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Ontario
Ontario
(/ɒnˈtɛərioʊ/ ( listen); French: [ɔ̃taʁjo]) is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada
Canada
and is located in east-central Canada.[7][8] It is Canada's most populous province[9] accounting for nearly 40 percent[10] of the country's population, and is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario
Ontario
is fourth-largest in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories
Northwest Territories
and Nunavut
Nunavut
are included.[1] It is home to the nation's capital city, Ottawa, and the nation's most populous city, Toronto,[11] which is also Ontario's provincial capital. Ontario
Ontario
is bordered by the province of Manitoba
Manitoba
to the west, Hudson Bay and James Bay
James Bay
to the north, and Quebec
Quebec
to the east and northeast, and to the south by the U.S. states of (from west to east) Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania
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, 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, Lake St. Clair, the Detroit
Detroit
River, Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario
Ontario
and along the St. Lawrence River from Kingston, Ontario, to the Quebec
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
Height of Land Portage
on the Minnesota
Minnesota
border.[12] Ontario
Ontario
is sometimes conceptually divided into two regions, Northern Ontario
Ontario
and Southern Ontario. The great majority of Ontario's population and arable land is in the south. In contrast, the larger, northern part of Ontario
Ontario
is sparsely populated with cold winters and heavy forestation.

Contents

1 Etymology 2 Geography

2.1 Climate

3 History

3.1 Territorial evolution 3.2 European contact 3.3 Upper Canada 3.4 Canada
Canada
West 3.5 Provincehood

4 Demographics

4.1 Religion 4.2 Language

5 Economy

5.1 Agriculture 5.2 Energy

6 Government, law and politics

6.1 Law 6.2 Politics 6.3 Urban areas

7 Education

7.1 Higher 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

Etymology[edit] The province is named after Lake Ontario, a term thought to be derived from Ontarí:io, a Huron (Wyandot) word meaning "great lake",[13] or possibly skanadario, which means "beautiful water" in the Iroquoian languages.[14] Ontario
Ontario
has about 250,000 freshwater lakes.[15] Geography[edit] Main article: Geography of Ontario See also: Census divisions of Ontario
Census divisions of Ontario
and Geography of Canada See also: List of parks and protected areas of Ontario

Algonquin Provincial Park, Cache Lake in the autumn of 2006.

The province consists of three main geographical regions:

The thinly populated Canadian Shield
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
Northern Ontario
is subdivided into two sub-regions: Northwestern Ontario
Northwestern Ontario
and Northeastern Ontario. The virtually unpopulated Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay
Lowlands in the extreme north and northeast, mainly swampy and sparsely forested. Southern Ontario
Southern Ontario
which is further sub-divided into four regions; Central Ontario
Central Ontario
(although not actually the province's geographic centre), Eastern Ontario, Golden Horseshoe
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 above the Niagara Escarpment
Niagara Escarpment
which crosses the south. The highest point is Ishpatina Ridge
Ishpatina Ridge
at 693 metres (2,274 ft) above sea level in 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. The 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
Great Lakes
lowland forests ecoregion where the forest has now been largely replaced by agriculture, industrial and urban development. A well-known geographic feature is Niagara Falls, part of the Niagara Escarpment. The Saint Lawrence Seaway allows navigation to and from the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
as far inland as Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay
in Northwestern Ontario. Northern Ontario occupies roughly 87 percent of the surface area of the province; conversely Southern Ontario
Southern Ontario
contains 94 percent of the population. Point Pelee is a peninsula of Lake Erie
Lake Erie
in southwestern Ontario
Ontario
(near Windsor and Detroit, Michigan) that is the southernmost extent of Canada's mainland. Pelee Island and Middle Island in Lake Erie
Lake Erie
extend slightly farther. All are south of 42°N – slightly farther south than the northern border of California. Climate[edit] See also: Geography of Ontario
Geography of Ontario
§ Climate

Köppen climate types of Ontario

Summer at Sandbanks Provincial Park
Sandbanks Provincial Park
on Lake Ontario.

The climate of Ontario
Ontario
varies by season and location.[16] 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 Canadian Prairies/US Northern Plains; and warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.[17] 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.[17] In general, most of Ontario's climate is classified as humid continental.[17] Ontario
Ontario
has three main climatic regions. The surrounding Great Lakes
Great Lakes
greatly influence the climatic region of southern Ontario.[16] During the fall and winter months, heat stored from the lakes is released, moderating the climate near the shores of the lakes.[18] This gives some parts of southern Ontario
Ontario
milder winters than mid-continental areas at lower latitudes.[18] Parts of Southwestern Ontario
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
Great Lakes
portion of the 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.[19] The next climatic region is Central and Eastern Ontario
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 Ontario.[17]

The Niagara Escarpment
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
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.[17] Along the eastern shores of Lake Superior
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
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.[16] Precipitation is generally less than 70 cm (28 in) and peaks in the summer months in the form of showers or thunderstorms.[16] 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 typical year, Ontario
Ontario
averages 11 confirmed tornado touchdowns. However, over the last 4 years,[when?] 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
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 struck Southern Ontario
Southern Ontario
centred on Toronto, in October 1954.

