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Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. With over 2.5 million residents, it is the fifth most populated city in North America. Toronto is at the heart of the Greater Toronto Area, and is part of a densely populated region in Southern Ontario known as the Golden Horseshoe, which is home to over 8.1 million residents—approximately 25% of Canada's population.
As Canada's economic capital and one of the top financial centres in the world, Toronto is home to the Toronto Stock Exchange, the world's seventh largest in terms of market value. Toronto contains more corporate headquarters than any other Canadian city, including those of Canada's five largest banks.
A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy. The settlement was later established as the Town of York and proclaimed as the new capital of Upper Canada by its lieutenant-governor, John Graves Simcoe. In 1834, York was incorporated as a city and renamed to its present name. Toronto's population is cosmopolitan and international, reflecting its role as an important destination for immigrants to Canada.