Ontario Description & Overview
The name "Ontario" comes from the Iroquois word "Kanadario" which means "sparkling water". Ontario
is bordered on the south by the Great Lakes and on the north by Hudson Bay, nestled between the provinces of Quebec and Manitoba (see Provincial Map), and has an area of over a million square kilometres. Over one-sixth of its terrain, 177,390 square kilometres, is covered by rivers and lakes.
The province's larger cities fall in three areas: (1) in the east is Ottawa, in the south are Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara Region, Kitchener, London, and Windsor, and (3) in the North are Sudbury, Sault Ste Marie and Thunder Bay (links indicate those with more info & details on this web site).
Ontario's native Iroquois and Algonquin Indians first encountered European explorers, fur traders and missionaries in the early 1600s. By 1774, the British ruled over southern Ontario, which was then part of the British colony of Quebec.
The colony was later divided and the Ontario region was renamed Upper Canada (it was higher up the St Lawrence River than Quebec or "Lower Canada"). When the Dominion of Canada was formed in 1867, it was renamed the province of Ontario.
With 14 million people, Ontario is today the country's most heavily populated province. Toronto is Ontario's capital and Canada's largest and most ethnically-diverse city. Toronto is also the country's leading producer of manufactured goods and headquarters of a large number of Canadian companies.
The "Golden Horseshoe," the area around the western tip of Lake Ontario that connects Toronto with Hamilton and Niagara Falls, is home to the bulk of Ontario's population. This area also include Oakvile & Burlington, and Mississauga & Brampton.
There is also the properous area along the western stretch of the Highway 401: Kitchener, London, and Windsor, nestled between Toronto and Detroit.
Ottawa, the national capital, has a million residents at the eastern end of Ontario, on the border with Quebec.
In the north, there are a number of key population centres strung along the Trans-Canada Highway and along the Great Lakes: Sudbury, key for nickle mining, Sault Ste Marie located at a major junction between Lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron, and Thunder Bay at the western end of Lake Superior.
And in the busy Highway 400 corridor, connectig Toronto and Sudbury is the York Region and the Barrie-Muskoka cottage country and along Gerogian Bay.
Our Pick of Useful Links:
Ontario Communities and Neighbourhoods
Here are the major cities/regions in the province of Ontario. Explore the neigbhourhoods in & around them that you may want to live in:
ON: Hamilton sits on a bay at the western end of Lake Ontario, astride the Niagara Escarpment.
ON: Mississauga to the west of Pearson Airport, is the 6th largest and fastest growing major city in Canada, and Brampton is to the north
ON: Sault Ste Marie is a cross-border city on the St Marys River, located between the two largest Great Lakes: Lake Huron and Lake Superior.
ON: These communities are around Lake Simcoe, along Georgian Bay and in the Muskoka tourism area
ON: These communities straddle Highway 401, two hours west of Toronto, and are a major industrial, telecom, and university centre
Here are some featured neighbourhoods in the province of Ontario. Explore the neigbhourhoods in & around them that you may want to live in:
ON: Weston was built around the Humber River and has a small town with an industrial feel. Motorists have fast access to Highways 400 and 401
ON: Niagara on the Lake is located on the Niagara Peninsula where the Niagara River enters Lake Ontario, is a pretty |and historical town, where many buildings have architectural flavour dating back over a hundred years.
ON: These communities are along east side of Dufferin street between Queen |and Bloor, centered around the huge Dufferin Grove Park. Home to the Portuguese-focused Rua Acores shopping district.
ON: Wasaga Beach is located on the 14 km shoreline of the longest freshwater beach in the world, and is one of the premier tourist destinations in Ontario, with more than two million tourists
ON: This part of Hamilton lies above (and generally south of) the Niagara Escarpment. This area is newer than the part of Hamilton below the Escarpment. The area is traversed east-west by the #86 Lincoln Alexander Parkway