Quick facts for kids
North York skyline
The City with Heart
Location of North York (red) within the rest of Toronto.
|Incorporated||June 13, 1922 (Township)
Feb 14, 1979 (City)
|Changed Region||1954 Metropolitan Toronto from York County|
|Amalgamated||1 January 1998 into Toronto|
|• Total||176.87 km2 (68.29 sq mi)|
|• Density||3,804.8/km2 (9,854/sq mi)|
|Area code(s)||416, 647|
North York is a suburban district in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is located directly north of Old Toronto, between Etobicoke to the west and Scarborough to the east. As of the 2011 Census, it had a population of 655,913. It was first created as a township in 1922 out of the northern part of the former city of York, a municipality that was located along the western border of Old Toronto. Following its inclusion in Metropolitan Toronto in 1954, it was one of the fastest growing parts of the region due to its proximity to Old Toronto. It was declared a borough in 1967, and later became a city in 1979, attracting high-density residences, rapid transit, and a number of corporate headquarters in North York City Centre, its central business district. In 1998, North York was amalgamated with the rest of Metropolitan Toronto to form the new city of Toronto, and has since been a secondary economic hub outside Downtown Toronto.
The Township of North York was formed on June 13, 1922 out of the rural part of the Township of York. The rapidly growing parts of the township remained in that township. As North York became more populous, it became the Borough of North York in 1967, and then on February 14, 1979, the City of North York. To commemorate receiving its city charter on St. Valentine's Day, the city's corporate slogan was "The City with Heart". It now forms the largest part of the area served by the "North York Community Council", a committee of Toronto City Council.
North York used to be known as a regional agricultural hub composed of scattered villages. The area boomed following World War II, and by the 1950s and 1960s, it resembled many other sprawling North American suburbs.
On August 10, 2008, a massive explosion occurred at the Sunrise Propane Industrial Gases propane facility just southwest of the Toronto-Downsview Airport. This destroyed the depot and damaged several homes nearby. About 13,000 residents were evacuated for several days before being allowed back home. One employee at the company was killed in the blast and one firefighter died while attending to the scene of the accident. A follow-up investigation to the incident made several recommendations concerning propane supply depots. It asked for a review of setback distances between depots and nearby residential areas but didn't call for restrictions on where they can be located.
North York residents are highly multicultural. In 2006, 57% of North York's residents were not born in Canada, and 52% were classified as belonging to a visible minority:
- Chinese - 14%
- South Asian - 10%
- Black - 9%
- Arab/West Asian - 5%
- Filipino - 4%
- Latin American - 4%
- Korean - 3%
- Southeast Asian - 2%
- Other - 2%
North York has diverse neighbourhoods inhabited by people of many different cultures. The neighbourhood with the largest percentage of visible minorities in North York is the Grandravine-Yorkwoods area in Jane and Finch with 93%. The western half of North York is culturally different from the eastern half.
Chinese cultural groups dominate the eastern half of North York making up 22% of the population from Yonge Street to Victoria Park Avenue. Nearly 30% of the residents in the Willowdale electoral district are of Chinese descent, and the neighbourhood with the largest percentage of Chinese Canadians in North York is the Aspenwood area in Hillcrest Village with 57%.
South Asians are mainly spread out evenly in North York. There are large South Asian communities in Emery and Flemingdon Park. The neighbourhood with the largest percentage of South Asians in North York Gateway-Glenway area is Flemingdon Park with 46%.
Black Canadians dominate the western half of North York making up 19% of the population past Allen Road. Most of North York's Black community is along Jane Street and areas around it. Smaller areas such as Jane and Finch, Lawrence Heights, and Trethewey had more than 40% of its population identified as Black. Most are from the Caribbean but there is also a large west African population. The Jane & Wilson neighbourhood has the largest Ghanaian community in Toronto. The neighbourhood with the largest percentage of Caribbean/west African people in North York is the Black Creek area in Amesbury with 45%.
West Asians and Arabs concentrate in the eastern half of North York. Iranians have a distinctive presence on the north end of Yonge Street. There is also a large percentage of Middle Easterners along Don Mills Road. The neighbourhoods with the largest percentage of Middle Eastern people in North York are Graydon Hall and the Shaughnessy area in Don Valley Village with 17%.
