Ontario doesn't need an introduction. Internationally, it's known for the Great Lakes, Niagara Falls and the CN Tower. Nationally, it is known for its politics. It's home to Canada's largest city (Toronto) and Canada's capital city (Ottawa).
However, Ontario's role on the national and international stage stretches much further back than Confederation in 1867. A century before, in 1788, Ontario was under control of the Province of Quebec and was split into four sections. The divisions continued over the next fifty years, and by 1838 Ontario was divided into twenty sections! In 1867, when Canada first became a country, Ontario's borders with the newly acquired "Rupert's Land" came into question. Over the next 40 years there would be many adjustments due to the creation and expansions of new provinces (Manitoba, Quebec) and the adjusting of borders because of conflicts (the Red River Rebellion).
Today, Ontario is split unofficially into two sections: southern Ontario and northern Ontario. The reason for this division is because of the vast geographical differences between the the two. The Great Lakes in southern Ontario help keep the area warm in the winter and are responsible for its summer growing season. Northern Ontario has much less water, and is thus much dryer, creating very long, very cold winters. The majority of Ontario's population lives around the Great Lakes, while a very small minority of people live in northern Ontario.
Ontario has been that province I've had to visit several times during stop-over flights to other destinations, but not one that I've ever visited for fun. However, Ontario is Canada's most popular province for vacationers and tourists, so there is definitely plenty to see there! I've been following several bloggers from Ontario and they have really helped change my opinion of the province, so I too would like to visit it one day! Have you ever been?
A huge thank-you to and1online for the usage of his picture as my cover image. Be sure to give him a follow for more amazing Ontario pictures!
I hope you enjoy part 8 of 13, "Instagramming Canada - Ontario"!
Small Town Life
Algonquin Provincial Park
Lakes and Rivers
And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
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The following is a guest article by Sally Elbassir, the owner and food taster of Passport and Plates, originally titled "The Tapas, Taverns and History of Madrid: A Food Tour". Be sure to drop by her blog for culinary treats from around the world!
I've always been a foodie. Long before the term "foodie" ever existed, I was that kid who was always eager to try something new.
Things haven't changed much in the last couple of decades. My palate has expanded, and I discovered that my dream job does exist; it just happens to be occupied by Anthony Bourdain. Now I satisfy my foodie obsession by writing on Yelp, and on my blog... there's plenty more where that came from.
It took a while, but summer has finally arrived! With any city, these three precious months of summer bring their fair share of activities, and Regina is no different. There is a lot to do in Regina so let me know in the comments if I missed anything!
This should be obvious for anybody living in Regina, but for tourists Wascana Park offers a plethora of activities. From fireworks on Canada Day to festivals to just enjoying a quiet stroll, there are countless things to do in the park. Being three times larger than Central Park in New York, the park is full of pathways, bridges, tunnels and islands for you to explore. Self-guiding walking tours are also available, which showcase the monuments, statues, architecture, history and natural flora and fauna that is in the region. Sections of the park are protected for wildlife so you may see foxes, rabbits, raccoons, weasels, beavers, turtles and, if you're lucky, goats. There's also a swimming pool, bird sanctuary, a habitat conservation area and marina. Speaking of the Marina…
Wascana Park is beautiful from the land, but it is even more gorgeous from the water. Imagine floating in the heart of the city, surrounded by nothing but the silence of water. Motor boats aren't commonly found on the lake, so renting a canoe with a loved one can be a personal and private experience. If you're more of a physical person you can also rent a kayak or try stand-up paddle boarding, which recently opened up thanks to Queen City Sup. The marina is also home to the Willow on Wascana, a beautiful outdoor lakeside restaurant. If you're into brunches or wine tasting, or just enjoying eating outdoors, this is a place you must visit!
Nestled between the impressive Mount Royal and the majestic St. Lawrence River is Montreal, a city known for its festivals, abstract art, history and mosaic of countless cultures. Montreal is the second largest city in Canada, with a population floating around four million people. While the city is a dynamic mix of Canada's two primary cultures – French and English – there are areas of the city that are culturally specific, such as Little Italy, Greektown and Chinatown. Known for its artistic and liberal mindedness, Montreal also boasts the largest community of homosexuals in North America in their very own "Gay Village".
Being nearly 375 years old, Montreal was pivotal to the creation of New France and Canada and at a time held control over every waterway from the St. Lawrence down to the Gulf of Mexico. Having such incredible influence over the western part of the New World, Montreal hosted the "Great Peace of Montreal" in 1701, which started sixteen years of peace between the French and over 40 different First Nation tribes in North America.
Since its early days, Montreal has been one of the most influential cities in Canada. Montreal housed "internment camps" during World War I, became an ideal location for Americans looking for alcohol during Prohibition, and was the official residence of the Luxembourg royal family during World War II. Montreal held host to the incredible Expo 67, showcasing some of the most incredible architecture of that decade. The seventies saw serious political reformation in Montreal, with many Americans arriving, fleeing the Vietnam Draft. The late seventies paralyzed the city as a terrorist organization, the Front de libération du Québec, detonated explosives throughout the city and kidnapped and killed political figures. These actions forced the Prime Minster to enact the "War Measures Act" and deploy the military into the city to apprehend the terrorists. The eighties and nineties saw two referendums in the province of Quebec to separate from Canada, with Montreal playing a major role in both decisions. The last referendum in 1995 ended with 51% percent of Quebecers wanting to remain part of Canada and 49% wanting to separate.