Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province accounting for 38.3 percent of the country's population, is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included, it is home to the nation's capital city and the nation's most populous city, Ontario's provincial capital. Ontario is bordered by the province of Manitoba to the west, Hudson Bay and James Bay to the north, Quebec to the east and northeast, to the south by the U. S. states of Minnesota, Ohio and New York. All of Ontario's 2,700 km border with the United States follows inland waterways: from the west at Lake of the Woods, eastward along the major rivers and lakes of the Great Lakes/Saint Lawrence River drainage system; these are the Rainy River, the Pigeon River, Lake Superior, the St. Marys River, Lake Huron, the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario and along the St. Lawrence River from Kingston, Ontario, to the Quebec boundary just east of Cornwall, Ontario.
There is only about 1 km of land border made up of portages including Height of Land Portage on the Minnesota border. Ontario is sometimes conceptually divided into Northern Ontario and Southern Ontario; the great majority of Ontario's population and arable land is in the south. In contrast, the larger, northern part of Ontario is sparsely populated with cold winters and heavy forestation; the province is named after Lake Ontario, a term thought to be derived from Ontarí:io, a Huron word meaning "great lake", or skanadario, which means "beautiful water" in the Iroquoian languages. Ontario has about 250,000 freshwater lakes; the province consists of three main geographical regions: The thinly populated Canadian Shield in the northwestern and central portions, which comprises over half the land area of Ontario. Although this area does not support agriculture, it is rich in minerals and in part covered by the Central and Midwestern Canadian Shield forests, studded with lakes and rivers. Northern Ontario is subdivided into two sub-regions: Northeastern Ontario.
The unpopulated Hudson Bay Lowlands in the extreme north and northeast swampy and sparsely forested. Southern Ontario, further sub-divided into four regions. Despite the absence of any mountainous terrain in the province, there are large areas of uplands within the Canadian Shield which traverses the province from northwest to southeast and above the Niagara Escarpment which crosses the south; the highest point is Ishpatina Ridge at 693 metres above sea level in Temagami, Northeastern Ontario. In the south, elevations of over 500 m are surpassed near Collingwood, above the Blue Mountains in the Dundalk Highlands and in hilltops near the Madawaska River in Renfrew County; the Carolinian forest zone covers most of the southwestern region of the province. The temperate and fertile Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence Valley in the south is part of the Eastern Great Lakes lowland forests ecoregion where the forest has now been replaced by agriculture and urban development. A well-known geographic feature is part of the Niagara Escarpment.
The Saint Lawrence Seaway allows navigation to and from the Atlantic Ocean as far inland as Thunder Bay in Northwestern Ontario. Northern Ontario occupies 87 percent of the surface area of the province. Point Pelee is a peninsula of Lake Erie in southwestern Ontario, the southernmost extent of Canada's mainland. Pelee Island and Middle Island in Lake Erie extend farther. All are south of 42°N – farther south than the northern border of California; the climate of Ontario varies by location. It is affected by three air sources: cold, arctic air from the north; the effects of these major air masses on temperature and precipitation depend on latitude, proximity to major bodies of water and to a small extent, terrain relief. In general, most of Ontario's climate is classified as humid continental. Ontario has three main climatic regions; the surrounding Great Lakes influence the climatic region of southern Ontario. During the fall and winter months, heat stored from the lakes is released, moderating the climate near the shores of the lakes.
This gives some parts of southern Ontario milder winters than mid-continental areas at lower latitudes. Parts of Southwestern Ontario have a moderate humid continental climate, similar to that of the inland Mid-Atlantic states and the Great Lakes portion of the Midwestern United States; the region has warm to cold winters. Annual precipitation is well distributed throughout the year. Most of this region lies in the lee of the Great Lakes. In December 2010, the snowbelt set a new record when it was h
A department store is a retail establishment offering a wide range of consumer goods in different product categories known as "departments". In modern major cities, the department store made a dramatic appearance in the middle of the 19th century, permanently reshaped shopping habits, the definition of service and luxury. Similar developments were under way in Paris and in New York. Today, departments include the following: clothing, home appliances, cosmetics, gardening, sporting goods, do it yourself and hardware. Additionally, other lines of products such as food, jewelry, stationery, photographic equipment, baby products, products for pets are sometimes included. Customers check out near the front of the store, although some stores include sales counters within each department; some stores are one of many within a larger retail chain retailers. In the 1970s, they came under heavy pressure from discounters, have come under heavier pressure from e-commerce sites since 2010. Big-box stores and discount stores are comparable to historical department stores.
