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Definition of ONTARIO
city SW California NW of Riverside pop 163,924
province E Canada between Great Lakes & Hudson Bay ∗ Toronto area 415,596 square miles (1,076,395 square kilometers), pop 12,851,821
— On·tar·i·an\-ē-ən\adjective or noun
geographical name(Concise Encyclopedia)
Province, east-central Canada. Area: 415,599 sq mi (1,076,395 sq km). Pop. (2009 est.): 12,986,857. Capital: Toronto. Situated between Hudson Bay and James Bay and the St. Lawrence River–Great Lakes chain, it is bordered by the U.S. and the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Manitoba. It is Canada's second largest province. Before European settlement, the area was inhabited by North American Indians (First Nations), including the Iroquois and the Algonquin. In the 17th century it was visited by French explorers and missionaries. It passed to the British in 1763 after the French and Indian War. It was the scene of many battles in the War of 1812. The area was known as Upper Canada from 1791 to 1841 and as Canada West from 1841 until 1867, when it became one of four provinces of the new Dominion of Canada. Northern Ontario has a rocky and rugged terrain with thick forests, bogs, lakes, and extensive mineral reserves. Southern Ontario is an important farming and industrial region and is the centre of Canada's population and urban development. Ottawa, Canada's capital, is also in Ontario.