Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province accounting for 38.3 percent of the country's population, is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included, it is home to the nation's capital city and the nation's most populous city, Ontario's provincial capital. Ontario is bordered by the province of Manitoba to the west, Hudson Bay and James Bay to the north, Quebec to the east and northeast, to the south by the U. S. states of Minnesota, Ohio and New York. All of Ontario's 2,700 km border with the United States follows inland waterways: from the west at Lake of the Woods, eastward along the major rivers and lakes of the Great Lakes/Saint Lawrence River drainage system; these are the Rainy River, the Pigeon River, Lake Superior, the St. Marys River, Lake Huron, the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario and along the St. Lawrence River from Kingston, Ontario, to the Quebec boundary just east of Cornwall, Ontario.
There is only about 1 km of land border made up of portages including Height of Land Portage on the Minnesota border. Ontario is sometimes conceptually divided into Northern Ontario and Southern Ontario; the great majority of Ontario's population and arable land is in the south. In contrast, the larger, northern part of Ontario is sparsely populated with cold winters and heavy forestation; the province is named after Lake Ontario, a term thought to be derived from Ontarí:io, a Huron word meaning "great lake", or skanadario, which means "beautiful water" in the Iroquoian languages. Ontario has about 250,000 freshwater lakes; the province consists of three main geographical regions: The thinly populated Canadian Shield in the northwestern and central portions, which comprises over half the land area of Ontario. Although this area does not support agriculture, it is rich in minerals and in part covered by the Central and Midwestern Canadian Shield forests, studded with lakes and rivers. Northern Ontario is subdivided into two sub-regions: Northeastern Ontario.
The unpopulated Hudson Bay Lowlands in the extreme north and northeast swampy and sparsely forested. Southern Ontario, further sub-divided into four regions. Despite the absence of any mountainous terrain in the province, there are large areas of uplands within the Canadian Shield which traverses the province from northwest to southeast and above the Niagara Escarpment which crosses the south; the highest point is Ishpatina Ridge at 693 metres above sea level in Temagami, Northeastern Ontario. In the south, elevations of over 500 m are surpassed near Collingwood, above the Blue Mountains in the Dundalk Highlands and in hilltops near the Madawaska River in Renfrew County; the Carolinian forest zone covers most of the southwestern region of the province. The temperate and fertile Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence Valley in the south is part of the Eastern Great Lakes lowland forests ecoregion where the forest has now been replaced by agriculture and urban development. A well-known geographic feature is part of the Niagara Escarpment.
The Saint Lawrence Seaway allows navigation to and from the Atlantic Ocean as far inland as Thunder Bay in Northwestern Ontario. Northern Ontario occupies 87 percent of the surface area of the province. Point Pelee is a peninsula of Lake Erie in southwestern Ontario, the southernmost extent of Canada's mainland. Pelee Island and Middle Island in Lake Erie extend farther. All are south of 42°N – farther south than the northern border of California; the climate of Ontario varies by location. It is affected by three air sources: cold, arctic air from the north; the effects of these major air masses on temperature and precipitation depend on latitude, proximity to major bodies of water and to a small extent, terrain relief. In general, most of Ontario's climate is classified as humid continental. Ontario has three main climatic regions; the surrounding Great Lakes influence the climatic region of southern Ontario. During the fall and winter months, heat stored from the lakes is released, moderating the climate near the shores of the lakes.
This gives some parts of southern Ontario milder winters than mid-continental areas at lower latitudes. Parts of Southwestern Ontario have a moderate humid continental climate, similar to that of the inland Mid-Atlantic states and the Great Lakes portion of the Midwestern United States; the region has warm to cold winters. Annual precipitation is well distributed throughout the year. Most of this region lies in the lee of the Great Lakes. In December 2010, the snowbelt set a new record when it was h
East Gwillimbury is a town on the East Holland River in the Regional Municipality of York. It is part of the Greater Toronto Area of southern Ontario, in Canada, it was formed by the amalgamation of the Township of East Gwillimbury with all the incorporated villages and hamlets within the township. The main centres in East Gwillimbury are the villages of Holland Landing, Queensville and Mount Albert; the Civic Centre are located along Leslie Street in Sharon. The northernmost interchange of Highway 404 is at the North edge of East Gwillimbury, just south of Ravenshoe Road; the hamlets of Holt and Brown Hill are within town limits. East Gwillimbury takes its name from the family of Elizabeth Simcoe, née Gwillim, wife of Sir John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant Governor of Ontario; the municipal council consists of a mayor and four councillors elected at large, with the mayor representing the town in York Regional Council. The current and recent mayors are: Virginia Hackson was elected mayor in the 2010 election, re-elected in 2014 and 2018.
