A Brief History of the Greater Toronto Area

In the 1700s, Toronto was inhabited by various members of the First Nations Group. The First Nations is a term to describe the indigenous peoples of Canada. In this area this grouping included at various times, the Neutral, Seneca, Mohawk and Cayuga eavestrough installation nations. The exact origins of the name Toronto are not certain, however “Taronto” was used to describe the channel of water between Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe (Formerly Lake Toronto) during the time of the nations and the beginning of European settlement.

Early settlement from “outsiders” didn’t come in very large numbers until the later 1700s. Fort Rouillé was established by French fur traders in 1750. By 1760 the fort was gone as war between France and England saw France routed from the area. By the 1780s the town of York had been constructed in bay surrounded by the Toronto Islands. York was a point of interest during the War of 1812 between U.S. and British forces.

York, now renamed Toronto to avoid confusion with New York City, was fully incorporated in 1834. The mid to late 1800s saw an infusion of Irish immigrants due in large part to the Irish Famine or “Potato Famine”. This influx of Irish was so large that they displaced the British establishment in part. Along with Irish came the associated troubles between Protestants and Catholics. During this time the population of the city grew significantly from around 30,000 occupants in 1851 to more than 180,000 forty years later.

As the population boomed so did industry, technology and of course the demand for Toronto real estate. By 1900 Toronto had a network of streetcars, long distance railways and a re-emphasis on its ability to be a port town. The growth was so rapid that not even the Great Toronto Fire of 1904 could stop it. The creation of the Prince Edward Viaduct in 1919 connected the array of various surrounding towns creating a much larger singular city.

This connection of smaller towns was cemented in 1954 through the establishment of the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto which became the regional governing body. The subway and city growth continued to be substantial. The 1970s was the time of the Canadian sky-scraper. So many were built so quickly that radio and television signals in the area were significantly disrupted. The solution to this problem was the construction of what is a major Canadian landmark, the CN Tower, a huge radio and television tower.

By the 70s Toronto’s population had grown to over two million residents. While the British and Irish remained a strong influence on the area, the decades so large influxes of Chinese, Russian and additional European groups. Toronto has an extremely diverse population which has helped contribute greatly to its culture and expansion. The creation of the Greater Toronto Area in the late 90’s has only furthered this. As more and more people flock to this “megacity” the demand for Toronto real estate is at an all-time high.