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("Loyal she began, loyal she remains") , Label_map = yes , image_map = Ontario in Canada 2.svg , map_alt = Map showing Ontario's location east/central of Canada. , coordinates = , capital =
Toronto Toronto (, ) is the capital city of the Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 2016 in 2016, it is the most populous city in Canada and the fourth most populous city in North America. The city is the anch ...

Toronto
, largest_city =
Toronto Toronto (, ) is the capital city of the Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 2016 in 2016, it is the most populous city in Canada and the fourth most populous city in North America. The city is the anch ...

Toronto
, largest_metro =
Greater Toronto Area The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is the List of census metropolitan areas and agglomerations in Canada, most populous metropolitan area in Canada. It includes the Toronto, City of Toronto and the regional municipality, regional municipalities of Re ...
, official_lang =
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
, government_type = , governing_body =
Government of Ontario The Government of Ontario (french: Gouvernement de l'Ontario), formally ''Her Majesty's Government of Ontario'', is the body responsible for the administration of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Ontario. A constitutio ...
, ViceroyType = Lieutenant Governor , Viceroy =
Elizabeth Dowdeswell Violet Elizabeth Dowdeswell (née Patton, born November 9, 1944) is a Canadian bureaucrat currently serving as the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the 29th since Canadian Confederation. She is the viceregal representative of the Queen in Ri ...
, Premier =
Doug Ford Douglas Robert Ford Jr. (; born November 20, 1964) is a Canadian businessman and politician who has served as the 26th and current premier of Ontario since June 2018 and leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, Progressive Co ...
, PremierParty = PC , Legislature = Legislative Assembly of Ontario , HouseSeats = 121 , SenateSeats = 24 , AdmittanceDate = July 1, 1867 , AdmittanceOrder = 1st, with
New Brunswick ("Hope restored") , image_map = New Brunswick in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , capital = Fredericton Fredericton (; ) is the capital of the Provinces and territor ...

New Brunswick
,
Nova Scotia ) , image_map = Nova Scotia in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English (''de facto'') , RegionalLang = French, Scots Gaelic , capital ...

Nova Scotia
,
Quebec ) , image_shield=Armoiries du Québec.svg , image_flag=Flag of Quebec.svg , coordinates= , AdmittanceDate=July 1, 1867 , AdmittanceOrder=1st, with New Brunswick ("Hope restored") , image_map = New Brunswick in Canada 2.svg , ...

Quebec
, area_footnotes = , area_rank = 4th , area_total_km2 = 1076395 , area_land_km2 = 917741 , area_water_km2 = 158654 , population_demonym = Ontarian , population_rank = 1st , population_as_of =
2016 2016 was designated as: * by the . * International Year of Global Understanding (IYGU) by the International Council for Science (ICSU), the International Social Science Council (ISSC), and the International Council for Philosophy and Human Sc ...
, population_total = 13448494 , population_ref = , population_est = 14915270 , pop_est_as_of = Q4 2021 , pop_est_ref = , GDP_rank = 1st , GDP_year = 2015 , GDP_total = CA$763.276 billion , GDP_per_capita_rank = 7th , GDP_per_capita = CA$59,879 , HDI_year = 2019 , HDI = 0.937Very high , HDI_rank = 3rd , timezone_link = Time in Canada , timezone1_location = East of 90th meridian west , timezone1 = EST , utc_offset1 = -05:00 , timezone1_DST = EDT , utc_offset1_DST = -04:00 , timezone2_location = West of 90th meridian west, except
Atikokan Atikokan (Ojibwe The Ojibwe, Ojibwa, Chippewa, or Saulteaux are an Anishinaabe people in what is currently southern Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinc ...
and
Pickle Lake Pickle Lake is a township ''Township'' refers to various kinds of settlements or administrative subdivisions in different countries. While a ''township'' may be associated with an urban area, this tends to be an exception to the rule. In Austral ...
, timezone2 =
CST CST or Cst may refer to: Time zones * Central Standard Time, North America's Central Time Zone: UTC−06:00 * China Standard Time: UTC+08:00 * Cuba Standard Time: UTC−04:00 Government and politics * Canada Social Transfer, an equalization pay ...
, utc_offset2 = -06:00 , timezone2_DST = CDT , utc_offset2_DST = -05:00 , timezone3_location =
Atikokan Atikokan (Ojibwe The Ojibwe, Ojibwa, Chippewa, or Saulteaux are an Anishinaabe people in what is currently southern Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinc ...
and
Pickle Lake Pickle Lake is a township ''Township'' refers to various kinds of settlements or administrative subdivisions in different countries. While a ''township'' may be associated with an urban area, this tends to be an exception to the rule. In Austral ...
(No DST) , timezone3 = EST , utc_offset3 = -05:00 , timezone3_DST = , utc_offset3_DST = , PostalAbbreviation = ON , PostalCodePrefix = K L M N P , iso_code = CA-ON , website = www.ontario.ca , flower =
White trillium ''Trillium grandiflorum'' (common name Common may refer to: Places * Common, a townland in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland * Boston Common Boston Common (also known as the Common) is a central public park in downtown Boston, Massachusetts ...

White trillium
, tree =
Eastern white pine ''Pinus strobus'', commonly denominated the eastern white pine, northern white pine, white pine, Weymouth pine (British), and soft pine is a large pine A pine is any Pinophyta, conifer in the genus ''Pinus'' () of the family (biology), family ...

Eastern white pine
, bird =
Common loon The common loon or great northern diver (''Gavia immer'') is a large member of the loon, or diver, family (biology), family of birds. Reproduction, Breeding adults have a plumage that includes a broad black head and neck with a greenish, purplis ...

Common loon
Ontario ( ; ) is one of the thirteen
provinces and territories of Canada The provinces and territories of Canada () are sub-national divisions within the geographical areas of Canada under the jurisdiction of the Constitution of Canada, Canadian Constitution. In the 1867 Canadian Confederation, three provinces of Br ...
.Ontario is located in the geographic , but it has historically and politically been considered to be part of
Central Canada Central Canada (french: Centre du Canada, sometimes the Central provinces) is a region consisting of Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of . Its extend from the to the and northward into the , covering , making it the wo ...

Central Canada
.
Located in
Central Canada Central Canada (french: Centre du Canada, sometimes the Central provinces) is a region consisting of Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of . Its extend from the to the and northward into the , covering , making it the wo ...

Central Canada
, it is Canada's most populous province, with 38.3 percent of the country's population, and is the second-largest province by total area (after
Quebec ) , image_shield=Armoiries du Québec.svg , image_flag=Flag of Quebec.svg , coordinates= , AdmittanceDate=July 1, 1867 , AdmittanceOrder=1st, with New Brunswick ("Hope restored") , image_map = New Brunswick in Canada 2.svg , ...

Quebec
). Ontario is Canada's fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the
Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories (commonly abbreviated as NT or NWT; french: Territoires du Nord-Ouest) is a federal territory A territory is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subd ...

Northwest Territories
and
Nunavut Nunavut ( ) ( iu, ᓄᓇᕗᑦ) is the newest, largest, and northernmost territory of Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories exten ...
are included. It is home to the nation's
capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a Department (country subdivision), department, country, Constituent state, state, province, or other administrative region, usually as its seat of the government. A capita ...
,
Ottawa Ottawa (, ; Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many (or all) of these connections exist and are ...

Ottawa
, and the nation's most populous city,
Toronto Toronto (, ) is the capital city of the Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 2016 in 2016, it is the most populous city in Canada and the fourth most populous city in North America. The city is the anch ...

Toronto
, which is also Ontario's provincial capital. Ontario is bordered by the province of
Manitoba Manitoba ( ) is a Provinces and territories of Canada, province of Canada at the Centre of Canada, longitudinal centre of the country. It is Canada's Population of Canada by province and territory, fifth-most populous province, with a population o ...

Manitoba
to the west,
Hudson Bay Hudson Bay ( iu, text=ᑲᖏᖅᓱᐊᓗᒃ ᐃᓗᐊ, translit=Kangiqsualuk ilua or iu, text=ᑕᓯᐅᔭᕐᔪᐊᖅ, translit=Tasiujarjuaq; french: baie d'Hudson), sometimes called Hudson's Bay (usually historically), is a large body of sal ...
and
James Bay James Bay (french: Baie James, cr, ᐐᓂᐯᒄ Wînipekw meaning ''Dirty Water'') is a large body of water located on the southern end of Hudson Bay in Canada. Both bodies of water extend from the Arctic Ocean, of which James Bay is the southe ...
to the north, and Quebec to the east and northeast, and to the south by the
U.S. state In the , a state is a , of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a , each state holds al jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory where it shares its with the . Due to this shared sovereignty, are both of t ...
s of (from west to east)
Minnesota Minnesota () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Minnesota
,
Michigan Michigan () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Michigan
,
Ohio Ohio () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Co ...

Ohio
,
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania ( , elsewhere ; pdc, Pennsilfaani), officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic basi ...

Pennsylvania
, and
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * New ...
. Almost all of Ontario's border with the United States follows inland waterways: from the westerly
Lake of the Woods Lake of the Woods (french: lac des Bois) is a lake occupying parts of the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba and the U.S. state of Minnesota. It separates a small land area of Minnesota from the rest of the United States. The Northwest ...

Lake of the Woods
, eastward along the major rivers and lakes of the
Great Lakes The Great Lakes also called the Great Lakes of North America or the Laurentian Great Lakes, is a series of large interconnected freshwater lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land Land ...

Great Lakes
/
Saint Lawrence River The St. Lawrence River is a large river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its c ...
drainage system. These include Rainy River, Pigeon River,
Lake Superior Lake Superior is the largest and northernmost of the Great Lakes of North America, and among freshwater lakes, it is the world's List of lakes by area, largest by surface area and the List of lakes by volume, third-largest by volume.The Caspian ...

Lake Superior
, St. Marys River,
Lake Huron Lake Huron is one of the five Great Lakes File:Location of the Great Lakes in North America.jpg, upright=1.3, Location in North America The Great Lakes, also called the Great Lakes of North America or the Laurentian Great Lakes, are a ser ...

