Steeles Avenue is an east-west street that forms the northern city limit of Toronto and the southern limit of York Region, Canada. It stretches 77.3 km across the western and central Greater Toronto Area from Appleby Line in Milton in the west to the Toronto-Pickering city limits in the east, where it continues east into Durham Region as Taunton Road, which itself extends 58 km across the length of Durham Region to its boundary with Northumberland County. It is named after either John Cussons Steele or Thomas Steele, owner the Green Bush Hotel on the northwest corner of the street's intersection with Yonge Street in Thornhill, Ontario. Steele previously managed a hotel in Bond Head, Ontario. York Region refers to Steeles Avenue as Regional Road 95, but the designation is internal and there are no signs posted. Steeles in Scarborough was once referred to as Scarborough Town Line from 1850 to 1953; the combination of Steeles and Taunton Road is the only arterial road to cross the entire Greater Toronto Area without breaks or turnoffs.
Steeles Avenue is a two-lane rural road east of York Regional Road 69. It becomes a four lane suburban road with bicycle lanes on each side from Kennedy Road to Markham Road, six lanes from Kennedy to Victoria Park Avenue, eight lanes from Victoria Park to Highway 404; the area consists of parklands in the east end, a mix of commercial and residential in the middle, industrial zonings near the west end. Like many other east-west arterial roads within Toronto and York Region, Steeles is divided into an east and west segment by Yonge Street. East of Scarborough-Pickering Town Line / York-Durham Line, it becomes Taunton Road or Durham Regional Road 4. West of Albion Road, Steeles Avenue continues into Peel Region, where it is designated as Peel Regional Road 15. Like the section in Toronto, Steeles Avenue in Brampton has east-west segments, this time on either side of Hurontario and Main Streets, it runs through Brampton and into Halton Region, where it is designated as Halton Regional Road 8, through the town of Milton, ending at Appleby Line.
The road had a second section west of the height of the Niagara Escarpment, which ran from just east of Guelph Line west to the Milborough Townline on the boundary between Milton and Hamilton, but this section was renamed to Conservation Road and is thus no longer part of Steeles. The road is served predominantly by TTC bus routes 60 Steeles West. Both routes turn south at Yonge Street to terminate at Finch Station on the eastern portion of the Line 1 Yonge–University subway line. There are two express bus routes during the rush hours, 953 Steeles East Express and 960 Steeles West Express. There are several routes serving the portions of the road, including 7 Bathurst, 17B and 17C Birchmount, 25A and 25C Don Mills, 35A and 35B Jane, 37B Islington, 43A Kennedy, 51 Leslie, 57 Midland, 84C and 84D Sheppard West, 97F Yonge, 98B and 98C Willowdale–Senlac, 102B and 102C Markham Road, 105A Dufferin North, 107 St. Regis, 108A and 108B Driftwood, 117 Alness–Chesswood, 165 Weston Road North, 925 Don Mills Express, 927B and 927C Highway 27 Express, 935 Jane Express, 937 Islington Express, 989 Weston Express.
York Region Transit routes that run along Steeles include 2, 3, 7, 8, 12, 13, 20, 23, 28, 88, 91, 96, 107, 165, 203. Several TTC bus routes provide service on north-south arterial roads in York Region that continue north from Toronto on a contractual basis. Steeles forms the fare zone boundary, extra fare is required for bus riders to continue across it. On December 17, 2017, an extension of the western portion of the Line 1 subway up to Vaughan was opened, passing through York University, with a station at Steeles called Pioneer Village, named after the nearby Black Creek Pioneer Village heritage museum. Unlike TTC-contracted bus routes however, no extra fare is charged when crossing Steeles on the subway, due the difficulty of implementing a payment-on-exit system. MoveOntario 2020 includes plans to extend the Yonge branch north and add a station at Steeles. In Peel Region, Brampton Transit and Mississauga's MiWay operate several routes that travel along Steeles: Brampton 11 Steeles 40 Central Industrial 10 South Industrial 4/4A Chinguacousy 3 McLaughlin 8 Centre 52 McMurchy 6 James Potter 511 Zum SteelesMississauga 103 Hurontario ExpressMiway and Brampton Transit routes connect to Shoppers World Terminal at Shoppers World Mall at the northwest corner of Main Street and Steeles.
