So you want to know a little bit about the Province of Ontario? Well you've come to the right place.  I'll try to educate you on some things about this great province of mine, that way you can go out and impress all your friends, showing them you're just a walking encyclopedia of knowledge.

Ok, first off, the origin of the name...well the name 'Ontario' is generally thought to be derived from the Iroquois word 'Skanadario', meaning 'beautiful water'.  If you look on the map, you'll see that Ontario is made up of thousands of lakes (approx. 250,000 or about one-sixth of the province), some not big enough to be drawn on the scales of maps printed, but you can see that we're a water province.

It is Canada's second largest province, and it covers 1.1 million km² (413,000 mi²).  This is an area larger than France and Spain combined.  Over 13 million people live in the province, which is bounded by Quebec on the east, Manitoba on the west, the Hudson Bay and James Bay on the north, and the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes on the south.

Care to hear about the land structure? Ok, so this sounds more like a geography class than anything, but incase you didn't know, I loved geography in elementary and high school, so this still interests me, and it will interest you....or else....the land is vast and varied, it changes suddenly from the flat bogs and small trees of the Hudson Bay Lowlands to the dense forest, lakes, and rocky hills of the Canadian Shield. Further south, in the area surrounding the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Lowlands, most of the land has been cleared for farming and urban development.  It sounds worse than it really is.
Some other interesting facts about the land:

Weather-wise, Ontario has a temperate climate in the south (with chilly winters, warm summers, and lots of disgusting humidity).  The big bodies of water to the north and south moderate the climate -- cooling summers, making winters less severe, delaying autumn frosts, and cutting day/night temperature differences.  It's the coldest in January and warmest in July.
January temperatures around the Ottawa River average -13º C (8º F).  In the south, from
Niagara to Windsor, it's about -4º C (25º F).
July average temperatures range from 23º C (74º F) at Pelee Island (in Lake Erie) to 19º C
(64º F) in Algonquin Park.
The average (mean) annual air temperature along the Hudson Bay coast is less than 4º C (25º F), but it's much more changeable in other parts of northern Ontario.  At Kapuskasing, for example, the record low is -47º C (-53º F) while the high is 38º C (101º F)...now wouldn't you want to be living there to feel those "cool" temperatures?
There's a great deal of rain and snow throughout the year, though not in the city I live, especially during the summer.  It's caused by cold polar air from the north meeting warm moist air from the United States.  Northern Ontario's annual precipitation varies from 508 mm (20") along the Hudson Bay coast, to 889 mm (35") near North Bay.  Southern Ontario averages about 762 mm (30") per year.  The heaviest snowfalls happen in a belt lying inland from Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, hence the reason we all it The Snow Belt.  More than 2,540 mm (100") of snow may fall in one winter, just don't ask me to shovel it!


Common Loon Bird - on June 23, 1994, the Avian Emblem Act was proclaimed and the
Common Loon was declared as the official bird of Ontario.  The Loon is an excellent swimmer and can be found swimming or nesting on or around many of the lakes and rivers in the province, not to mention it's hauntingly beautiful cry...it's a defining characteristic of Ontario

Ontario Coat of ArmsCoat of Arms - the shield of the Province of Ontario was granted Royal Warrant by Queen Victoria in 1868, and the crest and supporters by King Edward VII in 1909.  The shield consists of three golden maple leaves on a green background with the banner of St. George, and a red cross on white background.  Above the shield is the crest, a black bear standing on a wreath of gold and green while a moose and a deer support the left and the right.  The Latin motto "Ut incepit fidelis sic permanet" means "Loyal she began, loyal she remains."

Flag - Given Royal Assent on April 14, 1965 and proclaimed into force on May 21, 1965.Flag of Ontario
The Red Ensign is the flag of Ontario.  It includes the Union Jack in the Amethystupper left hand corner and the Arms of the province on the right

Gem - Ontario's official mineral emblem is the semi-precious purple gemstone, amethyst, adopted by the Legislature in 1975

TrilliumFlower - the white trillium was recommended as the floral emblem of the province by the Ontario Horticultural Society and approved by the Legislature in 1937.  It can be found in deciduous forests and woodlands in late April and May.  Being designated the official flower of the province, it's illegal to pick one of them within the boundaries of Ontario

White PineTree - the Eastern White Pine (Pinus Strobus) was adopted as the official tree of Ontario, and was given Royal Assent on May 1, 1984.  The White Pine was an important source of income and trade during the pioneering days, and continues to be a valuable resource for Ontario