For many people from around the world and especially the United States, Canada has the reputation as America’s quieter, more polite neighbor to the north. However, in a country as large as Canada there is a lot more than meets the eye.
Canada is a huge country and covers 3.85 million square miles and is home to more than 35 million people according to a 2013 census. Just like other countries of its size Canada is composed of many different landscapes, cultures, and wildlife across its 13 provinces and this makes for a wonderfully harmonious and beautiful country.
Ontario is one of Canada’s more populous provinces and is home to the world famous Niagara Falls. Ahead of your next trip to Niagara Falls these are some fun facts about Ontario that will help you learn more about the place you’re about to fall in love with.
Toronto is the capital of Ontario and is the province’s largest city. Some of its more interesting features include the fact that the city has become one of the premier destinations for foodies as it’s home to over 8,000 restaurants for its 5.6 million residents.
Toronto is the third most popular city in North America for film production and provides over 25,000 jobs in that industry. Speaking of films, actors Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, and Eugene Levy are all Toronto natives.
Every country has its secrets and Canada is no exception. During World War II Canada operated a spy school near the town of Whitby. These intrepid young men were trained to spy on the enemies of the Allies and two famous men made up the class roster. These were Ian Fleming, creator of the James Bond series of books, and Roald Dahl, author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Camp X was used after the war as a communication interception station but those operations ceased in 1969. Today the location is called Intrepid Park.
Ontario has a long history of sports and legions of residents who are fanatical about them. The sport of basketball allegedly invented in Ontario by Dr. James Naismith of Almonte. While he was in Massachusetts in 1891 when he created the game for his YMCA students, Toronto still takes credit for the invention of the game.
The legendary Babe Ruth hit his first home run while playing for a minor league baseball team in Ontario in 1914. Arguably the most famous hockey player of all time, Wayne Gretzky, was born in Brantford, Ontario in 1961. He has even had a coffee named after him called The Gretzky, which references his jersey number, 99. This mysterious concoction consists of coffee with nine sugars and nine creams.
And, sadly, while the Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t won the Stanley Cup since 1967, residents of Ontario still adore their team and home games are always sold out.
Niagara Falls is obviously one of Ontario’s main attractions but there is much more to this province than meets the eye. On your next visit show off a bit of your newfound knowledge with the locals and learn even more.