The former region of Tondo is over eleven hundred years old. Historically, Tondo already existed in the year 900 AD according to the Laguna Copperplate Inscription, a legal document written in Kawi now housed in the National Museum of the Philippines. According to this document, Tondo was ruled by person called Jayadeva who holds the Sanskrit title of senapati or the equivalent of an admiral. The Kingdom of Tondo also extended all the way to the modern-day province of Bulacan particularly around Lihan (Malolos) and Gatbuca (Calumpit).
After the Spaniards conquered Tundun in January of 1571 they established the Province of Tondo with the city of Manila as its center, the province covered much territories in Northern Luzon particularly Pampanga, Bulacan and Rizal (formerly called Morong) In census conducted by Miguel de Loarca in 1583 Tondo was reported to have spoken the same language as the natives of the province of Pampanga. Institute of National Language commissioner Jose Villa Panganiban also wrote that the dividing line between Kapampangan and Tagalog was the Pasig River, and that Tondo therefore originally spoke Kapampangan. although Fray Isacio Rodriquez's Historia dela Provincia del Santisimo Nombre de Jesus de Filipinas stated that Provincia de Tagalos which is Tondo covers all the territories of the future Archdiocese of Manila. Prior to the establishment of the Province of Bulacan in 1578 Malolos and Calumpit were also included in the territory of Tondo as its visitas. In 1800, the Province of Tondo was renamed to Province of Manila.
Tondo was one of the first provinces to declare rebellion against Spain in year 1896. In 1911, under the American colonial regime, there was a major reorganization of political divisions, and the province of Tondo was dissolved, and its towns given to the provinces of Rizal and Bulacan. Today, Tondo just exists as a district in the City of Manila.
West of the district lies the major inter-island port of Manila, North Harbor, and the Manila Container Port.
The slaughterhouse (matadero) of the Manila City Government is located also at Vitas Street.
Every third Sunday of January, the Feast of the Sto. Niño of Manila (the Infant Jesus) is celebrated by a procession early in the morning from Tondo Church and winding down its narrow streets punctuated by fireworks.
On the third Sunday of January, the Sto. Niño festivals began in various parts of the country, particularly in Tondo, Manila. Its parish priest Fr. Enrique Santos, of the Sto. Niño Parish, said the celebrations of 2008 started "with the traditional procession of devotees dancing on the street while carrying images of the Child Jesus; a pagoda carrying an old image of Sto. Niño from Spain will lead the parade with 20 smaller boats accompanying it; the parish in Tondo houses the image of Sto. Niño made of ivory that was brought to the country by Augustinian priests from Acapulco, Mexico in the late 1570s."