Located in east-central Canada, Ontario is one of the 10 provinces found in the North American country. Nearly 40% of Canadians live in Ontario, making it the most populous province of the country. It is also one of the largest Canadian provinces, covering about 1 million square kilometers. There are more than 250,000 lakes in Ontario, which together contain about a fifth of the world’s fresh water. The Capital city is Toronto and is home to the famous 553 meters high CN-Tower.
Ontario has a diverse economy, with the exports including automobile parts, machinery, and electrical parts. Agriculture is an important part of the economy, both foreign and domestic with over 50,000 farms registered and in operation in Ontario making up almost a quarter of all farm revenue earned in Canada. Ontario’s agricultural production includes fruit crops such as grapes and apples, cash crops such as soybeans and corn, commercial poultry dairy and beef cattle farms. Mining has been an economic factor for over 130 years, supplying the world with more than 30 kinds of metal and minerals.
Mining has been an economic factor for over 130 years, supplying the world with more than 30 kinds of metal and minerals. Ontario is a global leader in the mining of gold, copper, zinc and non-metallic products such as salt, gypsum and lime.
Ontario provides nearly 37% of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product and is home to almost 50% of the all the employees in high tech,manufacturing, mining, and financial services sector.
Ontario has the most diverse culture in Canada, with 25% of the population born outside of the country. British and French settlers and trappers came to the area in the 1600s. After much fighting, the British became the dominant power in Ontario (which was part of Quebec at the time). After the American Revolution, the English population swelled from American Loyalists fleeing from the retribution of their victorious countrymen for siding with the British. In 1791, the area was split into Ontario, being predominantly English, and Quebec, which remained predominantly French. During the 18th and 19th centuries, immigrants came to Ontario in waves, mostly from Western Europe. Today, in addition to over a dozen Native American tribes, there are people from all over the world, and over 100 languages are spoken in homes throughout Ontario.
The education system in Ontario consists of public and private primary, secondary schools and post-secondary institutions. The management of the education sector in Ontario is entirely under the responsibility of the provincial government, the public funded elementary and secondary schools are administered by the Ontario Ministry od Education, whereas the universities and colleges are administered by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.
Ontario has 20 universities and 24 colleges. Notable universities are the University of Ontario, University of Ottawa, Queen’s University, and the University of Toronto.
Many of Ontario’s cities and towns have carefully preserved historic buildings. There are various rebuilt forts and pioneer villages around the province, such as the historic Upper Canada village in Morrisburg and Fort Wellington in Prescott. The distinctive parliament building and Toronto’s impressive legislative building reminds the people of Ontario of their rich history.
Touring Ontario is easy by highway, boat or rail, allowing you to easily visit the many attractions throughout the province, from agricultural fairs and museums to zoos, floral gardens, and interesting theme parks. Of course not forgetting Niagara Falls one of the world’s natural wonders.
During both summer and winter, Ontario’s beautiful natural settings are home to all kinds of activities. Summertime means swimming, boating, baseball, hiking, camping, fishing, and tennis. Popular winter activities in Ontario include skating, skiing, tobogganing, curling and ice hockey.
Other notable sights of interest include Ontario Science Centre, Science North, The Niagara Parks Commission, the St. Lawrence Parks Commission and many other provincial parks.
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