ONTARIO (/ɒnˈtɛərioʊ/ ( listen ); French pronunciation: ),
one of the 13 provinces and territories of
Canada , is located in
Canada . It is Canada's most populous province
accounting for nearly 40 percent of the country's population, and is
the second-largest province in total area.
Ontario is fourth-largest
in total area when the territories of the
Northwest Territories and
Nunavut are included. It is home to the nation's capital city, Ottawa
, and the nation's most populous city,
Ontario is bordered by the province of
Manitoba to the west, Hudson
James Bay to the north, and
Quebec to the east and northeast,
and to the south by the U.S. states of (from west to east)
Pennsylvania and New York . Almost all of Ontario's
2,700 km (1,678 mi) border with the United States follows inland
waterways : from the west at
Lake of the Woods
Lake of the Woods , eastward along the
major rivers and lakes of the
Great Lakes /Saint Lawrence River
drainage system. These are the Rainy River , the Pigeon River , Lake
Superior , the St. Marys River ,
Lake Huron , the
St. Clair River
St. Clair River ,
Lake St. Clair , the
Detroit River ,
Lake Erie , the
Niagara River ,
Lake Ontario and along the St. Lawrence River from
Kingston, Ontario ,
Quebec boundary just east of
Cornwall, Ontario . There is only
about 1 km (0.6 mi) of land border made up of portages including
Height of Land Portage on the
Ontario is sometimes conceptually divided into two regions, Northern
Southern Ontario . The great majority of Ontario's
population and arable land is located in the south. In contrast, the
larger, northern part of
Ontario is sparsely populated with cold
winters and heavy forestation.
* 1 Etymology
* 2 Geography
* 2.1 Climate
* 3 History
* 3.1 Territorial evolution
* 3.2 European contact
* 3.3 Upper
* 3.5 Provincehood
* 4 Demographics
* 4.1 Religion
* 4.2 Language
* 5 Economy
* 5.2 Energy
* 6 Government, law and politics
* 6.1 Law
* 6.2 Politics
* 6.3 Urban areas
* 7 Education
* 8 Culture
* 8.1 Songs and slogans
* 8.2 Notable residents
* 8.3 Professional sports
* 9 Transportation
* 9.1 Roads
* 9.2 Waterways
* 9.3 Railways
* 9.4 Air travel
* 10 See also
* 11 Notes
* 12 References
* 13 Further reading
* 14 External links
The province is named after
Lake Ontario , a term thought to be
derived from _Ontarí:io_, a Huron (Wyandot ) word meaning "great
lake", or possibly _skanadario_, which means "beautiful water" in the
Iroquoian languages .
Ontario has about 250,000 freshwater lakes.
Geography of Ontario
Geography of Ontario See also: Census divisions of
Ontario and Geography of
Canada See also: List of parks and protected
Algonquin Provincial Park , Cache Lake in the
autumn of 2006.
The province consists of three main geographical regions:
* The thinly populated
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
minerals and in part covered by the Central and Midwestern Canadian
Shield forests , studded with lakes and rivers.
Northern Ontario is
subdivided into two sub-regions:
Northwestern Ontario and Northeastern
* The virtually unpopulated
Hudson Bay Lowlands in the extreme north
and northeast, mainly swampy and sparsely forested.
Southern Ontario which is further sub-divided into four regions;
Central Ontario (although not actually the province's geographic
Eastern Ontario ,
Golden Horseshoe and Southwestern Ontario
(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
Niagara Escarpment which crosses the south. The highest
Ishpatina Ridge at 693 metres (2,274 ft) above sea level
Temagami , Northeastern Ontario. In the south, elevations
of over 500 m (1,640 ft) are surpassed near Collingwood, above the
Blue Mountains in the Dundalk Highlands and in hilltops near the
Madawaska River in
Renfrew County .
Carolinian forest 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 where the forest has now been largely replaced by
agriculture, industrial and urban development. A well-known geographic
Niagara Falls , part of the
Niagara Escarpment . The Saint
Lawrence Seaway allows navigation to and from the
Atlantic Ocean as
far inland as
Thunder Bay in Northwestern Ontario. Northern Ontario
occupies roughly 87 percent of the surface area of the province;
Southern Ontario contains 94 percent of the population.
