Toronto was formerly inhabited by the Iroquois people, and the name Toronto comes from the Iroquois word tkaranto, meaning "Place Where Trees Stand in the Water." The Iroquois founded major villages here in the 1660's. In 1793, John Graves Simcoe established the town that is now Toronto, then called York.
People Born in Toronto
Toronto in People's Lives
Javier Hernandez: I played a futball game here for the Mexican national team against Gambia in the 2007 FIFA World Cup. We won at 3-0, and I was the highest goal-scorer in the game.
John Graves Simcoe: I founded this city in 1793, and lived here until health problems compelled me to return to England in 1796.
Kendall Jenner: I traveled here with my sister Kylie in June of 2014 to host the Much Music Video Awards, where I wore a risque dress that drew quite a lot of attention.
Kenneth Oppel: I moved away from my family to this city in 1985, to attend the University of Toronto. I was a good student, and did a double major in English and Cinema Studies. During my senior year, I wrote a children's novel called The Live-Forever Machine for a creative writing course, my second novel. At college, I met a girl named Philippa, a fellow writer, who I fell in love with. I graduated in 1989, and got married to Philippa in 1990, at the age of 23. We agreed to move to Oxford, England for my wife's doctorate, and so I left Canada in 1990. Philippa and I returned over a decade later, in approximately 2003. I was now a bestselling author, and we decided to settle here and raise our three children. I continue to live here and devote myself to writing.
Liam Hemsworth: I traveled here to film scenes of the movie Empire State in 2012.
Liam Neeson: I traveled here in 1986 to film the movie Suspect. I returned in 1987 to film scenes of The Good Mother. I returned again in 2008 to film the movie Chloe, in various parts of the city. While filming this movie, I tragically got the news that my wife Natasha Richardson had passed away, and left filming.
Margaret Atwood: This is the central city of the story of my life. I lived here on and off during my early childhood, beginning around 1940. Until about 1947, our family moved in a sort of rotation between this city, Ottawa (where I was born), and Sault Saint Marie. As a result of our moving around so much, I did not attend any school regularly until I was 8 years old, in 1947, when our family settled with more stability here. I grew up a voracious reader and a fledgling writer. By the age of 16, I had decided without doubt that writing professionally was what I wanted to do with my life. I attended high school in the Leaside area of this city and graduated in 1957. At the age of 18 in 1957, I began attending the University of Toronto, and wrote poems and articles for the Acta Victoria, the college's literary journal. I graduated in 1961 with an honors Bachelor of Arts in English, and a minor in philosophy and French. I was granted a Woodrow Wilson scholarship in 1961 to attend Harvard's Radcliffe College for Women, and began winning awards for my writing, and moved to attend the school in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I returned to this city in 1964, but frequently traveled for months at a time to other cities to teach as a temporary professor at eminent Canadian universities. From 1971 - 1972, I was such a professor at York University here.
Max Aitken, Lord Beaverbrook: As one of the most powerful Canadian businessmen of all time, I was often in this city for various reasons. One of my first distinct experiences in this city, however, was to visit the deathbed of my friend and mentor, a member of the powerful Stairs family, who had fallen gravely ill unexpectedly, in September of 1904. Stairs had been a mentor to me and given me opportunities and advice, starting me on the path to success. He had also trusted and valued me enough to leave in his will all of his shares of his latest investment firm, as well as the job of commanding it - though I did not know that at the time. I was by his side when he passed away.
Miley Cyrus: My family moved here in 2001, when I was 8 years old, so that my father, Billy Ray Cyrus, could film a TV series. This cold, metropolitan city was a lot different from the huge 500 acre farm that I had grown up on just outside Nashville. I began to become interesting in acting, and when my father took me to see a production of Mamma Mia! at the Royal Albert Theater in this city, I excitedly grabbed his arm and said "That's what I want to do, daddy! I want to be an actress!" At eight years old, I started acting and singing classes at a local studio. My first acting role was a small part in my dad's tv show, Doc.
Natalie Portman: I traveled here in 2006 to film the movie Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium.
Ralph Fiennes: I traveled here in 2001 to film scenes of the movie Spider.
Sarah Gadon: I was born here in 1987, the daughter of a psychologist and a teacher. As a child, I focused on dancing, getting into the prestigious National Ballet School of Canada here in this city. I also took up theater and acting, and I landed my first real acting job at the age of 10. Most of my early acting jobs were filmed here. I was always an exceptional student, and was named Ontario Scholar in high school. I attended the University of Toronto, majoring in Cinema Studies, from 2007 - 2011.
Shenae Grimes: I was born here in 1989, and grew up here.
Sienna Miller: I traveled here in 2005 to film scenes of the movie Factory Girl.
Tatiana Maslany: I moved away from my hometown in 2005, at the age of 20, to pursue an acting career. I landed many of my first roles as an actress here.
Taylor Lautner: I traveled here in 2004 to film scenes for Cheaper by the Dozen 2.
Viggo Mortensen: I traveled here in 2004 to film scenes for the film A History of Violence.
Ziyi Zhang: I traveled here to accept an award from the Toronto Film Critic's Association in 2000, for my role in Crouching Tiger, HIdden Dragon.