Ontario is divided into three geographic regions. The northern region is formed by the Canadian Shield and contains two thirds of the land mass and less than 6% of the population. The Canadian Shield is covered in boreal forests, bogs and further south in pine, spruce and aspen forests. The Hudson Bay Lowlands is another geographic area that is located in the far north around Hudson Bay. The area was named, after the famous English explorer, Henry Hudson, when he landed in 1611 while trying to find a passage to Asia for the Dutch East India Company. Scattered across the landscape of Ontario are over 250,000 lakes making it an outdoor paradise. The southern border of Ontario known as the Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence Valley and includes several of the Great Lakes which are located along the southern border of Ontario: Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Superior. It is this southern area where 95% of the population of Ontario is located. Ontario is also home to the nation's capital, Ottawa.

Ontario Vacation Rentals and Boutique Hotels

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Cedars Cottage Resort
Cottage Sleeps 8
Rates 130 - 350 CAD
Andrea's Bed and Breakfast
B&B Sleeps 8
Rates 110 - 255 CAD
Trillium Bed & Breakfast
B&B Sleeps 7
Rates 65 - 150 CAD
The Copper Penny House
Cottage Sleeps 8
Rates 230 - 275 CAD
Rogers Harrison House
B&B Sleeps 8
Rates 160 - 165 CAD
Yolanta's B&B
Guesthouse Sleeps 6
Rates 135 - 159 CAD
B&B Wild Rose
B&B Sleeps 6
Rates 85 - 99 CAD
Hilltop Manor Hot Tub & Garden Retreat
B&B Sleeps 7
Rates 110 - 150 CAD
John's Gate Gourmet Bed and Breakfast
B&B Sleeps 6
Rates 120 - 165 CAD
Williams Gate B&B
B&B Sleeps 8
Rates 125 - 150 CAD

Ontario Vacations: Things to see while on vacation in Canada

Good things grow in Ontario, that is one of the many slogans that you will here around this amazing province, and well to be blunt, it is really true. Ontario is one of the largest provinces within Canada, and arguably it is the most important. This is the home of the national government, the largest population, and a key transportation network that allows goods to travel from the Atlantic to the heart of the country. Ontario has long been an important province in Canada, and now is the time for you to explore! In this article, we are going to dive into the geography of the place, the history in Ontario, the culture that you should expect, and some of the must-see landmarks that you will see along the way.

Ontario Geography

The province of Ontario sits on what is known as the Canadian Shield and is home to a vast amount of forest and water. The province is the second biggest in the country and covers roughly one million square kilometres. Covered in 65% forest, the province of Ontario is home to large mammals such as bears, wolves and moose, and also home to bald eagles, hawks and other birds of prey. The tallest point is Ishpatina Peak which sits 693 metres above sea level. Ontario also sits on the edge of large bodies of water such as Hudson’s Bay to the North, and on the shores of four of the five great lakes. You will get to experience all four seasons while in Ontario, with temperatures ranging from the mid to upper 30’s in the Summer down to -25 and below during the winter.

Ontario History and Culture

The province of Ontario has long been a home to a number of first nation groups, that include Algonquin, the Huron and a dozen or so other first nation groups. These men and woman long lived on the land, and had a bustling set of communities that crossed modern-day borders and provided a society to be built upon. This all changed when the first Europeans made contact. The French were first to arrive and surveyed the area between 1610-12. While the British were not far behind, with English explorer Henry Hudson making landfall in 1611. The British would later claim this territory, and start to establish trading outposts throughout present-day Ontario. After the Treaty of Paris, the entirety of French colonial lands in the Americas was ceded to the British, and the British quickly made created Upper Canada (present-day Ontario) and Lower Canada (present-day Quebec). Then in 1867, Ontario became one of the four founding provinces of the new Dominion of Canada. Ottawa was chosen as the capital, on the Ontario side of the Ottawa River, and York, now known as Toronto as the provincial capital. The area saw quick growth, and throughout the 19th and 20th century, the population grew at a rapid pace. Today, the province is home to roughly 13 million people and still growing.

Ontario is a true mosaic of cultures, and it stems from the original creation of the province. The first nation cultures have continued to dominate the area, and both the Algonquin and Huron peoples have seen a strong re-emergence over the last few decades. As well, the large group of immigrants to the golden horseshoe (Toronto, Hamilton) have quickly seen their own cultures influence the overall culture of the province. In fact, Toronto was named the most diverse city in the world in 2016, beating out the likes of New York City and London, UK! Food and drink wise, the province of Ontario has it all. Lake fish, great veggies and fruit, and of course the Niagara wine region allows the provinces many amazing restaurants have access to the freshest ingredients.

Ontario Landmarks

Parliament Buildings/Rideau Canal
The Rideau Canal runs from Lake Ontario in Kingston all the way to the Ottawa River in Ottawa. This amazing engineering feat was made possible by Confederation in 1867, and today, the Canal remains both a tourist attraction and a working waterway. In the Winter, you are able to skate roughly 12 km from Dow’s Lake in Ottawa all the way to the steps of the Chateau Laurier in downtown Ottawa, making the canal the world’s largest skating rink. While enjoying the canal, you can also take in the Parliament Building of Canada. Utilising gothic architecture this stunning building is home to the House of Commons and Senate chambers and is dominated by the 92 meters tall Peace Tower and its 53 bells.

Algonquin Park
Located a few hours north of Toronto and Ottawa, sits Algonquin Park This National Park of Canada is home to some of the best fishing and canoeing that the province has to offer. You will be able to escape the confines of the city and enjoy an afternoon or even a two-week long paddle along the many lakes and streams that crisscross this enormous park. Make sure to watch out for wildlife, as the moose and bears are always around! This is also one of the homes of the Group of Seven that infamously portrayed the many amazing landscapes that park visitors will get to enjoy throughout its entirety.

Niagara Falls
One of the natural wonders of the world, Niagara Falls has been a tourist attraction for almost a century. Niagara Falls is not a single waterfall, but rather a collection of waterfalls that straddle the United States and Canadian border. Horseshoe Falls is the main attraction dropping roughly 188 feet and sits 2600 feet wide. While the American Falls drop between 70 and 100 feet and are roughly 1060 feet across. During the peak flow season, the waters can reach up to 225,000 cubic feet per second! The falls themselves are a great attraction to see, but the surrounding town of Niagara Falls, Ontario has become a destination in its own right. With a number of attractions such as casinos, hotels and a tonne of amazing restaurants to feast at after a tour on the Maid of the Mist or a walk behind these amazing falls.