Average daily maximum and minimum temperatures for selected locations in Ontario

City July (°C) July (°F) January (°C) January (°F)

Windsor (Windsor International Airport)[20] 28/18 82/64 0/−7 31/19

Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls
(NPCSH)[21] 27/17 81/63 0/−8 30/18

Toronto
Toronto
(The Annex)[22] 27/18 80/64 −1/−7 30/20

Midland (Water Pollution Control Plant)[23] 26/16 78/61 −4/-13 25/8

Ottawa
Ottawa
( Ottawa
Ottawa
Macdonald–Cartier International Airport)[24] 27/16 80/60 −6/−14 22/6

Sudbury (Sudbury Airport)[25] 25/13 77/56 −8/−19 18/0

Emo (Emo Radbourne)[26] 25/11 77/52 −9/–22 15/–9

Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay
( Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay
International Airport)[27] 24/11 76/52 −9/−21 18/−5

Kenora
Kenora
( Kenora
Kenora
Airport)[28] 24/15 76/59 −11/−21 12/−5

Moosonee
Moosonee
(UA)[29] 23/9 73/48 −14/-26 8/-15

History[edit] Main articles: History of Ontario
History of Ontario
and Upper Canada Territorial evolution[edit]

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 Ontario
Ontario
was divided into four districts: Hesse, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, and 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, London, Midland, Newcastle, Niagara, and Western. By 1826, there were eleven districts: Bathurst, Eastern, Gore, Home, Johnstown, London, Midland, Newcastle, Niagara, Ottawa, and Western. 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
Ontario
were abolished by the Province of Canada, and county governments took over certain municipal responsibilities. The Province of Canada
Canada
also began creating districts in sparsely populated Northern Ontario
Northern Ontario
with the establishment of Algoma District
Algoma District
and Nipissing District
Nipissing District
in 1858. The borders of Ontario, its new name in 1867, were provisionally expanded north and west. When the Province of Canada
Canada
was formed, its borders were not entirely clear, and Ontario
Ontario
claimed eventually to reach all the way to the Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
and Arctic
Arctic
Ocean. With Canada's acquisition of Rupert's Land, Ontario
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
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.[30] The northern and western boundaries of Ontario
Ontario
were in dispute after Canadian Confederation. Ontario's right to Northwestern Ontario
Northwestern Ontario
was determined by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
in 1884 and confirmed by the Canada
Canada
( Ontario
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.[31] European contact[edit]

