Toronto - Canada, Ontario

Toronto is located on the western shore of Lake Ontario, at the mouths of the Humber and Don rivers and has grown to become the financial and cultural centre of Canada. Points of interest include the Ontario Parliament Buildings, Royal Ontario Museum, which has a famous collection of Chinese art, City Hall, and the CN Tower, at 553 m (1,815 ft) one of the tallest free-standing buildings in the world. The Lake Ontario area is the site of Ontario Place, with recreational and entertainment facilities; and Harbourfront, a redeveloped industrial region containing the Canadian Railway Museum, several restaurants, and pedestrian walkways along the water's edge. Other cultural facilities in Toronto are McLaughlin Planetarium, the Ontario Science Centre and the Art Gallery of Ontario, with an important collection of sculpture by Henry Moore. Well known to French fur traders as the Toronto Passage, the location became the site of a French garrison, Fort Rouille, in the mid -18th century. The fort was burnt by the British in 1759, and the area was subsequently settled by Loyalists who came north after defeat in the American War of Independence. This community was established in 1793 and was given the name York, after Frederick Augustus, Duke of York. York became the capital of the British dependency and emerged as a transport junction and commercial centre. In 1813, during the War of 1812, the community was occupied and partly destroyed by American troops. The settlement benefited from the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 and from the arrival of the railway in the mid 19th century. Large industries were established here in the late 19th century, and the city's economy was boosted after 1900 by mineral discoveries in its north-western hinterland.