Point Pelee is a peninsula of
Lake Erie in southwestern
Windsor and Detroit,
Michigan ) that is the southernmost extent of
Canada's mainland. Pelee Island and Middle Island in
Lake Erie extend
slightly farther. All are south of 42°N – slightly farther south
than the northern border of
Geography of Ontario
Geography of Ontario § Climate Köppen climate types
Ontario Summer at
Sandbanks Provincial Park on Lake Ontario.
The climate of
Ontario varies by season and location. It is affected
by three air sources: 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
Northern Plains ; 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
Ontario has three main climatic regions.
Great Lakes greatly influence the climatic region of
southern Ontario. During the fall and winter months, heat stored from
the lakes is released, moderating the climate near the shores of the
lakes. This gives some 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 (Köppen climate classification
_Dfa_), similar to that of the inland
Mid-Atlantic states and the
Great Lakes portion of the
Midwestern United States
Midwestern United States . The region has
warm to hot, humid summers and cold winters. Annual precipitation
ranges from 750–1,000 mm (30–39 in) 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 (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
Niagara Escarpment on the
Bruce Peninsula .
In the northeastern parts of Ontario, extending far as south as
Kirkland Lake , 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,
which cools hot humid air from the south, leading to cooler summer
temperatures. Along the eastern shores of
Lake Superior and Lake
Huron winter temperatures are slightly moderated but come with
frequent heavy lake-effect snow squalls that increase seasonal
snowfall totals upwards of 3 m (10 ft) in some places. These regions
have higher annual precipitation in some case over 100 cm (39 in). The
northernmost parts of
Ontario — primarily north of 50°N — have a
subarctic climate (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 masses , temperatures of −40 °C (−40 °F) are not uncommon;
snowfall remains on the ground for sometimes over half the year.
Snowfall accumulation can be high in some areas. Precipitation is
generally less than 70 cm (28 in) and peaks in the summer months in
the form of showers or thunderstorms.
Severe thunderstorms peak in summer. London , situated in Southern
(Southwestern) Ontario, has the most lightning strikes per year in
Canada, averaging 34 days of thunderstorm activity per year. In a
Ontario averages 11 confirmed tornado touchdowns.
However, over the last 4 years, it has had upwards of 20 tornado
touchdowns per year, with the highest frequency occurring in the
Windsor-Essex – Chatham Kent area, though few are very destructive
(the majority between F0 to F2 on the
Fujita scale ).
Ontario had a
record 29 tornadoes in both 2006 and 2009. Tropical depression
remnants occasionally bring heavy rains and winds in the south, but
are rarely deadly. A notable exception was
Hurricane Hazel which
Southern Ontario centred on Toronto, in October 1954.
AVERAGE DAILY MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM TEMPERATURES FOR SELECTED LOCATIONS
Windsor International Airport )
Niagara Falls (NPCSH)
The Annex )
Midland (Water Pollution Control Plant)
Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport )
Sudbury Airport )
Emo (Emo Radbourne)
Thunder Bay (
Thunder Bay International Airport )
Kenora Airport )
History of Ontario and Upper
Evolution of the borders of Ontario.
View full resolution for time-lapsed evolution
Land was not legally subdivided into administrative units until a
treaty had been concluded with the Aboriginal people ceding the land .
In 1788, while part of the Province of
Quebec , southern
divided into four districts : Hesse , Lunenburg , Mecklenburg , and
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 ,
London , Midland, Newcastle , Niagara , and Western.
By 1826, there were eleven districts: Bathurst , Eastern, Gore ,
Home, Johnstown, London, Midland, Newcastle, Niagara,
Ottawa , and
By 1838, there were twenty districts: Bathurst, Brock, Colbourne,
Dalhousie , Eastern, Gore, Home, Huron, Johnstown, London, Midland,
Newcastle, Niagara, Ottawa, Prince Edward, Simcoe , Talbot, Victoria,
Wellington , and Western.