Statue of 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
Cree
and Algonquin) in the northern/western portions, and Iroquois
Iroquois
and Wyandot (Huron) tribes more in the south/east.[32] During the 17th century, the Algonquians and Hurons fought the Beaver Wars
Beaver Wars
against the Iroquois.[33] The French explorer Étienne Brûlé
Étienne Brûlé
explored part of the area in 1610–12.[34] The English explorer Henry Hudson
Henry Hudson
sailed into Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay
in 1611 and claimed the area for England. Samuel de Champlain
Samuel de Champlain
reached Lake Huron
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.[35] From 1634 to 1640, Hurons were devastated by European infectious diseases, such as measles and smallpox, to which they had no immunity.[36] By 1700, the Iroquois
Iroquois
had seceded from Ontario
Ontario
and the Mississaugas of the Ojibwa had settled the north shore of Lake Ontario. The British established trading posts on Hudson Bay
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
Seven Years' War
by awarding nearly all of France's North American possessions (New France) to Britain. The region was annexed to Quebec
Quebec
in 1774.[37] The first European settlements were in 1782–1784 when 5,000 American loyalists entered what is now Ontario
Ontario
following the American Revolution.[38] The Kingdom of Great Britain granted them 200 acres (81 ha) land and other items with which to rebuild their lives.[35] The British also set up reservations in Ontario
Ontario
for the Mohawks who had fought for the British and had lost their land in New York state. Other Iroquois
Iroquois
were resettled in 1784 at the Six Nations reserve at the west end of Lake Ontario. The population of Canada
Canada
west of the St. Lawrence- Ottawa
Ottawa
River confluence substantially increased during this period, a fact recognized by the Constitutional Act of 1791, which split Quebec
Quebec
into the Canadas: Upper Canada
Canada
southwest of the St. Lawrence- Ottawa
Ottawa
River confluence, and Lower Canada
Canada
east of it. John Graves Simcoe
John Graves Simcoe
was appointed Upper Canada's first Lieutenant governor in 1793.[39] Upper Canada[edit] Main article: Upper Canada American troops in the War of 1812
War of 1812
invaded Upper Canada
Canada
across the Niagara River
Niagara River
and the Detroit
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
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
Ontario
in 1718, Guillaume de L'Isle
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
Ontario
vied with Quebec
Quebec
as the nation's leader in terms of growth in population, industry, arts and communications.[40] 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
Louis-Joseph Papineau
led the Lower Canada
Canada
Rebellion and William Lyon Mackenzie
William Lyon Mackenzie
led the Upper Canada Rebellion. Canada
Canada
West[edit] Main article: Province of Canada 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 Upper Canada
Canada
be re-joined in an attempt to assimilate the French Canadians. Accordingly, the two colonies were merged into the Province of Canada
Canada
by the Act of Union 1840, with the capital at Kingston, and Upper Canada
Canada
becoming known as Canada
Canada
West. Parliamentary self-government was granted in 1848. There were heavy waves of immigration in the 1840s, and the population of Canada
Canada
West more than doubled by 1851 over the previous decade. As a result, for the first time the English-speaking population of Canada
Canada
West surpassed the French-speaking population of Canada
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
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, 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 Act took effect on July 1, 1867, establishing the Dominion of Canada, initially with four provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec
Quebec
and Ontario. The Province of Canada
Canada
was divided into Ontario
Ontario
and Quebec
Quebec
so that each linguistic group would have its own province. Both Quebec
Quebec
and Ontario
Ontario
were required by section 93 of the 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
Toronto
was formally established as Ontario's provincial capital. Provincehood[edit]

Downtown London at night.

Celebrating V-E Day
V-E Day
in Ottawa
Ottawa
in 1945

Toronto, the capital of Ontario

Once constituted as a province, Ontario
Ontario
proceeded to assert its economic and legislative power. In 1872, the lawyer Oliver Mowat became 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 parts of Northwestern Ontario
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
Canada
( Ontario
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
National Policy
(1879) and the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway
Canadian Pacific Railway
(1875–1885) through Northern Ontario
Northern Ontario
and the Canadian Prairies
Canadian Prairies
to British Columbia, Ontario
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 Ontario. Mineral
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
Ontario
Hydro. The availability of cheap electric power further facilitated the development of industry. The Ford
Ford
Motor Company of Canada
Canada
was established in 1904. General Motors
General Motors
Canada
Canada
was formed in 1918. The motor vehicle industry became the most lucrative industry for the Ontario
Ontario
economy during the 20th century. In July 1912, the Conservative government of Sir James Whitney
James Whitney
issued Regulation 17 which severely limited the availability of French-language schooling to the province's French-speaking minority. French Canadians
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
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
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
Ontario
came to an end in 1927 with the establishment of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario
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
Ontario
Member of Provincial Parliament Kim Craitor
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. The post- World War II
World War II
period was one of exceptional prosperity and growth. Ontario
Ontario
has been the recipients of most immigration to Canada, largely immigrants from war-torn Europe
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 province, Ontario
Ontario
has rapidly become culturally very diverse. The nationalist movement in Quebec, particularly after the election of the Parti Québécois
Parti Québécois
in 1976, contributed to driving many businesses and English-speaking people out of Quebec
Quebec
to Ontario, and as a result Toronto
Toronto
surpassed Montreal
Montreal
as the largest city and economic centre of Canada.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] Ontario's official language is English.[5] 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[edit]

Population density of Ontario

Main article: Demographics of Ontario

Historical populations

Year Pop. ±%

1851 952,004 —    

1861 1,396,091 +46.6%

1871 1,620,851 +16.1%

1881 1,926,922 +18.9%

1891 2,114,321 +9.7%

1901 2,182,947 +3.2%

1911 2,527,292 +15.8%

1921 2,933,662 +16.1%

1931 3,431,683 +17.0%

1941 3,787,655 +10.4%

1951 4,597,542 +21.4%

1956 5,404,933 +17.6%

1961 6,236,092 +15.4%

1966 6,960,870 +11.6%

1971 7,703,105 +10.7%

1976 8,264,465 +7.3%

1981 8,625,107 +4.4%

1986 9,101,695 +5.5%

1991 10,084,885 +10.8%

1996 10,753,573 +6.6%

2001 11,410,046 +6.1%

2006 12,160,282 +6.6%

2011 12,851,821 +5.7%

2016 13,448,494 +4.6%

Source: Statistics Canada

In the 2011 census, Ontario
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.[2] In 2013, Statistics Canada
Canada
estimated the province's population to be 13,537,994.[41] 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 "Canadian"). 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 Ontario
Ontario
is 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 communities in Ontario
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 of First Nations
First Nations
and Métis descent. There was also a small number of Inuit
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.[42] Religion[edit] In 2011, the largest religious denominations in Ontario
Ontario
were the Roman Catholic Church (with 31.4% of the population), the United Church of Canada
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.[43] The major religious groups in Ontario
Ontario
in 2011 were:

