Now that we know our 2013 conference agenda, with Toronto coming up in June and Dublin just announced for October, we thought it would be nice to get a snapshot overview of our two host cities.

When was it founded?

  • Toronto sits on land purchased by the British from the Mississauga tribe in 1787, although the original city on this spot was called York. In 1834, the city was renamed Toronto and incorporated.
  • Dublin’s roots date back to the 9th century when the Vikings first established a settlement here, and it’s been Ireland’s main city since the 12th century. For a little while in the 18th century, Dublin was one of the largest cities in Europe.

Downtown Toronto

What’s the population?

  • The population of the city of Toronto is just over 2.6 million, according to the 2011 Census. The whole urban area is more than 5.1 million.
  • The population of the city of Dublin is a little more than 525,000, according to the 2011 Census. The whole urban area is more than 1.1 million.

What are the local languages?

  • English is the dominant language in Toronto, but you’ll also hear French (Canada’s second official language), as well as Chinese and Italian (owing to their large populations in the city).
  • English is spoken and understood widely in Dublin, but you’ll also hear plenty of the Irish language, too – it’s the first official language in Ireland.

Dublin city center

What’s the best airport to use?

  • Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) is Canada’s biggest and busiest airport, and Air Canada’s main hub. Toronto also has a smaller airport, Billy Bishop City Airport (YTZ), with limited passenger flights. It’s actually located on the Toronto Islands right near the city center.
  • Dublin Airport (DUB) is Ireland’s busiest airport and the main hub for Aer Lingus, Ryanair, Aer Arann, and CityJet.

What’s the best way to get around?

  • In Toronto, there’s a subway and RT (rapid transit), as well as a network of buses and streetcars.
  • In Dublin, there’s a light-rail line called Luas, as well as an intricate network of buses.

What do they look like from space?

Weirdly similar, actually.

Fun facts about Toronto & Dublin

  • The name “Toronto” comes from the name “Taronto,” which was the name of a nearby waterway. This was an adaptation of the Mohawk word “tkaronto,” meaning “where there are trees standing in water.” The name “Dublin” comes from “Dubhlinn” in Irish, which means “black pool.”
  • Both cities are on bodies of water – Toronto on Lake Ontario, and Dublin at the mouth of the River Liffey.
  • Both Toronto and Dublin are financial centers for their respective countries.
  • Toronto has long been a publishing powerhouse of a city in Canada, while more recently new media companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Microsoft have established European headquarters or major regional bases in Dublin.
  • One of Toronto’s sister cities is Chicago (site of the first TBEX in 2009), and one of Dublin’s sister cities is Barcelona (in the Catalonia region, host of TBEX Europe in 2012).

Now it’s your turn!

Have you been to Toronto or Dublin? Or both? Tell us what you know – historic trivia, tourist tips, fun facts, or some combination thereof – in the comments below.

Creative Commons photos: Toronto by detsang on Flickr, Dublin by Ian Wilson on Flickr, Toronto satellite photo by NASA, Dublin satellite photo by Cnes – Spot Image