The town's settlement formed at the eastern end of the harbour behind the peninsula, near the present-day intersection of Parliament Street and Front Street (in the "Old Town" area).
The surrender of the town was negotiated by John Strachan.
In the 19th century, an extensive sewage system was built, and streets became illuminated with gas lighting as a regular service.
Long-distance railway lines were constructed, including a route completed in 1854 linking Toronto with the Upper Great Lakes.
These enabled Toronto to become a major gateway linking the world to the interior of the North American continent.
The sacking of York was a primary motivation for the Burning of Washington by British troops later in the war.
The Grand Trunk Railway and the Northern Railway of Canada joined in the building of the first Union Station in downtown.
The advent of the railway dramatically increased the numbers of immigrants arriving, commerce and industry, as had the Lake Ontario steamers and schooners entering port before.
Smaller numbers of Protestant Irish immigrants were welcomed by the existing Scottish and English population, giving the Orange Order significant and long-lasting influence over Toronto society.
For brief periods Toronto was twice the capital of the united Province of Canada: first from 1849 to 1852, following unrest in Montreal, and later 1856–1858, after which Quebec became the capital until 1866 (one year before Canadian Confederation).