Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand and the seat of the Canterbury Region. It is located on the east coast of the South Island, just north of Banks Peninsula on Pegasus Bay. The Avon River flows through the centre of the city, with an urban park along its banks. Christchurch is known for its English heritage and its many parks and gardens. The city was founded in 1850 by the Canterbury Association, which was formed by a group of English settlers. The city's name was chosen in honour of Christ Church, Oxford, the college that many of the settlers had attended. Christchurch was severely damaged by two earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. The earthquakes destroyed many of the city's historic buildings and infrastructure. However, the city has since undergone a major rebuilding effort and is now in the process of rejuvenating its downtown core.