11 Toronto Secrets You Probably Never Knew About
Toronto is (and always has been) an interesting place. Its rich history is filled with all sorts of cool and interesting "secrets" that you've probably never heard about.
If you thought you already knew the city inside and out, you may want to check out these 11 Toronto secrets... Perhaps there's something that you missed:
There was a time when Toronto was completely devoid of parks.
Parks in Toronto were a product of mid-Victorian influence; so before that period, the closest thing to city parks were public cemeteries.
An old bridge lies beneath Trinity Bellwoods Park.
There was once a cement bridge that crossed over Garrison Creek when the Bloor-Danforth subway line was still being constructed. After the construction was complete, both the ravine and the bridge were covered over.
Chinatown was originally along Elizabeth Street.
Toronto's original Chinatown was established in the 1890's along Elizabeth Street to the south; but as the city developed, Nathan Phillips Square and City Hall took over the area.
The Toronto Islands weren't always islands.
They were actually formed from sand bars that originated from the Scarborough bluffs. As these sand bars travelled west along Lake Ontario currents, they eventually "settled" into "islands".
"York" would have been the city's name if it never changed it to Toronto.
The city originally went by the name "York", but the townspeople decided to change the name to distinguish it from New York. They eventually decided on the name "Toronto".
'Toronto' has no sure definition.
Like the name "Canada", which was derived from the Iroquois word kanata meaning "village", the name "Toronto" also has Aboriginal roots. However, historians aren't sure if it came from the Huron word toronton which means "meeting place/land of plenty", or from the Mohawk word tkaronto, which means "trees standing in water" (the latter is the more popular interpretation).
The TTC was going to remove streetcar service in the 70's.
It's hard to imagine that this was actually once debated on by the TTC, considering that Toronto is one of the rare cities that still has a functioning streetcar network. The idea to abandon streetcars was only conceived because some developers thought the subway line (which was still being built at the time) would make them obsolete.
Yorkville was built on top of a giant cemetery.
Yup, there are actually multiple bodies buried in the ground where Yorkville now stands. The cemetery was called Potter's Field, and it was the first cemetery in the city that was open to all faiths.
The land that Toronto is built on was once bought by the Mississauga First Nations people.
In 1787, the sale was made with a payment of: ""some money, 2,000 gun flints, 24 brass kettles, 120 mirrors, 24 laced hats, a bale of flowered flannel, and 96 gallons of rum."
Toronto isn't an only child; it has sisters.
"Sister cities" are those which are "twinned" with Toronto geographically and politically, with the goal of fostering cultural exchange. Chicago, Chongqing (China), Frankfurt (Germany) and Milan (Italy) are all considered partnership cities to Toronto, while Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Kiev (Ukraine), Quito (Ecuador), Sagamihara (Japan) and Warsaw (Poland) are friendship cities.
Part of the city was submerged under water at one point.
12,000 years ago, a former lake (Lake Iroquois) once kept areas surrounding Davenport Rd submerged underwater. It took several years for the water to recede.
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