Ontario is Canada’s second largest province and is home to the country’s largest and most populous city, Toronto, the capital city of this province. It is also the most populous province in Canada. Located in east-central Canada, this massive chunk of land, and yes, water, is bordered by Hudson Bay and James Bay to the north, Quebec to the east, Manitoba to the west, and US states including Michigan, New York and Minnesota to the south.
Ontario is divided into three major regions: the Canadian Shield which is rich in minerals and indigenous rocks and is a major mining area, the Hudson Bay Lowlands in the north which is mainly an expansive wetland, and Southern Ontario which is the southernmost region of Canada and is the most heavily populated area. Its remarkable size is evident, not only through its vast wilderness, but also through the diversity of local culture. The majority of its population speaks English but there are also French-speaking communities.
A major tourist destination, Ontario’s charm primarily lies in the many natural wonders to be discovered within its expanse. One of the main attractions that captivates millions of visitors and draws them to this amazing province are the renowned Niagara Falls. Situated majestically, at the intersection of US and Canada, the spectacular Niagara Falls attract tourists from different parts of the world. Together with Horseshoe Falls, it is such a sight to behold. Revel in the stunning views from the famous Skylon Tower or while enjoying a helicopter ride or a jet boat tour. Take an in-depth journey through a set of tunnels leading to an observatory where you can feel the raging water within such close proximity or witness the dramatic Niagara Falls Illumination at night. For some hiking and a more adventurous experience, explore the Niagara Escarpment. Named a UNESCO World Biosphere Region because of its ecological significance, it is home to a variety of wildlife, lush forests and incredible natural features. It is also an astounding outdoor haven where you can find the oldest and longest hiking trail in Canada, the Bruce Trail. Try rock climbing and take in the picture perfect sceneries from the peaks of Mount Nemo, Rattlesnake Point or Lion’s Head on the Bruce Peninsula. Have a look at the rugged cliffs and its thousand-year-old cedar trees in Bruce Peninsula National Park.
Ontario is also home to the world’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Superior. The largest of the Great Lakes of North America, a series of interconnected freshwater-lakes, which connect to the Atlantic Ocean, it has some of the most magnificent views of beaches, cliffs, river valleys and more. It is a must to visit Lake Superior Park. The rocky coastline provides world-class hiking paths, superb paddling and canoeing experiences, and numerous camping opportunities. It also features the Agawa Rock Pictographs, which are of historical and archeological importance to the province. Fathom Five National Marine Park is another interesting park you must explore. It houses various lighthouses and shipwrecks, the latter being the main reason for the park’s popularity as a major scuba diving destination. Aside from its diverse marine life, it is also known for the many islands accessible through its shorelines. One of them is the famous Flowerpot Island recognized for its camping facilities and hiking trails. Other notable parks you might want to wander about are Georgian Bay Islands National Park, Point Pelee National Park, Pukaskwa National Park and Algonquin Provincial Park.
Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, sits in the eastern part of Southern Ontario. One of the city’s many tourist attractions is Parliament Hill. Canada’s House of Democracy is a remarkable Gothic revival building overlooking the Ottawa River. There are tours offered for visitors to explore the building. Walking tours are recommended if you really want to know this city and learn about its history and culture. There are an ample number of museums and galleries you can check out such as the Canadian War Museum, the Science and Technology Museum, the Canadian Museum of Nature and many more. Rideau Canal, a canal system opened in the early 1800’s making it the oldest and best preserved in North America, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site worth seeing. It is also the largest outdoor skating rink in the world and offers skates for rent during winter. Ottawa River, on the other hand, is known for its top-notch white-water rafting that draws a lot of rafters and kayakers from all over the world.