History & Government
Ontario, which became a province in 1867, is the second largest of Canada’s 10 provinces. The name Ontario comes from the aboriginal phrase “glittering waters” which refers to our thousands of lakes.
Ontario’s history is a story of many cultures. This section describes the original settlements by aboriginals, the arrival of European explorers and traders, waves of immigration, the rise of industry, people moving to cities, and much more.
Ontario’s history from the early 1600s to the early 2000s
Both Canada and Ontario have a parliamentary system of government, based on the British model. This section explains how government works in Ontario and Canada.
The federal government and the provincial governments have different powers, but work closely together to deliver vital services.
Federal Government - The Government of Canada
The federal government is responsible for nation-wide concerns, such as foreign affairs. It works with the provinces in such areas as transportation, health and justice.
Provincial Government - The Government of Ontario
The provincial government is reponsible for transportation, health the administration of justice and education.
Municipal Government - Cities and Towns
Cities and towns take responsibility for municipal matters such as local bridge and road repairs, public transportation, garbage collection, sewage system maintenance and public utilities. They sometimes share some aspects of these responsibilities with the province. These are set out in the Canadian constitution.
See the links below for more information.
- The Legislative Assembly of Ontario
- Ontario Government ministries
- Ontario Government cabinet ministers
- Members of Provincial Parliament
- Ontario Government Information Centres
- Small Business Enterprise Centres