Ontario is a Canadian Province, bordering Hudson Bay to the north and the United States to the south.
Toronto, its huge, vibrant capital on Lake Ontario, is home to the iconic 583 m CN Tower and the 400 acre High Park in the city's downtown. Ottawa, the National capital, is known for Parliament Hill's grand Victorian architecture and glass-and-granite National Gallery with its renowned collections from Canadian and Indigenous artists.
Founded: July 1, 1867
Colleges and Universities: University of Toronto, Western (London), Waterloo, McMaster (Hamilton), Queen's (Kingston), York University (Toronto), University of Ottawa, University of Guelph, Mohawk College (Hamilton), Sheridan College (Oakville), George Brown College (Toronto)...and many more!
Top Attractions in Ontario
Ontario is one of the most populace provinces in Canada. Find facts on festivals and sight-seeing.
Niagara Falls...1000 Islands Skydeck...African Lion Safari...Black Creek Pioneer Village...CN Tower,... Casa Loma...Royal Ontario Museum...Lake Ontario...Algonquin Provincial Park...Ottawa's Rideau Canal and its spectacular Winter Carnival...Ontario's Northland...Centreville Amusement Park...Ontario Place...Toronto Zoo...theatres and concerts...Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) on the lakefront.
Consider also...Saint Marie Among the Hurons (celebrating Aboriginal Heritage)...Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton...Canada's Wonderland...Marineland in Niagara Falls...and of course the magnificent world recognized Niagara Falls as it tumbles tumultuously over the Escarpment!
Fascinating Facts of Interest
Born in Sri Lanka, Michael Ondaatje, made Canada his home after arriving from England in 1962. His novel, The English Patient, won him the 1992 'Booker Prize'. In 1996, it was turned into an Oscar-winning film by Director Anthony Minghalla.
The world's most famous war poem, In Flanders Fields was written in 1915 by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, a doctor from Guelph, Ontario who served France during World War I. He wrote this in May 1915 after presiding over the funeral of a military friend.
Did you know...basketball was initiated by an Ontario professor? Dr. James Naismith introduced the game in 1891...using peach baskets nailed to a gymnasium balcony in his hometown, Almonte.
Ontario has two Time Zones! The boundary line between the Central Time Zone and Eastern Time Zone is just west of Thunder Bay.
Did you know? Royal Air Force Flight Commander Roy Brown is the fighter pilot officially credited with shooting down WWI ace Manfred von Richthoven known as The Red Baron on April 21, 1918. Brown was an Ontarian, born in Carleton Place.
The comic book character, Superman, was first drawn by comic artist, Joe Schuster who was born in Toronto. He was the son of Jewish immigrants: his father came from the Netherlands and his mother, Eda, from the Ukraine. Superman was co-created by Schuster and American writer, Jerry Siegel and first appeared as a character in Action Comics in 1938.
In July of 2015, Greater Toronto Area (GTA) hosted the Pan American Games with Canada represented by 717 athletes. The other 40 countries were represented by other countries in North America, South America and the Caribbean. The “Theme Song” was Together We Are One!. Mascot for the Games was Pachi, the fun-loving raccoon.
Ontario's Communities: This province is one of the most multi-cultural societies on earth. Half of all immigrants to Canada settle in Ontario. Of these, half live in Toronto (Canada's largest city)...the other half in communities across the province. Know your home and neighbours ~ explore!
Languages: After English (8,674,200 people) and French (473,315), the eight languages most commonly spoken in Ontario homes are: Italian (248,475), Cantonese (189,160), Chinese (187,160), Panjabi (174,875), Spanish (173,935), Tagalog (161,360), Portuguese (146,975), German (135,915).
How Windsor was Made: The City of Windsor was first settled by French voyageur fur traders. The French named the Detroit River in the late 17th century, but the small village south of the river was named Windsor by a Scottish immigrant in 1836. Discover the rich history and diverse heritage of Windsor...and how the region developed and changed from being a...'beaver-pelt-trading-outpost'.
Mass Migration: One of the largest population migration of modern times occurred after the unification of Italy in1861. An estimated 26 million Italians left their homeland over the next century. After the Second World War, almost a half-million Italians moved to Canada...where workers were in great demand. By 1991, more than1.1 million called Canada their new home...and 700,000 chose to settle in Ontario.
New Metro Moves Toronto: Canada's first subway opened for service in Toronto on March 30, 1954.
Running from Eglinton Avenue south to Union Station, the tube carried 250,000 riders on its first day.
Today it's a very intricately developed underground transportation system ridden by thousands.
Pelee Island and Middle Islands are the most southern points in Canada. Located in Lake Erie, the islands and Point Pelee National Park are renowned for bird-watching, diving, shipwrecks and history. The islands are also home to Pelee Island Winery.