Religion People %

Total 12,651,795 100  

Catholic 3,976,610 31.4

No religious affiliation 2,927,790 23.1

Protestant 2,668,665 21.1

Other Christians 1,224,300 9.7

Muslim 581,950 4.6

Hindu 366,720 2.9

Christian
Christian
Orthodox 297,710 2.4

Jewish 195,540 1.5

Sikh 179,765 1.4

Buddhist 163,750 1.3

Other Religions 68,985 0.5

Language[edit] See also: Franco-Ontarian The principal language of Ontario
Ontario
is English, the province's de facto official language,[44] 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, 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,[45] and 11% are bilingual, speaking both English and French, according to the 2011 census.[45] 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.[46] Economy[edit] Main article: Economy of Ontario

Ship in Hamilton Harbour. The manufacturing sector is a major employer in Ontario.

Ontario
Ontario
is Canada's leading manufacturing province, accounting for 52% of the total national manufacturing shipments in 2004.[47] Ontario's largest trading partner is the American state of Michigan. As of April 2012[update], Moody's bond-rating agency rated Ontario
Ontario
debt at AA2/stable,[48] while S&P rated it AA-.[49] Dominion Bond Rating Service rated it AA(low) in January 2013.[50] Long known as a bastion of Canadian manufacturing and financial solvency, Ontario's public debt-to-GDP ratio is projected to be 37.2% in fiscal year 2019–2020, compared to 26% in 2007–2008.[51] Ontario's rivers make it rich in hydroelectric energy.[52] In 2009, Ontario Power Generation
Ontario Power Generation
generated 70 percent of the electricity of the province, of which 51 percent is nuclear, 39% is hydroelectric and 10% is fossil-fuel derived.[53] By 2025, nuclear power is projected to supply 42%, while fossil-fuel-derived generation is projected to decrease slightly over the next 20 years.[54] 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
Ontario
has been forced in recent years to purchase power from its neighbours Quebec
Quebec
and Michigan
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.[55] In December 2013, the government projected a 42 percent hike by 2018, and 68 percent by 2033.[54] Industrial rates are projected to rise by 33% by 2018, and 55% in 2033.[54] An abundance of natural resources, excellent transportation links to the American heartland and the inland Great Lakes
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
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. Ontario
Ontario
surpassed Michigan
Michigan
in car production, assembling 2.696 million vehicles in 2004. Ontario
Ontario
has Chrysler
Chrysler
plants in Windsor and Bramalea, two GM plants in Oshawa
Oshawa
and one in Ingersoll, a Honda
Honda
assembly plant in Alliston, Ford
Ford
plants in Oakville and St. Thomas and Toyota
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
Oshawa
and a drive train facility in St. Catharines
St. Catharines
resulting in 8,000 job losses in Ontario alone. In 2006, Ford
Ford
Motor Company announced between 25,000 and 30,000 layoffs phased until 2012; Ontario
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
Toyota
announced the grand opening of the RAV4 plant in Woodstock,[56] and Honda
Honda
also has plans to add an engine plant at its facility in Alliston. Despite these new plants coming online, Ontario
Ontario
has not yet fully recovered following massive layoffs caused by the global recession; its unemployment rate was 7.3% in May 2013,[57] compared to 8.7 percent in January 2010[58] and approximately 6% in 2007. In September 2013, the Ontario
Ontario
government committed CAD$70.9 million to the Ford
Ford
plant in Oakville, while the federal government committed CAD$71.1mn, to secure 2,800 jobs.[59] The province has lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs in the decade from 2003, and the Bank of Canada
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."[60][61] Ontario's steel industry once centred on Hamilton. Hamilton harbour, which can be seen as one drives the QEW
QEW
Skyway bridge, is an industrial wasteland; US Steel-owned Stelco
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.[62] Algoma Steel
Steel
maintains a plant in Sault Ste Marie.

