From the world’s longest street to the world longest freshwater beach, there’s always more to discover in Ontario! With beautiful lakes and rivers, forests and provincial parks, the province offers rich cultural, archaeological and natural wonders. To get started, you can visit this online exhibit that looks back at tourism in Ontario ever since Niagara Falls was discovered in the 17th century.
Greater Toronto and Niagara
It takes only 58 seconds by elevator to climb the 342 metres to the observation deck of the CN Tower. Built in 1976, the Canadian National Tower in downtown Toronto stands 553 metres in height. It was the world’s tallest building until 2007, when the Burj Dubai was constructed. In 1995, the CN Tower was named one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World for its feats of engineering.
Ottawa and St. Lawrence
The national capital’s Changing of the Guard ceremony on Parliament Hill is North America’s only replica of London’s famous Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. Canada’s Changing of the Guard is performed by the Ceremonial Guard, a militia unit made up of the Governor General’s Foot Guards from Ottawa and the Canadian Grenadier Guards from Montreal.
Muskoka Lakes and Georgian Bay
Muskoka Lakes is one of Ontario’s most popular vacation spots, with 2,500 square miles of pine forests, lakes and rivers. It is also home to the world’s first Dark Sky Reserve, located at the Torrance Barrens. A dark sky is important to astronomers. The government decided in 1999 to protect this area, and make sure it would always be free of light pollution from cities, as it is today.
There are actually 1,864 islands in the Thousand Islands. The area was originally inhabited by the Iroquois tribes: Mohawk, Oneidas, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca. They named it Manitonna, or the “Garden of the Great Spirit.”
Canada’s first cheese factory dates back to 1840 in the town of Ingersoll, Oxford County. Cheese making was introduced to Canada by English and Scottish immigrants. In early times, cheese was produced with the use of surplus milk right in the farmhouse kitchen. Today, Ontario cheese-makers are producing many kinds of cheese across the province, including more than 30 unique cheeses made from goat’s milk and sheep’s milk.
The Great North
You can take a swim with the polar bears at the Polar Bear Habitat and Heritage Village in Cochrane. From there, hop aboard the Polar Bear Express across the Northland to James Bay Frontier communities. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a white beluga whale at the mouth of the Moose River on James Bay.
Thunder Bay boasts one of the largest settlements of Finnish people outside Finland. Saunas, the shops of “Little Finland” on Bay Street and nordic-style skiing are just a few of the ways the city shows its Finnish heritage. Seinäjoki, in the Southern Ostrobothnia district of Finland, was named Thunder Bay’s first Sister City in 1974.
Be an environmental hero! Choose your E-Z One thing at E-Zone for Kids from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.
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.
Yonge Street is the longest in the world, starting in downtown Toronto and ending more than 1,900 kilometres north in the town of Rainy River. The road is named in honour of Sir George Yonge (pronounced “young”), Great Britain’s Secretary of War and a member of Upper Canada’s Parliament in the 18th century.