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5 things you need to know about Toronto

The capital of the Great White North is a city that can happily call itself a cosmopolitan utopia. As its vibrant districts are filled to the brim with amazing things to see and do, it stands tall alongside any other global city in the world.

Unlike its southern counterparts like New York, however, the city's many interesting facts aren't as well known. But that's all about to change with our rundown of some great bits of trivia that is sure to make you want to take a detour on your next American road trip.

It's one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world

As a hugely welcoming city, Toronto has the highest rate of immigration per capita in the world. This has resulted in the city being a melting pot of many, many nationalities. Over 12% of which are, in fact, from England and it also houses the largest Italian population outside of Italy. Its sizeable Chinese and Indian populace, too, has helped shaped it into a metropolis with many types of strong communities, each offering unique experiences.

Toronto is one of the most diverse cities in the world

Its islands are car-free

Considered the biggest car-less community in the world, The Toronto Islands are made up of five main pieces of land. Whilst much of the mass is heavily forested, there are many things to do in the area, such as a 1900s-themed amusement park called Centreville, many yacht clubs, a marina a few cafes and restaurants. In the summer, it is also a great place to get away from the business of the city and relax on its beaches.

The Toronto Islands from above

It’s home to the world's oldest wombat

It's the little things that count and the recent 33rd birthday of 'Hamlet' has made him the world's oldest wombat. Based near the Rouge River, Toronto Zoo is home to many a beast, including hyenas, white rhinoceroses and the elusive snow leopard. It is run with an ethos of conserving creatures that are endangered, often culminating in the reemergence of certain animals. This has included black-footed ferrets and polar bears.

Hamlett at 33. Image courtesy of the Toronto Star

Caribana weekend is the place to be

The Caribana weekend, which has been likened to Notting Hill Carnival, is considered to be North America's biggest street festival and is said to attract over a million attendees during its August weekend. It's so popular that Toronto's very own, Drake, puts on a festival every year to celebrate the holiday.  It’s fun, it’s vibrant and it’s only in Toronto.

Carnival girls in their colourful outfits

It has a ridiculously low crime rate

Considering it’s a major built-up city, it has a low, declining crime rate. Because of this, it is known as one the safest places to live on the planet. Compared to other cities of North America, it is significant. For example, 2012 saw 2 murders per 100,000 whereas the reasonably close by Detroit had 54.6. It's little wonder, then, that it was recently voted as the most livable city in the world.

The streets are safer than ever