View of Toronto's Financial District

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 Ontario's Ottawa
Ottawa
and Quebec's Gatineau.[63][64]

Parliament Hill
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
Research in Motion
(the developers of the BlackBerry
BlackBerry
smartphone) is located. BlackBerry
BlackBerry
once provided more than 19 percent of the local jobs and employed more than 13% of the entire local population[citation needed] before it supplied 9,500 layoffs in 2013. OpenText
OpenText
and 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.[65] In 2014, the section of Highway 401 between Toronto
Toronto
and Waterloo became the world's second-largest innovation corridor after California's Silicon Valley, employing nearly 280,000 tech workers from around the world and containing over 60% of Canada's high tech industry.[66] Hamilton is the largest steel manufacturing city in Canada
Canada
followed closely by Sault Ste. Marie, and Sarnia
Sarnia
is the centre for petrochemical production. Construction
Construction
employed more than 6.5% of the province's work force in June 2011.[67] Mining
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 Highway near Kenora
Kenora
to the deposit, currently valued at CAD$60 billions.[68] 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, Sarnia
Sarnia
and Niagara Falls, the latter of which attracts millions of US and other international visitors.[69] Agriculture[edit]

Fruit from the Niagara region for distribution, ca. 1914

Eaton Farm in Eatonville provided poultry, vegetables, dairy and meat products for Eaton's
Eaton's
department stores until the early 1950s.[70]

The Canadian
The Canadian
Jewish Farm School in Georgetown, Ontario
Georgetown, Ontario
was established in 1927 and served as a training school for Polish war orphans brought to Canada
Canada
after the First World War.[71]

Once the dominant industry, agriculture occupies a small percentage of the population. However, much of the land in southern Ontario
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.

Ontario
Ontario
Farming 1986 1991 1996 2001 2006

  Number of Farms     72,713   68,633   67,520   59,728   57,211  

  Total   Hectares       5,646,582     5,451,379     5,616,860     5,466,233     5,386,453  

  Acres       13,953,009     13,470,652     13,879,565     13,507,358     13,310,217  

  Planted     Crops     Hectares     3,457,966     3,411,667     3,544,927     3,656,705     3,660,941  

  Acres       8,544,821     8,430,438     8,759,707     9,035,916     9,046,383  

Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Agriculture.[72]

 

v t e

Common types of farms reported in the 2001 census include those for cattle, small grains and dairy. The fruit- and grape-growing industry is primarily on the Niagara Peninsula
Niagara Peninsula
and along Lake Erie, where tobacco farms are also situated. Market vegetables grow in the rich soils of the Holland Marsh
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
Warren Buffett
and a Brazilian partner, following which it put 740 people out of work.[73] Government subsidies followed shortly; Premier Kathleen Wynne
Kathleen Wynne
offered CAD$200,000 to cushion the blow, and promised that another processed-food operator would soon be found.[74] On December 10, 2013, Kellogg's
Kellogg's
announced layoffs for more than 509 workers at a cereal manufacture plant in London.[75] Kellogg's
Kellogg's
plans to relocate jobs to Thailand.[75] The area defined as the Corn Belt
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
Nottawasaga Bay
(part of Georgian Bay) near Collingwood and along the northern shore of Lake Ontario
Lake Ontario
near Cobourg. Tobacco
Tobacco
production, centred in Norfolk County, has decreased, allowing an increase in alternative crops such as hazelnuts and ginseng. The Ontario
Ontario
origins of Massey Ferguson, once one of the largest farm-implement manufacturers in the world, indicate the importance agriculture once[citation needed] had to the Canadian economy. Southern Ontario's limited supply of agricultural land is going out of production at an increasing rate. Urban sprawl
Urban sprawl
and farmland severances contribute to the loss of thousands of acres of productive agricultural land in Ontario
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. Energy[edit] See also: Energy policy of Canada, Renewable energy in Canada, and Smart grid

The CANDU
CANDU
Bruce Nuclear Generating Station
Bruce Nuclear Generating Station
on Lake Huron
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.[76] 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.[76] Ontario
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 Ontario
Ontario
and uses 8 CANDU
CANDU
reactors to generate electricity for the province. Government, law and politics[edit] Further information: Monarchy in Ontario
Monarchy in Ontario
and Executive Council of Ontario

The Ontario
Ontario
Legislature at Queen's Park in Toronto.

The previous wordmark of the Government of Ontario, which was in use from the late-1960s until 2007 (apart from the lettering used here).