The origins of the departmental store lay in the growth of the conspicuous consumer society at the turn of the 19th century. As the Industrial Revolution accelerated economy expansion, the affluent middle-class grew in size and wealth. Urbanized social groups, sharing a culture of consumption and changing fashions, were the catalyst for the retail revolution; as rising prosperity and social mobility increased the number of people women, with disposable income in the late Georgian period, window shopping was transformed into a leisure activity and entrepreneurs, like the potter Josiah Wedgwood, pioneered the use of marketing techniques to influence the prevailing tastes and preferences of society. Department stores often featured post services, childcare services and other services that appealed to female shoppers. One of the first department stores may have been Bennett's in Derby, first established as an ironmonger in 1734, it still stands to trading in the same building. However, the first reliably dated department store to be established, was Harding, Howell & Co, which opened in 1796 on Pall Mall, London.
An observer writing in Ackermann's Repository, a British periodical on contemporary taste and fashion, described the enterprise in 1809 as follows: The house is one hundred and fifty feet in length from front to back, of proportionate width. It is fitted up with great taste, is divided by glazed partitions into four departments, for the various branches of the extensive business, there carried on. At the entrance is the first department, appropriated to the sale of furs and fans; the second contains articles of haberdashery of every description, muslins, gloves, &etc. In the third shop, on the right, you meet with a rich assortment of jewelry, ornamental articles in ormolu, french clocks, &etc.. The fourth is set apart for millinery and dresses; this concern has been conducted for the last twelve years by the present proprietors who have spared neither trouble nor expense to ensure the establishment of a superiority over every other in Europe, to render it unique in its kind. This venture is described as having all of the basic characteristics of the department store.
This pioneering shop was closed down in 1820. All the major British cities had flourishing department stores by the mid-or late nineteenth century. Women became the main customers. Kendals in Manchester lays claim to being one of the first department stores and is still known to many of its customers as Kendal's, despite its 2005 name change to House of Fraser; the Manchester institution dates back to 1836 but had been trading as Watts Bazaar since 1796. At its zenith the store had buildings on both sides of Deansgate linked by a subterranean passage "Kendals Arcade" and an art nouveau tiled food hall; the store was known for its emphasis on quality and style over low prices giving it the nickname "the Harrods of the North", although this was due in part to Harrods acquiring the store in 1919. Other large Manchester stores included Lewis's. In London, department stores were established in Oxford Street and Regent Street in the mid 19th-century; these were distinctly modern stores with lavish displays of imported goods Oriental shawls and furniture and served a wealthy clientele.
Harrods of London can be traced back to 1834, while the current store on Brompton Road on a site they acquired in 1849, was constructed between 1894 and 1905. Liberty & Co. gained popularity in thre 1870s for selling Oriental goods. Gamages was founded in London's High Holborn by Arthur Walter Gamage in 1878. In Bayswater, the draper, William Whiteley established a department store with more of a mass market appeal. Bainbridge's dates back to 1838, when Emerson Muschamp Bainbridge went into partnership with William Alder Dunn and opened a drapers and fashion shop in Newcastle's Market Street. In 1849 there were 23 separate departm
An arcade is a succession of contiguous arches, with each arch supported by columns, piers. Exterior arcades are designed to provide a sheltered walkway for pedestrians; the walkway may be lined with retail stores. An arcade may feature arches on both sides of the walkway. Alternatively, a blind arcade superimposes arcading against a solid wall. Blind arcades are a feature of Romanesque architecture. In the Gothic architectural tradition, the arcade can be located in the interior, in the lowest part of the wall of the nave, supporting the triforium and the clerestory in a cathedral, or on the exterior, in which they are part of the walkways that surround the courtyard and cloisters. Many medieval arcades housed shops or stalls, either in the arcaded space itself, or set into the main wall behind. From this, "arcade" has become a general word for a group of shops in a single building, regardless of the architectural form; the word "arcade" comes from French arcade from Provençal arcada or Italian arcata, based on Latin arcus, ‘bow’.
