Ontario is the most populous province of Canada (12,850,000 in 2011) and is home to four out of every ten Canadians. Its biggest cities are Toronto (5.6 million), Ottawa (1.2 million), and Hamilton (720,000). Ottawa is also the capital of Canada, but for many purposes it is often included with Ontario out of whose land it was taken. Ontario is the second-largest province geographically and stretches from the Great Lakes to Hudson Bay and from the Great Plains of Canada to the St. Lawrence Seaway.
In provincial GDP, Ontario ranks first at CAN$655 billion (US$580 billion). It leads Canada in manufacturing, producing half of the nation’s products, and trades extensively with the rest of Canada and the U.S. (especially Michigan). Some of Ontarios’s main industries are: agriculture, fishing, mining, forestry, energy production (power plants), automotive production, paper, heavy machinery, chemicals, electric appliances, steel production, petrochemical processing, and financial services. The Golden Horseshoe zone that wraps around the east end of Lake Ontario is a major manufacturing hub and is considered to be part of the North American “Rust Belt.” Tourism, largely driven by fishing, hunting, and winter sports, is another major source of the province’s GDP.
Ontario is intricately linked to the rest of Canada and the U.S. by road, rail, and cross-lake traffic. Ontario Highway 11 runs from just north of Toronto, arcs up through the middle of the province, and then reaches back down to Lake Superior at Thunder Bay. Ontario 17 travels from the Saskatchewan border along the north shore of the Great Lakes and on to Ottawa. Highway 401 takes you from Quebec through Toronto and all the way to Detroit. Another major connection with Detroit is on 402 and through Detroit–Windsor Tunnel. Passengers can travel from south Ontario as far as Vancouver via the services of rail giant The Canadian. Cargo and freight typically run on the Canadian National Railway and the Canadian Pacific Railroad.
The Saint Lawrence Seaway gives access to the Atlantic and serves Ontario’s inter-national shipping needs, with grain and ore being among the main products exported. Pacific ports such as Vancouver also are important, and trade with the U.S. or goods on the way to the St. Lawrence can utilize the Great Lakes. Toronto Pearson International Airport is the busiest in all Canada, but Ottawa’s Macdonald-Cartier and Hamilton International are also important.
If you are interested in shipping your goods into or out of Ontario, we have expert agents who are familiar with the details of the infrastructure system and the applicable Canadian customs laws. Contact us any time, and we can make arrangements for you to ship your goods in the most logistically-sound way possible.
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