Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is located in east-central Canada.
It is bordered by the province of Manitoba to the west, Hudson Bay and James Bay to the north, and Quebec to the east and northeast, and to the south by the US states of (from west to east) Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York.
As of March 2019, the population of Ontario was estimated to be about 13.5 million people. It is the most populous province in Canada.
Ontario is the 4th largest province in Canada in terms of total area with 1,076,395 square kilometers (415,598 square miles).
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the most populous city in Canada, with a population of about 2.75 million people.
The provance is also home to the nation’s capital city, Ottawa.
Ontario is a study in contrasts. The varied landscape includes the vast, rocky and mineral-rich Canadian Shield, which separates the fertile farmland in the south and the grassy lowlands of the north.
There are no mountainous landscapes in Ontario. The highest point is Ishpatina Ridge at 693 meters (2,274 feet) above sea level in Temagami, Northeastern Ontario.
Ontario has over 250,000 lakes, which contain approximately one-fifth of the world’s fresh water supply. With the exception of Lake Michigan, Ontario includes a portion of all the Great Lakes (i.e., Lakes Superior, Huron, Erie and Ontario).
The province is named after Lake Ontario, a term thought to be derived from Ontarí:io, a Huron (Wyandot) word meaning “great lake”, or possibly skanadario, which means “beautiful water” in the Iroquoian languages.
There are also over 100,000 kilometers (62,000 miles) of rivers in the province.
Niagara Falls, arguably Canada’s most striking landform, straddles the international border between Ontario and the US State of New York. These dramatic falls include the larger Horseshoe Falls at 790 meters (2,600 feet) wide, and the smaller American Falls at 320 meters (1,060 feet) wide.
Ontario has 6 national parks and 334 provincial parks.
Algonquin Provincial Park is a provincial park located between Georgian Bay and the Ottawa River in Ontario. Established in 1893, it is the oldest provincial park in Canada. Additions since its creation have increased the park to its current size of about 7,653 square kilometres (2,955 sq mi). For comparison purposes, this is about one and a half times the size of Prince Edward Island or about a quarter of the size of Belgium.
The CN Tower is a 553.3 meter (1,815.3 feet) -high concrete communications and observation tower located in Downtown Toronto, Ontario. Built on the former Railway Lands, it was completed in 1976. Its name “CN” originally referred to Canadian National, the railway company that built the tower. The CN Tower held the record for the world’s tallest free-standing structure for 32 years until 2007 and was the world’s tallest tower until 2009 when it was overtaken by Burj Khalifa and Canton Tower, respectively.
The Royal Ontario Museum is a museum of art, world culture and natural history in Toronto. It is one of the largest museums in North America and the largest in Canada. It attracts more than one million visitors every year, making the ROM the most-visited in Canada.
Casa Loma is a Gothic Revival style mansion and garden in midtown Toronto, that is now a historic house museum and landmark. It was constructed from 1911 to 1914 as a residence for financier Sir Henry Pellatt. The architect was E. J. Lennox, who designed several other city landmarks. Casa Loma sits at an elevation of 140 meters (460 ft) above sea level.
All of Ontario was, at one time or another, covered in ice. As recently as 11,000 years ago the last ice sheet covering the province receded, resulting the many lakes.
Ontario has a wide range of climates. The temperature can reach above 30°C in the summer and dip to minus 40°C in the winter, with regional variations in temperature throughout the province.
Animal life includes such large mammals as moose, caribou, black bears, polar bears, deer, and wolves, as well as numerous small mammals, including porcupines, skunks, muskrats, rabbits, beavers, otters, and foxes. Among the birds are ducks, geese, grouse, hawks, owls, and finches.