Lake Huron
,
St. Clair River The St. Clair River (french: Rivière Sainte-Claire) is a U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline dataThe National Map accessed November 7, 2011 river in central North America which flows from Lake Huron into ...
, ,
Detroit River The Detroit River flows west and south for from Lake St. Clair to Lake Erie Lake Erie (; french: Lac Érié) is the fourth largest lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land, apart from any ...
,
Lake Erie Lake Erie (; french: Lac Érié) is the fourth largest lake (by surface area) of the five Great Lakes in North America and the eleventh-largest globally. It is the southernmost, shallowest, and smallest by volume of the Great Lakes and theref ...

Lake Erie
,
Niagara River The Niagara River ( ; french: rivière Niagara) is a river that flows north from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. It forms part of the border between the province of Ontario in Canada (on the west) and the state of New York (state), New York in the U ...

Niagara River
,
Lake Ontario Lake Ontario (french: Lac Ontario) is one of the five Great Lakes The Great Lakes also called the Great Lakes of North America or the Laurentian Great Lakes, is a series of large interconnected freshwater lakes in the mid-east region ...

Lake Ontario
and the St. Lawrence River from
Kingston Kingston may refer to: Places * List of places called Kingston, including the four most populated: ** Kingston, Jamaica ** City of Kingston, Victoria, Australia ** Kingston, Ontario, Canada ** Kingston upon Thames, England Animals * Kingston (ho ...
, to the Quebec boundary just east of
Cornwall Cornwall (; kw, Kernow ) is a Historic counties of England, historic county and Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county in South West England. It is recognised as one of the Celtic nations, and is the homeland of the Cornish people ...

Cornwall
. There is only about of land border, made up of portages including
Height of Land Portage Height of Land Portage is a portage Portage or portaging (Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean, Atla ...

Height of Land Portage
on the Minnesota border. Ontario is sometimes divided into two geographic regions,
Northern Ontario Northern Ontario is a primary geographic and quasi-administrative region of the Canadian province The provinces and territories of Canada are sub-national divisions within the geographical areas of Canada Canada is a country in the nor ...
and
Southern Ontario Southern Ontario is a primary region of the province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first ...
. The great majority of Ontario's population and
arable land Arable land (from the la, arabilis, "able to be plough A plough or plow ( US; both ) is a farm tool for loosening or turning the soil before sowing seed or planting. Ploughs were traditionally drawn by oxen and horses, but in modern farms ...

arable land
is in the south. In contrast, the larger, northern part of Ontario is sparsely populated with cold winters and heavy forestation.


Etymology

Ontario is a term thought to be derived from Indigenous origins, either ', a Huron (
Wyandot Wyandot may refer to: Native American ethnography * Wyandot people The Wyandot people or Wendat, also called the Huron, are Iroquoian-speaking peoples of North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hem ...
) word meaning "great lake", or possibly ', which means "beautiful water" or "sparkling water" in the
Iroquoian languages The Iroquoian languages are a language family of indigenous peoples of North America The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the inhabitants of the Americas before the arrival of the European colonization of the Americas, European settlers ...

Iroquoian languages
. Ontario has about 250,000 freshwater lakes. The first mention of the name Ontario was in 1641, when "Ontario" was used to describe the land on the north shore of the easternmost part of the Great Lakes. It was adopted as the official name of the new province at Confederation in 1867.


Geography

The province consists of three main geographical regions: * The thinly populated
Canadian Shield The Canadian Shield (french: Bouclier canadien ), also called the Laurentian Plateau, is a large area of exposed Precambrian igneous and high-grade metamorphic rocks ( geologic shield) that forms the ancient geologic core of the North American ...

Canadian Shield
in the northwestern and central portions, which comprises over half the land area of Ontario. Although this area mostly does not support agriculture, it is rich in
mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific crystal structure that occurs naturally in pure form.John P. Rafferty, ed. (2 ...

mineral
s, partly covered by the
Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions and generalised locations * Central Africa, a region in the centre of Africa ...
and Midwestern Canadian Shield forests, and studded with lakes and rivers.
Northern Ontario Northern Ontario is a primary geographic and quasi-administrative region of the Canadian province The provinces and territories of Canada are sub-national divisions within the geographical areas of Canada Canada is a country in the nor ...
is subdivided into two sub-regions:
Northwestern Ontario Northwestern Ontario is a secondary region of Northern Ontario in the Canadian province of Ontario which lies north and west of Lake Superior and west of Hudson Bay and James Bay. It includes most of subarctic Ontario. Its western boundary is the C ...
and
Northeastern Ontario Northeastern Ontario is a secondary region of Northern Ontario Northern Ontario is a primary geographic and quasi-administrative region of the Canadian province The provinces and territories of Canada are sub-national divisions within the ge ...
. * The virtually unpopulated
Hudson Bay LowlandsThe Hudson Bay Lowlands is a vast wetland A wetland is a distinct ecosystem An ecosystem is a community (ecology), community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment, interacting as a system. The ...
in the extreme north and northeast, mainly swampy and sparsely forested. *
Southern Ontario Southern Ontario is a primary region of the province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first ...
, which is further sub-divided into four sub-regions:
Central Ontario Central Ontario is a secondary region of Southern Ontario in the Canadian province of Ontario , Label_map = yes , image_map = Ontario in Canada 2.svg , map_alt = Map showing Ontario's location ea ...
(although not actually the province's geographic centre),
Eastern Ontario Eastern Ontario (census population 1,763,186 in 2016) (french: Est de l'Ontario) is a secondary region of Southern Ontario Southern Ontario is a primary region of the province A province is almost always an administrative division within a cou ...
,
Golden Horseshoe The Golden Horseshoe is a secondary region of Southern Ontario Southern Ontario is a primary region of the province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' ...

Golden Horseshoe
and
Southwestern Ontario Southwestern Ontario is a secondary region of Southern Ontario Southern Ontario is a primary region of the province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' ...
(parts of which were formerly referred to as Western Ontario). Despite the absence of any mountainous terrain in the province, there are large areas of uplands, particularly within the Canadian Shield which traverses the province from northwest to southeast and also above the
Niagara Escarpment The Niagara Escarpment is a long escarpment An escarpment is a steep slope or long cliff that forms as a result of faulting or erosion and separates two relatively level areas having different elevations. Usually ''scarp'' and ''scarp face'' ...

Niagara Escarpment
which crosses the south. The highest point is
Ishpatina Ridge Ishpatina Ridge is the highest point of land in the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Ontario, at an estimated above mean sea level, above sea level. Ishpatina Ridge rises approximately above the immediate area. It was on ...

Ishpatina Ridge
at
above sea level Above may refer to: *Above (artist) Tavar Zawacki formerly known as 'ABOVE' (born 1981) is an American abstract art Abstract art uses visual language of shape, form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of ind ...
in
Temagami Temagami, formerly spelled as Timagami, is a municipality in northeastern Ontario , Label_map = yes , image_map = Ontario in Canada 2.svg , map_alt = Map showing Ontario's location east/central ...
, Northeastern Ontario. In the south, elevations of over are surpassed near Collingwood, above the Blue Mountains in the Dundalk Highlands and in hilltops near the Madawaska River in
Renfrew County Renfrew County is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term is ...
. The
Carolinian forestThe Carolinian forest refers to a life zone in eastern North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be described as the northern subcontinent o ...
zone covers most of the southwestern region of the province. The temperate and fertile Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence Valley in the south is part of the Eastern Great Lakes lowland forests
ecoregion An ecoregion (ecological region) or ecozone (ecological zone) is an ecologically Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including h ...
where the forest has now been largely replaced by agriculture, industrial and urban development. A well-known geographic feature is
Niagara Falls Niagara Falls is a group of three waterfalls at the southern end of Niagara Gorge, spanning the Canada–United States border, border between the Provinces and territories of Canada, province of Ontario in Canada and the U.S. state, state o ...

Niagara Falls
, part of the
Niagara Escarpment The Niagara Escarpment is a long escarpment An escarpment is a steep slope or long cliff that forms as a result of faulting or erosion and separates two relatively level areas having different elevations. Usually ''scarp'' and ''scarp face'' ...

Niagara Escarpment
. The
Saint Lawrence Seaway The Saint Lawrence Seaway (french: la Voie Maritime du Saint-Laurent) is a system of locks, canal Canals are waterways Channel (geography), channels, or artificial waterways, for water conveyance, or to service water transport vehicle ...
allows navigation to and from the as far inland as
Thunder Bay Thunder Bay is a city in and the seat of Thunder Bay District Thunder Bay District is a district and Census divisions of Canada, census division in Northwestern Ontario in the Canadian province of Ontario. The County seat, district seat is T ...

Thunder Bay
in Northwestern Ontario.
Northern Ontario Northern Ontario is a primary geographic and quasi-administrative region of the Canadian province The provinces and territories of Canada are sub-national divisions within the geographical areas of Canada Canada is a country in the nor ...
covers approximately 87% of the province's surface area; conversely Southern Ontario contains 94% of the population.
Point Pelee Point Pelee National Park (; French language, French: ''Parc national de la Pointe-Pelée'') is a national park in Essex County, Ontario, Essex County in southwestern Ontario, Canada where it extends into Lake Erie. The word ''pelée'' is French f ...

Point Pelee
is a peninsula of Lake Erie in southwestern Ontario (near
Windsor Windsor may refer to: Places Australia *Windsor, New South Wales ** Municipality of Windsor, a former local government area *Windsor, Queensland, a suburb of Brisbane, Queensland **Shire of Windsor, a former local government authority around Winds ...
and
Detroit, Michigan (strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrowing, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. The surface water generally flows at the same elevation on both sides and through the strait in either direction. Mo ...