In the 2018 election, where council was elected for a four-year term, East Gwillimbury's council was elected on the basis of three wards, with two councillors from each ward. The elected councillors were Loralea Carruthers, Terry Foster, Joe Persechini, Tara Roy-Diclemente, Cathy Morton and Scott Crone; the Federal Member of Parliament is Scot Davidson of the Conservative Party of Canada representing the riding of York—Simcoe, elected in a by-election on February 25, 2019. He replaced Peter Van Loan, who retired as of September 30, 2018; the Member of Provincial Parliament is Caroline Mulroney, a member of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, representing the provincial riding of York—Simcoe, who won the seat in the 2018 provincial election. There are three fire and emergency services locations, in Holland Landing, Mount Albert and Queensville, they are each staffed by volunteer firefighters. Police services are provided by the York Regional Police. In March, 2006 the town council passed a policy during the Committee of the Whole Council Meeting which requires all residential developments of at least ten units to comply with Energy Star qualifications.
The town's mayor described potential benefits of the program: "Energy efficient housing is the best way to ensure that East Gwillimbury's residents are insulated against rising energy costs and won't have to make costly energy efficiency upgrade retrofits in the future." The program was developed in conjunction with the development community, stipulates "that homes in new subdivisions must — emphasis here on must — have some of the most efficient hot water and air conditioning systems, be upgraded with top-rated insulation, have draft-proof windows."East Gwillimbury is the first jurisdiction in Canada to require Energy Star certification for residential units. In June 2010, town council passed the Official Plan for the Town of East Gwillimbury; the Official Plan was praised for its consultations with the public and other stakeholders. Designated as a future growth area under the Places to Grow Act by the Province of Ontario, East Gwillimbury will see growth from 23,000 residents in 2010, to 88,400 people and 34,000 jobs by the year 2031.
Despite the large amount of growth 75% of East Gwillimbury land will not be developed as it is part of both the Greenbelt and the Oak Ridges Moraine. Rather than being spread out throughout the town, growth will be concentrated in the existing villages of Holland Landing, Sharon and Mount Albert. Queensville will see the most growth, going from a population of 650 people in 2010, to over 30,000 residents. Much of the growth has been proposed since the early 1990s – however, growth in East Gwillimbury cannot occur until the York–Durham Sewage System is extended into the town, postponed until 2012 or 2013, when costs are lowered. In October 2011, the Regional Municipality of York advised the Ontario Municipal Board, that they support the Official Plan for East Gwillimbury; the Sharon Temple is located in the village of Ontario. It was designated as a National Historic Site of Canada in 1990; the site is composed of eight distinctive heritage buildings and dwellings, houses 6,000 artifacts on a 1.8-hectare site.
The Temple was constructed between 1825 and 1832 by the "Children of Peace", a Quaker sect led by David Willson on whose property it was built. Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park is a naturist park located between the villages of Sharon and Mount Albert, it attracts thousands of visitors to East Gwillimbury and has a significant economic impact on area tourism. It has been in that location since 1972. Stardust Drive-In Theatre on Mount Albert Road opened in 1950s as North York Drive-In and is one of a handful of drive-in theatres remaining in Canada. Schools in East Gwillimbury are governed by the York Region District School Board and the York Catholic District School Board. There are several elementary schools. Under the public system, the school board operates Holland Landing Public School, Park Avenue Public School, located in Holland Landing and Phoebe Gilman Public School in the Harvest Hills neighborhood. Sharon Public School, Queensville Public School and Mt. Albert Public School are located in Sharon and Mount Albert respectively.