The British North America
British North America
Act 1867 section 69 stipulated "There shall be a Legislature for Ontario
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. Law[edit] Ontario
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[edit] Main article: Politics of Ontario Ontario
Ontario
has numerous political parties which run for election. The three main parties are the centre-left Ontario
Ontario
Liberal Party, the centre-right Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, and the social democratic 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
Ontario
is led by the majority government of Premier Kathleen Wynne, a Liberal. Since gaining power under former Premier Dalton McGuinty
Dalton McGuinty
in 2003, the Ontario
Ontario
Liberals have been re-elected three times: in the 2007, the 2011, and 2014 general elections. In the 2011 federal election in Ontario
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. Urban areas[edit] See also: Golden Horseshoe, National Capital Region (Canada), and Detroit–Windsor 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.[77]

CMA (largest other included municipalities in brackets) 2001 2006 2011 2016 % Change

Toronto
Toronto
CMA (Mississauga, Brampton) 4,682,897  5,113,149  5,583,064  5,928,040 6.2

Ottawa
Ottawa
CMA (Gatineau, Clarence-Rockland) 1,067,800  1,130,761  1,254,919 1,323,783 4.4

Hamilton CMA (Burlington, Grimsby) 662,401  692,911  721,053  747,545 3.7

Kitchener CMA (Cambridge, Waterloo) 414,284  451,235  496,383 523,894 5.5

London CMA (St. Thomas, Strathroy-Caradoc) 435,600  457,720  474,786  494,069 4.1

St. Catharines
St. Catharines
CMA (Niagara Falls, Welland) 377,009  390,317  392,184  406,074 3.5

Oshawa
Oshawa
CMA (Whitby, Clarington) 296,298  330,594  356,177  379,848 6.6

Windsor CMA (Lakeshore, LaSalle) 307,877  323,342  319,246  329,144 3.1

Barrie
Barrie
CMA (Innisfil, Springwater) 148,480  177,061  187,013  197,059 5.4

Sudbury CMA (Whitefish Lake, Wanapitei Reserve) 155,601  158,258  160,770  164,689 1.0

Kingston CMA 146,838  152,358  159,561  161,175 1.0

*Parts of Quebec
Quebec
(including Gatineau) are included in the Ottawa
Ottawa
CMA. The population of the Ottawa
Ottawa
CMA, in both provinces, is shown.

Ten largest municipalities by population[78]

Municipality 2001 2006 2011 2016

Toronto 2,481,494 2,503,281 2,615,060 2,731,571

Ottawa 774,072 812,129 883,391 934,243

Mississauga 612,925 668,549 713,443 721,599

Brampton 325,428 433,806 523,911 593,638

Hamilton 490,268 504,559 519,949 536,917

London 336,539 352,395 366,151 383,822

Markham 208,615 261,573 301,709 328,996

Vaughan 182,022 238,866 288,301 306,233

Kitchener 190,399 204,668 219,153 233,222

Windsor 209,218 216,473 210,891 217,188

Education[edit] Main article: Education in Ontario In Canada, education falls under provincial jurisdiction. Publicly funded elementary and secondary schools are administered by the Ontario
Ontario
Ministry of Education, while colleges and universities are administered by the Ontario
Ontario
Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. The Minister of Education is Mitzie Hunter, and the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities is Reza Moridi. Higher education[edit] Main article: Higher education
Higher education
in Ontario See also: List of colleges in Ontario and List of universities in Ontario Higher education 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.[79] The minister is Reza Moridi. The ministry administers laws covering 22 public universities,[80] 24 public colleges (21 Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (CAATs) and three Institutes of Technology and Advanced Learning (ITALs)),[81] 17 privately funded religious universities,[82] and over 500 private career colleges.[83] The Canadian
The Canadian
constitution provides each province with the responsibility for higher education and there is no corresponding national federal ministry of higher education.[84] Within Canadian federalism
Canadian federalism
the division of responsibilities and taxing powers between the Ontario
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
Ontario
universities and colleges: the Ontario
Ontario
Universities' Application Centre and Ontario
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
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
Ontario
Undergraduate Student Alliance, or through the College Student Alliance in Ontario. Culture[edit] Songs and slogans[edit] In 1973 the first slogan to appear on licence plates in Ontario
Ontario
was "Keep It Beautiful". This was replaced by "Yours to Discover" in 1982,[85] apparently inspired by a tourism slogan, "Discover Ontario", dating back to 1927.[86] Plates with the French equivalent, "Tant à découvrir", were made available to the public beginning in May 2008.[87] (From 1988 to 1990,[88] " Ontario
Ontario
Incredible"[89] gave "Yours to Discover" a brief respite.) In 2007, a new song replaced "A Place to Stand" after four decades. "There's No Place Like This" is featured in television advertising, performed by Ontario
Ontario
artists including Molly Johnson, Brian Byrne, Keshia Chanté,[90] as well as Tomi Swick
Tomi Swick
and Arkells. Notable residents[edit] Main article: List of people from Ontario Professional sports[edit] The province has professional sports teams in baseball, basketball, Canadian football, ice hockey, lacrosse, rugby and soccer.

