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Ontario

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Ut incepit fidelis sic permanet (Loyal she began, loyal she remains)

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Known as Upper Canada after the Constitution Act of 1791, Ontario is one of Canada’s four founding colonies. Canada’s most populous province, it is the ancestral home of the Ojibwa, Algonquin and Iroquois First Nations, among others. Its name is believed to mean ‘beautiful waters’ in the original Iroquoian.

Henry Hudson of England and Samuel de Champlain of France were early explorers, who charted Ontario’s trails and waterways and had the first recorded contact with its Aboriginal people.

Ontario’s ties to the UK have been strong since the first days of colonisation. At the onset of the American War of Independence, United Empire Loyalists flocked to Ontario and were true leaders in enhancing ties with Britain and the creation of the country.

Today, Ontario is home to Canada’s largest population. Its provincial capital, Toronto, is the country’s largest city and its financial hub, as well as the manufacturing centre of Canada.

The Ontario Room is dominated by Richard Rummell’s vast 1911 oil-on-canvas Chateau Laurier, which offers a historic view of Ottawa and Parliament Hill. Scott McFarland’s evocative contemporary photograph Sugar Shack, Caledon, ON reminds us that Ontario’s rural heart is as strong today as ever. Accompanying works from ceramic artists Jordi Alfaro and Steven Heinemann and glass sculptor Brad Copping provide links to the natural world, as does the unique customised carpet, designed by Toronto-based printmaker Elizabeth D’Agostino.

Elizabeth D’Agostino carpet artwork
Elizabeth D’Agostino carpet artwork

Facts

The world’s largest coin, ‘The Big Nickel’, is a 12-sided 9m replica of a 1951 Canadian nickel in Sudbury, Ontario. It is a lasting tribute to the men and women who mined and processed the minerals in the Sudbury Basin.

Ontario is home to the longest street in the world, Yonge Street. It runs from Toronto through towns, cottage country and wilderness for 1,896km.

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