In 1849, the districts of southern
Ontario were abolished by the
Canada , and county governments took over certain
municipal responsibilities. The Province of
Canada also began creating
_districts_ in sparsely populated
Northern Ontario with the
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
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
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in 1884 and
confirmed by the _
Ontario Boundary) Act, 1889_ of the
Parliament of the United Kingdom
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.
United Empire Loyalists
United Empire Loyalists in downtown Hamilton on Main
Street East .
Prior to the arrival of the Europeans, the region was inhabited by
Algonquian (Ojibwa ,
Cree and Algonquin ) in the northern/western
Iroquois and Wyandot (Huron) tribes more in the
south/east. During the 17th century, the Algonquians and Hurons
Beaver Wars against the Iroquois. The French explorer
Étienne Brûlé explored part of the area in 1610–12. The English
Henry Hudson sailed into
Hudson Bay in 1611 and claimed the
Samuel de Champlain
Samuel de Champlain 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 and
smallpox , to which they had no immunity. By 1700, the
Ontario and the Mississaugas of the Ojibwa had settled
the north shore of Lake Ontario.
The British established trading posts on
Hudson Bay in the late 17th
century and began a struggle for domination of Ontario. The 1763
Treaty of Paris ended the Seven Years\' War by awarding nearly all of
France\'s North American possessions (New
France ) to Britain. The
region was annexed to
Quebec in 1774. The first European settlements
were in 1782–1784 when 5,000 American loyalists entered what is now
Ontario following the
American Revolution . The Kingdom of Great
Britain granted them 200 acres (81 ha) land and other items with which
to rebuild their lives. The British also set up reservations in
Ontario for the Mohawks who had fought for the British and had lost
their land in New York state. Other
Iroquois were resettled in 1784 at
the Six Nations reserve at the west end of Lake Ontario.
The population of
Canada west of the St. Lawrence-
confluence substantially increased during this period, a fact
recognized by the
Constitutional Act of 1791
Constitutional Act of 1791 , which split
the Canadas : Upper
Canada southwest of the St. Lawrence-
confluence, and Lower
Canada east of it.
John Graves Simcoe
John Graves Simcoe was
appointed Upper Canada's first Lieutenant governor in 1793.
Main article: Upper
American troops in the
War of 1812
War of 1812 invaded Upper
Canada across the
Niagara River and the
Detroit River , but were defeated and pushed
back by the British, Canadian fencibles and militias, and First
Nations warriors. However, eventually the Americans gained control of
Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. During the
Battle of York
Battle of York in 1813,
American troops occupied the Town of York . The Americans looted the
town and burned the Parliament Buildings during the brief occupation.
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 decades that followed. 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. Lower
Ontario in 1718,
Guillaume de L\'Isle map, approximate province area highlighted.
Meanwhile, Ontario's numerous waterways aided travel and
transportation into the interior and supplied water power 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
Unrest in the colony began to chafe against the aristocratic Family
Compact 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 . Accordingly, rebellion in favour of responsible
government rose in both regions;
Louis-Joseph Papineau led the Lower
Canada Rebellion and
William Lyon Mackenzie
William Lyon Mackenzie led the Upper Canada
Main article: Province of
Although both rebellions were put down in short order, the British
government sent Lord Durham to investigate the causes of the unrest.
He recommended that self-government be granted and that Lower and
Canada be re-joined in an attempt to assimilate the French
Canadians . Accordingly, the two colonies were merged into the
Canada by the _
Act of Union 1840 _, with the capital at
Kingston , and Upper
Canada becoming known as
Canada West .
Parliamentary self-government was granted in 1848. There were heavy
waves of immigration in the 1840s, and the population of
more than doubled by 1851 over the previous decade. As a result, for
the first time the English-speaking population of
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 United States, various industries such as timber,
mining, farming and alcohol distilling benefited tremendously.