The York Catholic District School Board operates Good Shepherd Catholic School. There are no secondary schools in East Gwillimbury, so students in Holland Landing attend Dr. John M. Denison Secondary School in Newmarket and students from Sharon and Mount Albert
Ontario Highway 417
King's Highway 417 referred to as Highway 417 and the Queensway through Ottawa, is a 400-series highway in the Canadian province of Ontario. It connects Montreal with Ottawa, is the backbone of the transportation system in the National Capital Region. Within Ottawa, it forms part of the Queensway west from Highway 7 to Ottawa Regional Road 174. Highway 417 extends from the Quebec border to Arnprior, where it continues westward as Highway 17. Aside from the urban section through Ottawa, Highway 417 passes through farmland that dominates much of the fertile Ottawa Valley. Within Ottawa, the Queensway was built as part of a grand plan for the city between 1957 and 1966, reconstructed to its present form throughout the 1980s; the eastern section, from Gloucester to the Quebec border, opened in 1975 in preparation for the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Sections west of Ottawa have been under construction since the mid-1970s, with the section bypassing Arnprior opening on November 29, 2012 and another 5.3 km stretch in December 2016.
Highway 417 is a 181.4 km controlled-access highway that traverses the lower Ottawa Valley and upper St. Lawrence Valley, bypassing the two-lane Highway 17 and providing a high-speed connection between Montreal and Ottawa via A-40; the freeway has gradually been extended northwest from Ottawa alongside the old highway to its current terminus in Arnprior. Highway 417 has 42 interchanges from the Quebec border to Arnprior, with more planned as the highway is extended westward. Unlike other highways in Ontario and most of North America, exits are numbered from east to west. While a significant portion of Highway 417 is a rural four lane freeway divided by a grass median, the section within urban Ottawa is a busy commuter route as wide as eight lanes; the portion of the route from the Highway 7 interchange east to the Split – a large four-way interchange between Highway 417, Ottawa Regional Road 174 and the Aviation Parkway – is known formally as the Queensway, although no indication of this name appears on any signage.
Highway 417 begins at the border between the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, east of which the four lane freeway continues as Autoroute 40. The route proceeds west along the former alignment of Highway 17, it passes through a forested and agricultural landscape en route to Ottawa, serving the communities of Hawkesbury, Vankleek Hill, Casselman and Vars. After 9 km the route curves southwest while ramps provide access from the westbound lanes to Prescott and Russell County Road 17 and from County Road 17 to the eastbound lanes of Highway 417; the route meets the southern terminus of Highway 34 at Exit 27. Continuing southwest, the route meanders along the boundary between The Nation and North Glengarry encountering the northern terminus of Highway 138—a highway built to connect Highway 417 with Highway 401 and Cornwall—east of Casselman. At this point, the freeway enters The Nation and diverges from the boundary. After crossing a Via Rail line, the route dips south of Casselman and curves to the west at Exit 66.
It parallels the Via Rail line several kilometres north of the freeway, though significant deviations bypass the communities of Benoit and Limoges. Near Limoges is the Larose Forest, a man-made forest planted between 1928 and 1980 over the Bourget Desert, itself created as the result of clear cutting in the 19th century. At Exit 88, Highway 417 enters the city of Ottawa, though the surroundings remain unchanged until Exit 110, near Ramsayville. North of Ramsayville, the route jogs abruptly to the west as it crosses Greens Creek and enters the suburbs of Ottawa; the freeway merges with the Queensway at a large multi-level interchange known locally as the Split, curving to the west and into downtown Ottawa. The interchange provides access to Aviation Parkway from westbound Highway 417 and from the parkway to eastbound Highway 417. Within Ottawa, the Queensway extends from Orleans in the east and passes just south of downtown through central Ottawa to Kanata in the west. Two major interchanges anchor either end of this section: in the east, Highway 417 diverges south towards Montreal at the split, while the Queensway continues east as Ottawa Regional Road 174 and Aviation Parkway branches north.
The core section of the Queensway is eight lanes wide, four per carriageway. The freeway is elevated on a berm along some central portions of the route, providing views of downtown and the Gatineau Hills to the north; this section was constructed along a former Canadian National Railway railbed. The route bisects central Ottawa with downtown and the Parliament Buildings lay to the north of the highway and residential neighbourhoods including the Glebe to the south. Towards the Richmond Road interchange, the original western terminus of the Queensway, both sides of the freeway are lined by residential subdivisions. Between Eagleson/March Road and Moodie Drive in the west and between Blair Road and Place d'Orléans Drive in the east, a bus-only shoulder is used by OCTranspo's Transitway rapid-transit network. Several spaced exits serve the downtown core of Ottawa, including Nicholas Street, Bronson Avenue and Metcalfe Street. West of the interchange with Highway 416, the freeway enters the suburb of Kanata and travels through it in an east–west direction.
