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Ontario is Canada's most populous province and boasts some of the country's most popular attractions. Its capital city, Toronto, is Canada's largest city, while Ottawa is the Canadian capital. On the southern border with the United States, thousands of visitors annually visit the stunning Niagara Falls. Ontario is also home to Algonquin Provincial Park - Canada's oldest provincial park.
A large province, most of the population lives in the fertile southern area of the province surrounded by Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and Lake Huron in the Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence Valley where agriculture and industry are concentrated, and the cities of Ottawa, Toronto and Niagara Falls.
The thinly populated Canadian Shield in the northwestern and the central portions which covers over half the land area in the province, though mostly infertile land, it is rich in minerals and studded with lakes and rivers. The virtually unpopulated Hudson Bay Lowlands in the extreme north and northeast are mainly swampy and sparsely forested.
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The Bruce Trail is a hiking trail that follows the edge of the Niagara Escarpment, one of only twelve UNESCO World Biosphere Reserves in Canada, for more than 800 kilometres. Day hikes are available from many spots within Southern Ontario.
Algonquin Provincial Park is Canada's oldest provincial park, located between Georgian Bay and the Ottawa River in central Ontario, provides many opportunities for camping, canoeing and generally getting away from it all.
Point Pelee National Park is located in the extreme south of Ontario. It has includes both the peninsula and Lake Erie's Pelee Island in southwestern Ontario near Windsor that extends into Lake Erie and is the southernmost extent of Canada's mainland, south of 42°N, south of the northern border of California.
The Toronto International Film Festival is one of the world's top film festivals held annually in Toronto, drawing the biggest stars and films from around the world. It is the world's largest film festival open to the general public. The festival commences on the Thursday after Labour Day (which is on the first Monday in September in Canada). It lasts for eleven days, although closing night is celebrated on the tenth evening (the second Saturday).
North by Northeast is Canada’s #1 showcase for new independent music, where fans can catch great local and international performers about to break out as well as super-cool veteran acts at intimate venues. A film festival where music is the star, featuring music-related features, documentaries, and shorts. An industry conference for those just starting and those who have seen it all, featuring celebrity interviews as well as panels and information exchanges for artists and music-biz professionals. Catch it for three days in mid June.
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As a large province, the weather ranges from a "humid continential" climate in the southern area of Ontario with hot, humid summers and cold winters to the "subartic" conditions in the northern part of the province, with short relatively warm summers and longer dark and cold winters from October to April. Temperatures frequently hit 30 °C or more during the summer in the south, though the north is mostly around 20 °C from June to August. Temperatures in winter are mostly around or just under zero in the south, though temperatures plummit to possibly -40 °C in the north during some colder nights. Most of the snow in the north falls from October to early December before it gets too cold for precipitation. In the south, snowfalls is likely from December to February, early March.
Most flights will fly into Toronto's Lester B. Pearson International Airport. Pearson airport is located in Mississauga, 27 kilometres to the north-west of Toronto's downtown. There are two terminals handling both domestic and international flights. There are dozens of destinations, but throughout Canada as well as further beyond, for example to Europe and Asia and closer by to the Caribbean Islands, Mexico and the US. Toronto also has an island airport used by Porter Airlines with flights to points in the United States and Canada.
Ottawa International Airport has some international flights as well and a decent amount of domestic flights to add.
Via Rail Canada provides services between Ontario and both the west to Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia and east towards Quebec. It takes around 4 to 5 hours for example from Toronto to Montreal.
Ontario Northland operates the Polar Bear Express train service from Cochrane to Moosonee.
Some of the options to rent a car include the following companies:
Because of the multicultural nature of many of the large metropolises such as Toronto and Ottawa, you will easily find food from all over the world in Ontario cities. Many international restaurants (The Keg, Starbucks, etc.) and fast food chains (McDonald's, Burger King, etc.) are also present.
Supermarkets and local groceries are also plentiful. Ontario produces much of its own dairy, fruits and vegetables, so you will find many farmers markets during the summer months. There are also year-round farmers markets in Toronto, Ottawa, Kitchener, Hamilton and other cities, which offer imported produce nd specialty foods during the winter months.
The Niagara Region is the "fruit belt" of Ontario, with its vineyards and other fruit and vegetable fields and orchards. You can drive through the Niagara countryside and stop at roadside booths and buy produce direct from the farmer.
Many breweries exist in southern Ontario. They include the following:
Every mid-October the twin cities of Kitchener-Waterloo host Bavarian style Oktoberfest celebrations.
All beer are sold through licensed fascilities such as restaurants, bars, Beerstore locations and LCBO stores.
Many award winning wineries exist in southern Ontario. Many are located around the Niagara falls area where a micro-climate exists that allows growing of many types of wines including many famous ice wines. Other wineries exist along the coast of Lake Ontario.
All wine and linquor are sold in (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) LCBO stores, bars and restaurants displaying the (Liquor Licence Board of Ontario) LLBO sign.
There is a wide range of accommodation options throughout Ontario. In the big cities like Toronto and Ottawa you'll find anything from hostels to 5 star luxury. In rural areas camping is popular, and in between are many choices including beautifully located cabins, B&B's and simple motels.
We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Ontario searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Ontario and areas nearby.
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