Filipinos are centred on Bathurst Street making up 10% of the population of the neighbourhoods along Bathurst in North York. The Bathurst & Wilson area will soon officially be the first Little Philippines in Canada. Flemingdon Park also has a sizable Filipino community. The neighbourhood with the largest percentage of Filipino people in North York is the Neptune area in Lawrence Manor with 24%.
Latin Americans in North York are predominantly in the western half of North York along Jane Street, Weston Road, and Keele Street. They make up 10% of North York's population past Dufferin Street. They are from different countries in Latin America with not one country being a dominant one, but many are from Ecuador, El Salvador, Argentina, and Colombia. The neighbourhood with the largest percentage of Latin Americans in North York is the Oakdale-Stanley Park area in Elia with 22%.
Koreans are mostly in the eastern half of North York, especially in the Willowdale neighbourhood (10% of Willowdale was Korean, making it the largest Korean community in Toronto). The neighbourhood with the largest percentage of Koreans in North York is the Mitchell Field area in Willowdale with 14%.
Southeast Asians are predominant in the western half of North York. Vietnamese cultural groups can be found all over North York. There is also a growing Cambodian population concentrated in the Jane and Finch community. The neighbourhood with the largest percentage of Southeast Asians in North York is the Grassways-Eddystone area in Jane and Finch with 18%.
Although non-visible minorities are slowly declining over the years moving into the suburbs, Europeans still show a significant presence. The largest European community in North York are Italians. Most live in the houses in the western half of North York from Bathurst Street to Weston Road. Jewish Canadians are centred on Bathurst Street, which has the largest Jewish community in Toronto. Russians make up a large percentage of the population along the northern end of Bathurst Street between Sheppard Avenue and Steeles Avenue. The area is also the largest Russian community in Toronto, and is sometimes referred to as "Little Moscow". Old generation Canadians dominate the southern end of North York from Bathurst Street to the west, Leslie Street to the east, Highway 401 to the north and Lawrence Avenue to the south. The largest percentage of non-visible minorities in North York is Old Orchard in Ledbury Park with 92%.
North York houses two of Toronto's five major shopping malls: the Yorkdale Shopping Centre and Fairview Mall. Other neighbourhood malls locations include Centerpoint Mall, Bayview Village, Yorkgate Mall, Shops at Don Mills, Steeles West Market Mall, Jane Finch Mall and Sheppard Centre. It is also home to campuses of York University, Seneca College, Osgoode Hall Law School, and Tyndale University College and Seminary.
The district also has major hospitals, including the North York General Hospital, Humber River Regional Hospital and the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
An aircraft manufacturing facility and a former military base are located at Downsview. With the end of the Cold War, much of the land was transformed into a large park now called Parc Downsview Park. Also located in the former airfield is Toronto Aerospace Museum.
Black Creek Pioneer Village, an authentic nineteenth-century village, and the Ontario Science Centre, which has over 800 science-oriented exhibits, are North York's primary attractions. Not far from Black Creek Pioneer Village is York University's main campus, and the Jane and Finch neighbourhood. The Aga Khan Museum, located in Wynford Drive neighbourhood, includes a collection of Islamic art from the Middle-East and Northern Africa. Along Bathurst Street in North York is one of the world's largest urban Jewish communities, with a significant population of Holocaust survivors.
There are a multitude of North York sports clubs including the North York Storm, a girls' hockey league, Gwendolen Tennis Club in the heart of North York near Yonge and Sheppard, and the North York Aquatic Club, which was founded in 1958 as the North York Lions Swim Club and has produced many Olympian swimmers. The North York Ski Centre at Earl Bales Park is one of the only urban ski centres of its kind in Canada. After several incidents involving failures of the club's two-person chairlift incited talks of closing the ski centre, the city revitalized the facilities with a new four-person chairlift.
The Toronto District School Board (TDSB), the Conseil scolaire Viamonde, the Toronto Catholic District School Board, and the Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud all have their administrative headquarters in North York. Before the formation of the TDSB, the North York Board of Education served North York.
North York Civic Centre was the home of North York City Council and now used by the City of Toronto for community council use and other city departments servicing North York.
Images for kids
Photograph of Yonge Street in downtown North York taken outside the Toronto Centre for the Arts and the Toronto District School Board Education Centre.
North York Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.