The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is the largest metropolitan area in Canada, with a 2011 census population of over 6 million. The Greater Toronto Area is usually defined as the central city of Toronto, along with four regional municipalities surrounding it: Durham, Halton, Peel, and York.[2] The area is at the centre of the Golden Horseshoe urban agglomeration, which contains approximately one-fourth of the population of Canada.

Economically, the Greater Toronto Area is responsible for generating one-fifth of the gross domestic product of Canada and home to nearly 40 per cent of Canadian corporate headquarters. The region’s GDP is higher than the province of Quebec, being worth $323 billion , and is comparable to the GDP’s of Greece and Thailand. While Toronto remains central to the largest of the business centres, including the five largest banks of Canada, cities and towns outside of Toronto have increasingly become home to several industries. Some sectors also based outside of Toronto in the Greater Toronto Area include automotive manufacturing, wholesale and retail, software production, information technology, telecommunications, sports, education, agriculture, mining, construction, and engineering. The backbone of transportation in the area is Highway 401, the busiest roadway in North America and among the busiest in the world. The area is also home to five public research universities and six community colleges.

The Greater Toronto Area is different from the Census Metropolitan Area of Toronto, which covers a smaller region. As of early 21st century, the regional span of the Greater Toronto Area has been extended to include the city of Hamilton, Ontario and its surrounding region, to form the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, an urban area which has a total population ranked among the top 50 in the world.

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