Fun Facts & Figures
Canada welcomes newcomers. They are an important part of our past and our future. Here, you can learn about the contributions of newcomers to Canada and Ontario. You can also discover fun and interesting facts about your new home. To get started, you can visit Crossroads of Culture, an online exhibition featuring 200 years of immigration to Canada.
After English (8.2 million people) and French (490,000), the five languages most commonly spoken in Ontario homes are:
- Chinese (475,000)
- Italian (280,000)
- Spanish (160,000)
- German (158,000)
- Portuguese (155,000)
The Global Gathering Place
What does it mean to be a Canadian? The Global Gathering Place is an interactive site that lets you explore the story of our diversity in Canada. You’ll find information about immigration and Canada’s multicultural communities. You’ll also learn about important issues like human rights, racism, the migration process, community and neighbourhood life, labour and work, and Canadian citizenship. Visit online ethnic communities and special exhibits about, for example, Chinese women, African Canadians, or refugees. Also, visit The Lands within Me: Expressions by Canadian Artists of Arab Origin, or Boat People No Longer, the story of Vietnamese refugees in Canada.
How Windsor was Made
The City of Windsor was first settled by French voyageur fur traders. The French named the Detroit River in the late 17th century, but the small village south of the river was named Windsor by a Scottish immigrant in 1836. Discover the rich history and diverse heritage of Windsor, and how the region went from a beaver pelt trading outpost to an international automotive manufacturing centre. Join Louis the Beaver to find out how Windsor was made, meet the original Cadillac, Antoine Laumet, Sieur de Lamothe Cadillac, or learn more about Windsor on Wheels and how new immigrants helped fuel the automotive industry.
A Mass Migration
One of the largest population migrations of modern times occurred after the unification of Italy in 1861. An estimated 26 million Italians left their homeland over the next century. After the Second World War, almost half a million Italians moved to Canada, where workers were in great demand. By 1991, more than 1.1 million Italians called Canada their new home, and 700,000 chose to settle in Ontario. Visit this virtual exhibition to learn more about Italian-Canadian heritage and how the Italian community helped shape Canadian society.
Royal Air Force Flight Commander Roy Brown is the fighter pilot officially credited with shooting down World War I ace Manfred von Richthoven, known as the “Red Baron,” on April 21, 1918. Brown was an Ontarian, born in Carleton Place in 1893.
New Metro Moves Toronto
Canada’s first subway opened for service in Toronto on March 30, 1954. Running from Eglinton Avenue south to Union Station, the tube carried 250,000 riders on its first day. Find out more about how the subway helped define Toronto in the 20th century.
Ontario’s Famous People
Superman in Toronto
The comic book character “Superman” was first drawn by comic artist Joe Schuster, who was born in Toronto. Schuster was the son of Jewish immigrants: his father Julian came from the Netherlands and his mother Ida from the Ukraine. Superman was co-created by Schuster and American writer Jerry Siegel, and first appeared as a character in Action Comics in 1938.
Pelee and Middle Islands are the most southern points in Canada. Located in Lake Erie, the islands and Point Pelee National Park are renowned for bird watching, diving, shipwrecks and history. The islands are also home to the Pelee Island Winery. Read the story of Pelee and Middle Islands.
What’s pink, fuzzy and sweet, usually found at community fairs and gives kids a “sugar rush?”
Tip: Some people know it as Dragon’s Beard Candy.
Check your answer!
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.
Just for Fun!
Discover how the City of Guelph grew from a tiny settlement in 1827, with this virtual online tour that offers fun, interactive tools. Rebuild the town square, take a ride in a street car, go fishing in the Speed River or hear a selection of children’s stories at Growing Up in Guelph.