You know the broad strokes about Toronto, but here are some fun facts that might surprise you.
A major film and TV hub
Contributing nearly $2 billion annually to the city’s economy, film and TV are major industries in Toronto. Blockbusters like The Shape of Water, Total Recall, the Incredible Hulk and X-Men were all filmed here. More recently, you might have caught scenes being filmed throughout the city for major productions like Star Trek, The Handmaid’s Tale and Shazam. The city is among the top five in North America for screen-based industries, and with world-class talent, a number of reputable film studies programs, and attractive incentives, it just keeps on growing.
One of the world’s most multicultural cities
Over 200 ethnic groups call Toronto home, and with over 140 languages spoken, there is no better place to expand your knowledge of world cultures. The multicultural makeup of the city has resulted in a thriving arts and restaurants scene as well as a fantastic festival lineup – all year long, you can enjoy music, dance, art and food from around the world at events like Taste of the Danforth, the Salsa Bachata Festival, Afrofest, and more.
The city’s ranking depends on which resource you consult, but it’s often counted in at number one. Some of the other most multicultural cities include Hong Kong, Singapore, Los Angeles and Dubai.
43 Kilometers of waterfront
Even better, the waterfront recreation trail is one of the city’s best public spaces, with many city parks, beaches and events venues all along the way. Take a trip to the Toronto Islands, see a live dance or theatre performance at Harbourfront Centre, plan a picnic at Cherry Beach, or attend one of the many festivals and events at Ontario Place (such as the Winter Light Exhibition in February). The waterfront is also a popular spot for all types of outdoor activities from jogging to cycling to stand-up paddle boarding.
Also interesting to note is how the waterfront has changed over the past century. The Harbour Commission filled in a huge chunk of the original harbour in the 1920s, creating much of the space south of the Esplanade and Union Station, and vastly expanding the area we now call downtown. New construction projects underway in the Toronto Port Lands are unlocking new land for parks and residential and commercial development and will similarly leave their mark on the cityscape.
400 public art works and historic monuments
…And the list keeps on growing. These works are an important part of Toronto’s project to enrich the urban experience of residents and visitors and enhance public spaces all over the city. The City of Toronto’s Public Art Map is a great resource help you to get started exploring Toronto’s public art scene – expect to be surprised, inspired and challenged by pieces that explore Toronto history and culture, past and present.
The City also places special emphasis on Street Art with programs like StreetARToronto You’ve Changed, designed to make our streets more beautiful and showcase the talent of local artists. You can explore the work of mural and graffiti artists using StreetARToronto – The Map.
Toronto is famous for many things, as these facts reveal! You’ll discover more and more as you get to know the Six.