A political stalemate between the French - and English -speaking
legislators, as well as fear of aggression from the United States
during and immediately after the
American Civil War
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
British North America
British North America Act_ took effect on July 1, 1867, establishing
the Dominion of Canada, initially with four provinces: Nova Scotia,
Quebec and Ontario. The Province of
Canada was divided
Quebec so that each linguistic group would have its
own province. Both
Ontario were required by section 93 of
British North America
British North America Act to safeguard existing educational rights
and privileges of Protestant and the Catholic minority. Thus, separate
Catholic schools and 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.
Downtown London at night. Celebrating
V-E Day in Ottawa
Toronto , the capital of
Once constituted as a province,
Ontario proceeded to assert its
economic and legislative power. In 1872, the lawyer Oliver Mowat
Premier of Ontario
Premier of Ontario and remained as premier until 1896. He
fought for provincial rights, weakening the power of the 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 decentralized Canada, giving the provinces
far more power than
John A. Macdonald
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
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
District of Keewatin ) would become part of
Ontario, a victory embodied in the _
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 Sir John A. Macdonald's
National Policy (1879) and the
construction of the
Canadian Pacific Railway
Canadian Pacific Railway (1875–1885) through
Northern Ontario and the
Canadian Prairies to
British Columbia ,
Ontario manufacturing and industry flourished. However, population
increase 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
Mineral exploitation accelerated in the late 19th century, leading to
the rise of important mining centres in the northeast, such as Sudbury
, 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
established in 1904.
Canada was formed in 1918. The
motor vehicle industry became the most lucrative industry for the
Ontario economy during the 20th century.
In July 1912, the Conservative government of Sir
James Whitney issued
Regulation 17 which severely limited the availability of
French-language schooling to the province's French-speaking minority.
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 Sir
William Hearst introduced prohibition of alcoholic drinks in 1916 with
the passing of the
Ontario Temperance Act . However, residents could
distill 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 . 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 that strict
community standards and revenue generation from the alcohol retail
monopoly are upheld. In April 2007,
Ontario Member of Provincial
Kim Craitor suggested that local brewers should be able to
sell their beer in local corner stores; however, the motion was
quickly rejected by Premier
Dalton McGuinty .
World War II
World War II period was one of exceptional prosperity and
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 ethnically British
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
Montreal as the largest city and
economic centre of Canada. Depressed economic conditions in the
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 . Numerous French language
services are available under the
French Language Services Act
French Language Services Act of 1990
in designated areas where sizeable francophone populations exist.
Demographics of Ontario
In the 2011 census ,
Ontario had a population of 12,851,821 living in
4,887,508 of its 5,308,785 total dwellings, a 5.7 percent change from
its 2006 population of 12,160,282. With a land area of 908,607.67 km2
(350,815.38 sq mi), it had a population density of 14.1/km2 (36.6/sq
mi) in 2011. In 2013, Statistics
Canada estimated the province's
population to be 13,537,994.
The percentages given below add to more than 100 percent because of
dual responses (e.g., "French and Canadian" response generates an
entry both in the category "
French Canadian " and in the category
The majority of Ontarians are of English or other European descent
including large Scottish, Irish and Italian communities. Slightly less
than 5 percent of the population of
Franco-Ontarian , that
is those whose native tongue is French, although those with French
ancestry account for 11 percent of the population. In relation to
natural increase or inter-provincial migration, 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
Ontario include South Asians , Caribbeans , Latin
Americans , Europeans , Asians , and Africans . Most populations have
settled in the larger urban centres.
In 2011, 25.9 percent of the population consisted of visible
minorities and 2.4 percent of the population was Aboriginal , mostly
First Nations and 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.
In 2011, the largest religious denominations in
Ontario were the
Roman Catholic Church (with 31.4% of the population), the United
Canada (7.5%), and the 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:
No religious affiliation
The principal language of
Ontario is English , the province's de
facto official language, which is spoken natively by about 70 % of
the province's population, according to the 2011 census. There is also
a French -speaking population concentrated in the northeastern,
eastern, and extreme Southern parts of the province, where under the
French Language Services Act
French Language Services Act , provincial government services are
required to be available in French if at least 10 % of a designated
area's population report French as their native language. Roughly 4 %
of Ontarians speak French as their mother tongue, and 11% are
bilingual, speaking both English and French, according to the 2011
census. Other languages spoken by residents include Arabic, Bengali,
Cantonese, Dutch, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Italian, Korean,
Mandarin, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Somali,
Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, Urdu and Vietnamese.