Detroit, Michigan
) that is the southernmost extent of Canada's mainland.
Pelee Island Pelee Island, Ontario, Canada , is an island in the western half of Lake Erie. Pelee Island is connected to the Canadian and United States mainland by ferry service. At , Pelee Island is the largest island in Lake Erie and the southernmost populate ...
and Middle Island in Lake Erie extend slightly farther. All are south of 42°N – slightly farther south than the northern border of
California California is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

California
.


Climate

Ontario's climate varies by season and location. Three air sources affect it: cold, dry, arctic air from the north (dominant factor during the winter months, and for a longer part of the year in far northern Ontario); Pacific polar air crossing in from the western Canadian Prairies/US
Northern Plains The Great Plains, sometimes simply "the Plains", is a broad expanse of flat land (a plain In geography, a plain is a flat expanse of land that generally does not change much in elevation. Plains occur as lowlands along valleys or on the doo ...
; and warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. The effects of these major air masses on temperature and precipitation depend mainly on latitude, proximity to major bodies of water and to a small extent, terrain relief. In general, most of Ontario's climate is classified as humid continental. Ontario has four main climatic regions: * The surrounding Great Lakes greatly influence the climatic region of southern Ontario. During the fall and winter, the release of heat stored by the lakes moderates the climate near the shores. This gives parts of southern Ontario milder winters than mid-continental areas at lower latitudes. Parts of Southwestern Ontario (generally south of a line from Sarnia–Toronto) have a moderate
humid continental climate A humid continental climate is a climatic Climate is the long-term average of weather, typically averaged over a period of 30 years. More rigorously, it is the mean and variability of meteorological variables over a time spanning from months t ...
(
Köppen climate classification The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification Climate classification is a way of categorizing the world's s. A climate classification may correlate closely with a category, as climate is a major infl ...
''Dfa''), similar to the inland
Mid-Atlantic states The Middle Atlantic states, commonly shortened to Mid-Atlantic states, is a List of regions of the United States, region of the United States generally located in the overlap between the Northeastern United States, Northeastern and Southeastern Uni ...
and the
Great Lakes The Great Lakes also called the Great Lakes of North America or the Laurentian Great Lakes, is a series of large interconnected freshwater lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land Land ...

Great Lakes
portion of the
Midwestern United States The Midwestern United States, also referred to as the Midwest or the American Midwest, is one of four census regions of the United States Census Bureau (also known as "Region 2"). It occupies the northern central part of the United States. It ...
. The region has warm to hot, humid summers and cold winters. Annual precipitation ranges from and is well distributed throughout the year. Most of this region lies in the lee of the Great Lakes, making for abundant snow in some areas. In December 2010, the snowbelt set a new record when it was hit by more than a metre of snow within 48 hours. * The next climatic region is Central and Eastern Ontario, which has a moderate
humid continental climate A humid continental climate is a climatic Climate is the long-term average of weather, typically averaged over a period of 30 years. More rigorously, it is the mean and variability of meteorological variables over a time spanning from months t ...
(Köppen ''Dfb''). This region has warm and sometimes hot summers with colder, longer winters, ample snowfall (even in regions not directly in the snowbelts) and annual precipitation similar to the rest of Southern Ontario. *The smallest climatic region is located at the most northeastern part of the
Niagara Peninsula The Niagara Peninsula is the portion of Golden Horseshoe, Southern Ontario Southern Ontario is a primary region of the province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the an ...
, which has a temperate humid climate (Köppen Cfa), due to moderating effects by
Lake Ontario Lake Ontario (french: Lac Ontario) is one of the five Great Lakes The Great Lakes also called the Great Lakes of North America or the Laurentian Great Lakes, is a series of large interconnected freshwater lakes in the mid-east region ...

Lake Ontario
, the
Niagara River The Niagara River ( ; french: rivière Niagara) is a river that flows north from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. It forms part of the border between the province of Ontario in Canada (on the west) and the state of New York (state), New York in the U ...

Niagara River
and battling air masses from the
Gulf of Mexico The Gulf of Mexico ( es, Golfo de México) is an ocean basin 400px, Diagrammatic cross-section of an ocean basin, showing the various geographic features In hydrology Hydrology (from Greek: wikt:ὕδωρ, ὕδωρ, "hýdōr" meaning ...

Gulf of Mexico
during the winter months. It is one of the most temperate regions in the entire province. In the northeastern parts of Ontario, extending south as far as
Kirkland Lake Kirkland Lake is a town and municipality in Timiskaming District Timiskaming is a district and Census divisions of Canada, census division in Northeastern Ontario in the Canadian province of Ontario. The district was created in 1912 from parts o ...
, the cold waters of Hudson Bay depress summer temperatures, making it cooler than other locations at similar latitudes. The same is true on the northern shore of
Lake Superior Lake Superior is the largest and northernmost of the Great Lakes of North America, and among freshwater lakes, it is the world's List of lakes by area, largest by surface area and the List of lakes by volume, third-largest by volume.The Caspian ...

Lake Superior
, which cools hot, humid air from the south, leading to cooler summer temperatures. Along the eastern shores of Lake Superior and
Lake Huron Lake Huron is one of the five Great Lakes File:Location of the Great Lakes in North America.jpg, upright=1.3, Location in North America The Great Lakes, also called the Great Lakes of North America or the Laurentian Great Lakes, are a ser ...

Lake Huron
winter temperatures are slightly moderated but come with frequent heavy
lake-effect snow Lake-effect snow is produced during cooler atmospheric conditions when a cold air mass moves across long expanses of warmer lake water. The lower layer of air, heated up by the lake water, picks up water vapor from the lake and rises up through t ...
squalls that increase seasonal snowfall totals to upwards of in some places. These regions have higher annual precipitation, in some places over . * The northernmost parts of Ontario – primarily north of 50°N – have a
subarctic climate The subarctic climate (also called subpolar climate, or boreal climate) is a climate characterised by long, usually very cold winters, and short, cool summers. It is found on large landmasses, often away from the moderating effects of an ocean, gen ...
(Köppen ''Dfc'') with long, severely cold winters and short, cool to warm summers with dramatic temperature changes possible in all seasons. With no major mountain ranges blocking sinking Arctic
air mass upright=1.25, Different air masses which affect North America as well as other continents, tend to be separated by frontal boundaries In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the atmospheric sciences Atmospheric science is the study of t ...
es, temperatures of are not uncommon; snow remains on the ground for sometimes over half the year. Snow accumulation can be high in some areas. Precipitation is generally less than and peaks in the summer months in the form of rain or thunderstorms. Severe thunderstorms peak in summer.
Windsor Windsor may refer to: Places Australia *Windsor, New South Wales ** Municipality of Windsor, a former local government area *Windsor, Queensland, a suburb of Brisbane, Queensland **Shire of Windsor, a former local government authority around Winds ...
, in
Southern The name Southern may refer to: * South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earl ...
(Southwestern) Ontario, has the most lightning strikes per year in Canada, averaging 33 days of thunderstorm activity per year. In a typical year, Ontario averages 11 confirmed
tornado A tornado is a violently rotating column of air File:Atmosphere gas proportions.svg, Composition of Earth's atmosphere by volume, excluding water vapor. Lower pie represents trace gases that together compose about 0.043391% of the atmos ...

tornado
touchdowns. However, over the last 4 years, it has had upwards of 20 tornado touchdowns per year, with the highest frequency in the Windsor-Essex – Chatham Kent area, though few are very destructive (the majority between F0 to F2 on the
Fujita scale The Fujita scale (F-Scale; ), or Fujita–Pearson scale (FPP scale), is a scale for rating tornado intensity, based primarily on the damage tornadoes inflict on human-built structures and vegetation. The official Fujita scale category is determ ...
). Ontario had a record 29 tornadoes in both 2006 and 2009.
Tropical depression A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation Atmospheric circulation is the large-scale movement of Atmosphere of Earth, air and together with oc ...
remnants occasionally bring heavy rains and winds in the south, but are rarely deadly. A notable exception was
Hurricane Hazel Hurricane Hazel was the deadliest, second costliest, and most intense hurricane A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation Atmospheric circ ...

Hurricane Hazel
which struck Southern Ontario centred on Toronto, in October 1954.


History


Indigenous societies

The region of Ontario is inhabited by
Algonquian Algonquin or Algonquian—and the variation Algonki(a)n—may refer to: Indigenous peoples *Algonquian languages, a large subfamily of Native American languages in a wide swath of eastern North America from Canada to Virginia **Algonquin languag ...
(
Ojibwe The Ojibwe, Ojibwa, Chippewa, or Saulteaux are an Anishinaabe The Anishinaabe are a group of culturally related Indigenous peoples resident in what are now called Canada and the United States. They include the Odawa, Saulteaux, Ojibwe (inc ...
,
Cree The Cree ( cr, Néhinaw, script=Latn, , etc.; french: link=no, Cri) are a North American Indigenous people. They live primarily in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Can ...

Cree
and
Algonquin Algonquin or Algonquian—and the variation Algonki(a)n—may refer to: Indigenous peoples *Algonquian languages, a large subfamily of Native American languages in a wide swath of eastern North America from Canada to Virginia **Algonquin languag ...
) in the northern/western portions, and
Iroquois The Iroquois ( or ) or Haudenosaunee (; "People of the Longhouse") are an indigenous Indigenous may refer to: *Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous pe ...

Iroquois
and Wyandot (Huron) people more in the south/east. During the 17th century, the Algonquians and Hurons fought the
Beaver Wars The Beaver Wars, also known as the Iroquois Wars or the French and Iroquois Wars (french: Guerres franco-iroquoises), encompass a series of conflicts fought intermittently during the 17th century in North America. They were battles for economic do ...
against the Iroquois.


