Toronto is the capital city of the province of Ontario and the largest city in Canada by population, with 2,731,571 residents in 2016. Also in 2016, the Toronto census metropolitan area, the majority of which is within the Greater Toronto Area, had a population of 5,928,040, making it Canada’s most populous CMA. Toronto is the anchor of an urban agglomeration, known as the Golden Horseshoe, in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A global city, Toronto is a centre of business, finance, arts, and culture, and is recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world.
Indigenous peoples have travelled through and inhabited the Toronto area, situated on a broad sloping plateau interspersed with rivers, deep ravines, and urban forest, for more than 10,000 years. After the broadly disputed Toronto Purchase, when the Mississaugas surrendered the area to the British Crown, the British established the town of York in 1793 and later designated it as the capital of Upper Canada. During the War of 1812, the town was the site of the Battle of York and suffered heavy damage by U.S. troops.