Anyone visiting Ontario will certainly not be disappointed, regardless of whether they are interested in nature, history, culture or architecture.
Ontario is surrounded by the Hudson Bay coast to the north and densely populated cities to the south. The capital Toronto is the commercial and financial center of Canada and is considered one of the most cosmopolitan cities in North America. There are also a number of interesting museums here, and Toronto is one of the largest dance and theater centers in the world. A trip to the harbor is also nice. Here you should definitely visit the SkyDome or enjoy the view from the CN Tower.
The Niagara Falls, which are located in southern Ontario, are certainly an attraction for most tourists. On a Maid of the Mist boat trip you can get very close to Niagara Falls and get a completely different impression of this natural spectacle.
Many locals like to venture into the wilderness around Peterborough or Georgian Bay during vacation times or on the weekends. You can find peace in solitude.
Ontario – key data
Area: 1,076,395 sq km, rank 4 of the provinces of Canada (land Area: 917,741 sq km, water Area: 158,654 sq km)
Share of water surface: 14.7%
Population: 13.15 million residents, ranked 1 of the provinces of Canada (2009, estimate)
Population density: 12.2 residents per square kilometer
Member of the Confederation: July 1, 1867 (founding member)
Capital and Largest city: Toronto (2.50 million residents, 2006, metropolitan region 5.55 million residents)
Highest point: 693 m, Ishpatina Ridge
Lowest point: 0 m, Hudson Bay
Lieutenant Governor: David Onley
Prime Minister: Dalton McGuinty
Local time: East 90º W: CET -6 h. From the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November: CET -5 h.
The time difference to Central Europe in the Northwest Territories is -6 hours in both winter and summer.
West 90º W: CET -6 h. no time change between summer and winter time.
The time difference to Central Europe is -6 hours in winter and -7 hours in summer.
Postal abbreviation: ON
Ontario – Map and Geography
The province Ontario is located in the southern center of Canada and is considered to be the heart of the country. Ontario is on the same level as southern Alaska in the north and on the same level as northern California in the south. The province borders the to the north Hudson Bay and James Bay, to the west to the Prairie Province of Manitoba, to the south to the American states of Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. The Canadian province of Quebec borders Ontario in the east.
The total area of Ontario amounts to 1,076,395 square kilometers. This makes Ontario the fourth largest province in Canada, in which about a third of all Canadians live. The province is 1,600 kilometers from east to west and 1,700 kilometers from south to north. The capital and largest city of Ontario is Toronto. The border with the USA runs almost exclusively through rivers and lakes. First, the Lake of the Woods forms the natural border in the south of the province. This is followed by the five Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. In the east, the Ottawa River forms a section of the border with Québec.
The natural area of Ontario can be divided into three larger units:
The north is geologically part of the Canadian Shield and is characterized by extensive, slightly hilly forest areas interspersed with lakes and swamps. Occasionally towering, bare granite peaks interrupt the wooded landscape, which is predominantly overgrown by spruce, pine and fir, the so-called boreal coniferous forest.
Only a narrow strip along the coast on the Hudson and James Bay is an exception. Here, pronounced tundra vegetation determines the landscape, which turns into large swamps in summer. The climate and nutrient-poor soils allow hardly any agricultural use in the entire northern part of Ontario.
The south of the province, beginning around Ottawa, finally represents the third large natural area. Here, the lowlands on Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River determine the landscape. The stepland of the Niagara Escarpment, which stretches between Lake Ontario in the east, Lake Erie in the south and Lake Huron in the west, is characteristic of this part of the province. The south of Ontario is used intensively for agriculture with its fertile arable land; Industry, commerce and trade are also concentrated in this region, which is home to around four-fifths of the province’s total population.
Geologically, the province was shaped by the last ice age about 12,500 years ago. The receding glaciers furrowed the shield, which consists mainly of gneiss, granite and sandstone, creating around 250,000 lakes. The five Great Lakes were also formed during this ice age. The highest point in Ontario is the 693 meter high Ishpatina Ridge near Temagami. The province, famous for its abundance of water, has several large rivers and lakes to offer. The name Ontario already means “glittering water”. The most famous body of water is the Niagara Falls. The most important river is the St. Lawrence River, which is particularly important for shipping.
In Canada, Ontario is particularly worth a visit. Ontario’s oldest church, which is also the seat of the city’s Catholic Archbishop, is Notre-Dame Cathedral. The charm and character of the cathedral make the twin towers like the gilded one Madonna the end. The Madonna can already be recognized from the nearby Parliament Hill.
Services take place in the rich with statues and Paintings equipped inner hall of the cathedral is held regularly in French or in English.
The St. Peters Lutheran Church was founded in 1910 for just 66 members. This church is now one of the landmarks of Ottawa. Probably the most famous sights inside the church are the beautiful windows, on which one can see scenes from the life of Christ as well as from the Lutheran heritage. The one built in 1977 is also very impressive.
One of the most controversial landmarks of Toronto is the CN Tower, which rises high above the city. With a height of 553.33 meters, the tower is one of the highest free-standing structures in the world. The CN Tower also has an entry in the Guinness Book of Records.
The tower has two viewing platforms. Once at a height of 330 meters and once at a height of 447 meters. If you don’t want to miss the fun of having a coffee or a meal on the tower, you can do so in the Horizont Café, which is 346 meters high.
The 360 degree restaurant, five meters higher, offers a spectacular panoramic view every 72 minutes it rotates.
In 1832 the Rideau Canal was opened. The canal has a length of 202 kilometers and connects the cities of Ottawa and Kingston in Ontario. During the winter months, part of the canal becomes the officially largest ice rink in the world, with a length of 7.8 kilometers, the equivalent of around ninety Olympic ice rinks.
The Ottawa River is spanned by the Royal Alexandra Interprovincil Bridge, which connects the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau. The bridge was built between 1898 and 1900. At the time of its completion, it was the longest bridge in Canada. There are two huge and interesting museums at either end of the bridge. One would be the National Art Gallery and the other the Canadian Museum often Civilization on the Gatineau side.
Many special exhibitions about international art, but also permanent ones can be seen in the Art Gallery of Ontario. The works of the “Group of Seven” are the main attractions of the museum. The group of painters were the first to capture the unspeakable beauty of Canada’s wilderness on their easels.
There are also a few more museums to visit in Ontario.