European contact

The French explorer
Étienne Brûlé Étienne Brûlé (; – ) was the first European explorer to journey beyond the St. Lawrence River The Saint Lawrence River is a large river in the middle latitudes of North America. The Saint Lawrence River flows in a roughly north-easter ...
explored part of the area in 1610–12. The English explorer
Henry Hudson Henry Hudson ( 1565 – disappeared 23 June 1611) was an English sea explorer and navigator A navigator is the person on board a ship or aircraft responsible for its navigation Navigation is a field of study that focuses on the pro ...
sailed into
Hudson Bay Hudson Bay ( iu, text=ᑲᖏᖅᓱᐊᓗᒃ ᐃᓗᐊ, translit=Kangiqsualuk ilua or iu, text=ᑕᓯᐅᔭᕐᔪᐊᖅ, translit=Tasiujarjuaq; french: baie d'Hudson), sometimes called Hudson's Bay (usually historically), is a large body of sal ...
in 1611 and claimed the area for England.
Samuel de Champlain Samuel de Champlain (; c. 13 August 1567 Fichier OrigineFor a detailed analysis of his baptismal record, see RitchThe baptism act does not contain information about the age of Samuel, neither his birth date nor his place of birth. – 25 Decemb ...
reached Lake Huron in 1615, and French missionaries began to establish posts along the Great Lakes. French settlement was hampered by their hostilities with the Iroquois, who allied themselves with the British. From 1634 to 1640, Hurons were devastated by European infectious diseases, such as
measles Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), host tissues to ...
and
smallpox Smallpox was an infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), host tissues to the infectious ...

smallpox
, to which they had no immunity. By 1700, the Iroquois had been driven out or left the area that would become Ontario and the Mississaugas of the Ojibwa had settled the north shore of Lake Ontario. The remaining Huron settled north of Quebec. The British established
trading post A trading post, trading station, or trading house, also known as a factory, was an establishment or settlement where goods and services could be traded. Typically the location of the trading post would allow people from one geographic area to tr ...
s on Hudson Bay in the late 17th century and began a struggle for domination of Ontario with the French. After the French of New France were defeated during the
Seven Years' War The Seven Years' War (1756–1763) is widely considered to be the first global conflict in history, and was a struggle for world supremacy between Kingdom of Great Britain, Great Britain and Kingdom of France, France. In Europe, the conflict ar ...
, the two powers awarded nearly all of France's North American possessions (
New France New France (french: Nouvelle-France) was the area colonized by France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its extends from the to the a ...

New France
) to Britain in the 1763 Treaty of Paris, including those lands of Ontario not already claimed by Britain. The British annexed the Ontario region to Quebec in 1774. The first European settlements were in 1782–1784 when 5,000
United Empire Loyalist United Empire Loyalists (or simply Loyalists) is an honorific which was first given by Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester, the 1st Lord Dorchester, the Governor of Province of Quebec (1763–1791), Quebec, and Governor General of Canada, Governor ...
s entered what is now Ontario following the
American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America between 1765 and 1783. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colo ...
. The Kingdom of Great Britain granted them land and other items with which to rebuild their lives. The British also set up reserves in Ontario for the
Mohawks The Mohawk people ( moh, Kanienʼkehá꞉ka) are the most easterly section of the Haudenosaunee The Iroquois ( or ) or Haudenosaunee (; "People of the Longhouse") are an Indigenous peoples of the Americas, indigenous Confederation#Indigen ...
who had fought for the British and had lost their land in New York state. Other Iroquois, also displaced from New York were resettled in 1784 at the Six Nations reserve at the west end of Lake Ontario. The Mississaugas, displaced by European settlements, would later move to Six Nations also. A second wave of Americans, not all of them necessarily loyalists moved to Upper Canada after 1790 until the pre-war of 1812, many seeking available cheap land, and at the time, lower taxation. The population of Canada west of the St. Lawrence-Ottawa River confluence substantially increased during this period, a fact recognized by the ''Constitutional Act'' of 1791, which split Quebec into
the Canadas The Canadas is the collective name for the provinces of Lower Canada and Upper Canada The Province of Upper Canada (french: link=no, province du Haut-Canada) was a Province, part of The Canadas, British Canada established in 1791 by the Ki ...
:
Upper Canada The Province of Upper Canada (french: link=no, province du Haut-Canada) was a part Part, parts or PART may refer to: People *Armi Pärt Armi Pärt (born 18 June 1991) is an Estonian handballer, playing in French D2 for Massy Essonne H ...
southwest of the St. Lawrence-Ottawa River confluence, and
Lower Canada The Province of Lower Canada (french: province du Bas-Canada) was a British colony Within the British Empire, a Crown colony or royal colony was a colony In political science, a colony is a territory subject to a form of foreign rule. ...
east of it.
John Graves Simcoe John Graves Simcoe (25 February 1752 – 26 October 1806) was a British Army The British Army is the principal of the , a part of the . , the British Army comprises 80,040 regular full-time personnel and 30,020 personnel. The modern B ...

John Graves Simcoe
was appointed Upper Canada's first
Lieutenant governor A lieutenant governor, lieutenant-governor, or vice governor is a high officer of state, whose precise role and rank vary by jurisdiction. Often a lieutenant governor is the deputy, or lieutenant A lieutenant ( or abbreviated Lt., Lt, LT, Lie ...
in 1793.


Upper Canada

American troops in the
War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was a conflict fought by the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country in . It ...
invaded Upper Canada across the
Niagara River The Niagara River ( ; french: rivière Niagara) is a river that flows north from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. It forms part of the border between the province of Ontario in Canada (on the west) and the state of New York (state), New York in the U ...

Niagara River
and the
Detroit River The Detroit River flows west and south for from Lake St. Clair to Lake Erie Lake Erie (; french: Lac Érié) is the fourth largest lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land, apart from any ...
, but were defeated and pushed back by the British, Canadian
fencibles The Fencibles (from the word ''defencible'') were British regiments raised in the United Kingdom, Isle of Man and in the Crown colony, colonies for defence against the threat of invasion during the Seven Years' War, the American War of Independe ...
and militias, and
First Nations The First Nations (french: Premières Nations ) are groups of Canadian indigenous peoples, who are classified as distinct from the Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally s ...
warriors. However, the Americans eventually gained control of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. The 1813
Battle of York The Battle of York was a War of 1812 battle fought in York, Upper Canada (today's Toronto, Ontario, Canada) on April 27, 1813. An American force supported by a naval flotilla landed on the lakeshore to the west and advanced against the town, which ...

Battle of York
saw American troops defeat the garrison at the Upper Canada capital of
York York is a cathedral city City status in the United Kingdom is granted by the monarch of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy of the United ...
. The Americans looted the town and burned the Upper Canada Parliament Buildings during their brief occupation. The British would
burn A burn is a type of injury Injury, also known as physical trauma, is damage Damage is any change in a thing, often a physical object, that degrades it away from its initial state. It can broadly be defined as "changes introduced into a ...
the American capital of Washington, D.C. in 1814. After the War of 1812, relative stability allowed for increasing numbers of immigrants to arrive from Europe rather than from the United States. As was the case in the previous decades, this immigration shift was encouraged by the colonial leaders. Despite affordable and often free land, many arriving newcomers, mostly from Britain and Ireland, found frontier life with the harsh climate difficult, and some of those with the means eventually returned home or went south. However, population growth far exceeded emigration in the following decades. It was a mostly agrarian-based society, but canal projects and a new network of plank roads spurred greater trade within the colony and with the United States, thereby improving previously damaged relations over time. Meanwhile, Ontario's numerous waterways aided travel and transportation into the interior and supplied
water power Hydropower (from el, ὕδωρ, "water"), also known as water power, is the use of falling or fast-running water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and th ...
for development. As the population increased, so did the industries and transportation networks, which in turn led to further development. By the end of the century, Ontario vied with Quebec as the nation's leader in terms of growth in population, industry, arts and communications. Unrest in the colony began to chafe against the aristocratic
Family Compact The Family Compact is the term used by historians for a small closed group of men who exercised most of the political, economic and judicial power in (today’s ) from the 1810s to the 1840s. It was the Upper Canadian equivalent of the in . It ...
who governed while benefiting economically from the region's resources, and who did not allow elected bodies power. This resentment spurred republican ideals and sowed the seeds for early
Canadian nationalism Canadian nationalism seeks to promote the unity, independence, and well-being of Canada and the Canadian people. Canadian nationalism has been a significant political force since the 19th century and has typically manifested itself as seeking to ...
. Accordingly, rebellion in favour of
responsible government Responsible government is a conception of a system of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ' ...
rose in both regions;
Louis-Joseph Papineau Louis-Joseph Papineau (October 7, 1786 – September 23, 1871), born in Montreal Montreal ( ; officially Montréal, , Tio'tia:ke in Mohawk language, Mohawk) is the List of the 100 largest municipalities in Canada by population, second-most po ...

Louis-Joseph Papineau
led the
Lower Canada Rebellion The Lower Canada Rebellion (french: rébellion du Bas-Canada), commonly referred to as the Patriots' War () in French, is the name given to the armed conflict in 1837–38 between rebels and the colonial government of Lower Canada The Provi ...
and
William Lyon Mackenzie William Lyon Mackenzie (March12, 1795August28, 1861) was a Scottish-born Canadian-American journalist and politician. He grew up in Dundee Dundee (; sco, Dundee gd, Dùn Dè or ''Dùn Dèagh'' ) is Scotland's List of towns and cities i ...
, first
Toronto Toronto (, ) is the capital city of the Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 2016 in 2016, it is the most populous city in Canada and the fourth most populous city in North America. The city is the anch ...

