Ontario Facts

Quick tidbits and interesting Ontario facts
that every visitor might like to know...

To gain a little more insight into the province I have added this page of Ontario facts that hopefully you find of some interest for your trip preparation.


  • Aboriginal peoples such as the Iroquois, Huron and Algonquian Indians have inhabited the land known as Ontario for thousands of years. Today, 2% of the population of Ontario is still comprised of Aboriginal people.

  • The Province is named for the lake that houses most of the population along it’s shores, and even in aboriginal times the land was known in their native tongues as “Ontario” which translated means: “beautiful lake” or “beautiful water”.

  • The first European contact occurred in the early 1600’s with names such as Henry Hudson and Samuel de Champlain leading the way.

  • In 1763 the British were awarded all of New France (Canada) as a result of their victory in the Seven Years War. While originally part of Quebec, Ontario was split away as Upper Canada in 1791. Upper Canada became Canada West after the Act of Union in 1840 that formed the Province of Canada.

  • In 1857 the small city of Ottawa in the hinterlands of Ontario alongside the Ontario/Quebec border was chosen as the nations new capital.

  • On July 1, 1867 the British North America Act divided the Province of Canada into the provinces of Ontario and Quebec and together with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick the Dominion of Canada was formed



  • Ontario is the second largest Province in Canada as it is over 415,000 sq. miles or 1,000,000 sq. km. in size and contains over 250,000 lakes or 1/3 of the world’s freshwater supply. It is as tall as it is wide with the Province stretching 1050 miles from east to west (1680 km) and 1075 miles from north to south (1730 km).

  • Ontario ranks first in Canada in terms of population with over 12 million inhabitants or roughly 36% of the country’s entire population. Most of that population is clustered along the shores of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie with the northern 3/4 of the province being sparsely populated. The province is also home to Canada’s largest city: Toronto and the National Capital: Ottawa.

  • Ontario shares a 1677 mile (2700 km) border with the United States and actually borders 3 states by land: New York, Minnesota and Michigan while bordering 2 others: Pennsylvania and Ohio across Lake Erie. The majority of this boundary follows inland waterways.

  • Ontario is the driving force behind Canada’s economy as it accounts for over ½ of the nations manufacturing output. Agriculture still occupies a large portion of Southern Ontario but it is decreasing at a rapid rate due to the spread of the urban sprawl in the country’s most densely populated area.


Official flag of Ontario

official flag of ontario

More Ontario Facts

  • Over 100 million people visit the Ontario annually with Niagara Falls being listed as one of the 10 most visited places on the planet and the most internationally recognized Canadian tourist destination.

  • The St. Lawrence Seaway, the world’s greatest inland navigational system passes through various locks and canals throughout Ontario allowing ocean-going ships to carry their cargo from such mid continent cities such as Chicago and Duluth. Ships bypass the natural obstruction of Niagara Falls by utilizing the Welland Canal.

  • The Province’s highest point is Ishpatina Peak (693 metres) in the Timiskaming area.

  • Over 33% of the entire planet's freshwater supply is contained within the province's boundaries

  • The official provincial flower is the White Trillium.

  • The official bird is the Common Loon.

  • The official tree is the Eastern White Pine

  • The official gemstone is the Amethyst.

  • The provincial motto is: "Loyal she began, loyal she remains".

  • The provincial colours are green and gold


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