Steeles Ave. East is served by route 511 Züm Steeles of Brampton's Züm bus rapid transit. In Halton Region, Milton Transit operates a single route on a short stretch of Steeles Avenue: 1 Woodward/Maple Steeles Avenue was listed by the CAA as the "worst road in Ontario" for 2006, as the fifth worst road in October 2007. In October 2008, it was again crowned the worst road in Ontario. Reasons include general quality of surface. Soon after the results of CAA's survey were made public, some parts of the road between Dufferin Street and Bayview Avenue were resurfaced; the results of the 2009 survey listed Steeles for the second year in a row. However, in 2010, Steeles Avenue was resurfaced from Yonge Street to Markham Road, with the funds coming from the federal infrastructure stimulus program, the CAA named it the "Best Road in Ontario". Landmarks and notable sites along Steeles from west to east
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
Hillcrest Mall, or Hillcrest, is a 54,419-square-metre enclosed shopping centre located in the town of Richmond Hill, Canada, on the northwest corner of Yonge Street and Carrville Road. It has 135 shops and restaurants. Hillcrest Mall was built on a 19-hectare lot on the northwest corner of Yonge Street and Carrville Road. Architectural drawings were produced by Bregman and Hamann, the interior design by Robert Meiklejohn; the project was a joint venture of Greater York Group. Lighting at the mall was designed with input from the David Dunlap Observatory to mitigate light pollution; this included minimal signage, shielded lights in the parking lot, a light-absorbing parking lot surface. It opened on August 8, 1974 with four anchor stores Simpsons, Sears, a Loblaws supermarket, it had over 100 stores occupying 50,000 m2 at its grand opening, during which the first 10,000 Simpsons patrons received a rose, a symbolic gesture reflecting Richmond Hill's past status as the rose growing capital of Canada.
Simpsons used a rose in its local advertising. Hillcrest Mall held a draw, the winner of, given a two-week all expenses paid trip to Mexico; the central square featured four ficus trees imported from Florida under a vaulted ceiling. The market court was a food court with picnic gaslight lamps. A 250-seat auditorium with stage and kitchen was part of the design, was made available for community activities; the auditorium was used for fashion shows. A five auditorium movie theatre operated by Cineplex Odeon Corporation opened in October 1980, with a total seating capacity of 519. Hudson's Bay Company acquired Simpsons in 1978, by 1991 had rebranded the anchor store as The Bay. Zellers opened in the mall in 1998, acquiring the anchor retail space when its parent HBC purchased the assets of Kmart Canada in May 1998. HBC leased the retail space occupied by Sears at the southern end of the mall after Sears did not renew its lease, used it for Hudson Bay's Men's Store and Home; the mall underwent extensive renovations in 2000.
In late 2002, construction of a separate building in the northeast corner of the mall's parking lot was completed. In 2006, a farmers' market was established on the premises, operating from the mall's parking lot two days a week. Oxford Properties bought Hillcrest Mall from Cadillac Fairview in April 2011. In 2011, HBC sold the leases of most of its Zellers stores to Target Corporation. In January 2015, Target announced the liquidation of all its Canadian stores and closed in mid 2015; the lease was acquired by landlord Oxford Properties. The space was redeveloped and jointly leased to discount retailers Marshalls and HomeSense, which opened in September 2018. In 2013, an application was made to Richmond Hill Town Council to exempt the mall from the Retail Business Holidays Act so that it may open on six public holidays: New Year's Day, Family Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving; the holiday exemption application was accepted, the mall now only closes on Easter Sunday and Christmas.
On September 12, 2015, Hudson's Bay expanded anchor store was reopened. The $125 million project expanded the store by 7,500 m2 of retail space to 11,000 m2 total, into, merged its "Men's Store and Home"; the vacated anchor space was reconstructed for other tenants, which by the end of 2016 included Sporting Life, H&M, Pandora. On October 24, 2017, Hillcrest announced that they would put Marshalls, HomeSense and Old Navy stores in the former Target space in November 2018 along with a major interior renovation; the mall’s interior got a refresh with new floors, washrooms, upgraded food court, new entrances 1 & 6, completed by October 2018. Several large retailers used to be located at Hillcrest Mall: Kmart Closed in 1998 and replaced with Zellers Zellers - Opened in 1998. Replaced by Target. Target - Opened in 2013, liquidated and closed in mid-2015. Replaced by North expansion Sears Closed in 1986. Replaced with Hudson's Bay Men's Store and Home The Bay Men's Store and Home - closed in 2015, replaced by south expansionThe York Regional Police Community Resource Centre was located in the mall, has now relocated to the southwest corner of Elgin Mills Road West and Yonge Street.