At Exit 145, the route encounters the ea
Fort Erie, Ontario
Fort Erie is a town on the Niagara River in the Niagara Region, Canada. It is directly across the river from Buffalo, New York and is the site of Old Fort Erie which played a prominent role in the War of 1812. Fort Erie is one of Niagara's fastest growing communities, has experienced a high level of residential and commercial development in the past few years. Garrison Road is the town's commercial corridor, stretching east to west through Fort Erie. Fort Erie is home to other commercial core areas as a result of the 1970 amalgamation of Bertie Township and the village of Crystal Beach with Fort Erie. Crystal Beach Amusement Park occupied waterfront land at Crystal Beach, Ontario from 1888 until the park's closure in 1989; the beach is part of Fort Erie. Fort Erie is flat, but there are low sand hills, varying in height from 2 to 15 metres, along the shore of Lake Erie, a limestone ridge extends from Point Abino to near Miller's Creek, giving Ridgeway its name; the soil is shallow, with a clay subsoil.
The town's beaches on Lake Erie, most notably Erie Beach, Crystal Beach and Bay Beach, are considered the best in the area and draw many weekend visitors from the Toronto and Buffalo, New York areas. While summers are enjoyable, winters can be fierce, with many snowstorms and winds coming off Lake Erie. In addition to the primary urban core of Fort Erie, the town contains the neighbourhoods of Black Creek, Bridgeburg/NorthEnd/Victoria, Crescent Park, Crystal Beach, Point Abino, Ridgeway and Stevensville. Smaller and historical neighbourhoods include Amigari Downs, Bay Beach, Buffalo Heights, Edgewood Park, Erie Beach, Garrison Village, Oakhill Forest, Ridgewood, Rose Hill Estates, Thunder Bay, Walden and Waverly Beach. Fort Erie Secondary School and Ridgeway-Crystal Beach High School were two public high schools serving Fort Erie and area communities until September 2017 when Greater Fort Erie Secondary School opened on Garrison road the first new high school since 1971 in the region; the Fort Erie area contains deposits of flint, became important in the production of spearheads and other tools.
In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, the Niagara Peninsula was inhabited by the Neutral Nation, so named by the French because they tried to remain neutral between the warring Huron and Iroquois peoples. In 1650, during the Beaver Wars, the Iroquois Confederacy declared war on the Neutral Nation, driving them from their traditional territory by 1651, annihilating them by 1653. After the Treaty of Paris, which ended the French and Indian War and transferred Canada from France to Britain, King George III issued the Royal Proclamation of 1763, establishing a "proclamation line", the territory beyond which would be an Indian Reserve; this was an attempt to avoid further conflict with the Indians, although it did not forestall Pontiac's War the following year. The British built a string of military forts to defend their new territory, including Fort Erie, the first version of, established in 1764. During the American Revolution Fort Erie was used as a supply depot for British troops.
After the war the territory of what is now the Town of Fort Erie was settled by soldiers demobilised from Butler's Rangers, the area was named Bertie Township in 1784. The original fort, built in 1764, was located on the Niagara River's edge below the present fort, it served as a supply depot and a port for ships transporting merchandise and passengers via Lake Erie to the Upper Great Lakes. The fort was damaged by winter storms and in 1803, plans were made for a new fort on the higher ground behind the original, it was larger and made of flintstone but was not quite finished at the start of the War of 1812. During the war, the Americans attacked Fort Erie twice in 1812, captured and abandoned it in 1813, recaptured it in 1814; the Americans held it for a time. They destroyed Fort Erie and returned to Buffalo in the winter of 1814; the Fort Erie area became a major terminus for slaves using the Underground Railroad. Bertie Hall may have been a stopping point on the Underground Railroad although some sources dispute this as a "legend".
In 1866, during the Fenian raids, between 1,000 and 1,500 Fenians crossed the Niagara River, occupied the town and demanded food and horses. The only payment they were able to offer was Fenian bonds; the Fenians cut the telegraph wires and tore up some railway tracks. Afterwards, they marched to Chippewa and the next day to Ridgeway where they fought the Battle of Ridgeway, a series of skirmishes with the Canadian militia; the Fenians returned to Fort Erie and fought the Battle of Fort Erie, defeating the Canadian militia. Fearing British reinforcements, they decided to retreat to the U. S. In 1869 the population was 1,000 and Fort Erie was served by the Grand Trunk and the Erie & Niagara railways; the Grand Trunk Railway built the International Railway Bridge in 1873, bringing about a new town named Victoria and subsequently renamed to Bridgeburg, north of the original settlement of Fort Erie. By 1876, Ridgeway had an estimated population of 800, the village of Fort Erie has an estimated population of 1,200, Victoria boasted three railway stations.
