How much do you really know about Ontario? Whether you live in this beautiful Canadian province, or you want to come visit soon, you will probably be surprised by at least a few of these Ontario facts.
Fact #1 – Ontario is the second largest province in Canada
Ontario covers 1,076,395 square kilometres, which makes it the second largest province in Canada, behind the province of Quebec which covers 1,542,056 square kilometres. Two Canadian territories are larger than Ontario: Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories.
Fact #2 – Ontario is the most populated province in Canada
Ontario is currently the most populated province in Canada, with more than 13 million inhabitants. Approximately 38% of Canadians live in Ontario. Many Ontarians are of British and Irish ancestry. The official language of the province is English, and most people are either Protestants or Catholics.
Fact #3 – Ontario was inhabited by different tribes before the Europeans arrived
Before the first European explorers arrived in Ontario, the region was already inhabited by Algonquin, Iroquois and Huron tribes. Many First Nation communities and reserves are still present in Ontario, and more than 220,000 Ontarians are proud to identify themselves as members of the First Nations.
Fact #4 – Ottawa is the capital of Canada
The capital of Canada, Ottawa, is located in Ontario and it is the fourth largest city in the country with a population of 1,378,151. The capital of Ontario, Toronto, is the largest city in Canada with a population of 6,139,404. Toronto is also the fourth largest city in North America.
Fact #5 – There are a lot of lakes in Ontario
In Ontario, the internal fresh water area covers 158,654 square kilometres, which represents approximately one-sixth of the total area of the province. Ontario counts 250,000 lakes, which means that about one-fifth of the world’s fresh water can be found in this province. Many of these Ontario lakes make great camping destinations for those who love the outdoors.
Fact #6 – The Eastern White Pine is the official tree of the province
Ontario has a few different emblems. The Eastern White Pine is the official tree of the province. This tree used to be an important source of income during the pioneering days, and it’s still one of the province’s important resources to this day.
Fact #7 – The Common Loon is the official bird of the province
The Common Loon appears on the Canadian one dollar coin, but it’s also the official bird of the province of Ontario. This mostly black and white bird spends the spring and the summer living on lakes in the northern part of the United States and in Canada.
Fact #8 – The Amethyst is the official gem of the province
Ontario has an official gem, which is the Amethyst, a semi-precious purple stone. Large deposits of Amethysts are found in the northwestern part of the province, and those beautiful stones can be used to decorate rings, necklaces, bracelets, and other pieces of jewelry.
Fact #9 – Ontario also has an official flower
Can you guess which flower is the official flower of Ontario? It’s the White Trillium, a flower that grows abundantly in the wild woodlands of the province during spring. This beautiful flower is native to North America, and it has three white petals that open from late spring to early summer.
Fact #10 – Ontario is the largest producer of fruits and vegetables in Canada
Ontario is the largest producer of fruits and vegetables in Canada, and a variety of them grow on the province’s fertile lands. Peaches, nectarines, plums, apples, pears, melons, grapes, cherries, blueberries, asparagus, broccolis, cabbages, cauliflowers, beans, eggplants, mushrooms, and many more delicious fruits and veggies can be found in the province.
Fact #11 – Many famous people were born in Ontario
Did you know that many famous people were born in Ontario? Ryan Gosling, Jim Carrey, Rachel McAdams, Neve Campbell, Dan Aykroyd, Mike Myers, Alanis Morissette, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Drake, Margaret Atwood, Rick Moranis, Kiefer Sutherland, Keanu Reeves, and Shawn Mendes are all proud Canadians and Ontarians.
Fact #12 – The famous Niagara Falls are located in Ontario
The Niagara Falls are known around the world, and they are one of the main attractions of Ontario. There are three different waterfalls that tourists can admire: the American Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls, and the Horseshoe Falls.
Fact #13 – Ontario sports fans really love their teams
Many Ontarians are sports fans, and they love their local teams. The Toronto Maple Leafs, the Ottawa Senators, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Toronto Raptors, and the Toronto Argonauts have huge followings.
Fact #14 – A spy school used to be located in Ontario
During World War II, a British paramilitary installation that went by the name of Camp X was located near Whitby, Ontario. It was a spy school: intrepid students would learn lock picking, sabotage techniques, radio communications, and the art of unarmed combat, among other things. The camp has been removed many years ago, and is now commemorated by a plaque.