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What does the symbols on the Ontario flag mean?

Ontario is in the east-central part of Canada. It has the most people and is the second-largest province by area.

How the name came to be

The Iroquois word “kanadario,” from which the word “Ontario” comes, means “sparkling water.” The name of the province is fitting, since one-fifth of its area is made up of lakes and rivers. In 1641, the word “Ontario” was used to describe the land on the north side of the Great Lakes’ most eastern lake. The southern part of the province came to be called “Old Ontario” over time. When the area became a province in 1867, the name “Ontario” was changed to fit the new time.

Population (2006): 12,687,000

Area: 891,190 km2 of land; 177,390 km2 of fresh water; total: 1,068,580 km2 Capital: Toronto The date of joining the Union was July 1, 1867.

The province of Ontario highlighted within the map of Canada

History

Algonquians and Iroquoians were the first people to live in Ontario. The Ojibwa, who lived in northern Ontario, were the most important Algonquian people in Ontario. The Iroquois and the Huron were the two most important Iroquoian groups that worked together. The Seneca, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Mohawk were part of the Five Nations of the Iroquois. They lived close to Lakes Ontario and Erie. The Huron people used to live in the area around Lake Simcoe.

By the time the Europeans came to the area, these countries were very advanced politically and culturally. Henry Hudson was the first European to set foot in Ontario. This happened in 1610. In 1613, Samuel de Champlain and Étienne Brûlé met the First Nations of Southern Ontario for the first time.

By 1774, the British controlled what is now Southern Ontario, which was then part of the province of Quebec. After the American Revolution, Loyalists moved to this area, which led to a new province being made. Upper Canada was given a new name by the Constitutional Act of 1791, which split the province in two.

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In 1837, both Upper and Lower Canada rose up against a government that wasn’t democratic. This made the British send Lord Durham to find out what was going on. As a result of Durham’s suggestions, the Upper and Lower Canada were once again joined as the Province of Canada by the Union Act of 1840. Even though the union made the government more democratic and responsible, it was not a success because Canada East and Canada West remained two different places. They went to the Confederation conferences in 1864 as if they were separate, and in 1867, when they joined together, they became Ontario and Quebec.

Ontario is Canada’s second largest province and has the most people living in it. At the time of Confederation, the province was about the same size as southern Ontario is now. Bitter border disputes with Manitoba ended when the land north of Lake Superior became part of Ontario in 1889. When Ontario grew to its current size in 1912, the rest of Northern Ontario was added to it.

Map of the province of Ontario

 

Coat of arms

In 1868, Queen Victoria gave the coat of arms to Ontario. In 1909, King Edward VII added a crest, supporters, and a motto to the arms.

The English symbol, the red cross of St. George, is in the top third of the shield. On a green background, the bottom part of the shield has three golden maple leaves, which are a symbol of Canada. The shield is held up by a moose and a Canadian deer. On the top of the shield, there is a black bear on the crest.

The Coat of Arms of Ontario

Ut incepit fidelis sic permanent, which is written in Latin on the coat of arms, means “loyal she began, loyal she remains.” This is about the people from the United Empire who moved to Ontario at the end of the 18th century.

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Ontario is the only province or territory whose coat of arms is drawn in a very stylized way.

Motto

Ut incepit fidelis sic permanent (Loyal she began and loyal she remains)

Flag

The flag of Ontario was made official by the Legislature in 1965. The same year, Queen Elizabeth II gave her permission for the flag to include the Royal Union Flag (Union Jack). On May 21, 1965, the flag was raised.

The flag of Ontario looks a lot like the Canadian Red Ensign. The Royal Union Flag is in the top quarter near the staff, and the Ontario coat of arms is in the middle of the bottom half. The size of the flag is two times as long as it is wide.

The flag of Ontario

Floral emblem

During the First World War, there was a push to choose a national flower that could be planted on the graves of Canadian soldiers who had died overseas. This is how Ontario got its official flower.

In 1937, the white trillium (Trillium grandiflorum), which is also called the wake-robin and the white lily, became the official flower of Ontario. A group of botanists on a special committee told the Ontario Horticultural Association that it should be done. Trilliums were called “the herb True Love of Canada” in a British botanical book published in 1760.

The floral emblem of Ontario, the white trillium

The white trillium grows in the woods and forests of Ontario. It blooms in late April and early May. The blooms are very sensitive to light, and as the sun moves across the sky, the white flowers usually bend toward it. In Ontario, it is not illegal to pick a white trillium, despite what most people think. But picking the flower can hurt the plant badly, and it can take years for the plant to recover.

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Other things from the province

Bird

On June 23, 1994, the common loon (Gavia immer) became the state bird of Ontario.

The loon can be found in lakes and rivers all over the province. Its strange call reminds people of the beauty and quiet of Ontario’s wilderness. When looking for food, the loon can dive 70 meters deep and stay under water for three minutes.

In 1987, Canada switched from a one-dollar bill to a one-dollar coin. The back of the coin had a swimming loon on it. It quickly got the name “loonie.”

The bird of Ontario, the common loon

Colours

Yellow and green

Gemstone

In 1975, amethyst was chosen as Ontario’s official mineral to show how rich the province is in minerals.

Amethyst is a type of quartz. It can be found in clusters all over northern Ontario, but most of them are near Thunder Bay. Near Thunder Bay, amethyst crystals grew in holes that were made more than a billion years ago.

The mineral of Ontario, amethyst

Tartan

The Ontario tartan, which was made official in 2000, has four blocks of color: red, white, three different shades of green, and two different shades of blue. The different shades of green show Ontario’s forests and fields, while the blue shows the water. The red is for the province’s First Nations, and the white is for the sky above it.

The tartan of Ontario

Tree

On May 1, 1984, the province made the eastern white pine (Pinus strobus linnaeus) its official tree.

The eastern white pine is found all over Ontario. It is the tallest tree in the province and can live for more than 250 years. It is a symbol of Ontario’s vast forests. The Haudenosaunee First Nations of southern Ontario called the eastern white pine “the Tree of Great Peace.” It was also an important source of income and trade in the early days of the province.

The tree of Ontario, the eastern white pine

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