By 1887, Stevensville had an estimated population of "nearly 600", Victoria of "nearly 700", Ridgeway of "about 600", Fort Erie of "about 4,000". In 1888
Ontario Highway 402
King's Highway 402 referred to as Highway 402 and as the Blue Water Bridge Approach, is a freeway in the Canadian province of Ontario that connects the Blue Water Bridge international crossing near Sarnia to Highway 401 in London. It is one of multiple trade links between the Midwestern United States, its 400-series number denotes a King's Highway with controlled access. It is four lanes for much of its length. Although Highway 402 was one of the original 400-series highways when it was designated in 1953, the freeway merged into Highway 7 near the present Highway 40 interchange in what was, at the time, Sarnia Township. In 1972, construction began to extend Highway 402 from Sarnia to Highway 401 near London thus creating a bypass to Highway 7; the final section of the extension, between Highway 81 and Highway 2, opened to traffic in 1982. The removal of an intersection at Front Street in Sarnia made the entire route a controlled-access highway. Motorists crossing into Michigan at the western end have direct access to Interstate 69 and Interstate 94 into Port Huron.
The only town along Highway 402 between Sarnia and London is Strathroy. Highway 402 begins on the Canadian side of the Blue Water Bridge, descending over the village of Point Edward. Across the St. Clair River, Highway 402 continues in Michigan as I-69 and I-94; the twin bridge crossing has six lanes of non-stop freeway access. This provides a quicker route than the busier Ambassador Bridge crossing in Windsor, which features over ten traffic lights leading to the four-lane bridge, although that situation is expected to be rectified after the planned Gordie Howe International Bridge is constructed. After passing through a customs plaza, it enters Sarnia and travels parallel to and north of Exmouth Street through the city. Although Highway 402 passes through Sarnia, it is not intended to operate as a commuter highway. S. A." without reference to Highway 402, though these have been replaced in the early 2000s with signs saying "402 West Bridge To U. S. A.". East of the Murphy Road underpass, the freeway curves to the northeast to bypass its original alignment.
It crosses the Howard Watson Nature Trail, a mixed-use recreational trail, converted from a Canadian National Railway line in 1988. The highway curves back to its east–west orientation at an interchange with Highway 40, it passes south of Sarnia Chris Hadfield Airport before exiting the city limits at Mandaumin Road. Now parallel and north of London Line, the former route of Highway 7, the freeway jogs north to travel along the back lot line of farmland fronting London Line and the concession road north of Highway 402. In this manner, the freeway did not divide any farms when it was constructed, instead running between them, it meets Lambton County Road 21, the northern terminus of the Oil Heritage Route, north of the town of Wyoming. The county road is a former southern extension of Highway 21, which itself begins as Forest Road 9.3 kilometres to the east. Highway 21 is known as the Bluewater Route, as most of its length is parallel to the shore of Lake Huron. After passing an interchange with Forest Road, the freeway is crossed by London Line and momentarily diverges from its straight alignment to dip south of Warwick.
It continues 25 kilometres east through large patches of farmland meets with Middlesex County Road 81 at an interchange as it passes north of Strathroy. Shortly thereafter it curves to the southeast and zig-zags towards London, bisecting farms and dividing woodlands; the freeway curves east. It enters London and meets interchanges with Colonel Talbot Road south of Lambeth, as well as with Wonderland Road before merging into Highway 401. Access to westbound and from eastbound Highway 401 is provided via Colonel Talbot Road or Highway 4; the freeway uses Parclo A2 and Parclo B2 designs for interchanges. Exceptions include the Front Street interchange in Sarnia, a hybrid of a diamond and Parclo B2 interchange, the Highway 40 interchange, a Parclo B-4. There is presently no interchange using the full six ramp Parclo A4 layout on the entirety of Highway 402. Planning for the route that would become Highway 402 began following the completion of the Blue Water Bridge in 1938. A divided highway was constructed through Sarnia following World War II.