David Shiner (politician)
David Shiner is a city councillor in Toronto, Canada. He represents ward one of the two wards in Willowdale, he is the son of the late Esther Shiner, who served on the borough and city council of the City of North York as alderman, as a member of the Board of Control and Deputy Mayor. Before entering politics, David Shiner ran a clothing company, he was first elected to North York city council in 1991, defeating incumbent Bob Bradley, being the only candidate to oust an incumbent in the election. In 1994, he opposed a plan by Metro's Separate School Board to consolidate storage of 18,000 gallons of PCBs in North York; the plan was approved by Ontario's Ministry of the Environment against the wishes of the city. When North York was merged with six other municipalities and a regional government to form the new City of Toronto, Shiner was elected to Toronto City Council in 1997, he was the only councillor to oppose a proposal to use both Metro Hall and Toronto City Hall as the new municipal headquarters, instead advocating that the government be based at the North York Civic Centre.
Shiner was considered one of the closest allies of Mel Lastman. In 2000, Lastman appointed him to the position of the city's budget chief, replacing the retiring Tom Jakobek. A member of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, he is regarded as moderately to the right of centre. With the election of David Miller as mayor, Shiner was succeeded as budget chief by David Soknacki. In 2007, at North York community council, Shiner tabled a successful motion asking Toronto council to stop its plan to close community centres on Mondays and delay the opening of ice rinks, it passed 9-1, as Howard Moscoe and John Filion who were allies of the mayor voted for Shiner's motion, with Shelley Carroll as the lone dissenter. Miller had directed City Manager Shirley Hoy to implement $34 million in service cuts to the 2007 budget in August 2007 without seeking council approval, arguing that it addressed a financial shortfall. An arbitrator ruled that the library closures violated the collective bargaining agreement with the union.
On January 9, 2009, Shiner boycotted a meeting of the Licensing and Standards Committee. Shiner, appointed to this committee, described by some as a second-tier committee, refused to attend the meeting in protest for not receiving any of his preferred appointments on other committees. Two other committee members, Mike Feldman and Denzil Minnan-Wong, had sent their regrets so the remaining committee members' presence was required for quorum, Shiner's boycott meant that the meeting was adjourned to the following month. Shiner criticized Mayor David Miller's leadership style, saying "I find it disappointing that the mayor has pushed this council into different camps, rewards those who blindly support him and tries to punish those who don't." The chair of the committee, Howard Moscoe was not amused. "The business of the city has to go on, childish refusals to attend are not appropriate," Moscoe said. Shiner had never missed a committee meeting in his 17 years in municipal politics. In 2013, Shiner was notably the only city councillor to vote with both Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and brother Doug Ford against limiting the mayor's powers after he was caught smoking crack.
Shiner was quoted as saying Rob Ford has "done a reasonable job."He was re-elected in 2014. Shiner ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the provincial legislature to represent Willowdale in the 2007 provincial general election; the Toronto Star criticized him for not resigning his council seat. Shiner lost to Liberal incumbent David Zimmer by 5,647 votes. For at least 5 years, while a city counsellor, Shiner was a registered federal lobbyist for MCW, a company that had received $7.6 million in city contracts and was competing for several million dollars in city contracts. Some have argued that there is nothing illegal about being a Federal lobbyist while being a city counsellor, while some critics have pointed out that because counsellors receive full-time pay, it is legitimate to question why he held a second job and 7 lobbyist registrations. Moreover, according to the Toronto Star, "Shiner listed his city-owned cellphone in the lobbyist registrations and billed taxpayers for more than $5,000 in cellphone costs during the time he was registered as a lobbyist.
Shiner's lobbyist registrations all listed 11th-floor apartment which itself has been a source of controversy. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that Shiner and another city councillor both received a "hefty" rent discounts at that address for their rental apartments compared to other tenants in the same building, from a real estate development and management company that did millions of dollars of business with the City of Toronto; the same article reported that neither Shiner, Mamolotti, or Greenwin-Verdiroc were willing to answer questions regarding the favorable rent discount. In 2018, it was reported that David Shiner led an effort to name a city street "Karen's Way" after his life partner and once executive assistant Karen Wood This follows him leading the effort to name another street after her, Woodsy Park Lane and another city street after his mother, Ester Shiner as Esther Shiner Boulevard; this has raised questions about whether it is appropriate for a city politician to use his position to name streets not in the people's interest but according to his own interests.
