Though not the country’s capital, Toronto is Canada’s biggest city and the main tourist destination. All this makes for a fascinating destination, and even its 5.7 million residents would probably be surprised by some of the following facts:
Historic Sporting Heroes
, who play with the East Division of the Canadian Football League, are the oldest professional sports team playing in North America. Named after the Greek mythological heroes who accompanied Jason to Colchis, they were established in 1873 by the Toronto Argonaut Rowing Club. Playing their home games at the Rogers Centre, they've won the CFL Championship, or Grey Cup, a record fifteen times.
Toronto is the only Canadian city to feature a team in five major sports leagues. Apart from 13-time Stanley Cup champions, the Maple Leafs
, the city also fields teams in Major League Baseball (Blue Jays), National Basketball Association (Raptors), Canadian Football League (Argonauts), and Major League Soccer (Toronto FC). Since 2008, the NFL's Buffalo Bills have played one regular season home game at Toronto's Rogers Centre.
Reaching Great Heights
Toronto is not the place for vertigo sufferers: With more than 2,000 buildings over 300 feet tall, Toronto comes second only to New York City when it comes to skyscrapers. (New York has 5,000). Among the big fellas are First Canadian Place
, Scotia Tower, TD Canada Trust Tower, Commerce Court West, and the Toronto-Dominion Tower.
An Inventive Lot
All those influences from outside have introduced plenty of inspiration for Toronto’s enquiring minds. Alfred Gross patented his own version of the walkie-talkie in the late 1930s. Having cofounded the Toronto Bowling Club in 1905, Thomas F. Ryan devised the game of five-pin bowling in Yonge Street, Toronto, in 1905. In 1940, Norman Breakey became responsible for devising a tool that decorators everywhere could not survive without: the paint roller.
Roughly a quarter of films produced in Hollywood are actually filmed in Toronto, making it North America's third biggest TV and movie production venue. Former Toronto mayor David Miller brought Marvel Comic’s Incredible Hulk to the city’s streets in 2007, allowing the movie’s producers to close Toronto’s main thoroughfare - Yonge Street - for four nights of filming Toronto’s sights including the University of Toronto, the financial district, the Eaton Centre, and Sam the Record Man’s spinning neon albums feature in the finished product.
World’s Longest Street
Toronto’s main thoroughfare, Yonge Street
, is included in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest street in the world, extending an impressive 1,896 km from the lakeshore in Toronto, north to Rainy River, Ontario, near the Minnesota border.
Multicultural Melting Pot
Toronto is one of the most ethnically diverse places in the world. More than 100 languages are spoken here, and about half of its residents were born elsewhere. Cultural influences include Latin America, Asia, the Caribbean, and Europe.