The History of Toronto, York Region & The Greater Toronto Area
Situated on the shore of Lake Ontario is one of the largest and most vibrant urban centres of Canada, Toronto. It is Ontario’s capital city has a dynamic history of change and growth from over 1000 years ago to its current state. Toronto is the fourth largest city in North America and is made up of previous cities of Toronto, York, Scarborough, Etobicoke and the former borough of East York. It houses a large population of immigrants and is the national and international hub for communications, finance and cultural life. The present status of the city has been largely shaped and influenced by its history.
The history of Toronto proper started in 1793, Toronto, formerly known as York was recognized as the capital of the new colony of Upper Canada. York was built largely by islands that formed a large natural harbour which was defended with the construction of Fort York. The idea to put up the town was from the province’s first governor, John Graves Simcoe and its name was precisely chosen to honour Duke of York, son of King George III. York grew as a result of the American Revolution that pushed loyalists to settle in the remaining British territory. Before the loyalists were French fur traders that had tried settling there but were unsuccessful in establishing a town.
Later in 1812, York was invaded and to some extent burned by American forces piloted by Zebulon Pike. At that time, Fort York was lightly guarded and understanding that a defence was unfeasible, the troops retreated and set ablaze the magazine. As the US forces entered the fort, there was an explosion killing Pike and a group of his men. After the incident a stronger and better fort was built several hundred yards to the west of the original location. There another American attack in 1814 but it was easy to defend the town as the landing force never got to approach the shoreline.
It wasn’t until 1834 that it was renamed Toronto to set it apart from New York City as well as other several localities that were named York. In 1845 -1849, the Irish Famine drove a large number of Irish into the city. A slight majority of the Irish was Protestants and the catholic church present at that time feared that they might use their material needs as a root for evangelization. To prevent that, the Catholic Church built a series of charitable institutions like schools, hospitals and orphanages to meet the needs of the people and keep them in the faith. Nonetheless, with time the church was unable to contain the tension between the French and Irish Catholic clergy; in the long run the Irish took control and won the support of Rome.
In the 19th century Toronto and the history of Toronto began to grow rapidly by Toronto business, the population started to increased and so did its commercial activities. It became home to most financial head offices, factories and stores that made it the second national metropolis after Montreal. By 1920, new suburban municipalities grew around it. Also, employment improved gradually and by the Second World War, unemployment was greatly reduced. All these events made the history of the city of Toronto, Brampton, and Mississauga and are the reason it is what it is today.
More About Toronto’s Climate
Located in the Southern Ontario along the shores of Lake Ontario, Toronto is the most populated city in Canada. It enjoys a unique climate mainly because of its location close to the lake. For that reason, the Toronto climate is free from some of the extreme weather conditions that people experience in other cities in Canada. During some seasons of the year, the weather is very pleasant to the residents and even visitors find it a very nice place to stay. The city has four seasons that have distinct climates as discussed below:
The winter season in Canada can be so extreme in several places. However, in Toronto, the climate is milder in comparison with other regions. For instance, in the Northern Ontario, the cold can go up to -50 degrees while, on the contrary, the Toronto climate can never go beyond -20 degrees Celsius. Also, the average low temperature during this season is about -7 degrees Celsius, which works well for ice hockey and going to see the Maple Leafs. Conversely, the average high temperatures range from -4.6 to 2 degrees Celsius.The winter season begins in December all the way to February. During the season, there is snowfall of approximately ten days and the snow is normally 7 cm on the ground. The snow usually falls more in February than during December and January.
The summer months begin in June and runs through August. The maximum high temperatures range from 23 to 31 degrees Celsius. Occasionally, the temperatures can go as high as 32-38 degrees Celsius, but such high temperatures last for few days. The night temperatures vary from 20 to 25 degrees Celsius in hotter spells. The average low temperature in Toronto during Summer is approximately 15 degrees Celsius. People also experience high humidity levels, and the speed of winds are low. Additionally, there are high chances of rain during the season with approximately 11 days of rainfall every month. There are also regular occurrences of summer thunderstorms. There is, however, no snow falls.
The Toronto Climate during spring comprises of varied weather conditions; people experience rainy, dry and sunny days in an alternating pattern. The climate is pleasant with many sunny days and cool nights. There are rare cases of snow falls during the early days or towards the end of the season, but if it falls, the snow melts quickly after getting on the ground. Spring starts in March, and the climate is warmer and enjoyable during April.
The Toronto climate during the season of Autumn has several similar characteristics to the Spring. Just like in Spring, there are sunny, dry and rainy days. It starts in September till November. It has an average of 11 days of rainfall every month and the winds speed increases as winter season gets close. For that reason, the speed of the wind in November is 16 kph as opposed to 11 kph in August just before the autumn begins. The days become shorter in Autumn. In September, the average high temperature is about 21 degrees Celsius while in November the temperature dramatically decreases to an average of 7 degrees Celsius.
On average, the Toronto climate is semi-continental, and it has cold winters and humid and warm summer seasons. Also, the precipitation of Toronto is approximately 831 mm annually. Due to Lake Ontario, its climate is the mildest in Canada thus it has cooler summers and slightly warmer winters as compared to other parts of the nation. However, due to several industrial plants and factories in Canada and USA, there is a problem of smog in Toronto especially during the summer.