City of Toronto Councillor Profile
Thornhill is a suburban community in the Regional Municipality of York in Ontario, Canada. It is split between the cities of Vaughan and Markham, lying along the north border of Toronto, centred on Yonge Street. Once a police village, Thornhill is now postal designation. According to the 2001 Census, Thornhill-Vaughan's population was 56,361, the population of Thornhill-Markham was 47,333, it is south and south-west of Richmond Hill. Thornhill was founded in 1794, its first settlers on Yonge Street in Thornhill were Nicholas Miller. Of particular importance was the arrival of Benjamin Thorne in 1820 from Dorset, operating a gristmill, a sawmill, a tannery in the community; the settlement came to be known as Thorne's Mills, Thorne's Hill, from which its current name is derived. Between 1830 and 1848, Thornhill experienced a period of continued prosperity; the business district of Thornhill developed on its portion of Yonge Street, between Centre Street and John Street. Stagecoaches travelled between Holland Landing and York as Yonge Street's road conditions improved with new stonework.
During this prosperous period, several churches, many of which are still standing today, were constructed. Thornhill's location along Yonge Street, a major transportation route, proved beneficial to the community's growth throughout much of the twentieth century; the implementation of the electric radial Metropolitan line along Yonge Street in 1898 running north to Sutton and south to Toronto meant that, for the first time, people could reside in Thornhill and work in Toronto. By the 1920s, automobiles facilitated travel along Yonge Street. In 1931, Thornhill became a "Police Village". Before 1931, each township administered its half of the village; the creation of the Police Village gave Thornhill its own political boundaries. The village was headed by a reeve. In 1971, York Region was created, part of a wave of municipal re-organization which converted many townships into towns and eliminated many of the municipal forms of organization which had existed within those townships; the establishment of a regional administration eliminated the Police Village of Thornhill.
Thornhill's administration reverted to the newly formed towns of Vaughan at this time. However, many social institutions remained organized around the former municipal entities eliminated in 1971. Like neighbouring communities such as Woodbridge and Unionville – and more so than was the case for historic suburban communities within the City of Toronto – community organizations such as local newspapers, sports teams continued to operate under a Thornhill administrative structure; as an example, until the mid-1990s residents of Thornhill who wanted to play high-level hockey were required to play for a Thornhill team. While the old village of Thornhill revolved around Yonge Street between Centre and John Streets, the neighbourhood is thought to be between Dufferin Street to the west, Highway 7 to the north, Steeles Avenue to the south, Highway 404 to the east. Thornhill's growth since the 1960s and 1970s has been connected to its location bordering what is now the City of Toronto. Growth has continued apace.
Developments have sprung up across various areas of Thornhill in each of the municipal districts which encompass Thornhill, following the development patterns of the Greater Toronto Area. Thornhill has a ethnically diverse population, it is home to a significant number of Jewish, Korean and Italian people. According to 2001 Federal Census data, the electoral district of Thornhill consists of Chinese, the largest visible minority, accounting for 11% of total residents, followed by South Asian, Korean and West Asian. According to the 2009 Report of Canada's Demographic Task Force, Thornhill-Vaughan is home to more than 33,000 members of the Jewish community. Thornhill is split into Wards 5 in the City of Vaughan and Ward 1 in the City of Markham, it is represented by Sandra Yeung Racco, Alan Shefman, Valerie Burke. Thornhill is a federal and provincial riding; the Member of Parliament for Thornhill is Peter Kent, the Member of Provincial Parliament is Gila Martow. There are no general hospitals in Thornhill itself.
A private hospital, Shouldice Hernia Centre, is in Thornhill. Located at Bayview and John Street, the community centre features a double arena, therapy pool, gym room, running track, multi use rooms and Markham Public Library branch; the complex was opened in 1975. The community centre hosted the Markham Thunder of the Canadian Women's Hockey League from 2017 to 2019. Thornlea Pool is public swimming pool located further north of the community centre. Secondary schools Elementary schools Catholic schools Blessed Bishop Scalabrini Catholic Elementary School Holy Family Catholic Elementary School, closed rented to E. J. Sand Public Sc
The Golden Horseshoe is a secondary region of Southern Ontario, Canada which lies at the western end of Lake Ontario, with outer boundaries stretching south to Lake Erie and north to Lake Scugog. The region is the most densely industrialized in Canada. With a population of 7,826,367 people in its core and 9,245,438 in its greater area, the Golden Horseshoe accounts for over 21% of the population of Canada and more than 55% of Ontario's population, it is part of the Quebec City -- the Great Lakes Megalopolis. The core of the Golden Horseshoe starts from Niagara Falls at the eastern end of the Niagara Peninsula and extends west, wrapping around the western end of Lake Ontario at Hamilton and turning northeast to Toronto, before terminating at Oshawa; the term "Greater Golden Horseshoe" is used to describe a broader region that stretches inland from the core to the area of the Trent–Severn Waterway, such as Peterborough in the northeast, to Barrie and Lake Simcoe in the north, to the Grand River area, including centres such as Brantford, Waterloo Region, Guelph to the west.
