February 26, 2014
• Ontario has the largest population of Canada’s regions.
• It has always been the economic engine of the country but in 2009 it received
equalization payments from the federal government for the first time ever.
• Manufacturing collapsed in 09 because US demand fell. This is the main reason that
Ontario is now considered a have not province.
• Ontario is larger than most countries (over 1 million sq. km).
• Only 7% of its population lives in northern Ontario.
• The Niagara Escarpment provides the most variable topography in Southern Ontario.
• Summers in southern Ontario are hot and humid.
• In winter, invasions of Arctic air bring cold temperatures and bitter wind chills.
• Southern Ontario has over half of the highest quality agricultural land (Class 1) in
Historic Settlement in Ontario
• The French developed the first settlement in 1749 across the river from Detroit and
named it Petite Côte (present-day Windsor).
• In the late 1700s, British loyalists began settling throughout southern Ontario.
• Tension between Britain and the US resulted in several battles (War of 1812)
• This ended the influx of American Settlers.
• Ontario (an iroquoian word meaning “beautiful water”) was the name given to the area in
The Great Lakes
• Combined together, the 5 Great Lakes make up the largest body of fresh water in the
• Between each lake are connecting straits (often referred to as rivers). • Management and care of the lakes is shared by Canada and the US.
• Major ports in the Great Lakes system: Chicago, Toronto, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo,
Milwaukee, Toledo, Windsor, Thunder Bay (in order of population)
• By volume, Lake Superior is the largest and Lake Erie is the smallest.
• The Welland Canal allows ships to bypass Niagara Falls.
• The Great Lakes are important to Ontario’s economy (fishing, tourism, recreation,
transportation along the St. Lawrence Seaway).
• St. Lawrence Seaway: Connects the Great Lakes System with the Atlantic Ocean.
Lake Effect Snow
• Snowbelts are found downwind of the lakes. (In winter, the wind is often from the
• Lake-effect snow is caused by cold air moving over relatively warm water.
• Heavy snow falls downwind of lakes.
• London and Kitchener frequently receive lake effect snow from Lake Huron causing high
• Windsor occasionally receives lake effect snow from Lake Michigan.
Lake Effect Clouds
• All of southern Ontario frequently experiences lake effect clouds in winter.
• Both lake effect clouds and lake effect snow diminish when the lakes freeze (this often
occurs by February) Canada's Tornado Alley
• Tornadoes in Ontario occur when a southwesterly wind brings warm, moist air from the
Gulf of Mexico.
• The warm, moist air often interacts with cooler lake breezes.
Concerns Within the Great Lakes
1. Health of the lakes
water pollution from urban runoff
2. Toxic contamination
beach closures due to high bacteria counts
3. Exotic species (no natural predators)
sea lamprey, goby
Regions of Ontario
• Ontario is the most diverse province in Canada both in terms of physical geography and
• Each region of the province is different and is treated as such by the Provincial
• There are 4 regions: Northern, Eastern, Central (GTA), SouthWestern
Region: Northern Ontario
• Major industries: forestry, mining
• Population density is very low.
• Largest cities: Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie (in order of population)
• Northern Ontario suffers from a disconnection from the rest of the province.
• There have been several succession movements.
Region: Eastern Ontario
• Major industries are related to
• government. • Largest cities: Ottawa, Kingston, Cornwall (more industrial/along St. Lawrence)
• Many lakes, rivers, hills, and waterfalls provide ample opportunities for recreation.
• There is a relatively high francophone population in the area given the proximity to
Region: Central Ontario
• Major industries: finance,
• insurance, health care, education
• Largest CMAs: Toronto, Hamilton, Oshawa
• This region is home to the Golden Horseshoe.
• It is highly urbanized, attracts many immigrants, and has a dense and diverse
Region: Southwestern Ontario
• Major industries: manufacturing,
• Largest CMAs: Kitchener, London,
• This region has much in common with the U.S. Midwest (in terms of geography and
• Several auto assembly plants and feeder factories drive the economy.
• Extreme Southwestern Ontario is somewhat Americanized due to its proximity to Detroit.
• Despite recent downturns, the centre of Canada’s economy remains anchored in
sheer size of the population.
median personal income is well above the national average.
greatest cluster of cities, universities, and technological/research centres.
central location within N.A Economy of Northern Ontario
• The housing crisis in the US reduced the demand for northern Ontario lumber.
• Demand for paper is diminishing:
internet is replacing newspapers
billing, accounting, and banking transactions are all using less paper
• A main challenge in the forest industry is to maintain a balance between logging and the
regeneration of forest.
• Because 90% of forest lands in Ontario are owned by the Provincial government, private
forestry companies must obtain leases.
• Logging companies are responsible for restoring trees.
Forestry in Northern Ontario
• Softwood is the main export (pine/spruce)
• The majority of land is Crown land (owned by the government)
• Scattered pulp and paper mills are located throughout the area
• Single resource towns are common
• Evergreen forestry agreements are in place (AAC-annual allowable cut)
Mining in Northern Ontario
• The Canadian Shield contains gold, nickel, silver, and copper.
• Metallic mineral production in Ontario leads that of all other provinces and territories.
• Minerals are non renewable. They deplete over time. Thus, mining communities can
have a short lifespan (average 30 years)
Human Geography of Northern Ontario
An aging population
Net out-migration, especially of younger people
Very few immigrants
Small but increasing Aboriginal population • The rocky terrain of northern Ontario makes it difficult to traverse and discourages
• The vast majority of the population is located along two corridors:
• The Northern branch of the Trans Canada Highway and the Canadian National railroad
• The Southern branch of the Trans Canada Highway and the Canadian National railroad
Agriculture in Ontario
• Southern Ontario has the most suitable land for agriculture in Canada.
• This is due to temperatures moderated by the Great Lakes, ample precipitation, and
• Cropland is dominant in southwestern Ontario whereas livestock farms are more
common in central and eastern Ontario.
• Grapes/Tomatoes: Vineyards and greenhouses are common in extreme Southwestern
• Corn: Most common crop, grown throughout Southwestern Ontario.
• Tobacco: Located on a sand plain north of Lake Erie, this area has soil that is