Arcades go back to at least the Ancient Greek architecture of the Hellenistic period, were much used by the Romans, for example at the base of the Colosseum. Church cloisters often use arcading. Islamic architecture often uses arcades in and outside mosques in particular. In Renaissance architecture elegant arcading was used as a prominent feature of facades, for example in the Ospedale degli Innocenti or the courtyard of the Palazzo Bardi, both by Filippo Brunelleschi in Florence; the French architect, Bertrand Lemoine, described the period, 1786 to 1935, as l’Ère des passages couverts. He was referring to the grand shopping "arcades". A shopping arcade refers to a multiple-vendor space; the roof was constructed of glass to allow for natural light and to reduce the need for candles or electric lighting. The 18th and 19th century arcades were designed to attract the genteel middle classes. In time, these arcades became to be the place to be seen. Arcades offered shoppers the promise of an enclosed space away from the chaos that characterised the noisy, dirty streets.
As thousands of glass covered arcades spread across Europe, they became grander and more ornately decorated. By the mid-nineteenth century, they had become prominent centres of fashion and social life. Promenading in these arcades became a popular nineteenth-century pastime for the emerging middle classes; the inspiration for the grand shopping arcades may have derived from the fashionable open loggias of Florence however medieval vernacular examples known as'butterwalks' were traditional jettied colonnades in British and North European marketplaces. During the 16th-century, a pattern of market trading using mobile stalls under covered arcades was established in Florence, from where it spread throughout Italy. Examples of the earliest open loggias include: Mercato Nuovo by Giovanni Battista del Tasso. Arcades soon spread across North America and the Antipodes. Examples of these grand shopping arcades include: Palais Royal in Paris. Other notable nineteenth century grand arcades include the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert in Brussels, inaugurated in 1847 and Istanbul's Çiçek Pasajı opened in 1870.
Shopping arcades were the precursor to the modern shopping mall, the word "arcade" is now used for malls which do not use the architectural form at all. The Palais-Royal, which opened in 1784 and became one of the most important marketplaces in Paris, is regarded as the earliest example of the grand shopping arcades. A royal palace, the complex consisted of gardens and entertainment venues situated under the original colonnades; the area boasted some 145 boutiques, cafés, hair salons, bookshops and numerous refreshment kiosks as well as two theatres. The retail outlets specialised in luxury goods such as fine jewellery, furs and furniture designed to appeal to the wealthy elite. Retailers operating out of the Palais complex were among the first in Europe to abandon the system of bartering, adopt fixed-prices thereby sparing their clientele the hassle of bartering. Stores were fitted with long glass exterior windows which allowed the emerging middle-classes to window shop and indulge in fantasies when they may not have been able to afford the high retail prices.
Thus, the Palais-Royal became one of the first examples of a new style of shopping arcade, frequented by both the aristocracy and the middle classes. It developed a reputation as being a site of sophisticated conversation, revolving around the salons, cafés, bookshops, but became a place frequented by off-duty soldiers and was a favourite haunt of prostitutes, many of whom rented apartments in the building. One of the earliest British examples of a shopping arcade, the Covered Market, England was opened on 1 November 1774 and is still active today; the Covered Market was started in response to a general wish to clear "untidy and unsavoury stalls" from the main streets of central Oxford. John Gwynn, the architect of Magdalen Bridge, drew up the plans and designed the High Street front with its four entrances. In 1772, the newly formed Marke
Yonge Street is a major arterial route in the Canadian province of Ontario connecting the shores of Lake Ontario in Toronto to Lake Simcoe, a gateway to the Upper Great Lakes. Until 1999, the Guinness Book of World Records repeated the popular misconception it was 1,896 km long, thus the longest street in the world. Yonge Street is 56 kilometres long; the construction of Yonge Street is designated an Event of National Historic Significance in Canada. Yonge Street was fundamental in the original planning and settlement of western Upper Canada in the 1790s, forming the basis of the concession roads in Ontario today. Once the southernmost leg of Highway 11, linking the capital with northern Ontario, Yonge Street has been referred to as "Main Street Ontario". Today, no section of Yonge Street is a provincial highway; the street was named by Ontario's first colonial administrator, John Graves Simcoe, for his friend Sir George Yonge, an expert on ancient Roman roads. Yonge Street is a commercial main thoroughfare rather than a ceremonial one, with landmarks such as the Eaton Centre, Yonge-Dundas Square and the Hockey Hall of Fame along its length—and lends its name to the Downtown Yonge shopping and entertainment district.