Toronto
mayor In many countries, a mayor is the highest-ranking official An official is someone who holds an office (function or , regardless whether it carries an actual with it) in an or government and participates in the exercise of , (either their ow ...

mayor
, led the
Upper Canada Rebellion The Upper Canada Rebellion was an insurrection against the oligarchic Oligarchy (; ) is a form of power structure A power structure is an overall system of influence between any individual and every other individual within any selected grou ...
. In
Upper Canada The Province of Upper Canada (french: link=no, province du Haut-Canada) was a part Part, parts or PART may refer to: People *Armi Pärt Armi Pärt (born 18 June 1991) is an Estonian handballer, playing in French D2 for Massy Essonne H ...
, the rebellion was quickly a failure.
William Lyon Mackenzie William Lyon Mackenzie (March12, 1795August28, 1861) was a Scottish-born Canadian-American journalist and politician. He grew up in Dundee Dundee (; sco, Dundee gd, Dùn Dè or ''Dùn Dèagh'' ) is Scotland's List of towns and cities i ...
escaped to the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, where he declared the
Republic of Canada The Republic of Canada was a government proclaimed by William Lyon Mackenzie William Lyon Mackenzie (March12, 1795August28, 1861) was a Scottish-born Canadian-American journalist and politician. He grew up in Dundee Dundee (; sco, D ...
on
Navy Island Navy Island is a small, uninhabited island in the Niagara River The Niagara River ( ; french: rivière Niagara) is a river that flows north from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. It forms part of the border between the province of Ontario in Canad ...
on the
Niagara River The Niagara River ( ; french: rivière Niagara) is a river that flows north from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. It forms part of the border between the province of Ontario in Canada (on the west) and the state of New York (state), New York in the U ...

Niagara River
.


Canada West

Although both rebellions were put down in short order, the British government sent
Lord Durham Image:John George Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham by Thomas Phillips.jpg, 200px, John George Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham. Earl of Durham is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1833 for the prominent British Whig Party, Whi ...
to investigate the causes. He recommended self-government be granted and Lower and Upper Canada be re-joined in an attempt to assimilate the
French Canadians French Canadians (referred to as Canadiens mainly before the twentieth century ; french: Canadiens français, ; feminine form: , ) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identif ...
. Accordingly, the two colonies were merged into the Province of Canada by the ''
Act of Union 1840 The ''British North America Act, 1840'' (3 & 4 Victoria, c.35), also known as the ''Act of Union 1840'', (the ''Act'') was approved by Parliament in July 1840 and proclaimed February 10, 1841, in Montreal Montreal ( ; officially Montréal, , Ti ...
'', with the capital at
Kingston Kingston may refer to: Places * List of places called Kingston, including the four most populated: ** Kingston, Jamaica ** City of Kingston, Victoria, Australia ** Kingston, Ontario, Canada ** Kingston upon Thames, England Animals * Kingston (ho ...
, and Upper Canada becoming known as
Canada West The Province of Canada (or the United Province of Canada or the United Canadas) (french: link=no, Province du Canada) was a British colony Within the British Empire, a Crown colony or royal colony was a colony In political science, ...
. Parliamentary Self-governance, self-government was granted in 1848. There were heavy waves of immigration in the 1840s, and the population of Canada West more than doubled by 1851 over the previous decade. As a result, for the first time, the English-speaking population of Canada West surpassed the French-speaking population of Canada East, tilting the representative balance of power. An economic boom in the 1850s coincided with railway expansion across the province, further increasing the economic strength of Central Canada. With the repeal of the Corn Laws and a reciprocity agreement in place with the United States, various industries such as timber, mining, farming and alcohol distilling benefited tremendously. A political stalemate between the Canadian French, French- and Canadian English, English-speaking legislators, as well as fear of aggression from the United States during and immediately after the American Civil War, led the political elite to hold a series of conferences in the 1860s to effect a broader federal union of all British North American colonies. The ''Constitution Act, 1867, British North America Act'' took effect on July 1, 1867, establishing the Dominion of Canada, initially with four provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario. The Province of Canada was divided into Ontario and Quebec so that each linguistic group would have its own province. Both Quebec and Ontario were required by section 93 of the ''British North America Act'' to safeguard existing educational rights and privileges of the Protestant and Catholic minorities. Thus, separate Catholic schools and board of education, school boards were permitted in Ontario. However, neither province had a constitutional requirement to protect its French- or English-speaking minority. Toronto was formally established as Ontario's provincial capital.


Provincehood

Once constituted as a province, Ontario proceeded to assert its economic and legislative power. In 1872, the lawyer Oliver Mowat became Premier of Ontario and remained as premier until 1896. He fought for provincial rights, weakening the power of the Government of Canada, federal government in provincial matters, usually through well-argued appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. His battles with the federal government greatly Decentralization, decentralized Canada, giving the provinces far more power than John A. Macdonald had intended. He consolidated and expanded Ontario's educational and provincial institutions, created districts in Northern Ontario, and fought to ensure that those parts of Northwestern Ontario not historically part of Upper Canada (the vast areas north and west of the Lake Superior-Hudson Bay watershed, known as the District of Keewatin) would become part of Ontario, a victory embodied in the ''Canada (Ontario Boundary) Act, 1889''. He also presided over the emergence of the province into the economic powerhouse of Canada. Mowat was the creator of what is often called ''Empire Ontario''. Beginning with Macdonald's National Policy (1879) and the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway (1875–1885) through Northern Ontario and the Canadian Prairies to British Columbia, Ontario manufacturing and industry flourished. However, population increases slowed after a large recession hit the province in 1893, thus slowing growth drastically but for only a few years. Many newly arrived immigrants and others moved west along the railway to the Prairie Provinces and British Columbia, sparsely settling Northern Ontario. Mineral exploitation accelerated in the late 19th century, leading to the rise of important mining centres in the northeast, such as Greater Sudbury, Sudbury, Cobalt, Ontario, Cobalt and Timmins. The province harnessed its water power to generate hydro-electric power and created the state-controlled Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario, later Ontario Hydro. The availability of cheap electric power further facilitated the development of industry. The Ford Motor Company of Canada was established in 1904 and the McLaughlin Motor Car Company (later General Motors Canada) was founded in 1907. The motor vehicle industry became the most lucrative industry for the Ontario economy during the 20th century. In July 1912, the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, Conservative government of James Whitney issued Regulation 17 which severely limited the availability of French-language schooling to the province's French-speaking minority. French Canadians reacted with outrage, journalist Henri Bourassa denouncing the "Prussians of Ontario". The regulation was eventually repealed in 1927. Influenced by events in the United States, the government of William Howard Hearst, William Hearst introduced Prohibition in Canada, prohibition of alcoholic drinks in 1916 with the passing of the ''Ontario Temperance Act''. However, residents could distil and retain their own personal supply, and liquor producers could continue distillation and export for sale, allowing this already sizeable industry to strengthen further. Ontario became a hotbed for the illegal smuggling of liquor and the biggest supplier into the United States, which was under complete Prohibition in the United States, prohibition. Prohibition in Ontario came to an end in 1927 with the establishment of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario under the government of Howard Ferguson. The sale and consumption of liquor, wine, and beer are still controlled by some of the most extreme laws in North America to ensure strict community standards and revenue generation from the alcohol retail monopoly are upheld. The post-World War II period was one of exceptional prosperity and growth. Ontario has been the recipients of most immigration to Canada, largely immigrants from war-torn Europe in the 1950s and 1960s and following changes in federal immigration law, a massive influx of non-Europeans since the 1970s. From a largely ethnic group, ethnically British province, Ontario has rapidly become culturally very diverse. The nationalist movement in Quebec, particularly after the election of the ''Parti Québécois'' in 1976, contributed to driving many businesses and English-speaking people out of Quebec to Ontario, and as a result, Toronto surpassed Montreal as the largest city and economic centre of Canada. Depressed economic conditions in the Atlantic Canada, Maritime Provinces have also resulted in de-population of those provinces in the 20th century, with heavy migration into Ontario. Ontario's official language is English, although there exists a number of List of francophone communities in Ontario, French-speaking communities across Ontario. French-language services are made available for communities with a sizeable French-speaking population; a service that is ensured under the ''French Language Services Act'' of 1989.


Territorial evolution

Until 1763, most of Ontario was considered part of
New France New France (french: Nouvelle-France) was the area colonized by France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its extends from the to the a ...

New France
by French claim. Rupert's Land, defined as the drainage basin of
Hudson Bay Hudson Bay ( iu, text=ᑲᖏᖅᓱᐊᓗᒃ ᐃᓗᐊ, translit=Kangiqsualuk ilua or iu, text=ᑕᓯᐅᔭᕐᔪᐊᖅ, translit=Tasiujarjuaq; french: baie d'Hudson), sometimes called Hudson's Bay (usually historically), is a large body of sal ...
, was claimed by Britain, and included much of today's Northern Ontario. The British defeated the armies of the French colony and its indigenous allies in the French and Indian War, part of the
Seven Years' War The Seven Years' War (1756–1763) is widely considered to be the first global conflict in history, and was a struggle for world supremacy between Kingdom of Great Britain, Great Britain and Kingdom of France, France. In Europe, the conflict ar ...
global conflict. Concluding the war, the peace treaty between the European powers, known as the Treaty of Paris 1763, assigned almost all of France's possessions in North America to Britain, including parts that would later become Ontario not already part of Rupert's Land. Britain established the first Province of Quebec (1763–1791), Province of Quebec, encompassing contemporary Quebec and southern Ontario. After the American War of Independence, the first reserves for First Nations were established. These are situated at Six Nations (1784), Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, Tyendinaga (1793) and Akwesasne (1795). Six Nations and Tyendinaga were established by the British for those indigenous groups who had fought on the side of the British, and were expelled from the new United States. Akwesasne was a pre-existing Mohawk community and its borders were formalized under the 1795 Jay Treaty. In 1788, while part of the Province of Quebec, southern Ontario was divided into four District#Ontario, districts: Western District, Upper Canada, Hesse, Eastern District, Upper Canada, Lunenburg, Midland District, Upper Canada, Mecklenburg, and Home District, Nassau. In 1792, the four districts were renamed: Hesse became the Western District, Lunenburg became the Eastern District, Mecklenburg became the Midland District, and Nassau became the Home District. Counties were created within the districts. By 1798, there were eight districts: Eastern, Home, Johnstown District, Upper Canada, Johnstown, London District, Upper Canada, London, Midland, Newcastle District, Newcastle, Niagara District, Niagara, and Western. By 1826, there were eleven districts: Bathurst District, Bathurst, Eastern, Gore District, Upper Canada, Gore, Home, Johnstown, London, Midland, Newcastle, Niagara, Ottawa District, Ottawa, and Western. By 1838, there were twenty districts: Bathurst, Brock, Colbourne, Dalhousie District, Dalhousie, Eastern, Gore, Home, Huron, Johnstown, London, Midland, Newcastle, Niagara, Ottawa, Prince Edward, Simcoe County, Simcoe, Talbot, Victoria, Wellington District, Upper Canada, Wellington, and Western. In 1849, the districts of southern Ontario were abolished by the Province of Canada, and county governments took over certain municipal responsibilities. The Province of Canada also began creating ''districts'' in sparsely populated Northern Ontario with the establishment of Algoma District and Nipissing District in 1858. The borders of Ontario, its new name in 1867, were provisionally expanded north and west. When the Province of Canada was formed, its borders were not entirely clear, and Ontario claimed eventually to reach all the way to the Rocky Mountains and Arctic Ocean. With Canada's acquisition of Rupert's Land, Ontario was interested in clearly defining its borders, especially since some of the new areas in which it was interested were rapidly growing. After the federal government asked Ontario to pay for construction in the new disputed area, the province asked for an elaboration on its limits, and its boundary was moved north to the 51st parallel north. The northern and western boundaries of Ontario were in dispute after Canadian Confederation. Ontario's right to Northwestern Ontario was determined by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in 1884 and confirmed by the ''Canada (Ontario Boundary) Act, 1889'' of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. By 1899, there were seven northern districts: Algoma, Manitoulin, Muskoka, Nipissing, Parry Sound, Rainy River, and Thunder Bay. Four more northern districts were created between 1907 and 1912: Cochrane, Kenora, Sudbury and Timiskaming.


