Ontario Facts
for Tourists

Ontario Facts ... Did You Know...?

What is Ontario?

Ontario is a province of the country of Canada. Residents are known as Ontarians.

A trillium, Ontario's official flower
Source: Hamilton Conservation on flickr

Where is Ontario?

Ontario is in the eastern half of Canada, between Manitoba (to the west) and Quebec (to the east). If you’re coming from the United States, we’re just across the border (and river) from Niagara Falls, NY.
A LITTLE-KNOWN FACT: Some cities in Ontario are actually SOUTH of places in the United States. Toronto, for example, and much of the Niagara Region, is south of Seattle, North Dakota and parts of Maine.

How BIG is Ontario?

Ontario is huge! More than 1,000,000 square kilometres. This is more than the countries of France and Spain combined. It stretches 1,730 kilometres from north to south and 1,680 km from east to west.

The people

The population of Ontario is more than 12 million. About 80% of us live in cities in the southern part of the province. The rest of us are scattered about in small towns, on rural areas and in remote, wild regions. Ontario is the most populated province in the country. One-third of all Canadians live in Ontario.

Interesting Features: What does Ontario look like?

It depends where you are. In the southern part of Ontario, nearest the border with United States, the land is densely populated. That’s where you’ll find our cities: Toronto, Niagara Falls, Hamilton, St. Catharines. In the same area, though, you’ll also discover broad patches of farmland and vineyards. (Greenery is never far away.) In the most northern part of Ontario, you’ll discover wilderness, and in the middle of the province you’ll drive through a mix of towns and farms and wild areas. Ontario also has about 250,000 lakes – that’s a lot of water. We have plenty of forest area as well. The northern part of Ontario is also very rocky.

Why do people visit Ontario?

Depends on the visitor! Some come for our wilderness, some come for our urban life. We have world-class museums, art galleries, architecture and entertainment. Toronto is the third-biggest live theatre capital in the world.

Capital of Ontario


Major Cities

Toronto, Ottawa (the capital of Canada), Hamilton, London, Kitchener, St. Catharines are some of the biggest Ontario cities.


The official language is English. French is very common as well, and frequently used in government offices along with English. You’ll find many people speaking French on the streets of Ottawa, some parts of Northern Ontario, and Welland in Southern Ontario. All the other languages of the world are spoken here, too, especially in Toronto.

and MORE Ontario Facts...

Famous Ontarians

Many famous writers, artists, musicians and actors were born in Ontario or make Ontario their home. Some examples include:

Margaret Atwood, prize-winning novelist
Wayne Gretzky, former hockey star
Jim Carrey, comedian and movie star
Shania Twain, singer
The Group of Seven, famous Canadian artists

For more Ontario facts, see my page on Famous Canadians from Ontario


The provincial government of Ontario is headquartered in Toronto at Queen’s Park, in the Legislature Building, which is a handsome heritage building. For information about tours, see http://www.ontla.on.ca.


Ontarians work in a wide variety of fields. Manufacturing, financial services, real estate, computer industry, health services, education, tourism, the arts, agricultural and natural resources are all important contributors to the economy.

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Ontario Travel Secrets > Ontario Facts