The extended region's area covers 33,500 km2, out of this, 7,300 km2 or 22% of the area is covered by the environmentally protected Greenbelt. The Greater Golden Horseshoe forms the neck of the Ontario Peninsula; the "horseshoe" part of the region's name is derived from the characteristic horseshoe shape of the west end of Lake Ontario with Cootes Paradise between Burlington and Hamilton positioned in the centre. The "golden" part is attributed to the region's wealth and prosperity, according to the Canadian Oxford Dictionary; the phrase "Golden Horseshoe" was first used by Westinghouse Electric Corporation president Herbert H. Rogge in a speech to the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce on January 12, 1954: Hamilton in 50 years will be the forward cleat in a'golden horseshoe' of industrial development from Oshawa to the Niagara River... 150 miles long and 50 miles wide... It will run from Niagara Falls on the south to about Oshawa on the north and take in numerous cities and towns there, including Hamilton and Toronto.
The speech writer who penned the phrase was Charles Hunter MacBain, executive assistant to five Westinghouse presidents including Rogge. The Golden Horseshoe has been recognised as a geographic region since the 1950s, but it was only on July 13, 2004 that a report from the provincial Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal entitled Places to Grow coined the term Greater Golden Horseshoe, extending the boundaries west to Waterloo Region, north to Barrie/Simcoe County, northeast to the county and city of Peterborough. A subsequent edition released February 16, 2005, broadened the term further, adding Brant and Northumberland Counties to the now quasi-administrative region; the Greater Golden Horseshoe region is designated in Ontario Regulation 416/05 under the Places to Grow Act. The designation Greater Golden Horseshoe has legal significance with respect to taxation: In April 2017, the Government of Ontario announced plans to impose a 15 per cent Non-Resident Speculation Tax on non-Canadian citizens, non-permanent residents and non-Canadian corporations buying residential properties containing one to six units in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
The provincial transit authority Metrolinx makes use of the term Greater Golden Horseshoe. The Metrolinx definition is consistent with the original 2004 Places to Grow definition. However, the city and county of Peterborough is not included; the population of the Golden Horseshoe was 7.82 million residents at the 2016 census. The region is projected to grow to 11.5 million people by 2031. The economy of this region is diverse; the Toronto Stock Exchange is the third largest in North America by market capitalization, seventh largest in the world. Cities such as Hamilton, Oakville and Kitchener all contain major large-scale industrial production facilities, Hamilton being dominated by the steel industry and Oakville and Oshawa in the automotive industry. Other significant automotive-production facilities exist in Brampton, St. Catharines and Alliston. While manufacturing remains important to the economy of the region, the manufacturing sector has experienced a significant decline since 2000 as a result of unfavourable currency exchange rates, increasing energy costs, reduced demand from the United States, by far the largest market for Ontario's goods.
Hamilton and Toronto have two of the largest seaports in Lake Ontario. The Welland Canal system handles recreational traffic through the Great Lakes. Large rail and truck distribution facilities are located in Toronto and Brampton. Food processing is a key ingredient in the economy. Niagara Falls has one of the world's largest per-capita tourist economies, benefiting from millions of tourists coming to see its majestic waterfalls, shop in its numerous stores, visit its many attractions; the winemaking and fruit growing industries of the Niagara Peninsula produce award-winning wines, which are beginning to attract attention around the world, in particular the ice wine for which the region is known. However, as of 2014, sectors such as information technology, health care, tourism and finance provide the bulk of growth in the Golden Horseshoe; the suburban cities within Greater Toronto such as, Brampton and Mississauga, along with the city of Waterloo, are emerging as hubs for technology and innovation.
