Golden Horseshoe: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Golden Horseshoe
—  Inner Ring  —
Location of the Golden Horseshoe in Ontario.
██ Core area ██ Extended area
Country Canada Canada
Province Ontario Ontario
 - Total 31,561.57 km2 (12,186 sq mi)
 - Extended area 21,464.12 km2 (8,287.3 sq mi)
 - Core area 10,097.45 km2 (3,898.6 sq mi)
Population (2006)
 - Total 8,102,163
 Density 256.7/km2 (664.8/sq mi)
 - Extended area 1,614,101
 - Core area 6,488,062
Time zone EST (UTC−5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
Postal code prefixes K, L, M, N
Area code(s) 226, 289, 416, 519, 647, 705, 905
Image of Toronto skyline focusing on the CN Tower and the Rogers Centre partially open
Mississauga at night
Niagara Falls skyline at night

The Golden Horseshoe is a densely populated and industrialized region (or urban agglomeration) centred around the Greater Toronto Area at the western end of Lake Ontario in Southern Ontario, Canada, with outer boundaries stretching south to Lake Erie and north to Georgian Bay. Most of it is also part of the Quebec City – Windsor Corridor. With a population of 8.1 million people, it makes up slightly over a quarter (25.6%) of the population of Canada and contains approximately 75% of Ontario's population,[1] making it one of the largest population concentrations in North America. Although it is a geographically named sub-region of Southern Ontario, the Greater Golden Horseshoe is also used today to describe the metropolitan region that stretches across the area in totality including smaller centres outside of the core region.

The core of the region starts from Niagara Falls at the eastern end of the Niagara Peninsula and extends west, wrapping around the western end of Lake Ontario at Hamilton and then turning northeast to its anchor city Toronto (on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario), before finally terminating at Oshawa, just east of Toronto. The wider region spreads inland in all directions away from the Lake Ontario shoreline, southwest to Brantford, west to the Kitchener-Waterloo area, north to Barrie, and northeast to Peterborough. The whole region's area covers approximately 33,500 km2 (13,000 sq mi), out of this, 7,300 km2 (2,800 sq mi) is covered by the Greenbelt.

The phrase, "Golden Horseshoe," was first used by Westinghouse president Herbert H. Rogge in a speech to the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, on January 12, 1954:

Hamilton in 50 years will be the forward cleat in a 'golden horseshoe' of industrial development from Oshawa to the Niagara River...150 miles long and 50 miles (80 km) wide...It will run from Niagara Falls on the south to about Oshawa on the north and take in numerous cities and towns already there, including Hamilton and Toronto.[2]

The speech writer who actually penned the phrase was Charles Hunter MacBain, executive assistant to five Westinghouse presidents including Rogge.[citation needed]



Golden Horseshoe was used as a geographical distinction since the 1950s, but it was only on July 13, 2004 that a report from the provincial Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal entitled Places to Grow coined the term Greater Golden Horseshoe, extending the boundaries west to Waterloo Region, north to Barrie, and northeast to Peterborough.[3] A subsequent edition released February 16, 2005, broadened the term further, adding Brant, Haldimand and Northumberland Counties. Statistics Canada defined the region first in its 2001 census as the Extended Golden Horseshoe, combining many Census Metropolitan Areas. The Greater Golden Horseshoe is officially designated in Ontario Regulation 416/905[4] under the Places to Grow Act.


The population of the Greater Golden Horseshoe is 8.1 million residents as of the 2006 census.[1]

The region is projected to grow to 11.5 million people by 2031.[5] The definition of the Golden Horseshoe as an agglomerated urban area, that is combining Census Metropolitan Areas is similar to how population counts are tabulated for Combined Statistical Area which are used in the United States to combine more than one metropolitan area, defined as an MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area), into a larger overall urbanized area. These metropolitan areas are intrinsically linked through inter-dependence of services, trade, transportation corridors, close proximity and other factors, in this context they can also be viewed as a single region. In terms of population, the Greater Horseshoe is the 6th most populous greater urbanized area in North America, just behind the Baltimore-Washington-Northern Virginia CSA.


The economy of this region is very diverse. Toronto's stock exchange is the third largest on the continent by market capitalization (after the NYSE and NASDAQ), and seventh largest in the world.[6] Recently, five major office-dominated skyscrapers have been planned in its financial district (to go along with hundreds of condominiums).

Niagara Falls has one of the world's largest per-capita tourist economies, benefiting from millions of tourists coming to see its majestic waterfalls and shop in its numerous stores. The wine making and fruit growing industries of the Niagara Peninsula produce award-winning wines which are beginning to attract attention around the world, in particular the ice wine for which the region is known.

