I hadn’t originally planned on publishing two posts on the same day, but I learned earlier this afternoon that today is officially City of Toronto Day; it seemed worthy of notice here on TOcityscapes….

What exactly is City of Toronto Day you may ask? Well, Toronto is 189 years old today. On this date in 1834 the town of York was renamed and incorporated as the city of Toronto. Our city was designated as the capital of the province of Ontario in 1867 during Canadian Confederation.

Here’s the official proclamation of City of Toronto Day:

March 6, 2023

WHEREAS today marks the date that the city of Toronto was officially incorporated in 1834, as we reflect on 189 years of history.

For hundreds of years, Toronto has been the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. Indigenous history is ingrained in our contemporary experience of Toronto. The very name Toronto is an Indigenous word, Tkaronto, meaning “where there are trees standing in the water” and it holds importance in the Indigenous community. Our city is built on sacred land and is covered by multiple treaties, including Treaty 13 and the Williams Treaties and is home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. We are all treaty people, called to peacefully and respectfully honour the land, the Indigenous heritage and its people, which dates back to over 10,000 years.

Since its incorporation, Toronto has continued to flourish and embody its motto “Diversity Our Strength”, which can be seen in our city’s cultural and social fabric. As one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world, our city has a global reputation for being a friendly, diverse, culturally rich city filled with vibrant neighbourhoods and unique cultures that make Toronto a great place to live and visit.

The valued contributions of Toronto’s multicultural communities strengthen our society and contribute to our city’s reputation as a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim March 6, 2023 as “City of Toronto Day” in the City of Toronto.

What did Toronto look like in 1834?

Here’s some interpretations from the City of Toronto Archives, Museums & Heritage Services:

On April 22, 1834, Council agreed to petition His Excellency Sir John Colborne, Lieutenant Governor, to arrange to have a plan drawn up of the new City of Toronto, its liberties, and its harbour, showing its division into wards and the relative connection of its limits with adjacent township lands.
City of Toronto, 1834
Third Parliament Buildings, 1834
The Old Gaol, Fireman’s Hall built by Mr J.G. Howard, on Church Street
Toronto in 1834, by Owen P. Staples

City of Toronto Day, 2023