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Facts about Ontario, Canada

This central Canadian province is Canada's most populous. About half of Canada's manufactured goods are produced there. The provincial capital, Toronto, is Canada's second largest city. Other major cities are Ottawa (Canada's capital) and Hamilton, London and Windsor. Ontario covers an area of 412,582 square miles. Of this, more than one-sixth is water. The province is bounded by Hudson Bay (north), Quebec and James Bay (east), all the Great Lakes except Lake Michigan (south) and Manitoba (west).

Facts about Ontario, Canada: The map The Arts Building - Facts about Ontario, Canada

Facts about Ontario, Canada: The map shows the location of the Canadian province of Ontario. It is Canada's second largest province and only Quebec province is larger

Facts about Ontario, Canada: The Arts Building at the University of Western Ontario in London. About six out of every ten people in Ontario are descended from settlers from England. The English influence can be seen in the tower of the Arts Building which is based on the tower of Magdalene College in Oxford, England

Ontario's major cities and most of its people are concentrated in the province's southeastern peninsula. A moderate climate, ample rainfall and good rail and water transportation have favored the development of both farming and industry. Leading industries include aircraft, automobiles, iron and steel, and machine tools. Exported goods reach the Great Lakes ports via the important St Lawrence Seaway. The main type of agriculture is mixed (crops and livestock) farming. Dairying and livestock raising is important in the southeast. On the lake shores, farmers cultivate fruit and tobacco.

Most of north and northwest Ontario is sparsely populated because of the bitter climate. Bich mineral deposits include copper, gold, iron, nickel, platinum and silver. Forest products include both softwood and hardwood trees. Large plantations of spruce provide woodpulp for about one-tenth of the world's newsprint. The trapping of wild animals for their fur was one of Ontario's first industries. Ontario still provides about a quarter of Canada's furs.

The Ontario region's earliest inhabitants were Chippewa, Huron and Iroquois Indians. Today, nearly a quarter of Canada's Indians live in Ontario. Samuel de Champlain, the founder of Quebec, explored the region in 1613-15 (see Quebec). In 1763, together with the rest of eastern Canada, it came under English control. Ontario became a province in 1867, when the Dominion of Canada was formed.

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