than 165 feet (50 m).