Demographics

In the 2016 Canadian Census, 2016 census, Ontario had a population of 13,448,494 living in 5,169,174 of its 5,598,391 total dwellings, a 4.6 percent change from its 2011 population of 12,851,821. With a land area of , it had a population density of in 2016. The largest List of population centres in Ontario, population centres in Ontario are
Toronto Toronto (, ) is the capital city of the Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 2016 in 2016, it is the most populous city in Canada and the fourth most populous city in North America. The city is the anch ...

Toronto
,
Ottawa Ottawa (, ; Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many (or all) of these connections exist and are ...

Ottawa
, Hamilton, Ontario, Hamilton, Kitchener, Ontario, Kitchener, London, Ontario, London and Oshawa which all have more than 300,000 inhabitants. The percentages given below add to more than 100 per cent because of dual responses (e.g., "French and Canadian" response generates an entry both in the category "French Canadian" and in the category "Canadian"). The majority of Ontarians are of English Canadians, English or other European Canadians, European descent including large Scottish, Irish and Italian communities. Slightly less than 5 per cent of the population of Ontario is Franco-Ontarian, that is those whose native tongue is French, although those with French ancestry account for 11 per cent of the population. In relation to natural increase or inter-provincial migration, Immigration to Canada, immigration is a huge population growth force in Ontario, as it has been over the last two centuries. More recent sources of immigrants with large or growing communities in Ontario include South Asian Canadians, South Asians, Caribbeans, Latin Americans, Europeans, East Asians, and Africans. Most populations have settled in the larger urban centres. In 2011, 25.9 per cent of the population consisted of visible minorities and 2.4 per cent of the population was Indigenous peoples in Canada, Indigenous, mostly of
First Nations The First Nations (french: Premières Nations ) are groups of Canadian indigenous peoples, who are classified as distinct from the Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally s ...
and Métis in Canada, Métis descent. There was also a small number of Inuit people in the province. The number of Aboriginal people and visible minorities has been increasing at a faster rate than the general population of Ontario.


Religion

In 2011, the largest religious denominations in Ontario were the Catholic Church in Canada, Roman Catholic Church (with 31.4% of the population), the United Church of Canada (7.5%), and the Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Church (6.1%). 23.1% of Ontarians had no religious affiliation, making it the second-largest religious grouping in the province after Roman Catholics. The major religious groups in Ontario in 2011 were: In Ontario, Catholics are represented by the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario and the Anglican Protestants by the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario. The Ecclesiastical Province covers most of the geographical province of Ontario


Language

The principal language of Ontario is English, the province's ''de facto'' official language, with approximately 97.2 per cent of Ontarians having proficiency in the language, although only 69.5 per cent of Ontarians reported English as their mother tongue in the 2016 Census. English is one of two official languages of Canada, with the other being French. English and French are the official languages of the courts in Ontario. Approximately 4.6 per cent of the population were identified as francophones, with 11.5 per cent of Ontarians having proficiency in French. Approximately 11.2 per cent of Ontarians reported being bilingual in both official languages of Canada. Approximately 2.5 per cent of Ontarians have no proficiency in either English or French. Franco-Ontarians are concentrated in the northeastern, eastern, and extreme Southern parts of the province, where under the ''French Language Services Act'', provincial government services are required to be available in French if at least 10 per cent of a designated area's population report French as their native language or if an urban centre has at least 5,000 francophones. Other languages spoken by residents include Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Dutch, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Hebrew, Italian, Korean, Malayalam, Mandarin, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Sinhalese, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Telugu, Tamil, Tibetan, Ukrainian, Urdu, and Vietnamese.


Economy

Ontario is Canada's leading manufacturing province, accounting for 52% of the total national manufacturing shipments in 2004. Ontario's largest trading partner is the American state of
Michigan Michigan () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Michigan
. , Moody's Corporation, Moody's bond-rating agency rated Canadian public debt, Ontario debt at AA2/stable, while S&P rated it AA-. Dominion Bond Rating Service rated it AA(low) in January 2013. Long known as a bastion of Canadian manufacturing and financial solvency, Ontario's public debt-to-GDP ratio is projected to be 38.4% in fiscal year 2023–2024. Mining and the forest products industry, notably pulp and paper industry in Canada, pulp and paper, are vital to the economy of Northern Ontario. As of 2011, roughly 200,000 ha are clearcut each year; herbicides for hardwood suppression are applied to a third of the total. There has been controversy over the Northern Ontario Ring of Fire, Ring of Fire mineral deposit, and whether the province can afford to spend CAD$2.25 billion on a road from the Trans-Canada Highway near Kenora to the deposit, currently valued at CAD$60 billion. An abundance of natural resources, excellent transportation links to the North American heartland and the inland Great Lakes making ocean access possible via container ships, have all contributed to making manufacturing the principal industry of the province, found mainly in the Golden Horseshoe region, which is the largest industrialized area in Canada, the southern end of the region being part of the North American Rust Belt. Important products include motor vehicles, iron, steel, food, electrical appliances, machinery, chemicals, and paper. Hamilton, Ontario, Hamilton is the largest steel manufacturing city in Canada followed closely by Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Sault Ste. Marie, and Sarnia is the centre for petrochemical production. Construction employed more than 6.5% of the province's work force in June 2011. Ontario's steel industry was once centred in Hamilton, Ontario, Hamilton. Hamilton harbour, which can be seen from the QEW Skyway bridge, is an industrial wasteland; U.S. Steel-owned Stelco announced in the autumn of 2013 that it would close in 2014, with the loss of 875 jobs. The move flummoxed a union representative, who seemed puzzled why a plant with capacity of 2 million tons per annum would be shut while Canada imported 8 million tons of steel the previous year. Algoma Steel maintains a plant in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Sault Ste Marie. Ontario surpassed Michigan in car production, assembling 2.696 million vehicles in 2004. Ontario has Chrysler plants in
Windsor Windsor may refer to: Places Australia *Windsor, New South Wales ** Municipality of Windsor, a former local government area *Windsor, Queensland, a suburb of Brisbane, Queensland **Shire of Windsor, a former local government authority around Winds ...
and Bramalea, two General Motors, GM plants in Oshawa and one in Ingersoll, a Honda assembly plant in Alliston, Ford Motor Company, Ford plants in Oakville and St. Thomas and Toyota assembly plants in Cambridge and Woodstock. However, as a result of steeply declining sales, in 2005, General Motors announced massive layoffs at production facilities across North America, including two large GM plants in Oshawa and a Powertrain, drive train facility in St. Catharines, that resulted in 8,000 job losses in Ontario alone. In 2006, Ford Motor Company announced between 25,000 and 30,000 layoffs phased until 2012; Ontario was spared the worst, but job losses were announced for the St. Thomas, Ontario, St Thomas facility and the Windsor Casting plant. However, these losses will be offset by Ford's recent announcement of a hybrid vehicle facility slated to begin production in 2007 at its Oakville, Ontario, Oakville plant and GM's re-introduction of the Chevrolet Camaro, Camaro which will be produced in Oshawa. On December 4, 2008, Toyota announced the grand opening of the Toyota RAV4, RAV4 plant in Woodstock, Ontario, Woodstock, and Honda also plans to add an engine plant at its facility in Alliston. Despite these new plants coming online, Ontario has not yet fully recovered following massive layoffs caused by the Financial crisis of 2007–2010, global recession; its unemployment rate was 7.3% in May 2013, compared to 8.7 percent in January 2010 and approximately 6% in 2007. In September 2013, the Ontario government committed CAD$70.9 million to the Ford plant in Oakville, Ontario, Oakville, while the federal government committed CAD$71.1mn, to secure 2,800 jobs. The province has lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs in the decade from 2003, and the Bank of Canada noted that "while the energy and mining industries have benefitted from these movements, the pressure on the manufacturing sector has intensified, since many firms in this sector were already dealing with growing competition from low-cost economies such as China."
Toronto Toronto (, ) is the capital city of the Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 2016 in 2016, it is the most populous city in Canada and the fourth most populous city in North America. The city is the anch ...

Toronto
, the capital of Ontario, is the centre of Canada's financial services and banking industry. Neighbouring cities are home to product distribution, IT centres, and manufacturing industries. Canada's Federal Government is the largest single employer in the National Capital Region (Canada), National Capital Region, which centres on the border cities of Ontario's Ottawa and Quebec's Gatineau. The information technology sector is important, particularly in the ''Silicon Valley North'' section of
Ottawa Ottawa (, ; Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many (or all) of these connections exist and are ...

