WELCOME TO ONTARIO!
Written by Wendy Williams (a.k.a. Mom)
Ontario is a province consists of three main physiographic regions: Hudson Bay Lowlands, Canadian Shield and St. Lawrence Lowlands. The capitol city is Toronto. Population is concentrated in the south of the province. Glaciers left behind these large Ontario lakes: Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Ontario, Lake Superior. The province has a varied landscape for each region.
Southern rivers flow into the St. Lawrence and Northern rivers flow into James Bay and Hudson Bay. Weather can vary between heavy snowfall around the northern areas and Great Lakes to the rainy climates of Hamilton and Toronto. Straggly trees of the most northern areas consist of black poplar and willow while the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence forest grow is covered by mixed forest of jack pine and aspen. Eastern Ontario had wonderful stands of white pine and maple, but due to overlogging, this growth is no longer abundant.
Some of the Aboriginal people who inhabited Northern Ontario are: Cree, Ojibwa,
Algonquin, Odawa, Innu and Wendat. Some more southern groups were: Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga and Senega. Northern reserves are often isolated with poor or no road access and reserves often have to deal with unsafe water conditions.
Early European adventurers who began to explore Ontario were: Hudson, Brule and Champlain. The fever to gain wealth and seniority in the fur trade caused different Europeans to side with certain tribes of Aboriginal people. This caused much dissention and bloodshed among both the fur traders and the Aboriginal peoples for many years to come. The British did not control Ontario region until 1758-59. The Treaty of Paris finally divided the Great Lakes down the middle and created the southern boundary of today’s Ontario. After the American Revolution, many Loyalists, Haudenosaunee and homestead seekers came to Ontario and other parts of Canada. Immigrants (English, Scottish and Irish) who wished for a new life began to swell the Ontario population.
The Canadian Shield rocks are some of the oldest on the earth and supply minerals (cobalt, gold, silver, nickel, platinum, copper) to support the Ontario mining economy. Toronto, especially grew as an industrial centre. Some other industries throughout Ontario are: lumber, hydro electricity, dairy and wheat, fruit and vegetable crops. Bruce Power, Pickering and Darlington are three nuclear power plants in Ontario. Numerous fisheries are located in the fresh water of Ontario lakes.
Arts and culture are partially supported by federal and provincial subsidies. Well known entertainments are the: Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Stratford Festival, Shaw Festival, Art Gallery of Ontario, National Gallery of Canada and Toronto International Film Festival. Some sports teams from Ontario are the: Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators, Hamilton Tiger Cats, Toronto Argonauts and Ottawa Red-Blacks. There are numerous wonderful museums throughout the province to catalogue Ontario’s history.
Ontario offers the beauty of six National Parks: Bruce Peninsula, Georgian Bay Islands, Point Pelee, Pukaskwa and Thousand Islands. The province is famous for the wondrous Niagara Falls and is home to a number of restored historic forts such as Fort Henry, Fort Erie and Fort Wellington. Visitors to Ontario can enjoy the province’s pioneer life in reconstructed townsites named: Upper Canada Village, Black Creek Pioneer Village, Fort William and North West Company. Don’t miss The Rideau Canal built from 1826-1832. The canal assisted the movement of troops and military supplies. Tourists need to set aside ample time to explore the numerous interests of the large province of Ontario.