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Popular destinations CANADA

AlbertaBritish columbiaManitoba
New brunswickNewfoundland and labradorNorthwest territories
Nova scotiaNunavutOntario
Prince edward islandQuebecSaskatchwan


Before the first European explorers entered the area, Ontario was inhabited by various Indian tribes, including Ojibway, Iroquois and Algonquian. Around 1610-1615, the area was explored by the French and Henry Hudson explored the bay that now bears his name. French and English colonial interests clashed several times in North America and so did Ontario. In 1763, after the French and Indian War ended, the entire area came under English control and Ontario was annexed to Quebec in 1774. At the end of the American Revolution, many British Loyalists settled in Ontario and in 1791, Quebec was split and the area that now comprises Ontario was renamed Upper Canada.

During the War of 1812, American troops invaded Upper Canada and York, later Toronto, was burned to the ground. The Americans who did gain control of the Great Lakes failed to gain a foothold and were driven back across the border. After the war, a stream of immigrants began to arrive and the population grew rapidly. After some rebellions, in 1840, Upper Canada was again united with French-speaking Quebec with the aim of integrating the British North American possessions. In 1867, Upper Canada, now called Ontario, formed Confederation Canada with 3 other provinces. Ontario quickly grew to become the economic powerhouse of Canada and the area belonging to the province expanded considerably to the north and west. In 1904, the Ford automobile plants opened their first facility in Canada in Ontario, followed a decade later by General Motors. The automobile industry would be a major driver of the Ontario economy for a long time.

After the Second World War, Ontario gained an increasingly culturally diverse population with the influx of Eastern Europeans and Asians. And a hardening of Quebec nationalism in the 1970s brought an influx of English speakers from that province. In 1985, a decades-long period of Progressive-Conservative dominance of provincial politics came to an end, and since then the government in Ontario has alternated between the Conservatives and the Liberals, with a disastrous experiment in the 1990s in which the socialist-oriented NDP formed the government, leading to a severe economic downturn. Although Ontario still has the largest population and economy in Canada at the start of the 21st century, it is increasingly losing influence in favour of the western provinces.

See also History of Canada.


Elmar Landeninformatie


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Last updated May 2024
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