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26
May

The History of Toronto

The National Vape Show takes great pride in hosting its inaugural show in one of the greatest cities in the World: Toronto.

Toronto is the capital of the province of Ontario in the country of Canada. It is the fourth most populous city in North America, after Mexico City, New York City and Los Angeles. As such, it is the financial and commercial centre of Canada.

Toronto was first inhabited by the Seneca and Mississauga Native Canadian people in the Teiaiagon and Ganatsekwyagon settlements. Teiaiagon was located on the east bank of the Humber River. Ganatsekwyagon was located near the mouth of the Rouge River.

In the 17th century, Teiaiagon became a strategically situated trading post located at the crossing of ancient aboriginal trails which went north to Lake Simcoe and west to the Mississippi River. Everyone from fur traders to explorers uses these routes and took advantage of the resources provided by Lake Ontario.

Eventually Teiaiagon was abandoned towards the end of the 17th century and French fur traders took over, operating as merchants at a store called Magasin Royal, that operated from 1720 to 1730.

In 1720 a fort was built by the French which became known as Toronto as a strategic point to defend their trade between the English, the Natives and other European competitors vying for control of the area. By 1759, the French were defeated with all of the forts destroyed, but still Toronto lived on as a trading post.

Canada eventually came under British sovereignty at the end of the Seven Years War after defeating France in 1763. Many Americans who preferred British rule migrated to Canada during the American Revolution, as well as 40,000 loyalists who settled in the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence area.

Sig Guy Carleton, who was the Governor of Quebec, negotiated the purchase of the future capitol of Ontario with three Native American chiefs. In exchange for 250,000 acres of waterfront property, he gave the three chiefs £1,700, bales of cloth, axes, and other trading goods.

In 1792, Ontario’s first Parliament met in Niagara, but eventually John Graves Simcoe, Lieutenant Gpvernor of Upper Canada, selected the location of Front Street and Simcoe (essentially the location of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre) as the site for Parliament due to its strategic location and beautiful harbour. He also changed the name from Toronto to York.

When the USA declared war on Britain, York consisted of 700 people and was easily invaded by the Americans in April 1813. For eleven days, the Americans occupied and pillaged York. Afterwards, the British recaptured York from the Americans.

Economic depression in Great Britain following the Napoleonic Wars drove many overseas, and York’s population increased from 720 in 1816 to about 9,000 in 1834, when the city was incorporated and the old name of Toronto restored. In 1849 there was a disastrous fire that destroyed some 15 acres (6 hectares) of the downtown area, including St. James’ Cathedral, St. Lawrence Market, and many offices, stores, and warehouses, but the city soon recovered.

In 1998, Toronto combined all six of its municipalities to form one megacity . Today, Toronto has a population of 2,826,498 – making it the fourth largest City in North America.

 

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