North York is a district and a former municipality within the current city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Geographically, it comprises the central part of the northern section of Toronto. As of the 2006 Census, it has a population of 635,370. North York is one of the most diverse areas of Toronto, as it contains some of the most affluent areas of the city (The Bridle Path, Hogg’s Hollow, York Mills, Willowdale, Bayview Village) and some of the poorest (Jane and Finch, Flemingdon Park and Lawrence Heights).
The Township of North York was formed on June 13, 1922 out of the rural part of the Township of York. As North York itself became more urbanized, it became the Borough of North York in 1967, and then on February 14, 1979, the City of North York. To commemorate receiving its city charter on St. Valentine’s Day, the city’s corporate slogan was “The City with Heart”. It now forms the largest part of the area served by the “North York Community Council”, a committee of Toronto City Council.
Major shopping malls in North York include the Yorkdale Shopping Centre and Fairview Mall. Smaller locations include Centerpoint Mall, Bayview Village, Yorkgate Mall, Shops at Don Mills, Steeles West Market Mall, Jane Finch Mall and Sheppard Centre. It is also home to campuses of York University, Seneca College,Osgoode Hall Law School, and Tyndale University College and Seminary.
Major health-care facilities, such as North York General Hospital, Humber River Regional Hospital (Finch Avenue Site previously called York-Finch Hospital) and the massive Sunnybrook Hospital complex which includes a veterans’ residence, a regional cancer centre and regional trauma centre are located in North York.
Black Creek Pioneer Village, an authentic nineteenth-century village, and the Ontario Science Centre, which boasts over 800 science-oriented exhibits, are North York’s primary attractions. Not far from Black Creek Pioneer Village is York University’s main campus, and the infamous Jane and Finch neighbourhood.
Along North York’s Bathurst Street is one of the world’s largest urban Jewish communities, with a significant population of Holocaust survivors.
A small plaza containing Chinese restaurants and supermarkets is located at the intersection of Finch Avenue and Leslie Street. It first developed in the 1980s to serve the ethnic Chinese community, though its patronage has now diversified.
There are a multitude of North York sports clubs including the North York Storm, a girls’ hockey league, Gwendolen Tennis Club in the heart of North York near Yonge and Sheppard, and the venerable North York Aquatic Club, which was founded in 1958 as the North York Lions Swim Club and has produced many Olympian swimmers.
North York is home to the North York Ski Centre at Earl Bales Park – one of the only urban ski centres of its kind in Canada. After several incidents involving failures of the club’s two-person chairlift incited talks of closing the ski centre, the city instead decided to revitalize the facilities with a new four-person chairlift.