Economy of Ontario Ship in
Hamilton Harbour . The
manufacturing sector is a major employer in Ontario.
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 . As of
April 2012 , Moody\'s bond-rating agency rated
Ontario debt at
AA2/stable, while S 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.
An abundance of natural resources , excellent transportation links to
the 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
Golden Horseshoe region, which is the largest industrialized area
in Canada, the southern end of the region being part of the North
Rust Belt . Important products include motor vehicles , iron
, steel , food, electrical appliances, machinery, chemicals , and
Michigan in car production, assembling 2.696
million vehicles in 2004.
Chrysler plants in Windsor and
Bramalea, two GM plants in
Oshawa and one in Ingersoll, a Honda
assembly plant in Alliston,
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 drive train facility in
St. Catharines resulting in 8,000 job losses in
Ontario alone. In
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 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 plant and GM's re-introduction of the Camaro which will be
produced in Oshawa. On December 4, 2008
Toyota announced the grand
opening of the RAV4 plant in Woodstock , and
Honda also has 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 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
committed CAD$70.9 million to the
Ford plant in 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."
Ontario's steel industry was once centred on Hamilton . Hamilton
harbour, which can be seen as one drives the
QEW Skyway bridge, is an
industrial wasteland; US
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 year before. Algoma
maintains a plant in Sault Ste Marie . View of Toronto's
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 various manufacturing industries.
Canada's Federal Government is the largest single employer in the
National Capital Region , which centres on the border cities of
Ottawa and Quebec's
Parliament Hill in
Ottawa , home of the federal government. Canada's Federal Government
is the largest single employer in the National Capital Region
The information technology sector is important, particularly in the
Silicon Valley North
Silicon Valley North _ section of
Ottawa , as well as the Waterloo
Region , where the world headquarters of
Research in Motion (the
developers of the
BlackBerry smartphone) is located.
provided more than 19 percent of the local jobs and employed more than
13 % of the entire local population before it supplied 9,500 layoffs
ATS Automation Tooling Systems of Cambridge make
their homes in the area too.
Mike Lazaridis , one of the founders of
RIM, founded in 1999 the
Perimeter Institute , then in 2002 the
Institute for Quantum Computing , then in 2013 Quantum Valley
Investments, to plow a portion of the benefits of RIM back into
research and development.
In 2014, the section of Highway 401 between
Toronto and Waterloo
became the world's second-largest innovation corridor after
Silicon Valley , employing nearly 280,000 tech workers
from around the world and containing over 60% of Canada's high tech
Hamilton is the largest steel manufacturing city in
closely by Sault Ste. Marie , and
Sarnia is the centre for
Construction employed more than 6.5 % of the
province's work force in June 2011.
Mining and the forest products industry, notably pulp and paper , are
vital to the economy of Northern Ontario. There has been controversy
over the Ring of Fire mineral deposit, and whether the province can
afford to spend CAD$2.25 billion on a road from the Trans-Canada
Kenora to the deposit, currently valued at CAD$60
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
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
Niagara Falls , the latter of which attracts millions of
US and other international visitors.
Fruit from the Niagara region for distribution, ca. 1914
Eaton Farm in Eatonville provided poultry, vegetables, dairy and meat
products for Eaton\'s department stores until the early 1950s.
The Canadian Jewish Farm School in
Georgetown, Ontario was established
in 1927 and served as a training school for Polish war orphans brought
Canada after the First World War.
Once the dominant industry, agriculture occupies a small percentage
of the population. However, much of the land in southern
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.
Number of Farms
Source: Statistics Canada, _Census of Agriculture_.
