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Ontario: Quick Facts

Quick Facts:

  • Capital - Toronto
  • Motto - Ut Inceptit Fedelis Sic Permanet (Loyal it began, loyal it remains)
  • Flower - White Trillium
  • Entered Confederation - 1 July 1867
  • Members of the Legislative Assembly - 125
  • Members of Parliament - 103
  • Senators - 24
  • Population, 1998 - 11,404,750
  • Average annual family income, 1996 - $62,614
  • Employment rate, 1997 - 60.3%
  • Per capita health expenditures, 1995 - $2,633
  • Inflation as measured by the CPI, 1997 - 1.9%
  • Average weekly earnings, 1997 - $638.97
  • Housing starts, 1997 - 29,351
  • Provincial sales tax, 1998 - 8.0%
  • Urban population, 1996 - 83.3%
  • GDP per capita, 1995 - $28,385
  • Land area out of Canada's total area - 10.7%

Sources: Statistics Canada, 1999 Canadian Encyclopedia


Toronto (pop; 4,000,000 app.) located on Lake Ontario is the capital of Ontario and Canada's largest city. It is also the commercial, industrial and financial centre of Canada.

The 'Golden Horseshoe' along the western end of Lake is home to Ontario's major cities:

  • Ottawa, the capital of Canada.
  • Hamilton
  • London
  • Windsor
  • Kingston
  • Sudbury

Sault St. Marie and Thunder Bay are smaller cities in the northwest.

Time Zones

Most of Ontario is in the Eastern Time zone. Some of Western/Northern Ontario is in the Central Time Zone.


Ontario's climate ranges from sub arctic in the far north to humid continental in the south. The major influence on the climate is the large bodies of water to both the north and south. These bodies of water influence the climate with cold winters, warm summers, and lots of humidity. There is a great deal of rain and snow caused by cold polar air from the north meeting warm moist air from the United States. Northern Ontario's annual precipitation varies from 508 mm along the Hudson Bay coast to 889 mm near North Bay. Southern Ontario averages about 762 mm per year. The heaviest snowfalls happen in a belt lying inland from Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. More than 2,540 mm of snow may fall in one winter.

Climactic conditions can vary a great deal. The winter average temperature in the Ottawa area is -13 C, where as, to the south, along the Niagara to Windsor area of Southern Ontario it is -4 C. In the north along the Hudson Bay coast the average yearly temperature is less than 4 C with record lows being -47 C and a record high at 38 C.

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