Club Sport League City Stadium

Belleville Senators Ice hockey AHL Belleville Yardmen Arena

Hamilton Tiger-Cats Football CFL Hamilton Tim Hortons Field

KW Titans Basketball NBLC Kitchener Kitchener Memorial Auditorium

London Lightning Basketball NBLC London Budweiser Gardens

Niagara River
Niagara River
Lions Basketball NBLC St. Catharines Meridian Centre

Ottawa
Ottawa
Champions Baseball Can-Am Ottawa Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Park

Ottawa
Ottawa
Fury Soccer USL Ottawa TD Place Stadium

Ottawa
Ottawa
Redblacks Football CFL Ottawa TD Place Stadium

Ottawa
Ottawa
Senators Ice hockey NHL Ottawa Canadian Tire Centre

Raptors 905 Basketball NBA G League Mississauga Hershey Centre

Toronto
Toronto
Argonauts Football CFL Toronto BMO Field

Toronto
Toronto
Blue Jays Baseball MLB Toronto Rogers Centre

Toronto
Toronto
FC Soccer MLS Toronto BMO Field

Toronto
Toronto
FC II Soccer USL Vaughan Ontario
Ontario
Soccer Centre

Toronto
Toronto
Furies Ice hockey CWHL Toronto MasterCard Centre

Toronto
Toronto
Marlies Ice hockey AHL Toronto Ricoh Coliseum

Toronto
Toronto
Maple Leafs Ice hockey NHL Toronto Air Canada
Canada
Centre

Toronto
Toronto
Raptors Basketball NBA Toronto Air Canada
Canada
Centre

Toronto
Toronto
Rock Lacrosse NLL Toronto Air Canada
Canada
Centre

Toronto
Toronto
Wolfpack Rugby L1 Toronto Lamport Stadium

Windsor Express Basketball NBLC Windsor WFCU Centre

Transportation[edit] Transportation routes in Ontario
Ontario
evolved from early waterway travel and First Nations
First Nations
paths followed by European explorers. Ontario
Ontario
has two major east-west routes, both starting from Montreal
Montreal
in the neighbouring province of Quebec. The northerly route, which was a major fur trade route, travels west from Montreal
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
Montreal
along the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, and Lake Erie
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[edit] Main article: 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
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,[91][92] while other provincial highways and regional roads inter-connect the remainder of the province. Waterways[edit] The 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
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. Railways[edit] Via Rail
Via Rail
operates the inter-regional passenger train service on the Quebec
Quebec
City–Windsor Corridor, along with The Canadian, a transcontinental rail service from Southern Ontario
Southern Ontario
to Vancouver, and the Sudbury–White River train. Additionally, Amtrak
Amtrak
rail connects Ontario
Ontario
with key New York cities including Buffalo, Albany, and New York City. Ontario
Ontario
Northland provides rail service to destinations as far north as Moosonee
Moosonee
near 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 region. The Toronto
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
O-Train
in Ottawa. A light-rail metro called the Confederation Line
Confederation Line
is under construction in 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
Ontario
Northland freight train crossing the Missinaibi River
Missinaibi River
at Mattice-Val Côté
Mattice-Val Côté
in Northern Ontario

Air travel[edit] Important airports in the province include Toronto
Toronto
Pearson International Airport, which is the busiest airport in Canada,[93] handling over 41 million passengers in 2015.[94] 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). Most Ontario
Ontario
cities have regional airports, many of which have scheduled commuter flights from Air Canada
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
Toronto
and Ottawa. Bearskin Airlines
Bearskin Airlines
also runs flights along the northerly east-west route, connecting Ottawa, North Bay, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, Kitchener and Thunder Bay
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.

Highway 401 is the busiest highway in North America and among the busiest highways in the world.[91][92]

A GO Transit
GO Transit
commuter train.

Air Canada
Canada
is the largest airline operating in Ontario. Its largest hub is at Pearson International Airport in Mississauga.

A light rail O-Train
O-Train
crossing the Rideau River on the Trillium Line.