Common types of farms reported in the 2001 census include those for
cattle, small grains and dairy . The fruit- and grape-growing industry
is located primarily on the
Niagara Peninsula and along Lake Erie,
where tobacco farms are also situated. Market vegetables grow in the
rich soils of the
Holland Marsh near Newmarket . The area near Windsor
is also very fertile. The Heinz plant in 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
Kellogg's plans to relocate jobs to Thailand.
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
Nottawasaga Bay (part of Georgian Bay) near Collingwood and along
the northern shore of
Lake Ontario near Cobourg.
centred in Norfolk
County , has decreased, allowing an increase in
alternative crops such as hazelnuts and ginseng . The
Massey Ferguson , once one of the largest farm-implement
manufacturers in the world, indicate the importance agriculture once
had to the Canadian economy.
Southern Ontario 's limited supply of agricultural land is going out
of production at an increasing rate.
Urban sprawl and farmland
severances contribute to the loss of thousands of acres of productive
agricultural land in
Ontario each year. Over 2,000 farms and 150,000
acres (61,000 ha) 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.
See also: Energy policy of
Canada , Renewable energy in
Canada , and
Smart grid The
Bruce Nuclear Generating Station on Lake
Huron is the largest nuclear power plant in the world.
The Green Energy and Green Economy Act, 2009 (GEA), takes a
two-pronged approach to commercializing renewable energy:
* bringing more renewable energy sources to the province
* adopting more energy-efficiency measures to help 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
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 , which supplies a large amount of
electricity to the province. The
Bruce Nuclear Generating Station ,
the largest nuclear power plant in the world, is also in
CANDU reactors to generate electricity for the province.
GOVERNMENT, LAW AND POLITICS
Monarchy in Ontario and Executive Council of
Ontario Legislature at Queen\'s Park in
The previous wordmark of the Government of Ontario, which was in
use from the late-1960s until 2007 (apart from the lettering used
British North America
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 has 107 seats representing ridings elected in a
first-past-the-post system across the province.
The legislative buildings at 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 or 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
(Members of the Provincial Parliament ) in English and _députés de
l'Assemblée législative_ in French, but they have also been called
MLAs (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.
Ontario has grown, from its roots in Upper
Canada , 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.
Politics of Ontario
Ontario has numerous political parties which run for election. The
three main parties are the centre-left
Ontario Liberal Party , the
Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario
Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario , and the
Ontario New Democratic Party
Ontario New Democratic Party (NDP). Each of the
three parties has received a majority mandate during a provincial
election since 1990 .
Ontario is led by the majority government of Premier
Kathleen Wynne ,
a Liberal. Since gaining power under former Premier
Dalton McGuinty in
2003 , the
Ontario Liberals have been re-elected three times: in the
2007 , the 2011 , and 2014 general elections.
In the 2011 federal election in
Ontario the Conservatives were
elected in 73 ridings, the NDP in 22, and the Liberals in 11. The
Green Party did not win a seat in Ontario, but
Bruce Hyer (MP for
Thunder Bay—Superior North ) crossed the floor from the NDP and sat
as a Green Party member from 2013 until the dissolution of Parliament
for the 2015 federal election .
Golden Horseshoe ,
National Capital Region (Canada)
National Capital Region (Canada) , and
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.
CMA (LARGEST OTHER INCLUDED MUNICIPALITIES IN BRACKETS)
Toronto CMA (
Ottawa CMA (
Hamilton CMA (Burlington , Grimsby )
Kitchener CMA (Cambridge , Waterloo )
London CMA (St. Thomas ,
St. Catharines CMA (
Niagara Falls ,
Oshawa CMA (Whitby ,
Windsor CMA (Lakeshore , LaSalle )
Barrie CMA (Innisfil , Springwater )
Sudbury CMA (Whitefish Lake , Wanapitei Reserve )
Gatineau ) are included in the Ottawa
CMA. The population of the
Ottawa CMA, in both provinces, is shown.
Ten largest municipalities by population
Toronto (Provincial capital)
Ottawa (National capital)
Education in Ontario
Canada , education falls under provincial jurisdiction. Publicly
funded elementary and secondary schools are administered by the
Ontario Ministry of Education , while colleges and universities are
administered by the
Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and
Universities . The current Minister of Education is
Mitzie Hunter ,
and the current minister of Training, Colleges and Universities is
Reza Moridi .
