Toronto: Where the Trees Meet the Water

Did you know that ‘Toronto’ the name of the city comes from the Mohawk word “tkaronto”, which means “where there are trees standing in the water”? Why you ask, because ‘The Narrows’, a channel of water through which Lake Simcoe flows into Lake Couchiching, was a place where Hurons drove stakes to create fish weirs. Later on the name was used to identify a new fort at the mouth of the Humber River – the beginnings of today’s city of Toronto. The meaning of the name also evolved: it became the “meeting place” when it translated into French. Both meanings fit with the essence of Toronto: one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world, where trees are central to the city’s identity and heritage. “Urban green spaces are a very important way of demonstrating that the city is there for everyone,” says Mayor John Tory. Today Toronto has approximately 18,000 hectares of urban forest canopy cover, a valuable resource to its inhabitants – of over 200 distinct ethnic origins – who live, work and play there.