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Greater Toronto Area

The Greater Toronto Area (called the GTA by local residents) is the largest Metropolitan area in Canada and fourth largest in North America, centred around Toronto, with an official population of 5,033,541 (2001). Besides the City of Toronto, it also includes four distinct Regional Municipalites and the Chippewas of Georgina Island Native Reserve. The federal government also includes portions of Simcoe County and Dufferin County and excludes portions of Durham Region and Halton Region for census purposes, but all areas combined are generally thought of being part of the GTA.

Municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area:

Municipality Population Region Association

Town of Ajax76,000DurhamGTAAM, CMA
Town of Aurora40,000YorkGTAAM, CMA
City of Barrie104,000Simcoe CountyUnofficial
Town of Bradford-West Gwillimbury22,000Simcoe CountyCMA
City of Brampton352,000PeelGTAAM, CMA
Township of Brock12,000DurhamGTAAM
City of Burlington151,000HaltonGTAAM
Town of Caledon51,000PeelGTAAM, CMA
Municipality of Clarington70,000DurhamGTAAM
Town of East Gwillimbury21,000YorkGTAAM, CMA
Town of Georgina39,000YorkGTAAM, CMA
Town of Halton Hills48,000HaltonGTAAM, CMA
Town of Innisfil29,000Simcoe CountyUnofficial
Township of King19,000YorkGTAAM, CMA
Town of Markham209,000YorkGTAAM, CMA
Town of Milton31,000HaltonGTAAM, CMA
City of Mississauga613,000PeelGTAAM, CMA
Town of Mono7,000Dufferin CountyCMA
Town of Newmarket66,000YorkGTAAM, CMA
Town of New Tecumseth26,000Simcoe CountyCMA
Town of Oakville145,000HaltonGTAAM, CMA
Town of Orangeville25,000Dufferin CountyCMA
City of Oshawa139,000DurhamGTAAM
City of Pickering87,000DurhamGTAAM, CMA
Town of Richmond Hill132,000YorkGTAAM, CMA
Township of Scugog20,000DurhamGTAAM
City of Toronto2,484,000GTAAM, CMA
Township of Uxbridge17,000DurhamGTAAM
City of Vaughan182,000YorkGTAAM, CMA
Town of Whitby87,000DurhamGTAAM
Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville22,000YorkGTAAM, CMA

Some municipalities are not within the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), but are within the Greater Toronto Area Association of Municipalities (GTAAM). Likewise, some municipalities are not part of the GTAAM but part of the Toronto CMA. Some municipalities, such as Barrie, are in neither the GTAAM nor CMA but still considered part of the GTA by local residents. Ultimately, all the above listed municipalities are thought of as being part of the Greater Toronto Area, regardless of official association.

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

The City of Hamilton, Regional Municipality of Niagara and City of Guelph all have significant ties to Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. Nonetheless, these ties aren't strong enough for them be considered part of the GTA, officially or otherwise. It is expected that with current rate of regional growth these areas will one day in the future become part of the Greater Toronto Area. In some cases the provincial government already includes Hamilton in Niagara as part of the GTA for record keeping purposes as well as for transportation planning. In 2001, Statistics Canada included a new level of census management called Census Regions, roughly equivilent to an American Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA). The Extended Golden Horseshoe Census Region includes all of the Greater Toronto Area listed above, as well as Niagara, Hamilton, Guelph and Kitchener-Waterloo. Combined, the Extended Golden Horseshoe has a population of 6.8 million people and contains roughly one quarter of Canada's population.

Toronto and the GTA are served by six distinct area codes. It is often thought that Toronto itself is area code 416, while the Greater Toronto Area is area code 905. This division by area code has become part of the local culture to the point where local media would refer to something inside Toronto as "The 416s" and outside of Toronto as "The 905s." Though for the most part this was correct, it isn't entirly true as some portions of Durham Region area area code 705, and some portions of Peel Region are area code 519. Things became even more complicated by the addition of two overlay area codes in the area with 647 being overlaid on 416 in March, 2001 and 289 on 905 in July, 2001. 10-digit telephone dialing, including the area code for local calls, is required throughout all of the GTA as well as Hamilton and Niagara.

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