Cities such as Hamilton, Oshawa, Oakville, Whitby and Kitchener all contain major large-scale industrial production facilities, Hamilton being steel-dominated and Oshawa being much more car-oriented. Other significant auto-production facilities also exist in Brampton, St. Catharines, Cambridge and Alliston. Hamilton and Toronto also have two of the largest seaports in Lake Ontario. The Welland Canal system handles tanker ship and recreational traffic through the Great Lakes. Large rail and truck distribution facilities are located in Toronto, Vaughan and Brampton. As of 2008, however, the manufacturing sector of this region has begun to experience a significant decline in as a result of unfavourable currency exchange rates, high energy costs, and reduced demand from the United States.


The "horseshoe" part of the region's name is derived from the characteristic horseshoe shape of the west end of Lake Ontario with Burlington roughly positioned in the centre. The "golden" part is historically attributed to the region's wealth and prosperity, according to the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. (An alternative explanation often quoted attributes it to its bright, or "golden", appearance from space, as a result of a continuous urban stretch of nighttime lights; however, the name predates satellite imagery.)


Toronto is a world city, known for its performing arts and night life. Downtown Toronto is one of the largest downtowns in North America. The city is pedestrian friendly and has one of the lowest crime rates in Canada.[7]

Toronto's Yorkville is an example of a world-class shopping district in the city. The city also is home to several notable shopping malls such as Yorkdale, The Eaton Centre and Sherway Gardens. Located in the suburbs of Toronto are Vaughan Mills, and Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga, the largest suburban shopping mall in Ontario.

Large annual cultural festivals that draw tourists and local alike include Oktoberfest in Kitchener and Caribana in Toronto. Toronto Pride Week culminates in the Gay Pride parade, which is one of the largest in the world.

The Niagara Region has become one of the major wine-production areas in Canada. The Golden Horseshoe contains many small towns with tourist-jammed, historic main streets, most notably the community of Niagara-on-the-Lake, located at the mouth of the Niagara River. Niagara Falls is one of the world's largest waterfalls, and attracts millions to Clifton Hill, a neighbourhood featuring hundreds of souvenir stores, restaurants and skyline-changing hotels. Casinos here are also a huge draw.

The Niagara Escarpment, a world biosphere as designated by the United Nations, runs north and then east through the region cutting the Niagara Gorge at Niagara Falls. The Bruce Trail runs along the escarpment through mostly protected woodlands. Similar protection of some wooded areas exists on the Oak Ridges Moraine running west-east in the north end of the Greater Toronto Area, although development pressures continue to threaten habitat.

Hamilton has the historical reputation of being a blue-collar city; however, waterfront redevelopments and large-scale gentrification have been rapidly changing the perception of the city, although it retains a dominant industrial base. Barrie and Peterborough are situated close to scenic lakes, rivers and hills in the northern reaches of the Golden Horseshoe, where all-year around recreation contributes to the local economies, in addition to being major service centres.


The University of Toronto's Convocation Hall
McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario is known for its strong health and engineering programs, and promotes itself as the "most innovative" university in Canada.[8]

This region is home to several universities, many of which are well known and respected throughout the world, including Brock University, McMaster University (ranked 4th in Canada by the Academic Ranking of World Universities), the University of Toronto (ranked 1st in Canada by the Academic Ranking of World Universities), University of Guelph, University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, Trent University, York University, the Ontario College of Art & Design, Georgian College, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, and Ryerson University.The University of Toronto has three campuses: one in Downtown Toronto, one in Scarborough, and one in Mississauga. Numerous other universities and colleges can be found in the region.

There is also a strong integration between the universities and hospitals in the area, particularly in Toronto and Hamilton, which have an extensive medical research core.


The Golden Horseshoe is served by an extensive network of expressways, the backbone of which is Highway 401, one of the widest and busiest expressways in the world. Regional transit is provided by GO Transit trains and buses, and by private bus operators Greyhound and Coach Canada. Local transit is provided by municipal agencies, the largest of which is the Toronto Transit Commission, which operates 4 rapid transit lines and an extensive bus and streetcar network.

The primary airport of the region is Toronto Pearson International Airport (Lester B. Pearson International Airport), located in Mississauga, which is the busiest in Canada, handling approximately 32.3 million passengers in 2008, and offering non-stop flights to Europe, the United States, Asia, the Americas, Oceania, and other regions within Canada. Other regional airports of significance include John C. Munro International Airport south of Hamilton, which is a major regional freight and courier location; Buttonville Airport and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport in the Greater Toronto Area, both of which mostly serve regional business travellers; and Region of Waterloo International Airport just east of Kitchener, serving the Region of Waterloo. On the U.S. side, Buffalo-Niagara International Airport is second largest in passenger volume in the region to Pearson Airport, serving 5.5 million passengers in 2008 and is frequently used by Canadian passengers flying to American destinations.