Ottawa
, home to Canada's largest technology park. IT is also important in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, Waterloo Region, where the headquarters of BlackBerry is located. Tourism contributes heavily to the economy of Central Ontario, peaking during the summer months owing to the abundance of fresh water recreation and wilderness found there in reasonable proximity to the major urban centres. At other times of the year, hunting, skiing and snowmobile, snowmobiling are popular. This region has some of the most vibrant fall colour displays anywhere on the continent, and tours directed at overseas visitors are organized to see them. Tourism also plays a key role in border cities with large casinos, among them Windsor,
Cornwall Cornwall (; kw, Kernow ) is a Historic counties of England, historic county and Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county in South West England. It is recognised as one of the Celtic nations, and is the homeland of the Cornish people ...

Cornwall
, Sarnia and Niagara Falls, Ontario, Niagara Falls, the latter of which attracts millions of US and other international visitors.


Agriculture

Once the dominant industry, agriculture now uses a small percentage of the workforce. However, much of the land in southern Ontario is given over to agriculture. As the following table shows, while the number of individual farms has steadily decreased and their overall size has shrunk at a lower rate, greater mechanization has supported increased supply to satisfy the ever-increasing demands of a growing population base; this has also meant a gradual increase in the total amount of land used for growing crops. Common types of farms reported in the 2001 census include those for cattle, small grains and dairy. The fruit- and Ontario wine, wine industry is primarily on the
Niagara Peninsula The Niagara Peninsula is the portion of Golden Horseshoe, Southern Ontario Southern Ontario is a primary region of the province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the an ...
, Prince Edward County Wine, Prince Edward County, and along the northern shore of Lake Erie, where tobacco farms are also situated. Market vegetables grow in the rich soils of the Holland Marsh near Newmarket, Ontario, Newmarket. The area near
Windsor Windsor may refer to: Places Australia *Windsor, New South Wales ** Municipality of Windsor, a former local government area *Windsor, Queensland, a suburb of Brisbane, Queensland **Shire of Windsor, a former local government authority around Winds ...
is also very fertile. The Heinz plant in Leamington, Ontario, Leamington was taken over in these autumn of 2013 by Warren Buffett and a Brazilian partner, following which it put 740 people out of work. Government subsidies followed shortly; Premier Kathleen Wynne offered CAD$200,000 to cushion the blow, and promised that another processed-food operator would soon be found. On December 10, 2013, Kellogg's announced layoffs for more than 509 workers at a cereal manufacture plant in London, Ontario, London. The area defined as the Corn Belt covers much of the southwestern area of the province, extending as far north as close to Goderich, but corn and soy are grown throughout the southern portion of the province. Apple orchards are a common sight along the southern shore of Nottawasaga Bay (part of Georgian Bay) near Collingwood and along the northern shore of Lake Ontario near Cobourg. Tobacco production, centred in Norfolk County, Ontario, Norfolk County, has decreased, allowing an increase in alternative crops such as Corylus avellana, hazelnuts and ginseng. The Ontario origins of Massey Ferguson, once one of the largest Agricultural machinery, farm-implement manufacturers in the world, indicate the importance agriculture once had to the Canadian economy.
Southern Ontario Southern Ontario is a primary region of the province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first ...
's limited supply of agricultural land is going out of production at an increasing rate. Urban sprawl and farmland Severance (land), severances contribute to the loss of thousands of acres of productive agricultural land in Ontario each year. Over 2,000 farms and of farmland in the GTA alone were lost to production in the two decades between 1976 and 1996. This loss represented approximately 18%". of Ontario's Class 1 farmland being converted to urban purposes. In addition, increasing rural severances provide ever-greater interference with agricultural production. In an effort to protect the farmland and green spaces of the National Capital Region, and Greater Toronto Area, the Federal and Provincial Governments introduced green belt#Canada, greenbelts around
Ottawa Ottawa (, ; Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many (or all) of these connections exist and are ...

Ottawa
and the
Golden Horseshoe The Golden Horseshoe is a secondary region of Southern Ontario Southern Ontario is a primary region of the province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' ...

Golden Horseshoe
, limiting urban development in these areas.


Energy

Ontario's rivers make it rich in hydroelectric energy. In 2009, Ontario Power Generation generated 70 percent of the province's electricity, of which 51 percent is nuclear power, nuclear, 39% is hydroelectricity, hydroelectric and 10% is fossil-fuel derived. By 2025, nuclear power is projected to supply 42%, while fossil-fuel-derived generation is projected to decrease slightly over the next 20 years. Much of the newer power generation coming online in the last few years is natural gas or combined-cycle natural gas plants. OPG is not, however, responsible for the transmission of power, which is under the control of Hydro One. Despite its diverse range of power options, problems related to increasing consumption, lack of energy efficiency and aging nuclear reactors, Ontario has been forced in recent years to purchase power from its neighbours Quebec and Michigan to supplement its power needs during peak consumption periods. Ontario's basic domestic rate in 2010 was 11.17 cents per kWh; by contrast. Quebec's was 6.81. In December 2013, the government projected a 42 percent hike by 2018, and 68 percent by 2033. Industrial rates are projected to rise by 33% by 2018, and 55% in 2033. The ''Green Energy and Green Economy Act'', 2009 (GEA), takes a two-pronged approach to commercializing renewable energy; first, it aims to bring more Renewable resource, renewable energy sources to the province; and secondly, it aims to adopt more efficient energy use, energy-efficiency measures to help energy conservation, conserve energy. The bill envisaged appointing a Renewable Energy Facilitator to provide "one-window" assistance and support to project developers to facilitate project approvals. The approvals process for transmission projects would also be wikt:streamline, streamlined and (for the first time in Ontario) the bill would enact standards for renewable energy projects. Homeowners would have access to incentives to develop small-scale renewables such as low- or no-interest loans to finance the capital cost of renewable energy generating facilities like solar panels. Ontario is home to
Niagara Falls Niagara Falls is a group of three waterfalls at the southern end of Niagara Gorge, spanning the Canada–United States border, border between the Provinces and territories of Canada, province of Ontario in Canada and the U.S. state, state o ...

Niagara Falls
, which supplies a large amount of electricity to the province. The Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, the largest operational nuclear power plant in the world, is also in Ontario and uses 8 CANDU reactors to generate electricity for the province. Ontario had the most wind energy capacity of the country with 4,900 MW of power (41% of Canada's capacity).


Government, law and politics

The ''British North America Act 1867'' section 69 stipulated "There shall be a Legislature for Ontario consisting of the Lieutenant Governor and of One House, styled the Legislative Assembly of Ontario." The assembly currently has 124 seats (increased from 107 as of the 42nd Ontario general election) representing electoral district (Canada), ridings elected in a Plurality voting, first-past-the-post system across the province. The legislative buildings at Queen's Park (Toronto), Queen's Park are the seat of government. Following the Westminster system, the leader of the party holding the most seats in the assembly is known as the "Premier and President of the Council" (Executive Council Act R.S.O. 1990). The Premier chooses the cabinet (government), cabinet or Executive Council of Ontario, Executive Council whose members are deemed ministers of the Crown. Although the ''Legislative Assembly Act (R.S.O. 1990)'' refers to "members of the assembly", the legislators are now commonly called MPPs (Member of Provincial Parliament (Ontario), Members of the Provincial Parliament) in English and ''députés de l'Assemblée législative'' in French, but they have also been called MLAs (Member of the Legislative Assembly, Members of the Legislative Assembly), and both are acceptable. The title of Prime Minister of Ontario, correct in French (''le Premier ministre''), is permissible in English but now generally avoided in favour of the title "Premier" to avoid confusion with the Prime Minister of Canada.


Law

Ontario has grown, from its roots in
Upper Canada The Province of Upper Canada (french: link=no, province du Haut-Canada) was a part Part, parts or PART may refer to: People *Armi Pärt Armi Pärt (born 18 June 1991) is an Estonian handballer, playing in French D2 for Massy Essonne H ...
, into a modern jurisdiction. The old titles of the chief law officers, the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General, remain in use. They both are responsible to the Legislature. The Attorney-General drafts the laws and is responsible for criminal prosecutions and the administration of justice, while the Solicitor-General is responsible for law enforcement and the police services of the province. The Municipal Act, 2001 (Ontario) is the main statute governing the creation, administration and government of municipality, municipalities in the Canada, Canadian province of Ontario, other than the City of Toronto government, City of Toronto. After being passed in 2001, it came into force on January 1, 2003, replacing the previous ''Municipal Act''. Effective January 1, 2007, the Municipal Act, 2001 (the Act) was significantly amended by the Municipal Statute Law Amendment Act, 2006 (Bill 130).


Politics

Ontario has numerous political parties which run for election. The four main parties are the centre-right Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, the Social democracy, social democratic Ontario New Democratic Party (NDP), the centre to centre-left Ontario Liberal Party, and Green Party of Ontario. The Progressive Conservatives, Liberals and New Democrats have each governed the province, while the Greens elected their first member to the Legislative Assembly in 2018 Ontario general election, 2018. The 2018 Ontario general election, 2018 provincial election resulted in a Progressive Conservative majority government under party leader
Doug Ford Douglas Robert Ford Jr. (; born November 20, 1964) is a Canadian businessman and politician who has served as the 26th and current premier of Ontario since June 2018 and leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, Progressive Co ...
, who was sworn in as Premier of Ontario, Premier on June 29. Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath was sworn in as the leader of her Majesty's Loyal Opposition.


Administrative divisions

Ontario has three types of List of census divisions of Ontario, first-level administrative divisions. They include List of census divisions of Ontario#Single-tier municipalities, single-tier municipalities, upper-tier municipalities (which may be in the form of either List of census divisions of Ontario#Regional municipalities, regional municipalities or List of census divisions of Ontario#Counties, counties), and List of census divisions of Ontario#Districts, districts. Upper-tier municipalities and districts are made up of smaller municipalities and other types of administrative divisions. Administrative divisions differ primarily in the services that they provide to their residents, with the differing structures of these administrative regions resulting in disparities among Ontario's different regions. The administrative regions of Ontario are roughly coterminous with the List of census divisions of Ontario, census divisions used by Statistics Canada, although some exceptions do exist.


