Toronto is a Canadian city located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario, and is the provincial capital of Ontario. Toronto is the 5 most populous municipality (population est. 2,613,900, July 1, 2005) in North America behind Mexico City, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Toronto is a global city, exerting significant regional and international influence, and is one of the most multicultural and ethnically diverse cities in the world. It is Canada's financial centre and economic engine, as well as one of the country's most important cultural, artistic, and health sciences centres. Toronto was named the world's most livable city in 1994 by The Economist. It was displaced in 2005 by Vancouver, but is still ranked among the top ten.  In January 2005, Toronto was designated by the federal government as one of Canada's cultural capitals.

The City of Toronto is part of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) (population est. 5,755,210 July 1, 2005), as defined by provincial authorities for urban planning purposes. Toronto is also at the centre of the Golden Horseshoe, a densely populated region in south-central Ontario which is home to roughly eight million people, or one quarter of the population of Canada.

The six former municipalities of the former Metropolitan Toronto (dissolved) were amalgamated into one municipality, and the former regional government system dissolved, by the Ontario government in 1998. This resulted in the creation of the ('megacity') City of Toronto, in political structure, as it is today. The current mayor of Toronto is David Miller.

With no designator, Toronto alone usually refers to the GTA or (mistakenly, unless CMA is cited) the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (Toronto CMA; a rarely-used federal version of the Toronto city-region for federal statistical reporting purposes) unless "City of" (or "municipality of") is specified.

The City of Toronto is also in its own "county" (Census Division (CD)) of type Division. As the City of Toronto is the only municipality in the Toronto Division CD, information about either or both is (or should be) identical.

Toronto has collected a number of nicknames and epithets over the past two hundred years, including Muddy York (18th-19th Century), Hogtown (Victorian), The Big Smoke (1920s), and Toronto the Good (1950s). Popular current names include T.O. (for Toronto, Ontario) and T dot. Residents often pronounce the name in a slurred manner, including Toronno, Tronno, Tronna, Taranna.

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