The Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2013 – Road Trip! {Letter “T”}

A to Z Challenge

I am very excited to be taking part in the Blogging A to Z Challenge 2013.  This is actually my third challenge; the first year I featured a recipe for each letter and last year I drew on  my nursing background and used “parts of the human body” as my inspiration!

This year I have decided to change things up a bit.  I live in Canada and believe it is one of the most beautiful countries on the planet; so I have decided to feature a different Canadian “place”, for each letter of the challenge.

I am very much looking forward to seeing how everyone interprets the Challenge and I would love to have you join me, as I crisscross this vast country on my Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2013 – Road Trip!

So, without further ado, “T” is for Toronto, Ontario

I knew from the very beginning I would be choosing Toronto for the letter T, I guess it is a pretty obvious choice!  I have visited downtown Toronto a couple times and was even lucky enough to stay at the Royal York once …(this is a bit of an inside joke with my family).

I have also driven been driven through the city on numerous occasions.  The 401 Hwy can become quite a congested gong show and we have recently discovered the 407 Toll Road…if you are not heading into the city itself, take the 407, it’s a breeze!

A to Z Challenge

Toronto skyline {Photo attribution:}

Brief History/Geography:  Toronto is the largest city in Canada and the provincial capital of Ontario. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario.

Toronto is a relatively modern city. Its history begins in the late 18th century, when the British Crown purchased its land from the Mississaugas of the New Credit. The British established a settlement there, called the Town of York, which its lieutenant governor, John Graves Simcoe, designated as the capital of Upper Canada.

The city was ransacked in the Battle of York during the War of 1812. In 1834, York was incorporated as a city and renamed Toronto. It was damaged in two huge fires, in 1849 and 1904.

Over the years, Toronto has several times expanded its borders through amalgamation with surrounding municipalities, most recently in 1998. A to Z Challenge

Population:  City – 2,615,060 / Urban – 5,132,794 / Metro – 5,583,064  (2011 Census)

Climate:  Toronto has a humid continental climate with warm, humid summers and cold winters.

The city experiences four distinct seasons, with considerable variance in day to day temperature, particularly during the colder weather season.

Owing to urbanization and its proximity to water, Toronto has a fairly low diurnal temperature range (day-night temperature difference). The denser urban scape makes for warmer nights year around and is not as cold throughout the winter than surrounding areas (particularly north of the city).

  • Record low temperature:  −32.8 C (−27 F)A to Z Challenge
  • Record High temperature:   40.6 C (105.1 F)

 Architecture:  Defining the Toronto skyline is the CN Tower, a telecommunications and tourism hub. Completed in 1976 at a height of 553.33 metres (1,815 ft 5 in), it was the world’s tallest freestanding structure until 2007 when it was surpassed by the Burj Khalifa located in  Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Toronto Harbourfront {Photo attribution:  Wladyslaw (CC)}

Toronto is a city of high-rises, having 1,800 buildings over 30 metres (98 ft).  Most of these buildings are residential, whereas the central business district contains commercial office towers.  As of December 2011, Toronto had 132 high-rise buildings under-construction.

Notables: I am not even going to attempt to pick out a few of the notables from the very long list out.  Grab a cup of coffee or tea and sit down for a while, here is the notables link!

A to Z ChallengeNeighbourhoods:  The many residential communities of Toronto express a character distinct from that of the skyscrapers in the commercial core.

Victorian and Edwardian-era residential buildings can be found in enclaves such as Rosedale, Cabbagetown, The Annex, and Yorkville. Wychwood Park is historically significant for the architecture of its homes, and for being one of Toronto’s earliest planned communities

A group of “The Annex” style houses, a style of house that was popular in Toronto in the late nineteenth century.  {Photo attribution: SimonP (CC)}

A to Z ChallengeIndustrial:  In the earlier industrial era of Toronto, industry became concentrated along the Toronto Harbour and lower Don River mouth.

The Distillery District contains the largest and best-preserved collection of Victorian industrial architecture in North America.

Although production of spirits has declined over the decades, Toronto still has a growing microbrewery industry. The District is a national heritage site, it was listed by National Geographic magazine as a “top pick” in Canada for travellers.

(Above Photo) Distillery District, Toronto – {Photo Attribution: Mathew Ingram (CC)}

Beginning in the late 19th century as Toronto sprawled out, industrial areas were set up on the outskirts. Over time, pockets of industrial land mostly followed rail lines and later highway corridors as the city grew outwards.