Higher education in Ontario See also: List of colleges
List of universities in Ontario
Higher education in Ontario includes postsecondary education and
skills training regulated by the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and
Universities and provided by universities, colleges of applied arts
and technology, and private career colleges. The current minister is
Reza Moridi . 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.
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
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 independently. Admission to many Ontario
postsecondary institutions can be highly competitive. Upon admission,
students may get involved with regional student representation with
Canadian Federation of Students , the Canadian Alliance of Student
Associations , the
Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance , or through
College Student Alliance in Ontario.
SONGS AND SLOGANS
In 1973 the first slogan to appear on licence plates in
"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, "Tant à
découvrir", were made available to the public beginning in May 2008.
(From 1988 to 1990, "
Ontario Incredible" gave "Yours to Discover" a
In 2007, a new song replaced "A Place to Stand" after four decades.
"There's No Place Like This" is featured in current television
advertising , performed by
Ontario artists including
Molly Johnson ,
Brian Byrne ,
Keshia Chanté , as well as
Tomi Swick and
List of people from Ontario
The province has professional sports teams in baseball , basketball ,
Canadian football , ice hockey , lacrosse , rugby and soccer .
Tim Hortons Field
Kitchener Memorial Auditorium
NIAGARA RIVER LIONS
Orangeville Athletic Institute
Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Park
TD Place Stadium
TD Place Stadium
TD Place Stadium
Canadian Tire Centre
Canadian Tire Centre
NBA G League
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
TORONTO FC II
Ontario Soccer Centre
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
Transportation routes in
Ontario evolved from early waterway travel
First Nations paths followed by European explorers.
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
, and Thunder Bay. The southerly route, which was driven by growth in
settlements originated by the
United Empire Loyalists
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,
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.
Roads in Ontario
400-Series Highways make up the primary vehicular network in the
south of province, and they connect to numerous border crossings with
the US, the busiest being the
Detroit–Windsor Tunnel and Ambassador
Bridge and the
Blue Water Bridge
Blue Water Bridge (via Highway 402 ). Some of the
primary highways along the southern route are Highway 401, Highway 417
, and Highway 400 , while other provincial highways and regional
roads inter-connect the remainder of the province.
Saint Lawrence Seaway
Saint Lawrence Seaway , 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
Via Rail operates the inter-regional passenger train service on the
Quebec City–Windsor Corridor , along with _
The Canadian _, a
transcontinental rail service from
Southern Ontario to
Vancouver , and
Sudbury–White River train . Additionally,
Amtrak rail connects
Ontario with key New York cities including Buffalo , Albany , and New
York City .
Ontario Northland provides rail service to destinations as
far north as
James Bay , connecting them with the south.
Freight rail is dominated by the founding cross-country Canadian
National Railway and CP Rail companies, which during the 1990s sold
many 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
Toronto Transit Commission operates the province's only subway
and streetcar system, one of the busiest in North America. OC Transpo
operates, in addition to bus service, Ontario's only light rail
transit line, the
O-Train in Ottawa.
A light-rail metro called the
Confederation Line is under
Ottawa . It will have 13 stations on 12.5 km (7.8 mi)
and part of it will run under the city's Downtown and feature three
underground stations. In addition, the Ion light rail and bus rapid
transit system is under construction in the province's Waterloo region
Ontario Northland freight train crossing the Missinaibi River
Mattice-Val Côté in
Important airports in the province include
International Airport , which is the busiest airport in
handling over 41 million passengers in 2015. 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
Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport
Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport ).
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
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 air service for travel, goods, and even
ambulance services (MEDIVAC ), since much of the far northern area of
the province cannot be reached by road or rail.
400-Series Highways are the backbone of Ontario's road network.
GO Transit commuter train.
Canada is the largest airline operating in Ontario.
A light rail
O-Train crossing the Rideau River on the
Trillium Line .
Eastern Ontario portal
Outline of Ontario
Index of Ontario-related articles
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