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Financial District, Toronto

Financial District, Toronto

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The Financial District is a business district in Toronto
Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

, Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, within the downtown core. It was originally planned as New Town in 1796 as an extension of the Town of York (later the St. Lawrence Ward
St. Lawrence, Toronto
St. Lawrence is a neighbourhood located in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The area, a former industrial area, is bounded by Yonge, Front, and Parliament Streets, and the Canadian National railway embankment. The Esplanade off Yonge St., lined with restaurants, cafés and hotels runs through the...

). It is the main financial district
Financial District
A Financial District is the central area in some large cities where banks, insurance companies and other large corporations have head offices. Financial districts are often home to skyscrapers...

 in Toronto, and is the financial heart of Canada. It is bounded roughly by Queen Street West
Queen Street West
Queen Street West describes both the western branch of Queen Street, a major east-west thoroughfare, and a series of neighbourhoods or commercial districts, situated west of Yonge Street in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Queen Street begins in the west at the intersection of King Street, The...

 to the north, Yonge Street
Yonge Street
Yonge Street is a major arterial route connecting the shores of Lake Ontario in Toronto to Lake Simcoe, a gateway to the Upper Great Lakes. It was formerly listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest street in the world at , and the construction of Yonge Street is designated an "Event of...

 to the east, Front Street
Front Street (Toronto)
Front Street is an east-west road in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The street marks the rough outline of the shoreline of Lake Ontario as it existed during the original English settlement of York, then called Palace Street...

 to the south, and University Avenue
University Avenue (Toronto)
University Avenue is a major north-south road in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. At its north end, University Avenue is the site of the Ontario Legislative Building. The eight-lane wide street is the location for several hospitals, numerous office buildings, Osgoode Hall and the Four Seasons...

 to the west, though many office towers in the downtown core
Downtown Toronto
Downtown Toronto is the central business district of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is approximately bounded by Bloor Street to the north, Lake Ontario to the south, the Don River to the east, and Bathurst Street to the west...

 are being constructed outside this area, which will extend the general boundaries. Examples of this trend are the Telus Tower
Telus Tower
Telus Tower, originally named Union Tower, is a 30 storey office tower in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on the south side of the traditionally defined financial district. Anchor tenant Telus will occupy 60 percent of the rentable area....

 and RBC Centre
RBC Centre
RBC Centre is a , 43-storey office tower completed on June 2009 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on the outskirts of the traditionally defined financial district, owned and managed by Cadillac Fairview Corporation...

.

It is the most densely built-up area of Toronto, home to numerous banking companies, corporate headquarters, high-powered legal and accounting firms, insurance companies and stockbrokers. In turn, the presence of so many decision-makers has brought in advertising agencies and marketing companies. The banks have built large office towers, much of whose space is leased to these companies. The bank towers, and much else in Toronto's core, are connected by a system of underground walkways, known as PATH
PATH (Toronto)
PATH is a network of pedestrian tunnels beneath the office towers of Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. According to Guinness World Records, PATH is the largest underground shopping complex in the world with 371,600 m² PATH is a network of pedestrian tunnels beneath the office towers of Downtown...

, which is lined with retail establishments making the area one of the most important shopping districts in Toronto. The vast majority of these stores are only open during weekdays during the business day when the financial district is populated. During the evenings and weekends, the walkways remain open but the area is almost deserted and most of the stores are closed.

It is estimated that 100,000 commuters enter and leave the financial district each working day. Transport links are centred on Union Station
Union Station (Toronto)
Union Station is the major inter-city rail station and a major commuter rail hub in Toronto, located on Front Street West and occupying the south side of the block bounded by Bay Street and York Street in the central business district. The station building is owned by the City of Toronto, while the...

 at the south end of the financial district, which is the hub of the GO Transit
GO Transit
GO Transit is an inter-regional public transit system in Southern Ontario, Canada. It primarily serves the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area conurbation, with operations extending to several communities beyond the GTHA proper in the Greater Golden Horseshoe...

 system that provides commuter rail and bus links to Toronto's suburbs.

Major skyscrapers and complexes in the financial district include:
  • First Canadian Place
    First Canadian Place
    First Canadian Place is a skyscraper in the financial district of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, at the northwest corner of King and Bay streets, and is the location of the Toronto headquarters of the Bank of Montreal. At , it is Canada's tallest skyscraper and the 15th tallest building in North America...

  • Scotia Plaza
    Scotia Plaza
    Scotia Plaza is a Postmodern commercial office complex in the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The complex is situated in the financial district of the downtown core, and is generally bordered by Yonge Street on the east, King Street West on the south, Bay Street on the west, and Adelaide Street...

  • Brookfield Place
  • Toronto-Dominion Centre
    Toronto-Dominion Centre
    The Toronto-Dominion Centre, or Centre, is a cluster of buildings in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada, consisting of six towers and a pavilion covered in bronze-tinted glass and black painted steel. It serves as the global headquarters of the Toronto-Dominion Bank, as well as providing office and...

  • Royal Bank Plaza
    Royal Bank Plaza
    Royal Bank Plaza in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is the de facto headquarters of the Royal Bank of Canada. The building shares with the Fairmont Royal York Hotel the block in Toronto's financial district bordered by Bay, Front, York, and Wellington streets....

