Ontario is an economic powerhouse of Canada besides being the country’s most populous province. It is home to industries that are associated with mining minerals, designing software, cultivating crops, manufacturing automobiles, and much more. The province also houses vast natural regions that have extensive forests, and thousands of inland lakes.
Its diverse natural regions also include a coastline on three of the Great Lakes of North America. One of the world’s most multi-cultural destinations, Ontario celebrates many festivals. Among the most popular ones are the Canadian Aboriginal Festival, Caribbean Carnival, and Oktoberfest. Here are some of the many facts about this province that will truly astonish you:
1. The word ‘Ontario’ means ‘beautiful water’ in the Iroquoian language
This province was the land of the Aboriginals who spoke the Iroquoian and Algonquian languages. These people inhabited the region which is now recognized as the province of Ontario. Many of the experts in linguistics believe that ‘Ontario’ came from an Iroquoian word.
Although the translation isn’t exact, the word means ‘beautiful water’. The experts also say that the word could also mean ‘big body of water’ or ‘beautiful lake’. According to them, the exact meaning of this word in the English language would largely depend on the context.
2. The provincial bird of Ontario is the loon
The loon appears on the Canadian currency and was on the country’s twenty-dollar bills of a previous series. This bird has a special place in the hearts of many Ontarian people. There’s something that most of them and many people in the rest of the world don’t know. The loon is Canada’s official bird.
Yes, you read this right. It is also the state bird of Minnesota in the United States of America. It reminds us of the power of solitude as well as robust wilderness. The bird can make four distinct sounds. They are the wail, the hoot, the tremolo, and the yodel.
3. Ontario has over 250,000 lakes
Now, this is really astonishing! You probably won’t believe this fact, but it is absolutely true. There’s an abundance of lakes in the province of Ontario and some of them are suitable for sailing. The lakes of Ontario have nearly one-fifth of the world’s fresh water.
There are about 7,000 lakes in the whole of Switzerland and almost 20,000 in Germany. These are two of the world’s most popular countries. Yet, their number of lakes pales in comparison with Ontario.
4. Ontario’s official mineral is amethyst
People first think of Sudbury in Ontario whenever the mining history is discussed. Not many of them know that the first real ‘gold rush’ was seen in 1866 near Madoc in the province. Ontario produces more than half of Canada’s gold even today. Still, amethyst was chosen as the nation’s official mineral in 1975.
This choice was to reflect the abundant wealth of valuable minerals in this part of Canada. Amethyst is a renowned crystal of the purple quartz style. It exists in abundance on the northern shore of Lake Superior as well as in Bancroft and North Bay.
5. Ontario’s area is larger than the area of Spain and France taken together
The sheer size of Ontario allows tourists to explore many things. Besides vast number of lakes, the province also houses Manitoulin Island and many towns and cities. The total area of Ontario spans over 1 million square kilometers, which is enormous. The area is so big that the province has two time zones. They are the Eastern Time Zone and the Central Time Zone.