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The Greater Toronto Area is Canada’s most populated metropolitan area. The City of Toronto and 4 regional municipalities that surround it including York, Peel, Halton and Durham make up the GTA. In all, there are 25 rural, suburban and urban municipalities within the Greater Toronto Area. Almost 6,500,000 people live in this area according to the latest census, which was taken in 2016.
Burlington lies in the southwest part of the GTA and the region extends across downtown Toronto and Lake Ontario to Clarington in the East. At the most northern tip of the GTA you’ll find Brock, which is located in the Durham Region.
This is a huge area of land covering approximately 7125 km². Lake Ontario lies to the south, the Niagara Escarpment can be found on the west, Kawartha Lakes lies on the east while Lake Simcoe is situated just north of the GTA. It is also a part of the Ontario Peninsula and this region creates the Greater Toronto Bioregion, which is its own natural ecosystem.
The GTA is North America’s 2nd largest financial centre and generates approximately 1/5 of the GDP in Canada. In terms of business headquarters in Canada, 40% of them can be found in this area. An estimated 2.9 million employees work in the Greater Toronto Area with more than half working in the service sector. The service industry sector provides more than 72% of the GDP of the region.
The 5 big banks of Canada all have their headquarters located in the Toronto Financial District. As well, the Toronto Stock Exchange headquarters can be found within the City of Toronto.
In terms of the high-tech companies in the country, the largest concentration of them can be found in Markham. For this reason, the city has also been known as the High-Tech Capital of Canada. The GTA is also North America’s 2nd largest automotive centre with many big-name assembly plants such as Chrysler, Ford and GM located here along with many Canadian automotive headquarters. In fact, about 10% of the GDP of the region comes from the automobile industry.
Residents living within the greater Toronto area have many options to choose from when it comes to public transportation. Some of the public transit operations found within the perimeter of the GTA include:
Highway 401 is the GTA’s major roadway and is the longest highway in Ontario. It is also one of the world’s busiest highways and part of the roadway that goes through Toronto is the busiest highway in volume in North America.
Toronto Pearson International Airport is located in Mississauga and serves the GTA. This is the busiest and the largest airport in Canada with almost 50 million passengers using the airport in 2018.
There is also an important maritime infrastructure located here including the Port of Toronto. This port along with the Port of Oshawa handles anywhere from 2 to 4 million tons of cargo every year. In 2019, it also served 12,000 passengers for cruise lines.
The GTA is a powerful economic, financial, distribution and commercial centre in North America and the world. It has loads to offer to both residents and to visitors and offers a lot of opportunity for employment, relaxation, entertainment and exploration.
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