Toronto is the most populous city in Canada, and the capital of the province of Ontario. In 2011, Toronto had a population of 2,615,060, making it the fourth most populous city in North America, after Mexico City, New York City, and Los Angeles. The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is the most populous metropolitan area in Canada with 5,583,064 people living in the census metropolitan area as of 2011. Classified as an alpha global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, Toronto is a leading international centre of business, finance, arts, and culture.
Lawrence Richards, a member of the faculty of architecture at the University of Toronto, has said "Toronto is a new, brash, rag-tag place—a big mix of periods and styles." Toronto buildings vary in design and age with many structures dating back to the mid-19th century, while other prominent buildings were just newly built in the first decade of the 21st century. Bay-and-gable houses, mainly found in Old Toronto, are a distinct architectural feature of the city. Defining the Toronto skyline is the CN Tower, a telecommunications and tourism hub. Completed in 1976 at a height of 553.33 metres (1,815 ft 5 in), it was the world's tallest freestanding structure until 2007 when it was surpassed by Burj Khalifa.