In Toronto and York Region, Yonge Street is the north-south baseline from which street numbering is reckoned east and west. The eastern branch of Line 1 Yonge–University serves nearly the entire length of the street in Toronto and acts as the spine of the Toronto subway system, linking to suburban commuter systems such as the Viva Blue BRT. See the'Public Transit' section below. Yonge Street originates on the northern shore of Toronto Bay at Queens Quay as a four-lane arterial road proceeding north by north-west. Toronto's Harbourfront is built on landfill extended into the bay, with the former industrial area now converted from port and industrial uses to a dense residential high-rise community; the street passes under the elevated Gardiner Expressway and the congested rail lines of the Toronto viaduct on their approach to Union Station. The road rises near Front Street, marking the pre-landfill shoreline. Here, at the southern edge of the central business district, is the Dominion Public Building, the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts and the Hockey Hall of Fame, the latter housed in an imposing former Bank of Montreal office, once Canada's largest bank branch.
Beyond Front Street the road passes through the east side of the Financial District, within sight of many of Canada's tallest buildings, fronting an entrance to the Allen Lambert Galleria. Between Front Street and Queen Street, Yonge Street is bounded by historic and commercial buildings, many serving the large weekday workforce concentrated here. Yonge Street's entire west side, from Queen Street to Dundas Street, is occupied by the Eaton Centre, an indoor mall featuring shops along its Yonge Street frontage and a Nordstrom anchor store at the corner of Dundas Street; the east side has two historic performance venues, the Ed Mirvish Theatre and the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres. In addition, Massey Hall is just to the east on Shuter Street. Opposite the Eaton Centre lies Yonge-Dundas Square; the area now comprising the square was cleared of several small commercial buildings and redeveloped in the late 1990s and early 2000s, with large video screens, retail shopping arcades and seating in a bid to become "Toronto's Times Square".
It is used for numerous public events. Another stretch of busy retail lines both sides of Yonge Street north of Dundas Street, including Sam the Record Man until its closure on June 30, 2007; the density of businesses diminishes north of Gerrard Street. The Art Deco College Park building, a former shopping complex of the T. Eaton Company, occupies most of the west side of Yonge Street from Gerrard Street north to College Street, it was converted into a commercial complex after the building of the Eaton Centre. From College Street north to Bloor Street, Yonge Street serves smaller street-level retail in two- to three-storey buildings of a hundred years' vintage; the businesses here, unlike the large chains which dominate south of Gerrard Street, are small independent shops and serve a dense residential community on either side of Yonge Street with amenities such as convenience stores. The intersection of Yonge and Bloor Streets is a major crossroads of Toronto, informally considered the northern edge of the downtown core.
Subway Line 2 Bloor–Danforth intersects the Yonge line here, with the resulting transfers between lines making Bloor-Yonge Station the busiest in the city. The Hudson's Bay Centre and Two Bloor West office towers dominate the corner, visible both from downtown and beyond, with the south-east corner earmarked for a major condominium development; the Mink Mile's borders extend from Yonge to Avenue Road along Bloor. The intersection of Yonge and Bloor Streets is itself a "scramble"-type intersection allowing pedestrians to cross from any corner to any other corner. North of Bloor, the street is part of the old town of Yorkville, today a major shopping district extending west of Yonge Street along Cumberland and Bloor Streets. North of Yorkville and traffic decrease somewhat and the speed limit increases as Yonge Street forms the main street of Summerhill, which together with Rosedale to the east is noted for its opulent residences; the area is marked by the historic North Toronto railway station served by the Canadian Pacific
Downtown Toronto is the city centre and main central business district of Toronto, Canada. Located within the district of Old Toronto, it is 14 square kilometers in area, bounded by Bloor Street to the north, Lake Ontario to the south, the Don Valley to the east, Bathurst Street to the west, it is the governmental centre of the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario. The area is made up of the Canada’s largest concentration of skyscrapers and businesses that form Toronto's skyline. Downtown Toronto has the third most skyscrapers in North America exceeding 200 metres in height, behind New York City and Chicago; the retail core of the downtown is located along Yonge Street from Queen Street to College Street. There is a large cluster of retail centres and shops in the area, including the Toronto Eaton Centre indoor mall. There are an estimated 600 retail stores, 150 bars and restaurants, 7 hotels. In recent years the area has been experiencing a renaissance as the Business Improvement Area has brought in new retail and improved the cleanliness.
