Ontario Travel Regions

Wherever you go in Ontario, astounding physical beauty is not far off.  From Niagara Falls to Polar Bear Provincial Park, from the Lake of the Woods to the majestic Ottawa River, Ontario is a land of deep forests, calm lakes, rushing rivers and rocky hills.

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People and Places.
W
e invite you discover our history, our geography, our lifestyle.  Ontario is home to some of the world's greatest cultural events: the Shaw Festival, the Stratford Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival.  In 2008, communities across Ontario scheduled over fifteen hundred festivals.

The Province of Ontario.
Ontario is Canada’s second largest province – measuring more than one million square kilometres (415,000 square miles) – an area larger than Spain and France combined. A province of vast natural heritage and history, Ontario was created on July 1, 1867, at the time of confederation. In 1867, the British North America Act took effect, creating the Dominion of Canada out of the Provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

Prior to the confederation, Ontario was known as Canada West and Upper Canada. Ontario is bounded by Quebec on the east, Manitoba on the west, Hudson Bay and James Bay on the north, and the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes to the south.

a land of many lakes
Ontario holds one-third of the world’s fresh water, offering travellers over 250,000 lakes and countless rivers and streams. You can discover Ontario by canoe or kayak and create an adventure of your own. Whether you plan on camping in the wilderness or staying at a resort tucked away against a small lake, or seeking white-water excitement or quiet seclusion, Ontario's lakes, rivers and parks will offer you a wonderful vacation destination.

our population and climate
With a population of 11 million, Ontario is home to about one in three Canadians. Eighty percent of Ontario’s population live in urban centres like Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto, Niagara Falls, London, Kitchener and Waterloo. Ontario’s climate ranges from cold winters to hot humid summers. On average, the warmest month of the year is July, with an average temperature of 23°C (74°F) in south-western Ontario to 19°C (64°F) in eastern Ontario. The coldest month of winter is January, with temperatures in eastern Ontario averaging -13°C (9°F). From Windsor to Niagara Falls, the average January temperature is about -4°C (25°F).

transportation
Ontario’s lakes and rivers have provided natural trading and traveling routes for hundreds of years. Beginning in the 19th century, canals were built to link certain lakes and rivers like the Rideau Canal which links Lake Ontario in Kingston to Canada’s Capital. The St. Lawrence River is one of the great rivers of the world, stretching for more than 1200 kilometres (775 miles). It carries the fresh water of the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean and provides access to the heart of North America, carrying goods on ships to and from overseas markets. The Trent-Severn Waterway and the Rideau Canal were once used heavily for commercial purposes but are now used mainly by recreational boaters travelling down the canals to experience the beauty of the communities along these river systems.

Ontario’s cities and towns are linked by more than 16,500 centreline kilometres (10,253 miles) of provincial highways. Ontario’s main highways include the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) and the 400 series highways. These highways include Highway 401, which stretches 820 kilometres (510 miles) from Windsor to the Quebec border, and boasts to be one of the busiest highways in the world. Highway 407 is Ontario’s first toll highway, a multi-lane highway that spans 108 kilometres across the top of the Greater Toronto Area, from Hatlon in the west Pickering in the east. Highway 407 expansion plans are underway.

sports
Ontario is home to a number of professional sports franchises including the Ottawa Senators, Hamilton Tigercats, Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Argonauts, and the Toronto Raptors.

multiculturalism
Over 50 major languages are spoken in Ontario, with a varying mix of ethnic and linguistic groups that add to Ontario’s spirit of being cultural and diversified. Ontario is the multicultural province of Canada, with Toronto being Canada’s most multicultural city.

the great outdoors
Ontario Parks has over 18,500 campsites that are accessible by car. Whether you're looking for a shady spot among the pines or a sandy site basking in the sun's rays, Ontario Parks has a campsite for you. Each campsite comes equipped with the following amenities:

  • A flat pad where you can set up your tent or park your trailer
  • A fire ring for your evening campfire - firewood is available for sale at most parks
  • A picnic table for daily meals
  • A parking spot for at least one vehicle - additional parking spots are often available nearby
  • Electrical hook ups are also available at many campsites

backcountry camping
Challenge. Solitude. Discovery. Landscapes of unparalleled beauty. These things await the long distance backpacker, canoeist and backcountry camper in Ontario's provincial parks.

Whether this is your first backcountry experience or simply your most recent rendezvous with the great outdoors, Ontario Parks can offer you a wilderness adventure that is quite simply second to none.

backcountry sites
Ontario has more than 6,500 backcountry campsites - accessible only by canoe or on foot - tucked away in 21 different provincial parks. Veteran backcountry campers know to expect spartan facilities, typically a pit privy, a few tent sites and fire ring, and they plan their adventures accordingly.

 

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