Ontario: Yours to Discover
Ontario: a snapshot of Canada.Although it’s only one province, Ontario feels a little like a miniature snapshot of Canada itself, starting with its geography. Bordered by 4 of the 5 freshwater Great Lakes to the south, and the Arctic Ocean’s Hudson’s Bay and James Bay to the north, Ontario boasts more than 260 million acres of diverse landscapes in between – from the rugged and sparsely populated north punctuated with over 250,000 glacier-carved lakes, to rolling farmland and more temperate climes in the south’s ‘Golden Horseshoe’. The only thing missing geographically in Ontario are true mountains, (don’t let the ski area around Collingwood named ‘Blue Mountain’ mislead you – although the best location for skiing in the province, these slopes are mere moguls compared to the true peaks out west.) Culturally, Ontario has it all as well. First Nations people still call the Northern part of the province their home, and with Quebec as its border to the east, many of Ontario’s northeastern communities speak French as their first language. But nowhere will you see the multicultural snapshot of Canada more pronounced than in Ontario’s capital, Toronto, Canada’s largest city, and North America’s 4th largest. With over 140 languages spoken by its almost 3 million residents, it is one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world. If Canada is a ‘mosaic’ of ethnicities and cultures, then Toronto is its poster child. For the grownup traveller, Ontario offers a wealth of experiences, from world-class urban adventures to discovering the charm of historic small towns. Or sample some of the province’s award-winning wines in Prince Edward County, Pelee or Niagara wine regions. And when it comes to the great outdoors, whether you are a camper, ‘glamper’ or cottager, prepare to fall in love with the province’s natural beauty. After all, Ontario’s got Niagara Falls, too (and even our American neighbours admit that the Canadian side is waaay prettier!) In fact, when it comes to Ontario, like the official tourism tagline, all of it really is Yours to Discover.
TIP: Ontario is a big province, so if you are planning on driving it, plan on driving a lot, especially if you are heading north, where cities and towns are spread much further afield than in the more densely-populated south.
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