This trend continues to this day, the largest factories and distribution warehouses have mostly moved to the suburban environs of Peel and York Regions; but also within the current city: Etobicoke (concentrated around Pearson Airport), North York, and Scarborough.

Public spaces:  Toronto has a diverse array of public spaces, from city squares to public parks, including:  Nathan Phillips Square, is the city’s main square in downtown, and forms the entrance to City Hall,  Yonge-Dundas Square, a newer, privately owned square near to City Hall, Harbourfront Square, on the revitalized Toronto waterfront, as well as, many large downtown parks.

A - Z Challenge

Nathan Phillips Square – {Photo attribution: by Paolo Costa Baldi. License: GFDL/CC-BY-SA 3.0 (CC)}

Culture:  Toronto theatre and performing arts scene has more than fifty ballet and dance companies, six opera companies, two symphony orchestras and a host of theatres. The city is home to the National Ballet of Canada, the Canadian Opera Company, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Electronic Ensemble, and the Canadian Stage Company.

Notable performance venues include the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, Roy Thomson Hall, thePrincess of Wales Theatre, the Royal Alexandra Theatre, Massey Hall, the Toronto Centre for the Arts, the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres and the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts (originally the “O’Keefe Centre” and formerly the “Hummingbird Centre”).

Ontario Place features the world’s first permanent IMAX movie theatre, the Cinesphere, as well as the Molson Amphitheatre, an open-air venue for music concerts.

Sports:  Toronto is represented in seven major league sports, with teams in the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association,Canadian Football League, Major League Soccer, Canadian Women’s Hockey League and W-League. The National Football League’s Buffalo Bills also play select home games in the city. The city’s major sports venues include the Air Canada Centre, Rogers Centre (formerly SkyDome), Ricoh Coliseum, and BMO Field.

A - Z challenge

Tigers play Blue Jays in April 2008 at Rogers Centre  {Photo Attribution: Mikerussell (CC)}

Toronto is considered an alpha world city by the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) study group.  Toronto’s leading economic sectors include finance, business services, telecommunications, aerospace, transportation, media, arts, publishing, software production, medical research, education, tourism, and engineering. The city is also consistently rated as one of the world’s most livable cities by the Economist Intelligence Unit and the Mercer Quality of Living Survey.

We spent the entire day exploring this magnificent city, my feet are blistered and tired and I am more than ready for a good sleep, I’m going back to the Royal York!  I will see you  in the morning, get a good rest we have another long drive tomorrow to get to our “U” destination…(it’s a bit of a surprise!) Past visits on the A to Z Challenge 2013 – Road Trip:

Complete listing of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2013 participants.

CREDITS – Map source – Natural Resources Canada  (altered to add place name).  Information contained in this post was obtained from Wikipedia, Searching Toronto, Wikipedia (List), See Toronto Now, and Tourism Toronto.



  1. I was born in Toronto, grew up just over the line in North York, and worked in Toronto until I graduated from University. I remember seeing the Toronto Maple leafs hockey and baseball teams (baseball at the now-gone “Fleet Street Flats”). I worked for a couple of years in Cabbagetown. My dad worked at the city’s last private airport — Barker Field.

    Lots of memories, Monica. Thanks.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!
    Bears Noting

    • Awhhh…that all sounds so wonderful, sounds like you have great memories of Toronto {PS, My husband would be totally jealous; even though people make fun of him and he has never seen them play, he is a die hard Toronto fan!!}

  2. Closest I ever got to TO was when my folks took me to Niagara Falls in 1975 when I was 10. Always meant to visit but never made the time.

  3. What a comprehensive review of Toronto. It look a wonderful place to visit. I’ve never been to Canada, but hope to in the next year or two. I’ll go and read some of your other posts to get more inspired.

  4. Sugar & Spice & All Things ? Nice says

    I knew it just had to Toronto for the “T” word. I have driven through it and by it but never stopped to explore it. Now that is definitely a road trip….. would love it with “the girls” as it is so much more fun.

  5. Lovely post which brought back memories of our trip to Toronto for our Silver Wedding. It’s our Ruby Wedding this year!

  6. I liked visiting Toronto, many years ago. We watched the city lights come on from the circular restaurant at the top of the CN Tower. We had ‘refreshments’ at a place on Young Street, called Pete and Marney’s . (probably long gone now) Love the post, brings back great memories. Great ‘T’ post.
    Kathy at Oak Lawn Images

  7. Beautiful city. Some lovely old architecture right in there with beautiful modern architecture. Looks like I need to visit Toronto.

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