Kendra Mangione, CTV Toronto Published Thursday, March 6, 2014 5:55PM EST Last Updated Thursday, March 6, 2014 6:31PM EST
Timeline: 180 years of Toronto history
The City of Toronto was founded in 1834 when the former town York was renamed to distinguish the city from New York.
In honour of 180 years, CTV Toronto looks back on major events in city’s past:
March 6, 1834 - Town of York becomes City of Toronto
former town of York is renamed 'Toronto' to distinguish itself from New
York. The boundaries are Bathurst Street to the west, Lot Street (now
Queen Street) to the north and Parliament Street to the east.
Nov. 1837 - Gooderham and Worts Distillery established
Gooderham and James Worts Jr. expand their waterfront wind energy
business to include the production of alcohol, which quickly becomes the
firm's primary focus. (Photo from distilleryheritage.com)
1841 - First gas powered lamps installed
streets are left in the dark, but major roadways are lit by gas powered
lamps. The city will later switch to electric lights in 1879.
Dec. 19, 1846 - First telegraph sent from Toronto
Toronto, Hamilton and Niagara Electro-Magnetic Telegraph Co, is formed
in 1846. The first telegraph message transmitted in Canada is sent from
Toronto to Hamilton.
May 30, 1849 - King's College renamed the University of Toronto
College becomes the University of Toronto, and the school begins to
distance itself from religion, putting an end to religious tests for
staff and students.
Oct. 27, 1856 - Rail route from Montreal to Toronto opens
The Toronto-Montreal section of the Grand Trunk Railway opens. The first trip takes 14 hours.
April 14, 1858 - Toronto Islands are formed
Toronto Islands are formed when a storm disconnects the long, sandy
beach from the mainland. Later, in 1973, the federal government will
fund the dredging of the gap between the city and the islands to allow
for more ship traffic. (Photo from Toronto Archives)
Sept. 11, 1861 - Toronto streetcar service begins
first streetcar route starts operation. Streetcars are pulled by horses
and operate from the Yorkville Town Hall to St. Lawrence Market.
July 1, 1867 - Canadian confederation
British colonies come together as the Dominion of Canada, and split
into four provinces: Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
1869 - Eaton's department store opens
Eaton sets up a small department store on Yonge Street. The first store
is only 7.3 m by 18.3 m, with two windows. (Photo from Archives of
Sept. 1, 1879 - First Canadian National Exhibition
first Canadian National Exhibition, then called the Toronto Industrial
Exhibition, is held on what will become the CNE grounds.
1883 - Toronto Public Library opens
library established by the York Mechanics’ Institute merges with a
collection of books bought by Scottish-Canadian book publisher James
April 4, 1893 - Ontario Legislative Building opens
Ontario’s legislative hub opens with a price tag at approximately $1.25 million.
July 1, 1893 - Union Station opens
Trunk Railway builds Toronto’s first Union Station, consisting of three
wooden structures. At the time, it’s the largest railway station in
Canada. (Photo from Archives of Ontario)
Sept. 18, 1899 - City Hall opens
City Hall opens as one of the largest buildings in the city. It will
hold city council until 1966, when a new city hall building will be
April 19, 1904 - Great Fire of Toronto occurs
major fire destroys a large section of the downtown core, and takes
nine hours to put out. Firefighters from as far away as Buffalo come to
Toronto to help. The fire destroys 104 buildings, and claims the life of
one person. It causes $10.3 million in damage. (Photo from Archives of Ontario, Edwin C. Guillet collection)
March 11, 1914 - Toronto Blue Shirts win the Stanley Cup
Toronto Blue Shirts win the Stanley Cup, defeating the Montreal
Canadiens. They will later be replaced by the Toronto Hockey Club, which
will evolve into the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Sept. 1, 1921 - Toronto Transportation Commission is established
The Toronto Transportation Commission takes over all transit in the city, amalgamating nine existing systems.
Aug. 6, 1927 - New Union Station opens
Edward and Prince George, among others, attend a ribbon cutting
ceremony. Prince Edward himself cuts the ribbon, using a pair of gold
scissors. (Photo from Library and Archives Canada)
Oct. 29, 1929 - TSX suffers major loss
The Toronto Stock Exchange suffers its worst loss in history, plunging the country into the Great Depression.
Nov. 12, 1931 - Maple Leaf Gardens opens
The downtown hockey arena opens with a game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Chicago Blackhawks. The Leafs lose 2-1.
Dec. 12, 1944 - Toronto hit by major storm
Toronto is hit by its worst storm in history, and 52 centimetres of snow falls in 24 hours.
Sept. 17, 1949 - Fire on the SS Noronic
SS Noronic, a passenger ship, catches fire at 2:30 a.m. in Toronto's
harbour. It is estimated that 118 to 139 people die. (Photo from Toronto
March 30, 1954 - First subway line opens
7.4-kilometre subway line opens under Yonge Street, using four- and
six-car trains that operate at about 32 kilometres per hour.
Oct. 15, 1954 – Hurricane Hazel hits Toronto
A total of 81 people are killed when the remnants of hurricane Hazel hit Toronto. The storm is unprecedented.
May 23, 1967 - GO Transit is established
Transit’s inter-regional transit system connects the Greater Toronto
and Hamilton Area, with trains running from Hamilton to Pickering.
June 26, 1976 - CN Tower opens
CN Tower opens as the tallest freestanding structure in the world. The
tower is built so members of the Canadian National Railway could observe
the entire railway switching yard. (Photo by Chuck Stoody / THE
March 22, 1985 - Scarborough RT line opens
The TTC opens Scarborough’s rapid transit line as an extension of the Yonge subway line.
1991 - Toronto bomb plot is revealed
authorities arrest five men, and accuse them of ties to a paramilitary
organization and plotting to bomb a Hindu temple and Indian theatre in
the GTA. The case takes more than 10 years to pass through the court
Dec. 6, 2005 - Boxing Day shooting occurs
Toronto teenager Jane Creba is killed and six bystanders are wounded in a shooting just blocks from the Toronto Eaton Centre.
Aug. 10, 2008 - Toronto propane plant explodes
Sunrise Propane facility at Keele Street and Wilson Avenue erupts in
fire after a series of explosions. One employee dies and a firefighter
dies of a heart attack the next day. (Photo by Angela Deluce / THE
June 26, 2010 - G20 Toronto Summit is held
the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, police cause controversy over
their handling of security at the G20 Summit hosted in Toronto. Inside
the meeting, leaders discuss global financial systems and the world
Nov. 5, 2014 - Toronto mayor admits to smoking crack
Mayor Rob Ford admits to smoking crack cocaine in a 'drunken stupor'
after months of speculation about a video appearing to show him smoking
With files from Toronto Archives, Library and Archives Canada and the Archives of Ontario