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Civic heraldry of Canada
Province : Ontario
Arms : Or a chief-pale Azure.
Crest: Issuant from a mural crown Or charged with a heart Gules between two roses Argent barbed Vert seeded Or a mound Vert thereon a golden eagle wings raised proper.
Supporters: On a mound Vert rising above barry wavy Azure and Argent and charged with three pales wavy Azure fimbriated Argent dexter a beaver proper gorged with a cord Gules pendant therefrom a hexagon Or charged with an alder leaf Vert sinister a bear proper gorged with a cord Gules pendant therefrom a hexagon Or charged with a columbine flower Azure.
Motto: DIVERSITY OUR STRENGTH
The arms were officially granted on January 11, 1999.
The Toronto coat of arms was designed in 1998 for the newly-amalgamated megacity of Toronto.
The symbolism of the shield itself is obvious, showing a big T, the city’s initial.
The beaver and bear are two of the original inhabitants of the area; the beaver also suggests industry and Canada, while the bear represents strength and a tendency to swallow up one's neighbours. They bear medallions with an alder leaf (representing Etobicoke) and a columbine flower (for Scarborough).
The golden eagle as the crest is meant to symbolise freedom and to honour the Mississauga First Nations (who held the eagle as sacred). The original design (shown below) used a bald eagle for this, but it was changed as it looked too American. The mural crown (beneath the eagle) represents civic authority, bears two white roses (for York and East York, two of the municipalities that were assimilated) and a heart (for North York).
The compartment shows three rivers (the Don, Humber, and Rouge), flowing into a lake (Lake Ontario). The green grass symbolizes the many parks and recreational facilities of which the cty is proud.
The motto signifies the amalgamation of the various cities into the megacity.
The original design was very similar, with the main change being the eagle and the maple leaves on the scroll:
The previous coat of arms:
These arms are red, white, and blue (the colours of the Union Jack), and contain three lions in the first quarter (a reference to the War of 1812, in which the English Royal Banner was flown from Ft. York, although the sovereign wasn't there at the time), a white rose (symbolic of York, after which Toronto used to be named), a cog wheel (for industry), and a lake steamer (Toronto owes much of its importance to its position as a port on Lake Ontario) in the last. In the centre is a maple leaf, symbolising Canada. This shield was supported by a First Nations warrior and by Britannia, and used a beaver as a crest.