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Toronto celebrates 190th birthday with party in Nathan Phillips Square

From ‘Hogtown’ to ‘The Big Smoke’ and ‘The 6ix’ — Toronto’s gone through a lot of nicknames, and a lot of changes, throughout its history.

This week, the city is celebrating its 190th birthday. 

“Our city is so unique, and to me its the best city in the world,” said Micayla Doria, CEO of the non-profit Celebrate Toronto.

“This celebration is all about instilling that community spirit in everyone who visits Toronto or lives in Toronto.”

On Saturday, Nathan Phillips Square will be transformed into a big birthday party. It’s being put on by Celebrate Toronto, and there will be over 100 vendors, fireworks and performances.

Doria says it started as a small art show 10 years ago and has since grown into a massive annual event.

“You get to learn so many things about the city in one place,” she said. “You get to meet entertainers and support small businesses.”

Morgan Cameron Ross, founder of Old Toronto Series, is passionate about sharing the history of people and places in the city.

“Celebrating Toronto’s 190th year from becoming Toronto rather than its prior York is an opportunity to think back on the history of our city,” he said.

“I am so proud to live in a city where my children are raised around so many different cultures.”

When it was incorporated as a city in 1834, Toronto’s population was around 9,000 — now it’s over three million.
Toronto was the first incorporated city in Ontario.

Mayor Olivia Chow posted about the milestone this week — acknowledging the city’s Indigenous history.

Doria says while Celebrate Toronto’s upcoming event is focused on this anniversary, the goal is to honour the city’s people, and the shared journey that lies ahead, all year long.

The event runs from 3 p.m. until 10 p.m. in Nathan Phillips Square Saturday and is free to attend.

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