  • Fairmont Royal York
    Fairmont Royal York
    The Fairmont Royal York Hotel, formerly the Royal York Hotel and still often so called, is a large and historic hotel in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada, at 100 Front Street West. Opened on June 11, 1929, the Royal York was designed by Ross and Macdonald and built by the Canadian Pacific Railway...

  • One King West
  • Exchange Tower
  • Commerce Court
    Commerce Court
    Commerce Court is a complex of four office buildings on King- and Bay-streets in the financial district of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, The main tenant is the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce...

  • Sun Life Centre
  • Trump International Hotel and Tower
    Trump International Hotel and Tower (Toronto)
    Trump International Hotel & Tower, Toronto is a mixed-use skyscraper currently under construction in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is being built by Talon International Development Inc., which is owned by Val Levitan and Canadian businessman Alex Shnaider....

     (under construction)
  • RBC Centre
    RBC Centre
    RBC Centre is a , 43-storey office tower completed on June 2009 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on the outskirts of the traditionally defined financial district, owned and managed by Cadillac Fairview Corporation...

  • Bay Adelaide Centre
  • Telus Tower
    Telus Tower
    Telus Tower, originally named Union Tower, is a 30 storey office tower in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on the south side of the traditionally defined financial district. Anchor tenant Telus will occupy 60 percent of the rentable area....

  • Ritz-Carlton Toronto
    Ritz-Carlton Toronto
    The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto is a luxury hotel and residential skyscraper in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. At a height of 210 metres, it is Toronto's 8th tallest building....


Origins of Financial District


The district's origins date back to the mid to late 19th Century when a number of early banks had head offices located in Toronto. Most of these banks were regional and came and went. It was not until the second half of the 20th Century that the Big Five banks located their headquarters there.

Of the big banks, only CIBC and TD Bank
TD Bank
TD Bank may refer to:*Toronto-Dominion BankOr its retail banking divisions:*TD Canada Trust *TD Bank, N.A. Or a former retail-banking division:*TD Banknorth...

 (including the banks existing before mergers) had full head offices in Toronto:
  • CIBC 1961 - both Imperial Bank of Canada
    Imperial Bank of Canada
    The Imperial Bank of Canada was a Canadian bank based in Toronto in the late 19th Century and early 20th Century.Founded in 1873 as the Imperial Bank in Toronto by Henry Stark Howland, former vice president of the Canadian Bank of Commerce. The bank became the Imperial Bank of Canada in 1874.In...

     (1875) and Canadian Bank of Commerce
    Canadian Bank of Commerce
    The Canadian Bank of Commerce was a Canadian bank cofounded in 1867 by William McMaster. The Canadian Bank of Commerce opened in Toronto with a charter in 1866 that it purchased from the defunct Bank of Canada, which folded in 1858....

     (1867) had head offices in Toronto
  • RBC 1976 - relocated corporate head offices from Montreal; maintains legal head office in Montreal
  • BMO 1975 - relocated corporate head offices from Montreal; maintains legal head office in Montreal
  • TD Bank 1955 - previous Bank of Toronto
    Bank of Toronto
    The Bank of Toronto was a Canadian bank, founded on July 8, 1857 by George Gooderham, that merged with The Dominion Bank on February 1, 1955 to form the Toronto-Dominion Bank...

     (1855) and The Dominon Bank (1869) had head offices in Toronto
  • BNS 1931 - relocated corporate head office from Halifax; maintains legal head office in Halifax

Lost Historic Buildings


The construction of buildings in the district lead to the demolition of 19th and 20th Century buildings:
  • Old Toronto Star Building
    Old Toronto Star Building
    The Old Toronto Star Building at 80 King Street West in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, was built in 1929 by Chapman & Oxley and abandoned in 1970 when the Toronto Star newspaper moved to One Yonge Street. The Art Deco building was torn down in 1972 to make way for the First Canadian Place. It stood at...

     - First Canadian Place
  • retained various facades of 19th Century buildings along Yonge Street - Brookfield Place
  • Bank of Toronto
    Bank of Toronto
    The Bank of Toronto was a Canadian bank, founded on July 8, 1857 by George Gooderham, that merged with The Dominion Bank on February 1, 1955 to form the Toronto-Dominion Bank...

     head office - Toronto-Dominion Centre
    Toronto-Dominion Centre
    The Toronto-Dominion Centre, or Centre, is a cluster of buildings in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada, consisting of six towers and a pavilion covered in bronze-tinted glass and black painted steel. It serves as the global headquarters of the Toronto-Dominion Bank, as well as providing office and...

  • The Dominion Bank
    The Dominion Bank
    The Dominion Bank was a Canadian bank based in Toronto and incorporated in 1869 that merged on February 1, 1955 with the Bank of Toronto to form the Toronto-Dominion Bank. -History:...

     head office - Commerce Court
    Commerce Court
    Commerce Court is a complex of four office buildings on King- and Bay-streets in the financial district of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, The main tenant is the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce...

     West tower

Diplomatic Missions and Trade Offices

  • Consulate of Mexico
  • Consulate General Of The Republic Of Korea-Commercial Section (KOTRA)
  • Consulate General Of Japan
  • Consulate Of Malaysia
  • Consulate-General Of The Dominican Republic
  • Taipei Economic & Cultural Office
  • French Economic Commission

External links