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Ontario is a province located in east-central Canada and is considered one of the provinces of Central Canada. Along with New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Quebec, it is one of the four original provinces of Canada when the nation was formed on July 1, 1867 by the British North America Act. |
Ontario is bounded on the north by Hudson Bay and James Bay, on the east by Quebec, on the west by Manitoba, and on the south by the U.S. states of Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. Ontario's long American border is formed almost entirely by lakes and rivers, starting in Lake of the Woods and continuing to the Saint Lawrence River near Cornwall; it passes through the four Great Lakes Ontario shares with bordering states, namely Lakes Superior, Huron (which includes Georgian Bay), Erie, and Ontario.
The population of the province, as of 2006, is 12,686,952, representing approximately 38% of the Canadian population and making it the most populous province in the country.
The capital of Ontario is Toronto, which is also the largest city in Canada. Ottawa, the capital of Canada, is also located in Ontario and is the province's second-largest city. Other major communities include Mississauga, Hamilton, London, Brampton, Markham, Windsor, Kitchener, Vaughan, Kingston, Thunder Bay, St. Catharines, and Sudbury.
The current Premier of the province is Hon. Doug Ford, Progressive Conservative. The current Lieutenant Governor is Hon. Elizabeth Dowdeswell.
The province takes its name from Lake Ontario, which in turn is derived from the Iroquois word Skanadario, meaning "beautiful lake" or "sparkling water".