The area has seen the opening of the Dundas Square public square, a public space for holding performances and art displays. The area includes several live theatres, a movie complex at Dundas Square and the historic Massey Hall. Historical sites and landmarks include the Arts & Letter Club, the Church of the Holy Trinity, Mackenzie House, Maple Leaf Gardens, Old City Hall, the Toronto Police Museum and Discovery Centre; the Financial District, centred on the intersection of Bay Street and King Street is the centre of Canada's financial industry. It contains the Toronto Stock Exchange, the largest in Canada and seventh in the world by market capitalization; the construction of skyscrapers in downtown Toronto had started to increase during the 1960s. The area of St. Lawrence to the east of the financial district is one of the oldest area of Toronto, it features heritage buildings, music and many pubs. It is a community of distinct downtown neighbourhoods including the site of the original Town of York, Toronto's first neighbourhood, dating back to 1793.
The area boasts one of the largest concentrations of 19th century buildings in Ontario. Of particular note are the St. Lawrence Hall, St. James' Cathedral, St. Michael's Cathedral, St. Paul's Basilica, the Enoch Turner School House, the Bank of Upper Canada, Le Royal Meridien King Edward Hotel, the Gooderham Building. On Saturday there is a farmers market. Other historical districts in downtown Toronto include Cabbagetown, the Distillery District, Old Town. To the west of the financial district is the Entertainment District, it is home to hundreds of restaurants, sporting facilities, hotels and live theatre. The district was an industrial area and was redeveloped for entertainment purposes in the early 1980s, becoming a major centre for entertainment; the redevelopment started with the Mirvish family refurbishing of the Royal Alexandra Theatre and their construction of the Princess of Wales Theatre. The area is now the site of the Canadian Broadcasting Centre; the Yorkville area, to the north, north of Bloor Street and the Mink Mile, has more than 700 designer boutiques, restaurants and world class galleries.
It is a former village in its own right and since the early 1970s has developed into an up-scale shopping district. The intersection of Bloor and Yonge Streets is the intersection of the city's subway lines and is one of the busiest intersections in the city. At the intersection of Avenue Road and Bloor Street is the Royal Ontario Museum, the largest museum of the city, with a diverse anthropological and natural history collection; the Harbourfront area to the south was an industrial and railway lands area. Since the 1970s, it has seen extensive redevelopment, including the building of the Rogers Centre stadium, numerous condominiums and the Harbourfront Centre waterfront revitalization; the area to the east of Yonge Street is still in transition, with conversion of industrial lands to mixed residential and commercial uses planned. Among the important government headquarters in downtown Toronto include the Ontario Legislature, the Toronto City Hall. In the 1970s, Toronto experienced major economic growth and surpassed Montreal to become the largest city in Canada.
Many international and domestic businesses relocated to Toronto and created massive new skyscrapers downtown. All of the Big Five banks constructed skyscrapers beginning in the late 1960s up until the early 1990s. Today downtown Toronto contains dozens of notable skyscrapers; the area's First Canadian Place is the tallest building in Canada at height of 298 metres. The CN Tower, once the tallest free-standing structure in the world, remains the tallest such structure in the Americas, standing at 553.33 metres. Other notable buildings include Scotia Plaza, TD Centre, Commerce Court, the Royal Bank Plaza, The Bay's flagship store, the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. Since 2007, urban consolidation has been centred in downtown Toronto and as a result has been undergoing Manhattanization with the construction of new office towers and condos. Downtown Toronto is home to three public universities, OCAD University, Ryerson University, the University of Toronto. OCAD University is Canada's oldest post secondary institution for art and design.
