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Ontario: 'the valedictorian'

© By CTC News Staff
 
Bay Of Fundy
Ontario

In a country that just doesn't toot its own horn because it seriously doubts anyone's listening, here's a province that knows it matters. (And maybe the only one that particularly cares.) Ontario has enough steam to make noise globally. It has Canada's largest city, biggest stock market, greatest economic clout. It's home to about a quarter of all the country's farms (the most per province in the country), draws the most visitors, boasts the most corporate headquarters and houses the national capital. (That's Ottawa, with its fabulous parliament buildings and stroll-ready greenbelts.) It's the only province with enough cities even to have a Technology Triangle.
     Whether Toronto, Ontario's engine-by-the-lake, is the smartest city in Canada (let the debate begin), it's surely the most diverse and the busiest: Canada's New York. Toronto plays in the big leagues, with Earth's tallest freestanding structure (OK, outside Dubai) and a movie director who declared himself "king of the world" and just might be. And literally so: it's the only city to swipe away victory in America's national game. Toronto's the biggest motor in the biggest wheelhouse in Canada-"the city that works" (Jane Jacobs).
     But it's parts of Ontario that lie outside of cities-the lakes of Muskoka and the silver birch of Algonquin Provincial Park, the lazy timeless Thousand Islands and the autumnal blaze of the Hockley Valley down the rugged Niagara Escarpment to the Falls (adjectives are a dime a dozen in Ontario)-that feed another part of the Canadian soul. The part that feels, and roams, and stays out exploring till the call of the loon pipes it home.

Ontario in a nutshell:
 ·  Used to be called: "Upper Canada"
 ·  Artistic pedigree: E. Pauline Johnson, the Group of Seven
 ·  Jacket art: Yousuf Karsh
 ·  Pavilion: Frank Gehry
 ·  Rivalry with: British Columbia
 ·  Best Nicknames for Toronto: "Hogtown," "Tee-Oh," "Toronto the Good," "The Narrows" (literally, from the Native "Taronto"), "Place where the Mind Narrows" (Vancouver only)
 ·  Soundtrack by: Gordon Lightfoot, Stompin' Tom Connors, Neil Young
 ·  Overdub: Barenaked Ladies, The Tragically Hip, Shania Twain, Maestro Fresh Wes, K'naan
 ·  Hockey shrines: Maple Leaf Gardens, Hockey Hall of Fame, Wayne Gretzky's birthplace in Brantford
 ·  Etched in stone by: Alice Munro, Robertson Davies, Farley Mowat, Al Purdy, Stephen Leacock, Pierre Berton
 ·  Overlay: Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Timothy Findley, Rohinton Mistry, Anne Michaels, Jane Urquhart
 ·  History-makers: Alexander Graham Bell, Sir Frederick Banting, Roberta Bondar
 ·  Strangest tourist attraction theme: giant things in small towns ( Big Nickel in Sudbury, Big Goose in Wawa, Husky the Muskie, etc.)
 ·  Black sheep: Conrad Black
 ·  Best time of year to visit: Canada Day (July 1st) or late September
 ·  Festivals: Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Harbourfront Centre festivals, Toronto International Film Festival
 ·  Beer: Labatt's
 ·  Attractions: Art Gallery of Ontario, National Gallery of Canada, ROM (Royal Ontario Museum)
 ·  Oversized things: Sudbury Nickel, Wawa Goose
 ·  Local delicacy: Beaver Tails, butter tarts, sweet cornbread, meatloaf
 ·  Home movies: Atom Egoyan, Norman Jewison, David Cronenberg

Video:
 ·  Kensington Market http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Lwb7y1NwbI
 ·  Le marché de Kensington http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dzi5GVQPrkk
 ·  Thousand Islands Cruise in Kingston http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mOAkM8z5kw
 ·  Parliament Hill in Ottawa http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7s37OuqYNGw
 ·  La Colline du Parlement http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pmf5NRlRBsQ

Photo Credits
Courtesy of Canadian Tourism Commission

If you go
Ontario
as seen on
YouTube
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontario
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Ontario
About.com: http://search.about.com/fullsearch.htm?terms=ontario
Ontario: www.ontariotravel.net/

What's happening, money, distance, time?
Media Guide: http://www.abyznewslinks.com/
Currency conversion: http://www.xe.com/ucc/
Distance calculator: http://www.indo.com/distance/
Time zone converter: http://www.timezoneconverter.com/

Transportation, visas, health, maps and temperature
Airlines (Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airlines
Embassies/Consulates (Embassy World): http://www.embassyworld.com/
Health precautions (WHO): http://www.who.int/ith/en/
Google interactive map: http://maps.google.com/
Temperature (Temperature World): http://www.temperatureworld.com/


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