Ontario, the most populous and second largest province of Canada. It lies between Quebec on the east and Manitoba on the west, just north of the Great Lakes. Ontario is the only province touching the Great Lakes; it borders on all of them except Lake Michigan.

Ontario has played a dominant role in building the nation and in the development of its institutions. The national capital, Ottawa, is in Ontario.

Ontario'sOntario's provincial bird is the loon.
Ontario in brief
General information
Entered the Dominion: July 1, 1867, as one of the original four provinces.
Provincial abbreviation: ON (postal).
Provincial capital: Toronto, the capital since 1867. The region had several other capitals as Upper Canada and part of the Province of Canada.
Provincial motto: Ut Incepit Fidelis Sic Permanet (Loyal She Began, Loyal She Remains).
Symbols of Ontario
Provincial flag and shield: Ontario's provincial flag, adopted in 1965, bears the British union flag and the shield of Ontario. The shield has the cross of St. George, representing the province's ties with England. The three maple leaves symbolize Canada. The crest is a bear atop a wreath of green and gold. A moose and a deer support the shield. The shield was granted by royal warrant in 1868. The crest and supporters were granted in 1909.
Floral emblem: White trillium.
Land and climate
Area: 412,581 mi2 (1,068,580 km2), including 68,491 mi2 (177,390 km2) of inland water.
Elevation: Highest--2,275 ft (693 m) above sea level in Timiskaming District. Lowest--sea level.
Coastline: 752 mi (1,210 km).
Record high temperature: 108 °F (42 °C) at Biscotasing on July 20, 1919, at Atikokan on July 11 and 12, 1936, and at Fort Frances on July 13, 1936.
Record low temperature: –73 °F (–58 °C) at Iroquois Falls on Jan. 23, 1935.
Average July temperature: 66 °F (19 °C).
Average January temperature: 9 °F (–13 °C).
Average yearly precipitation: 31 in (79 cm).
Population: 12,160,282 (2006 census).
Rank among the provinces: 1st.
Density: 29 per mi2 (11 per km2), provinces average 13 per mi2 (5 per km2).
Distribution: 85 percent urban, 15 percent rural.
Largest cities and towns: Toronto (2,503,281); Ottawa (812,129); Mississauga (668,549); Hamilton (504,559); Brampton (433,806); London (352,395) .
Chief products
Agriculture: milk, beef cattle, hogs, corn, soybeans, chickens and eggs, ornamental plants.
Manufacturing: transportation equipment, metal products, food and beverage products, chemicals, electronic equipment.
Mining: gold, nickel, cement, petroleum, sand and gravel, stone.
Provincial government
Premier: term of 4 years.
Members of the Legislative Assembly: 103, terms of 4 years.
Federal government
Members of the House of Commons: 106 .
Members of the Senate: 24.
Sources of information
For information about tourism in Ontario, write to: Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation, 10th Floor, Hearst Block, 900 Bay Street, Toronto ON M7A 2E1. The Web site at http://www.ontariotravel.net also provides information on tourism in the province. For information on Ontario's economy, government, and history, write to: Citizens' Inquiry Bureau, Room M1-52, MacDonald Block, 900 Bay Street, Toronto ON M7A 1N3. The Ontario government's Web site at http://www.gov.on.ca also provides a gateway to much information on the province's economy, government, and history.