The “Group of Seven”, also known as the Algonquin School ~ was a group of Canadian landscape painters from 1920 to 1933, originally consisting of: Franklin Carmichael, A.Y. Jackson, Arthur Lismer, Frank Johnston, Frederick Varley, J.E. MacDonald and Lauren Harris. A few others, by invitation, joined later. Two artists, commonly associated with the group are Tom Thomson and Emily Carr. Large collections of their work can be found at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto...the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and the McMichael Canadian Art Collections in Kleinburg, Ont.
Origin of the Name: 'Ontario' comes from the Iroquois word 'kandario' meaning 'sparkling water'.
The province is aptly named for its lakes and rivers making up 1/5th of its area. In 1641, the land along the north shore of the easternmost part of the Great Lakes was described by the name Ontario. Later, the southern par of the province was referred to as Old Ontario. The name Ontario was adapted for the new era that began in 1867...when the area became a province.
Population (2006) ~ 12,687,000
Area: Land ~ 891,190 sq. km
Fresh Water ~ 177,390 sq. km
Capital City ~ Toronto
Date of entry into Confederation ~July 1, 1867
History: Ontario was first inhabited by the Algonquia and Iroquoian-speaking nations. The most important Algonquin nation in Ontario was the Ojibwa,which lived in northern Ontario. There were two major Iroquoian confederations ~ the Iroquois and the Huron. The Five Nations of the Iroquois (Seneca, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Mohawk) lived near Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. The Huron natives inhabited the area near Lake Simcoe.
These natives were highly developed 'politically and culturally' by the time the Europeans penetrated the area. In 1610, Henry Hudson became the first European to set foot in Ontario. Samuel de Champlain and Etienne Brule established contact with the First Nation of Southern Ontario in 1613
By 1774, the British controlled what is now Southern Ontario, then part of the Province of Quebec. After the American Revolution, the great influx of Loyalists to this region led to the creation of a new province. The Constitutional Act of 1791, which split the province in two, renamed the area Upper Canada. The Act of Union of 1840 joined Upper and Lower Canada once again...this time as 'The Province of Canada'. Canada East and Canada West continued to be two distinct regions. They entered the confederation conferences of 1864 as though they were separate...and they became different provinces...Ontario and Quebec at Confederation in 1867.
At Confederation, the province was little larger than the present day Southern Ontario. Bitter border disputes with Manitoba over the area north of Lake Superior ended in 1889...when it became part of Ontario. The rest of Northern Ontario was annexed in 1912 when Ontario expanded to its current size.
Ontario is the 2nd largest and most populous province of Canada today!
Coat of Arms: Ontario was granted its Coat of Arms by Queen Victoria in 1868. The 'Arms' were augmented with a crest, supporters and motto by King Edward VII in 1909. The red Cross of St. George (symbolic of England) appears in the upper third of the shield. The lower portion of the shield features...three golden maple leaves (emblematic of Canada) on a green background. The shield is supported by a 'moose' and a Canadian 'deer'; a 'black bear' on the crest above the shield. Ontario is the only province or territory that uses a highly stylized rendition of its 'Coat of Arms'.
Motto ( in Latin): Loyal she began and loyal she remains.
The Flag of Ontario was adopted by the Legislature in 1965, with Queen Elizabeth II approving use of the Royal Union Flag written within the flag design the same year.
Floral Emblem: The white trillium was adopted in 1937. It blooms in late April and May and are very sensitive to light...and the white flowers bend toward the sun as it moves across the sky. The white trillium is found in the deciduous forests and woodlands of Ontario.
Other Emblems: Tree ~ Eastern White Pine
Bird ~ Common Loon
Gemstone ~ Amethyst
Slogan ~ Yours to Discover (as displayed on vehicle licence plates)
Theme Song ~ “A Place to Stand” is an historic part of Ontario's culture! You may recall its title as
Ontari-ari-ari-o, but its real name was A Place to Stand commissioned by the Ontario Government as a soundtrack for a short documentary film that was screened at the Ontario Pavilion at Expo 1967 in Montreal. For about 30 years,” A Place to Stand” was considered Ontario's “Unofficial Anthem”.
Give us a place to stand and a place to grow
And call the land Ontario.
A place to live for you and me
With hopes as high as the tallest tree.
Give us a land of lakes and a land of snow
And we will build Ontario:
A place to stand, a place to grow
From western hills to northern shore;
To Niagara Falls where the waters roar.
Give us a land of peace where the free winds blow
And we will build Ontario:
A place to stand, a place to grow
The music was spirited, the words 'catchy';
and was sung by Ontarians province-wide.
Merle Baird-Kerr...scripted July 9, 2015
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