20) The first ever “streetcar” was actually a horse-drawn vehicle called a “Haddon Car” with steel wheels moving along metal tracks. The first streetcar as we know it today opened to the public on September 11 1861, and run from the St. Lawrence Market to slightly north of Yonge and Bloor.
19) Cabbagetown comprises the largest continuous area of preserved Victorian housing in all of North America.
17) Toronto is built on the former lake bed of Lake Iroquois, a glacial lake above present Lake Ontario that existed about 100ft. above the present lake level of Lake Ontario. The old Iroquois Shoreline runs parallel to Davenport Road just south of St. Clair Ave. West.
16) Davenport Road’s history can be traced back to an ancient footpath used by the First Nations people who sought an overland route between the Humber and Don rivers.
15) The Don Valley Brick Works (Evergreen Brick Works) in the Don River valley operated for almost 100 years and provided bricks for thousands of city structures, including well-known landmarks, such as Ontario Legislature, Massey Hall, Casa Loma, and Osgoode Hall.
14) The Toronto Islands used to be a series of continuously moving sand-bars carried by the currents of Lake Ontario, originating from the Scarborough Bluffs.
13) The oldest parts of the city are right by the harbour. This includes Massey Ferguson’s farm equipment factories and the Gooderham and Worts whiskey distillery.
12) 2 of Toronto’s oldest surviving houses are The Grange and the Campbell House.
11) Toronto was still largely covered in forest during the early 1800s and it was difficult to travel from one community to another.
9) The Ex, or the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) remains to be Canada’s largest annual community event founded in 1879. It is currently one of the 10 largest fairs in North America, attracting over 1.43 million visitors in 2014.
6) In the early 1900s the city lacked a main east-west thoroughfare between College and Queen streets, so they re-named and connected a series of smaller streets into one main road to improve traffic flow, which is now known as Dundas Street.
5) The precursor to University of Toronto (U of T) was the founding of a colonial college, now known as University College, established by John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada.
4) TTC subway tunnels were once considered for use as a fallout shelter during the height of the Cold War.
3) In the early 1900s Toronto used to have a series of underground public toilets. The most popularly used was located at Queen and Spadina.
2) Toronto was once inaugurated as the capital city of Upper Canada.
1) The CN Tower no longer holds the record for being the tallest free-standing building in the world, but it still holds the record for having the world’s highest wine cellar.
Images sourced from the Toronto Archives and the Wikimedia Commons, and from this blog: http://www.blogto.com/city/2011/02/toronto_in_photos_from_the_1850s_to_the_1990s/.
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