The Department of Highways announced its intent to extend the route to Highway 401 in 1957. However, while some preliminary work began in the early 1960s, it would take until 1968 for a preferred route to be announced, until 1972 for construction to begin. Work was carried out through the remainder of the 1970s, the freeway was completed and ceremonially opened in late 1982. Since completion as a four-lane route, expansion work has been concentrated on the portion of the freeway in Sarnia approaching the border crossing. Highway 402 is one of the original 400-ser
Southern Ontario is a primary region of the province of Ontario, the other primary region being Northern Ontario. It is the most densely southernmost region in Canada; the exact northern boundary of Southern Ontario is disputed. It covers between 14 and 15% of the province, depending on the inclusion of the Parry Sound and Muskoka districts which lie in the transitional area between northern and southern forest regions. With more than 12.7 million people, the region is home to one-third of Canada's population of 35.1 million. Southern Ontario differs from Northern Ontario, in that it has a much larger population density, a different climate, a different culture than its northern counterpart, it is broken into smaller subregions, including Central Ontario, Georgian Triangle, Southwestern Ontario, the Golden Horseshoe, Eastern Ontario. The core area of Southern Ontario is part of the Quebec City–Windsor Corridor, which extends northeast into southern Quebec; the transitional northern area of this primary region extends north to the Mattawa River and occupies part of the Grenville Geological Province of the Canadian Shield which extends northeast into southern Quebec.
Southern Ontario can be distinguished from Northern Ontario because it is far more densely populated and contains the majority of the province's cities, major roads, institutions. Northern Ontario, in contrast, contains remote wilderness. Although it has no saltwater coastline, the region has an abundance of freshwater coastlines on three Great Lakes, as well as smaller lakes such as Lake Simcoe and Lake St. Clair, it is a major vineyard producer of Canadian wines. While Southern Ontario has been a part of the province of Ontario since its establishment at Confederation in 1867 forming the colony of Upper Canada, a large portion of Northern Ontario did not become part of Ontario until 1912. Territorial Southern Ontario was explored and colonized by the French in the 17th century, who forged relations with the Wyandot Huron people, based around the Georgian Bay/Lake Simcoe area. Other Iroquoian speaking people to the south were the Petun and Neutral Nation, further northeast, Algonquins inhabited the upper Ottawa River/Madawaska Valley areas and the Mississaugas moved south from northern Lake Huron, settling lands in both the Kawartha region and just west of Toronto.
Following the Seven Years' War, the British wrested control of Southern Ontario, greater colonization efforts were spurred on by the arrival of United Empire Loyalists brought on by the American Revolution. Southern Ontario was where a large portion of the battles took place during the War of 1812, was a major destination for escaping slaves using the underground railroad. Following the enactment of Prohibition in the United States in 1919, Southern Ontario became a hotbed of smuggling alcohol across the border. Southern Ontario is home to over 94%, or 12.1 million, of Ontario's total population of 12.9 million people, compared to 750,000 in Northern Ontario. This is due to many factors, including the more arable land in the south, its more moderate climate, well-used transportation routes, proximity to populated areas of the Northeastern and Midwestern United States, as well as a long history of early European settlers and colonialism. For thousands of years, Ontario has been home to indigenous aboriginal communities, with numerous nations with differing languages at the time of European contact.
Over 200,000 aboriginal Canadians live in Southern Ontario today. Southern Ontario was colonized by the British. After the area began to be developed for European settlement after the American Revolutionary War, other European immigrants arrived as well, with increased immigration in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Since the late 20th century, many immigrants have come from other parts of the world; the region is one of the top destinations for immigrants worldwide the Greater Toronto Area. The area has a large manufacturing sector. Since the mid-2000s, Ontario has produced more vehicles per year than the state of Michigan. In a cross-border definition, a swath of Southern Ontario could be considered a part of the Rust Belt. Factory closings because of industry restructuring, globalization have for the past few decades taken their toll; this is most evident in the region's southern tier cities which have large automobile or associated industrial bases, such as Windsor, London, St. Thomas and St. Catharines.
Still affected by these factors but to a lesser extent is Hamilton, the centre of steel production, Sarnia, the centre of petrochemical production. The province's two largest cities and Ottawa, have moved to a service and knowledge economy, although Toronto still has a strong industrial presence spread over wide areas along its rail and highway corridors as well as a container port linking it to the St. Lawrence Seaway. Toronto, the largest city of the province, is the site of all of the major Canadian banks and its heart has the country's financial sector, including the Toronto Stock Exchange. Ottawa, the national capital, has an economy, dependent on the public sector, in addition to having a strong technology sector; some parts of Southern Ontario are heavil