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I frequently see references to "GTA" which I understand means "Greater Toronto Area", but what excatly does that mean? Is that the city of Toronto, including the towns it consolidated with in the past few decades, or does it also include the suburbs (which are separate political divisions)?

The reason I ask is that I always see references to the fact that the GTA, at roughly 5-6 million, is the fifth largest city in North America, which I can't believe is true. If GTA comprises only those areas within the city limits, I could see how that is possible, but if counting city and suburbs, Mexico City, New York, LA, Chicago, SF/Bay Area, Metro DC are all larger. If GTA = city and burbs, Toronto would be more in line with Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Miami/Dade, and Atlanta.

I don't mean to provoke some size-is-better argument here, I am just curious as to what makes up the GTA and how the claim that it is 5th in size is true.

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I am not familiar enough with various sections of Toronto to know what/where those places are (sorry!). Are they suburbs, separate townships, parts of the city proper? Do they elect their own town governments, or are they represented within the city government of Toronto by locally-elected aldermen/city council members/etc.?

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I would say it would include Burlington, Mississauga, Toronto, Brampton, Richmond Hill, Vaughn, Pickering, Ajax, Whitby... maybe even Oshawa.

Interesting, I thought it was the former burbs, as in Scarborough through Etobicoke. Pickering is a City so is Mississauga, so I didn't think it included actual cities. I sure wouldn't include Burlington or Ajax and east... hmmm

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I am not familiar enough with various sections of Toronto to know what/where those places are (sorry!). Are they suburbs, separate townships, parts of the city proper? Do they elect their own town governments, or are they represented within the city government of Toronto by locally-elected aldermen/city council members/etc.?

Most of them are suburbs...after immalgimation (sp?), city services were gutted and all of a sudden certain public resources were stretched to the limit.

Suburbs (bedroom communities) - Markham, Pickering, West Etobicoke

Mississauga is not part of the GTA as they are a city with their own Mayor. Pickering's west side borders on the GTA, but the GTA's population does not include its residences.

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I am not familiar enough with various sections of Toronto to know what/where those places are (sorry!). Are they suburbs, separate townships, parts of the city proper? Do they elect their own town governments, or are they represented within the city government of Toronto by locally-elected aldermen/city council members/etc.?

All of those places mentioned are cities or towns in their own right that are close to Toronto on or near the busiest section of the 401 highway (which is the biggest and busiest highway in Canada, if not North America - look out, LA freeway!). Driving through the entire area, you wouldn't be aware that you were passing from one municipality to the other, because it all just looks like city. People who live in those places say they're from Toronto when travelling abroad because it's easier than explaining you live in a satellite city that people have never heard of. Hell, I told people I was from Toronto when I honeymooned in Jamaica, and I live 10 minutes from Niagara Falls on the Niagara Penninsula (well outside of the GTA).

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Don't confuse GTA, City of Toronto and Metro Toronto.

Metro Toronto doesn't exist anymore - it was amalgamated into the City of Toronto comprising the old cities of Toronto, York, North York, Etobicoke, and the borough of East York. I may have left something out there but I don't think so.

GTA is 'Greater Toronto Area' which means exactly what it says. I would say that "cities" such as Mississuga would be included as they're essentially suburbs, but not cities such as Hamilton, Barrie and Oshawa as they were/are large centres on their own.

Any survey that puts Toronto so high on the list of biggest cities in NA must be counting some of the large suburbs in there...

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People confuse the new mega-city of Toronto with the GTA. The mega-city simply combined the governments of what was Metro Toronto into one. So the city itself is made up of what was Toronto, North York, York, East York, Scarborough and Etobicoke. The population of Toronto itself is something like 2.5 million.

The GTA is an area description used for planning purposes by the province, it is made up of Toronto, plus the regions of Durham, Halton, Peel and York. The population of the GTA is roughly 5.6 million.

Mississauga, Brampton, Markham, Pickering and Vaughn are not part of the T.Dot but are part of the GTA.

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from...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Toronto_Area

The following regional governments are included in describing the Greater Toronto Area:

City of Toronto

Regional Municipality of Durham

Regional Municipality of Halton

Regional Municipality of Peel

Regional Municipality of York

The City of Hamilton, Regional Municipality of Niagara and City of Guelph all have significant ties to Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. Nonetheless, they are geographically distant enough not to be considered part of the GTA, officially or otherwise.

I remember driving from Toronto to Mississauga some time ago, and the only way I knew I had left one city and entered another was from the signs on the road.

In 1979, our Social Studies teacher had told us kids that the southern tip of Ontario would one day be a 'Megalopolis', where several cities grew into one, with millions upon millions of people in it. Sounded like crazy talk at the time. Mind you, in Grade 7, one already knows everything.