Urban areas

Statistics Canada's measure of a "metro area", the Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), roughly bundles together population figures from the core municipality with those from "commuter" municipalities. *Parts of Quebec (including Gatineau) are included in the Ottawa CMA. The population of the Ottawa CMA, in both provinces, is shown. ;Ten largest municipalities by population


Education

In Canada, education falls under provincial jurisdiction. Publicly funded elementary and secondary schools are administered by the Ministry of Education (Ontario), Ontario Ministry of Education, while colleges and universities are administered by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. The Minister of Education is Stephen Lecce, the Minister of Colleges and Universities is Ross Romano, and the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton.


Higher education

Higher education in Ontario includes postsecondary education and skills training regulated by the Ministry of Education (Ontario), Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities and provided by universities, colleges of applied arts and technology, and private career colleges. The minister is Merrilee Fullerton. The ministry administers laws covering 22 public universities, 24 public colleges (21 Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (CAATs) and three Institutes of Technology and Advanced Learning (ITALs)), 17 privately funded religious universities, and over 500 private career colleges. The Canadian constitution provides each province with the responsibility for higher education and there is no corresponding national federal ministry of higher education. Within Canadian federalism the division of responsibilities and taxing powers between the Ontario and Canadian governments creates the need for co-operation to fund and deliver higher education to students. Each higher education system aims to improve participation, access, and mobility for students. There are two central organizations that assist with the process of applying to Ontario universities and colleges: the Ontario Universities' Application Centre and Ontario College Application Service. While application services are centralized, admission and selection processes vary and are the purview of each institution. Admission to many Ontario postsecondary institutions can be highly competitive. Upon admission, students may get involved with regional student representation with the Canadian Federation of Students, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, or through the College Student Alliance in Ontario.


Culture

In 2019, the government of Ontario passed legislation that established the Poet Laureate of Ontario.


Songs and slogans

In 1973, the first slogan to appear on Vehicle registration plates of Ontario, licence plates in Ontario was "Keep It Beautiful". This was replaced by "Yours to Discover" in 1982, apparently inspired by a tourism slogan, "Discover Ontario", dating back to 1927. Plates with the French equivalent, , were made available to the public beginning in May 2008. (From 1988 to 1990, "Ontario Incredible" gave "Yours to Discover" a brief respite.) A Place to Stand, a Place to Grow is a song commissioned by the government of Ontario for its pavilion in Expo 67, and an unofficial anthem of the province. As a part of the Canada 150 celebrations in 2017, the provincial government released an updated rendition. In 2007, the provincial tourism agency commissioned a new song, "There's No Place Like This" is featured in television advertisement, television advertising, performed by Ontario artists including Molly Johnson, Brian Byrne, Keshia Chanté, as well as Tomi Swick and Arkells.


Professional sports

The province has professional sports teams in baseball, basketball, Canadian football, ice hockey, lacrosse, rugby league, rugby union and Association football, soccer.


Notable residents


Museums


Transportation

Transportation routes in Ontario evolved from early waterway travel and First Nations paths followed by European explorers. Ontario has two major east–west routes, both starting from Montreal in the neighbouring province of Quebec. The northerly route, which was a major fur trade route, travels west from Montreal along the Ottawa River, then continues northwestward towards Manitoba. Major cities on or near the route include Ottawa, North Bay, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Sault Ste. Marie, and Thunder Bay. The southerly route, which was driven by growth in settlements originated by the United Empire Loyalists and later other European immigrants, travels southwest from Montreal along the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, and Lake Erie before entering the United States in Michigan. Major cities on or near the route include Kingston, Belleville, Peterborough, Oshawa, Toronto, Mississauga, Regional Municipality of Waterloo, Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton, London, Sarnia, and Windsor. This route was also heavily used by immigrants to the Midwestern US particularly in the late 19th century.


Air travel

Important airports in the province include Toronto Pearson International Airport, which is the List of the busiest airports in Canada, busiest airport in Canada, handling nearly 50 million passengers in 2018. Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport is Ontario's second largest airport. Toronto/Pearson and Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier form two of the three points in Canada's busiest set of air routes (the third point being Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport). In addition to airports in Ottawa, and Toronto, the province also operates three other international airports, the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport in Hamilton, the Thunder Bay International Airport in Thunder Bay and the London International Airport in London. John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport serves as cargo hub, reliever for Pearson, and a hub for ULCC Swoop (airline), Swoop. Most Ontario cities have regional airports, many of which have scheduled commuter flights from Air Canada Jazz or smaller airlines and charter companies – flights from the mid-size cities such as Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, North Bay, Timmins, Windsor, London, and Kingston feed directly into larger airports in Toronto and Ottawa. Bearskin Airlines also runs flights along the northerly east–west route, connecting Ottawa, North Bay, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, Kitchener and Thunder Bay directly. Isolated towns and settlements in the northern areas of the province rely partly or entirely on airline, air service for travel, goods, and even air ambulance, ambulance services (Medical evacuation, MEDIVAC), since much of the far northern area of the province cannot be reached by road or rail.


Railways

Via Rail operates the inter-regional passenger train service on the Quebec City–Windsor Corridor (Via Rail), Quebec City–Windsor Corridor, along with ''Canadian (train), The Canadian'', a transcontinental rail service from Southern Ontario to Vancouver, and the Sudbury–White River train. Additionally, Amtrak rail connects Ontario with key New York cities including Buffalo, New York, Buffalo, Albany, New York, Albany, and New York City. Ontario Northland Railway, Ontario Northland provides rail service to destinations as far north as Moosonee near
James Bay James Bay (french: Baie James, cr, ᐐᓂᐯᒄ Wînipekw meaning ''Dirty Water'') is a large body of water located on the southern end of Hudson Bay in Canada. Both bodies of water extend from the Arctic Ocean, of which James Bay is the southe ...
, connecting them with the south. Rail freight transport, Freight rail is dominated by the founding cross-country Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway, CP Rail companies, which during the 1990s sold many Shortline railroad, short rail lines from their vast network to private companies operating mostly in the south. Regional commuter rail is limited to the provincially owned GO Transit, and serves a train-bus network spanning the Golden Horseshoe region, with Union Station (Toronto), Union Station in Toronto serving as the transport hub. There are several city rail-transit systems in the Province. The Toronto Transit Commission operates Toronto subway, subways, as well as Toronto streetcar system, streetcars (being one of the busiest streetcar systems in North America). OC Transpo operates a O-Train, light rail metro system in Ottawa. In addition, Regional Municipality of Waterloo, Waterloo region operates a surface light rail system. Plans to build a light rail line is also underway in the Regional Municipality of Peel.


Roads

400-series highways make up the primary vehicular network in the south of province, and they connect at a number of points to border crossings to the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, and
Quebec ) , image_shield=Armoiries du Québec.svg , image_flag=Flag of Quebec.svg , coordinates= , AdmittanceDate=July 1, 1867 , AdmittanceOrder=1st, with New Brunswick ("Hope restored") , image_map = New Brunswick in Canada 2.svg , ...

Quebec
, the busiest being the Detroit–Windsor Tunnel and Ambassador Bridge and the Blue Water Bridge (via Ontario Highway 402, Highway 402). Some of the primary highways along the southern route are Ontario Highway 401, Highway 401, Ontario Highway 417, Highway 417, and Ontario Highway 400, Highway 400, Highway 401 being the busiest highway in North America. Other List of provincial highways in Ontario, provincial highways and regional roads inter-connect the remainder of the province.


Waterways

The
Saint Lawrence Seaway The Saint Lawrence Seaway (french: la Voie Maritime du Saint-Laurent) is a system of locks, canal Canals are waterways Channel (geography), channels, or artificial waterways, for water conveyance, or to service water transport vehicle ...
, which extends across most of the southern portion of the province and connects to the Atlantic Ocean, is the primary water transportation route for cargo, particularly iron ore and grain. In the past, the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River were also a major passenger transportation route, but over the past half century passenger travel has been reduced to ferry services and sightseeing cruises. Ontario's three largest ports are the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority, Port of Hamilton, Thunder Bay Port Authority, Port of Thunder Bay and the Port of Windsor. Ontario's only saltwater port is located in the town of Moosonee on
James Bay James Bay (french: Baie James, cr, ᐐᓂᐯᒄ Wînipekw meaning ''Dirty Water'') is a large body of water located on the southern end of Hudson Bay in Canada. Both bodies of water extend from the Arctic Ocean, of which James Bay is the southe ...
.


See also

* Outline of Ontario * Index of Ontario-related articles


Notes


References


Citations


Sources

* Michael Sletcher, "Ottawa", in James Ciment, ed., ''Colonial America: An Encyclopedia of Social, Political, Cultural, and Economic History'', (5 vols., M. E. Sharpe, New York, 2006).
Virtual Vault
an online exhibition of Canadian historical art at Library and Archives Canada.


Further reading

* * * * ''Celebrating One Thousand Years of Ontario's History: Proceedings of the Celebrating One Thousand Years of Ontario's History Symposium, April 14, 15 and 16, 2000.'' Ontario Historical Society, 2000. 343 pp. * Baskerville, Peter A. ''Sites of Power: A Concise History of Ontario.'' Oxford U. Press., 2005. 296 pp. (first edition was ''Ontario: Image, Identity and Power,'' 2002)
online review
* Chambers, Lori, and Edgar-Andre Montigny, eds. ''Ontario Since Confederation: A Reader'' (2000), articles by scholars * Winfield, Mark S. ''Blue-Green Province: The Environment and the Political Economy of Ontario'' (University of British Columbia Press; 2012) 296 pages; environmental policies since 1945


External links


Government of Ontario

Tourism Ontario
*
Ontario Visual Heritage Project
nbsp;– Non-profit documentary project about Ontario's history {{Authority control Ontario, 1867 establishments in Canada Provinces of Canada States and territories established in 1867 Eastern Canada