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Toronto is the capital city of the Canadian province of Ontario and the largest metropolis in the country. A total of 2,731,571 people were reported as living there in 2016, which makes it the most populated city in Canada and the fourth most populous metropolis in North America. With a population of 9,245,438 people (as of 2016), Toronto serves as the focal point of the Golden Horseshoe, a large metropolitan agglomeration that encompasses the western end of Lake Ontario. The Greater Metropolitan Area proper had a 2016 population of 6,417,516 people. As an international business, financial, arts, and culture hub, Toronto is often regarded as one of the world's most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities, with a population of more than 1.3 million people.

Indigenous peoples have travelled through and occupied the Toronto region, which is situated on a wide sloping plateau interspersed with rivers, deep ravines, and urban forest, for more than 10,000 years. The area is characterised by rivers, steep ravines, and urban forest. Following the widely contested Toronto Purchase, in which the Mississauga ceded the region to the British Crown, the British founded the town of York in 1793, and subsequently named it as the capital of Upper Canada, a move that has been widely criticised. When the Battle of York took place here in 1812, the town was heavily damaged by American soldiers. The Battle of York occurred during the Battle of 1812. The town of York was renamed and established as the city of Toronto in 1834. As part of Canadian Confederation, the city was designated as the provincial capital of Ontario, which it has been since 1867. Since then, the city proper has grown beyond its original boundaries, gaining territory via annexation and merger to reach its present land size of 630.2 km2 (243.3 sq mi).