Toronto is the most populous city in Canada and the provincial capital of Ontario. It is located on the north-western shore of Lake Ontario. Toronto, with a population of 2.6 million, is at the heart of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) which contains 6.2 million people. The city is the anchor of the Golden Horseshoe region, which wraps around Lake Ontario from Toronto to Niagara Falls and totals over 8.5 million residents, approximately a quarter of Canada's entire population. Toronto is the fifth largest city and fifth largest urban agglomeration in North America.
Toronto's climate is on the whole on the cool side and variable conditions can be expected, temperatures average -3.8°C (25°F) in January downtown, however the type of extreme cold experienced in parts of Canada further north do not hold a tight grip for usually more than a couple of days at a time, despite this come prepared, winters are still cold, mostly cloudy and at times, snowy and uncomfortably windy. The city experiences warm and humid summers with an average high of 27°C (80°F) and a low of 18°C (65°F) in July/August with many muggy evenings but rarely extreme heat, historically with an average of only 12 days where the temperature exceeds 30°C (86°F) however this number has doubled over the past 12 years. Hotter air masses often arrive with moderately high humidity levels but are typically short lived. Late spring/early summer and early fall are generally considered to be the best times to visit for weather, with comfortably cool nights and less crowds, mid-summer is the peak tourist season, but visitors will find that Toronto's vibrancy extends through the winter with outdoor ice-rinks and bundled up club-goers, etc. Toronto's public buildings are nearly all air-conditioned and fully heated.
Toronto is remarkably safe and the streets are vibrant with pedestrians and bicyclists, even at night in most neighbourhoods. If you use common sense, you should have no trouble at all.
The overall violent crime rate in Canada, and particularly in Toronto, is much lower than that found in major cities in the United States. Petty crime is generally not a problem in Toronto, but as always is the case, keep vigilant with your possessions. Car and bike theft are comparable to other large North American cities.