Ryerson University is a research university. The University of Toronto is a collegiate research university, whose St. George campus is situated downtown. Established in 1827, the University of Toronto is the oldest university in the province of Ontario. In ad
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the most populous city in Canada, with a population of 2,731,571 in 2016. Current to 2016, the Toronto census metropolitan area, of which the majority is within the Greater Toronto Area, held a population of 5,928,040, making it Canada's most populous CMA. Toronto is the anchor of an urban agglomeration, known as the Golden Horseshoe in Southern Ontario, located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A global city, Toronto is a centre of business, finance and culture, is recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world. People have travelled through and inhabited the Toronto area, situated on a broad sloping plateau interspersed with rivers, deep ravines, urban forest, for more than 10,000 years. After the broadly disputed Toronto Purchase, when the Mississauga surrendered the area to the British Crown, the British established the town of York in 1793 and 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 United States troops.
York was incorporated in 1834 as the city of Toronto. It was designated as the capital of the province of Ontario in 1867 during Canadian Confederation; the city proper has since expanded past its original borders through both annexation and amalgamation to its current area of 630.2 km2. The diverse population of Toronto reflects its current and historical role as an important destination for immigrants to Canada. More than 50 percent of residents belong to a visible minority population group, over 200 distinct ethnic origins are represented among its inhabitants. While the majority of Torontonians speak English as their primary language, over 160 languages are spoken in the city. Toronto is a prominent centre for music, motion picture production, television production, is home to the headquarters of Canada's major national broadcast networks and media outlets, its varied cultural institutions, which include numerous museums and galleries and public events, entertainment districts, national historic sites, sports activities, attract over 25 million tourists each year.
Toronto is known for its many skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, in particular the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere, the CN Tower. The city is home to the Toronto Stock Exchange, the headquarters of Canada's five largest banks, the headquarters of many large Canadian and multinational corporations, its economy is diversified with strengths in technology, financial services, life sciences, arts, business services, environmental innovation, food services, tourism. When Europeans first arrived at the site of present-day Toronto, the vicinity was inhabited by the Iroquois, who had displaced the Wyandot people, occupants of the region for centuries before c. 1500. The name Toronto is derived from the Iroquoian word tkaronto, meaning "place where trees stand in the water"; this refers to the northern end of what is now Lake Simcoe, where the Huron had planted tree saplings to corral fish. However, the word "Toronto", meaning "plenty" appears in a 1632 French lexicon of the Huron language, an Iroquoian language.
It appears on French maps referring to various locations, including Georgian Bay, Lake Simcoe, several rivers. A portage route from Lake Ontario to Lake Huron running through this point, known as the Toronto Carrying-Place Trail, led to widespread use of the name. In the 1660s, the Iroquois established two villages within what is today Toronto, Ganatsekwyagon on the banks of the Rouge River and Teiaiagon on the banks of the Humber River. By 1701, the Mississauga had displaced the Iroquois, who abandoned the Toronto area at the end of the Beaver Wars, with most returning to their base in present-day New York. French traders abandoned it in 1759 during the Seven Years' War; the British defeated the French and their indigenous allies in the war, the area became part of the British colony of Quebec in 1763. During the American Revolutionary War, an influx of British settlers came here as United Empire Loyalists fled for the British-controlled lands north of Lake Ontario; the Crown granted them land to compensate for their losses in the Thirteen Colonies.
The new province of Upper Canada was being needed a capital. In 1787, the British Lord Dorchester arranged for the Toronto Purchase with the Mississauga of the New Credit First Nation, thereby securing more than a quarter of a million acres of land in the Toronto area. Dorchester intended the location to be named Toronto. In 1793, Governor John Graves Simcoe established the town of York on the Toronto Purchase lands, naming it after Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany. Simcoe decided to move the Upper Canada capital from Newark to York, believing that the new site would be less vulnerable to attack by the United States; the York garrison was constructed at the entrance of the town's natural harbour, sheltered by a long sand-bar peninsula. The town's settlement formed at the eastern end of the harbour behind the peninsula, near the present-day intersection of Parliament Street and Front Street. In 1813, as part of the War of 1812, the Battle of York ended in the town's capture and plunder by United States forces.
The surrender of the town was negotiated by John Strachan. American soldiers destroyed much of the garrison and set fire to the parliament buildings during their five-day occupation; because of the sacking of York, British troops retaliated in the war with the Burning of Wa