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Info Ontario

Ontario is a place of opportunity, discovery and fun for thousands of newcomers every year. In the Discover Ontario section of this website you will find interesting facts about the province and its history and culture. It’s a great way to learn more about your new home!

People and History

The name “Ontario” comes from a native word, possibly “Onitariio” or “Kanadario,” loosely translated as “beautiful” or “sparkling” water or lake. Learn more about Ontario’s people and history.

Tradition and Customs

The Ontario motto is shown in Latin on a banner at the bottom of the provincial Coat of Arms. “Ut incepit Fidelis sic permanet” means “Loyal she began, loyal she remains.” Discover the rich heritage of the Province of Ontario.

Ontario’s Heroes

The world’s most famous war poem, “In Flanders Fields,” was written in 1915 by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, a doctor from Guelph, Ontario, who served in France during World War I.

Arts and Culture

Born in Sri Lanka, Michael Ondaatje made Canada his new home after arriving from England in 1962. His novel The English Patient won him the 1992 Booker Prize. In 1996 it was turned into an Oscar-winning film by director Anthony Minghella.

Picture of Basketball

Basketball was invented by an Ontario professor. Dr. James Naismith introduced the game in 1891, using peach baskets nailed to a gymnasium balcony. Visit the Naismith Museum in his hometown, Almonte.

Made in Canada

One of Ontario’s oldest cars is the 1901 Neff Steam Buggy, now on display at the Port Colborne Historical & Marine Museum. A project of local businessman and inventor Benton Neff, the steam-powered vehicle was among the first ever made in Canada. Find out what else is made in Canada.

Geography & Climate

Ontario is a very large province. In fact, it has more than one time zone! The boundary line between the Central Time Zone and Eastern Time Zone (90°W) is just west of Thunder Bay. But some small towns like Big Trout Lake, Upsala and Shebandowan, on either side of the line, have chosen their own time zone. Learn about time zones, daylight savings and the lay of the land.

Ontario is one of the most multicultural societies on earth. Half of all immigrants to Canada settle in Ontario. Of those, half live in Toronto, Ontario’s largest city, and half live in other communities across the province.

Explore Ontario: Be a Tourist in Your New Home

The best way to get to know your new home is to spend some time exploring, like a tourist! Explore Ontario.

Ontario Welcomes You

As a newcomer to Ontario, you may have many questions. The Province of Ontario has many services and programs to help you find the answers, information and support you need to succeed.

Fun Facts and Figures

Babe Ruth, a baseball legend, hit his first professional home run in Toronto on September 5, 1914. Look up more trivia, just for fun!