Toronto is the most populous city in Canada and the provincial capital of Ontario With a population 2,731,571; it is the fourth most populous city in North America after Mexico City, New York City, and Los Angeles. Toronto is the centre of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), the most populous metropolitan area in Canada, and anchors the Golden Horseshoe, an urbanized region that is home to 9.2 million people, or over 26% of the population of Canada. Toronto is an international centre of business, finance, arts, and culture.
Toronto is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario on a broad sloping plateau interspersed with rivers, deep ravines, and urban forest. Indigenous peoples have travelled through and inhabited the area for more than 10,000 years. After the broadly disputed Toronto Purchase, when the Mississaugas surrendered the area to the British Crown, the British established the town of York in 1793, and later designated it as the capital of Upper Canada. During the War of 1812, the town was the site of the Battle of York and suffered heavy damage by U.S. troops. York was renamed and incorporated as the city of Toronto in 1834, and became the capital of the province of Ontario during Canadian Confederation in 1867. The city proper has since expanded past its original borders through both annexation and amalgamation to its current area of 630.2 km2 (243.3 sq mi).