Census Metropolitan Areas

CMAs in the Greater Golden Horseshoe with over 100,000 in population are:[9]

  1. Toronto CMA 5,113,149
  2. Hamilton CMA 692,911
  3. Kitchener-Waterloo CMA 451,235
  4. St. Catharines-Niagara CMA 390,317
  5. Oshawa CMA 330,594
  6. Barrie CMA 177,061
  7. Guelph CMA 127,009
  8. Brantford CMA 124,607
  9. Peterborough CMA 116,570



Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

North America : Canada : Ontario : Golden Horseshoe

The Golden Horseshoe is a region in Ontario around Toronto along Lake Ontario.

  • Shaw Theatre, Niagara on the Lake, 1-800-511-7429, [1]. Named after playwright George Bernard Shaw, this theater festival runs from April to November and features plays by Shaw, playwrights who lived during Shaw's lifetime, or plays about his era (1856-1950). Three main theaters comprise the festival venues, and all are located within walking distance of downtown.
  • Horseshoe Falls and American Falls, Niagara Falls. Most visitors' first view of the Falls, from the Canadian side of the river, is at Queen Victoria Park, [2] along the Niagara Falls Parkway. Some other ways to enjoy viewing the falls are:
    • Maid of the Mist, 5920 Niagara Parkway (near foot of Clifton Hill), [3]. A boat that takes tourists to the foot of the falls, where they can better appreciate their thunder and spray. Runs April-October.
    • Journey Behind the Falls, 6650 Niagara Parkway (Table Rock Center), [4]. Open year-round except December 25.
    • White Water Walk, 4330 Niagara Parkway, [5]. A 1,000 foot (305 m) boardwalk beside the rapids. Open seasonally.
  • CN Tower, 301 Front Street West, Toronto, 416-868-6937 [6]. The tallest free standing structure in North America. You can ride a glass elevator to the top where the view is incredible and there is a glass floor. There is also a revolving restaurant which offers spectacular views as the sun sets over the city.
  • Whirlpool Jet Boats, 61 Melville Street, Niagara on the Lake, 1-888-438-4444, [7] Powerful Jet-boats speed upriver, making their way into the breathtaking stonewalled canyon that is the Niagara Gorge. The anticipation builds as the boats splash into the whitewater of Devil's Hole Rapids. April - October.
  • Fallsview Casino, 6380 Fallsview Boulevard, Niagara Falls, 1 888 FALLSVU (toll-free), [8]. A splendid new Vegas-style Casino.
  • Canada's Wonderland, 9580 Jane Street, Vaughan (Toronto Area), 905-832-8131, [9]. A big theme park located in Vaughan, 30 kilometers north of downtown Toronto. It is considered one of North America's premier amusement parks, with more than 200 attractions. The park is open seasonally from May to October.
  • Ontario Science Centre, 770 Don Mills Road, Toronto, 1-888-696-1110, [10]. Lots of hands on science exhibits, including a rainforest, a tornado machine, sound proof tunnel, balance testing machines, and more. It also contains Ontario's only Omnimax (full wrap around) movie theatre.
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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Wikipedia has an article on:


Ontario's Golden Horseshoe


Reportedly coined by Westinghouse President Herbert H. Rogge, in a speech to the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce on 12 Jan. 1954.

Proper noun

Golden Horseshoe

  1. (Canadian) Nickname for the U-shaped area of the Canadian province of Ontario which extends along the northwestern, western, and southwestern shoreline of Lake Ontario from metropolitan Toronto to the Niagara River, comprising one of Canada's most populated and economically productive regions.
    • 1960, "‘An Ongoing Process’," Time, 22 Feb.:
      The big success story in Canada this year is the tale of the 120-mile rim of rolling land that hugs the western shore of Lake Ontario from Oshawa to Niagara Falls. One out of every seven Canadians now lives there. . . . They proudly call the area "the Golden Horseshoe."
    • 2007, "Editorial: Immigration targets go beyond numbers," Toronto Star, 18 May (retrieved 8 Sep. 2008):
      Half of those new immigrants came to Ontario. . . . Once here, most of them settled in the Golden Horseshoe area, now home to 8.1 million people, or one-quarter of all Canadians.


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