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I think when people talk about the GTA being the fifth largest area in North America, they are actually refering to the Golden Horseshoe area. This stretches from the eastern 'burbs of Toronto through Hamilton to Niagara. Wikipedia says the population of this area is 7.4 million (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Horseshoe). The Extended Golden Horseshoe could also be the area, which extends the GH to include Guelph/Kitchener/Waterloo, with an estimated pop. of 8.5 million.

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I think when people talk about the GTA being the fifth largest area in North America, they are actually refering to the Golden Horseshoe area. This stretches from the eastern 'burbs of Toronto through Hamilton to Niagara. Wikipedia says the population of this area is 7.4 million (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Horseshoe). The Extended Golden Horseshoe could also be the area, which extends the GH to include Guelph/Kitchener/Waterloo, with an estimated pop. of 8.5 million.

They must be including areas that Torontonians consider "out there" because I can see no other basis for the claim that Toronto is the 5th largest metropolitan area in North America. Mexico City, NYC, LA, and Chicago are all demonstrably larger than even the 8.5 million that populate the Golden Horseshoe region. The San Francisco Bay area (SF, Oakland, Silicon Valley, San Jose, Marin) is probably somewhere in the 8-10 million range, but maybe on the lower end of that?

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I frequently see references to "GTA" which I understand means "Greater Toronto Area", but what excatly does that mean? Is that the city of Toronto, including the towns it consolidated with in the past few decades, or does it also include the suburbs (which are separate political divisions)?.......

Regional Profiles from stats Canada

Invitation extended: Come live in Toronto folks!

Toronto is the economic capital of Canada

The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is one of North America's fastest-growing economic regions. Covering more than 7,000 square kilometers, the GTA consists of 25 municipalities and four regions with a total population of 5 million.

With a work force of approximately 2.9 million people, more than 100,000 companies, and a gross domestic product of U.S $109 billion, the GTA is Canada's undisputed business and manufacturing capital.

The GTA includes area codes of 416 and 905

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  • 2 months later...
B) yeah, you guessd it i'm an american intruding on a canadian post. i've been to toronto. more than once. and not just downtown either. i know montreal like the back of my hand too. i've also studied urban planning and statistics in college, although i'm no urban planner or statistician. that said, toronto is quite big but not nearly on the same scale as say n.y.c.,chicago,l.a.,or certainly mexico city. it's probably roughly the same size as a handful of america's largest cities/metro areas that come after n.y.,l.a. and chicago; like s.f.,wash dc/northern virgina,or boston. speaking of boston (which effectively has no metro government,let alone amalgamation), many people don't realize how huge it's metro/urban/sprawl is. the us federal government has streamlined and changed it's defenitions of "metro" areas. it's finally recognized that because of unique cultural,political and historic particularities, the traditional way of determining population,especially metro populations, by county,doesn't work in places like new england and new jersey (a tiny state with almost 9 million people but no city "officially" larger than 200,000 or so.) unlike almost all of the rest of the united states, counties in new england,especially massachusetts, have little or no meaning other than historic,where "county government" was abolished 15 years ago,but where they still exist in name for historic and legal reasons. you can go around metro boston and not realize you are not only outside the city limits but are in another county. cambridge (middlesex county) for example (harvard/mit,about 1 mile from downtown boston)is another city and county,but you wouldn't know it unless you were told.the city of boston (suffolk county) almost completely surrounds brookline (norfolk county),where conan o'brien,barbara walters and mike wallace come from. metro boston is around 5.8 million and the new combined statistical area (csa) metro classification makes it at around 7.4 million,5th largest in the u.s., larger than s.f.bay area or philadelphia,much bigger than atlanta or houston. the bos-wash megalopolis is roughly 55 million,the largest in the world. metro toronto's pop. is obviously growing at a good clip,but i think it'll take quite some time before it reaches the same scale of say chicago and a very long time before it compares to n.y and l.a. btw: i see a figure of around 110 billion us gmp someone quoted for toronto; that's got to be a mistake. at least 8-10 american metro areas are considerably larger than that with washington dc and boston at around 250 billion and n.y,l.a. and chi off the hook. i'm sure toronto gta has a bigger gdp than 100+billion usd.
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Masshole: thanks for the info. I never knew of the CSA standard, so thanks for enlightening me.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combined_Statistical_Area

As a Bostonian (a fellow masshole), I always thought it unfair that metro Boston was deemed smaller than it really is (by not including Worcester, Lowell, Manchester, etc.) by the Census Bureau -- particularly when I've seen certain Census Bureau reports include all of southern NJ -- including Atlantic City!! -- as part of metro Philadelphia. :blink:

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