The Canadian province of Ontario is situated in the eastern central area of Canada. It is the largest province in Canada in terms of population. Ontario is the second largest province in terms of area after Quebec. The province’s name is derived from Lake Ontario. Manitoba borders Ontario from the east and Quebec from the west.

Ontario is divided into four primary geographical regions.

• Canadian Shield is the northwest and central parts which is thinly populated and occupies more than half of the total Ontario’s land area. The land here is mostly infertile, but is mineral rich and full of lakes as well as rivers.
• Northern Ontario consists of two regions – Northwestern Ontario and North eastern Ontario.
• The Hudson Bay Lowlands is virtually unpopulated and lies in the north or northeastern portion.
• The area which enjoys temperate climate and has the greatest population is the Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence Valley towards the south of Ontario. It is the place where industries and agriculture are concentrated. Southern Ontario has four subdivisions. These are Central Ontario, Eastern Ontario, Golden Horseshoe and Southwestern Ontario. Niagara Falls is an important geographic feature of this area.

Ontario consists of three primary climatic regions. Certain areas of southwestern Ontario have moderately humid warm summers with cold winters (continental climate). The eastern and central Ontario experiences extreme continental humid climate. The extreme north portions of Ontario have the subarctic climate characterized by long, highly chilled winters and cool, short summers. Severe to moderate thunderstorms generally occur in summers.

The region which is present day’s Ontario had been originally occupied by the Algonquin tribes in the west as well as the Iroquios and Huron tribes on the east, before the Europeans came in. Towards the end of the 19th century, Ontario and Quebec were both leaders in industrial, population, arts, and communication growth.

The major part of Ontario’s population is of British and other European descent. Below 5% of Ontario’s population have French as their native tongue, though 11% have French ancestry. The last two hundred years has witnessed population growth mainly due to immigration. Recent immigrants include Caribbeans, South Asians, East Asians, Latin Americans and East Europeans.

Because of the presence of the rivers, Ontario is a province which has a rich supply of hydroelectric energy. Manufacturing is the main industry to be found in the Golden Horseshoe area. Important products like iron, steel, motor vehicles, food, machinery, paper, chemicals and electrical appliances are produced in Ontario. Finance, banking, IT and manufacturing are the most common industries.

Some of the major cities in Ontario include:

Toronto (capital)
• Hamilton
• London
• Kitchener
• Windsor
• Kingston
• St. Catharines
• Barrie

Famous people
Some of the notable personalities from Ontario include:

• Dan Aykroyd – actor
Jim Carrey – actor
• Lori Dupuis – Olympic athlete
Wayne Gretzky - Hockey player
• Shania Twain - singer/songwriter
• Bryan Adams - singer/songwriter
• Mike Myers - actor