toronto australia

The tourist's guide to 5 alternative Torontos

Toronto, Ont. getting you down? Why not seek out a new Toronto, one on the shore of a saltwater lake in the near the Pacific Ocean, maybe. Or perhaps another amid gently rolling verdant countryside in the north of England. If not, there are plenty of small towns in the United States (emphasis on small) using the Toronto name.

It's safe to say every other Toronto in the world is named for our Toronto. This city derives its name from a Mohawk word used to describe an area where trees grow in shallow water, anglicized variously as: "Tkaronto," "Taronto," and "Taranteau" before the current spelling was decided in the 1830s.

Here are 5 other Torontos of varying quality for your next trip.

toronto australia

Toronto, New South Wales, Australia
Australia's version of Toronto is by far the most exotic location on this list. Located on beautiful Lake Macquarie, the largest saltwater lake in the southern hemisphere, the town of about 5,000 people is roughly 150 kms north of Sydney. The town acquired was named in honour of champion rower Ned Hanlan (think Hanlan's Point,) who visited the area in 1884. The main attraction in Toronto, NSW is the annual Classic Boat Fest.

Toronto, County Durham, England
Just down the A689 from Bishop Aukland lies England's version of Ontario's capital city. It's almost entirely residential, save for a couple of small churches, and it appears most of the town's appeal is in its picturesque location close to the River Wear. An anecdote on the town's Wikipedia page claims the town got its name when a landowner, visiting our Toronto, was sent word coal had been found beneath the town. Toronto, Kansas makes the same claim. Other towns nearby: Quebec, Philadelphia, Deaf Hill, No Place, and Pity Me.

Toronto, Kansas, USA
One might call Toronto, Kansas cute if it wasn't so run down. Main St. is populated by a seniors centre, post office, liquor store, cafe, library, and restaurant, but there are many more vacant lots and shuttered stores. Artificial Toronto Lake and the exotic sounding "Toronto Point Public Use Area" lie just to the south. The bright lights of Wichita are only an hour and a half away.

toronto ohio

Toronto, Ohio, USA
The Gem City is about an hour outside Pittsburgh on the west bank of the Ohio River. It's a small community of about 5,000 people (challenging Toronto, Australia for second city status) with its own police force, fire department, high school, and, until it closed, its own National Bank of Toronto. As Sean Marshall reports at Spacing, the town was given its name by a local businessman born in Toronto, Ont. He said our city "a place worth emulating."

Toronto, South Dakota, USA
If Toronto, Kansas sounds too exotic, there's always Toronto, South Dakota, which is truly in the middle of nowhere. The skyline is populated by a water tower and several impressive grain silos, and not much else. There are lots and lots of fields. At last count, the population was 213, up from 202 in 2000. Toronto, South Dakota is also 93 percent white.

Bonus: The Toronto space
"In mathematics, in the realm of point-set topology, a Toronto space is a topological space that is homeomorphic to every proper subspace of the same cardinality." Bonus points for understanding any part of that sentence.

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: Chris Bateman/blogTO; Jon Dawson/Flickr; Wikimedia Commons.

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