See also[edit]

Ontario
Ontario
portal Eastern Ontario
Eastern Ontario
portal Ottawa
Ottawa
portal Toronto
Toronto
portal

Outline of Ontario Index of Ontario-related articles

Notes[edit]

^ a b "Land and freshwater area, by province and territory". Statistics Canada. February 1, 2005. Archived from the original on October 16, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2012.  ^ a b "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, 2016 and 2011 censuses". Statistics Canada. February 6, 2017. Archived from the original on February 9, 2017. Retrieved February 8, 2017.  ^ "Population by year of Canada
Canada
of Canada
Canada
and territories". Statistics Canada. September 26, 2014. Archived from the original on April 1, 2016. Retrieved March 26, 2018.  ^ "Definition of Ontarian". Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, HarperCollins Publishers. 2013. Archived from the original on October 4, 2013. Retrieved October 3, 2013.  ^ a b "About Ontario". Queen's Printer for Ontario. February 28, 2016. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016.  ^ "Gross domestic product, expenditure-based, by province and territory (2015)". Statistics Canada. November 9, 2016. Archived from the original on October 16, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2017.  ^ "Ontario". Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary 11th ed. New York: Merriam-Webster, Inc. 2003. ISBN 0-87779-809-5. Archived from the original on November 13, 2013.  ^ Ontario
Ontario
is located in the geographic eastern half of Canada, but it has historically and politically been considered to be part of Central Canada
Canada
(along with Manitoba). ^ " Ontario
Ontario
is the largest province in the country by population". Statistics Canada. Archived from the original on June 10, 2008. Retrieved January 5, 2007.  ^ Finance, Government of Ontario, Ministry of. " Ontario
Ontario
Fact Sheet May 2016". Fin.gov.on.ca. Archived from the original on June 13, 2016. Retrieved June 7, 2016.  ^ "Population of census metropolitan areas (2001 Census boundaries)". Statistics Canada. Archived from the original on July 24, 2005. Retrieved January 5, 2007.  ^ Canada/United States International Boundary Commission (2006). "St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes" (pdf). Presentation at 2006 IBRU Conference, p. 21. Durham University. Retrieved May 6, 2014.  ^ Mithun, Marianne (2000). The Languages of Native North America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 312.  ^ "About Canada
Canada
// Ontario". Study Canada. pp. Last Paragraph–second–last sentence. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011. The name "Ontario" is generally thought to be derived from the Iroquois
Iroquois
word Skanadario, meaning "beautiful water"  ^ "Lakes and Rivers". Ontario
Ontario
Ministry of Natural Resources. Archived from the original on March 23, 2014. Retrieved March 23, 2014.  ^ a b c d "The Canada
Canada
Country Study: Climate Impacts and Adaptation: Ontario
Ontario
Region Executive Summary". Environment Canada. Archived from the original on March 23, 2013. Retrieved January 29, 2013.  ^ a b c d e Baldwin, David; Desloges, Joseph; Band, Lawrence. "Physical Geography of Ontario" (PDF). UBC Press. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 17, 2007. Retrieved March 25, 2013.  ^ a b "Natural Processes in the Great Lakes". US Environmental Protection Agency. Archived from the original on February 2, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2013.  ^ "Snowstorm shuts down London, Ont". CBC News. December 8, 2010. Archived from the original on March 8, 2014.  ^ "Windsor A, Ontario". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Archived from the original on April 13, 2014. Retrieved April 12, 2014.  ^ " Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls
NPCSH". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Archived from the original on April 13, 2014. Retrieved April 12, 2014.  ^ "1981 to 2010 Canadian Climate Normals". Environment Canada. February 13, 2014. Climate ID: 6158350. Archived from the original on April 3, 2016. Retrieved February 24, 2014.  ^ "Midland Water Pollution Control Plant". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Archived from the original on May 17, 2017. Retrieved May 9, 2016.  ^ " Ottawa
Ottawa
Macdonald Cartier Int'l A, Ontario". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Archived from the original on May 9, 2014. Retrieved May 8, 2014.  ^ "Sudbury A, Ontario". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Archived from the original on April 13, 2014. Retrieved April 12, 2014.  ^ "Emo Radbourne". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Archived from the original on June 4, 2016. Retrieved May 9, 2016.  ^ " Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay
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Kenora
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References[edit]

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[edit] Main article: Bibliography of Ontario

Beckett, Harry (2001). Ontario. Weigl. ISBN 978-1-894705-04-2.  White, Randall (1985). Ontario, 1610–1985 : a political and economic history. Dundurn Press. ISBN 0-919670-98-9.  Montigny, Edgar-André; Chambers, Anne Lorene (2000). Ontario
Ontario
since Confederation : a reader. University of Toronto
Toronto
Press. ISBN 0-8020-4444-1.  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
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
Ontario
Since Confederation: A Reader (2000), articles by scholars Winfield, Mark S. Blue-Green Province: The Environment and the Political Economy of Ontario
Economy of Ontario
(University of British Columbia
British Columbia
Press; 2012) 296 pages; environmental policies since 1945

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