Yorkdale Shopping Centre
Yorkdale Shopping Centre, or Yorkdale, is a major retail shopping mall in Toronto, Canada. It is located several kilometres northwest of Downtown Toronto at the interchange of Highway 401 and Allen Road, adjacent to the Yorkdale subway station in the former city of North York. Yorkdale is one of the largest shopping mall in the country and has the highest sales per unit area of any mall in Canada, it surpasses Vancouver's Pacific Centre, with current merchandise sales levels at CA$1,905/square foot. At 18 million annual visitors, it is the country's busiest mall; the mall contains over 250 stores, including many luxury retailers. Many international companies have opened their first retail locations in Canada at Yorkdale. Yorkdale is owned by a joint venture between the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System through its subsidiary Oxford Properties Group and the Alberta Investment Management Corporation. In the 1950s, the department store chain T. Eaton & Co. bought a 40-hectare site at Dufferin Street and Highway 401 for a new massive, suburban location.
In 1958, rival department store chain Simpson's purchased a 8-hectare site to the east and the plan to build the complex was announced that year. Design of the mall was given to the Seattle firm of John Graham Consultants, except for the Simpson's store, designed by John Andrews of John B. Parkin Associates. Howard Lesser was the development consultant. Using Lesser's market research, the developers determined how much floor space to give up to each category of retailer, chose retailers who would appeal to a broad range of shoppers; the mall opened on February 1964, under the ownership of the Trizec Corporation. Its gross leasable area was by far the biggest in Canada at the time, it was one of the largest shopping centres in the world. When it opened, Yorkdale was the first Canadian mall to include two major department stores: Simpson's and Eaton's, under the same roof, it was built at a cost of $40 million. Before large suburban malls like Yorkdale became popular, most people in the Toronto area did their major shopping downtown.
Yorkdale was at the edge of the urbanized city. The new shopping centre had required the construction of the Spadina Expressway renamed Allen Road, as the developers would not proceed until the freeway was approved for construction; the mall was constructed with a novel system for its retailers to receive merchandise. While other Canadian shopping centres had their receiving doors located at the back side, Yorkdale was constructed with a one-way, two-laned road for trucks running beneath the centre that leads directly to retailers' basement storages; the design of the mall included 40-foot wide halls and 27-foot tall ceilings. The corridors still retain this look and feel although renovations in 2006 replaced the ceilings, windows and skylights; the Universal Man statue in the west parking lot was relocated from the base of the CN Tower to accommodate the construction of the Rogers Centre in 1987 and relocated to Yorkdale in 1994. In 1999, Yorkdale completed a major overhaul, adding a Rainforest Cafe restaurant, a Famous Players SilverCity movie theatre, an Indigo Books and Music store on the north side of the mall, facing Highway 401.
In 2005, a $60 million expansion on the former site of its Eaton's department store increased the size of Yorkdale to 1,404,646 sq ft, increased the number of stores from about 210 to 260. A highlight of this expansion was the construction of a 60-foot high glass atrium running 300 feet in length, which hangs from an exterior support structure; the expansion added Old Navy, Zara, H&M, Home Outfitters as sub-anchors. This gave Yorkdale the title of the third largest mall in Ontario after Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga and Toronto Eaton Centre, ahead of Scarborough Town Centre in terms of retail floor space; the renovation project continued into 2006 and 2007. This renovation matched the earlier sections of the mall to the style of the 2005 expansion. Key elements of this project included new public washrooms, opening of a Moxie's Grill & Bar restaurant, new sliding automatic doors at all entrances. An advertising campaign, branded as "Change It Up!" was launched in conjunction with the renovation and redevelopment, winning a MAXI Award from the International Council of Shopping Centers in 2007.
Expansion continued in the second half of the decade. In April 2008, Yorkdale opened a Michael Kors store. Additions included Armani Exchange, Crate & Barrel, BOSS, a Tiffany & Co. In January 2011, Yorkdale announced another expansion, adding another 145,000 sq ft, sufficient for 40 store fronts, 800 underground parking spaces; this new wing took the space of the southwest parking lot. The expansion relocated and doubled the number of seats at the food court, improved public access, landscaped portions of the property; the expansion, costing $35 million, was opened in the summer of 2012, completed in November 2012. The existing food court was relocated to a new location on the third level of the former Eaton's department store; the new food court, named "Dine on 3", covers 45,000 sq ft and features 18 different eateries, including A&W, KFC and Subway. The area of the former food court was redeveloped into a new wing, which housed new stores including a Microsoft Store and a Tesla showroom, as well as a larger Apple Store.
The new parking garage was built below the wing. In June 2013, Sears Canada announced the closing of their store at Yorkdale; the former Sears space is now used for Sporting Life and Restor