Home to the country’s largest city and the nation’s capital, Ontario is an obvious choice for expats thinking of moving to Canada. The beautiful city of Ottawa and the ‘Golden Horseshoe’ around Toronto and Lake Ontario are both economic powerhouses and boast a diverse, cosmopolitan culture to rival any in the World. There is also much to discover outside the urban areas as Ontario is blessed with spectacular mountains, lakes and rivers and some of Canada’s most iconic flora and fauna.
Ontario changes dramatically with the seasons from the cold, snowy winters to warm, bright summers. Moving to Ontario is a popular choice with more than half of expats arriving in Canada choosing this province. With fantastic opportunities for personal and professional development, it’s easy to see why.
City and Town Profiles
Located on the shores of Lake Ontario, Toronto is Canada’s largest city and financial centre. The city is full of exciting new opportunities, but this cosmopolitan city is also rich in culture with a dramatic waterfront and acres of parkland to explore.
Canada’s picturesque capital city lies on the confluence of three rivers and, like the rivers, French and English cultures converge convivially on Ottawa’s pristine streets. The city is blessed with picturesque hills, waterways and parks but is also a well-respected centre of technology and business.
Close to Toronto, but very much a city in its own right, Mississauga boasts an enviable waterfront location and attractions including Port Credit and the Art Gallery of Mississauga. It is also home to the Canadian headquarters of several huge multinational corporations such as Microsoft and Walmart.
On the western shore of Lake Ontario, Hamilton is at the centre of the ‘Golden Horseshoe’ that loops from East Toronto to Niagara Falls. The area is a key industrial and commercial zone, producing 60% of Canada’s steel. There is also the stunning Royal Botanical Gardens and fascinating Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.
Transport and Getting Around in Ontario
Ontario’s road network is modern and well planned and links all major towns and cities. Public transport is, however, widely used across Ontario in particular in urban areas. GO Transit provides a commuter rail service around the ‘Golden Horseshoe’ area in South East Ontario and there are good bus services around main towns and cities. Toronto Pearson is Canada’s busiest airport and Ontario’s main international airport but Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier and Hamilton John C. Munro also offer a good intercontinental service.
Leisure Activities and Things to Do in Ontario
You will never be short of day trip after moving to Ontario with a whole province of breath-taking scenery to explore. Niagara Falls is Ontario’s most iconic landmark where millions litres of water cascade down the three waterfalls each second. You can explore more of Ontario’s natural beauty at Algonquin Provincial Park where you can hike through beautiful maple hills or canoe one of the many lakes and perhaps see some of Canada’s wilder residents including moose, deer and beavers. The spectacular Point Pelee National Park stretches across the Huron-Eerie Peninsula that divides the Great Lakes and is mainland Canada’s most southerly point. From the eastern town of Kingston, the St Lawrence River is peppered with over a thousand tree-covered islands providing the most picturesque setting imaginable for boating, fishing or even diving. For a more urban adventure, Toronto’s CN Tower offers unrivalled views across the city packed with galleries and restaurants. Ottawa is also well worth a weekend trip with its magnificent Parliament Buildings as well as the National Gallery of Canada and Canadian War Museum.
Interesting Facts about Ontario
- Ontario is Canada’s most populous province with over 13 million residents.
- The province is home to the World’s longest freshwater beach, Wasaga Beach on Georgian Bay, which is 8.6 miles long.
- Ontario’s official provincial bird is the Great Northern Loon, known locally as the Common Loon. The bird is a type of diver and figures heavily in native folklore.
- Ontario borders four of the five Great Lakes; Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Eerie and, of course, Lake Ontario.