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August 2008 Blogs
MY CANADA, August 2008, by Jen Serdetchnaia
Ontario, My New Home
I was only nine when my family emigrated from Belarus to find a better life in Canada. My first impression of Ontario was Toronto with its neck-craning sky scrapers and city lights. However, my nine years in Canada have since taught me that there is so much more to Ontario then what I first saw!
Northern Ontario follows the coast of Lake Superior, which happens to be the largest fresh water lake in the world! The region is filled with wilderness and preserved nature grounds. In Cochrane, you can explore old gold mines or jump aboard the Polar Bear Express to see the nature of the Arctic Watershed. On the southern tip you can visit Sudbury, which is home to Ontario’s Royal Canadian Mint - stop in to see how our money is made!
Here you can travel the waterways of the St. Lawrence or Trent Severn system. Eastern Ontario is also home to our Nation’s Capital: Ottawa. It is unique and record-breaking in many ways; this capital has the world’s largest skating rink (the Rideau Canal) and the world’s largest beach volleyball tournament. In Canada, it’s best known for being home to Parliament Hill, where the federal government buildings are. Ottawa came about its status as the capital in a remarkable way... once known as Bytown, Ottawa was transformed from a military building site to a successful lumber town and then to the majestic city known to us today. Ottawa was chosen as the capital in 1857 by Queen Elizabeth.
This is where Ontario’s capital, Toronto, is! Lindsay, a grade 10 Toronto resident, describes her home town as “a really big, crowded city with a lot of cool things to see and do”. Kelly, a grade 12 student from the same area, adds that “Toronto is the world in terms of culture and people and is so diverse that coming from any part of the world—Africa, China, Mexico—you will find something that feels like you belong”. So, what to do in Toronto? You name it... Get lost in time and history at the Royal Ontario Museum, see a performance at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, if you’re into chills and thrills visit Canada’s Wonderland or Ontario Place, spend a day at the Ontario Science Centre, meet animals from around the world at the Toronto Zoo, or catch a ball game at the Roger’s Centre (home to Canada’s only Major League Baseball team - the Toronto Blue Jays). Toronto is also home to beautiful beaches and the harbour front on Lake Ontario. And of course, there is the CN Tower, which was the world’s tallest free standing structure until 2007.
Here is where you can explore the Bruce Peninsula with its vast nature and lake surprises in the west. Stop in at the Kitchener-Waterloo area for Oktoberfest, or explore the secrets of the Underground Railway that once carried slaves to freedom. And on Canada’s most southern tip is Lake Erie’s north shore and Pelee Island - this area is home to one of the world’s largest bird sanctuaries. To the east is where you can ride the Maid of the Mist into Niagara Falls! Niagara on the Lake is a beautiful place to shop, surrounded by famous vineyards.
I’m in love with cottage country,” states Lindsay. For many Ontarians, heading out to various lakes and forested areas for the summer or winter getaway is a must-do!
There is so much to see and do - are you now convinced that a trip to Ontario is worthwhile? Thought so, see you there!
Motto: “Loyal she began, loyal she remains.”
Flower: White Trillium
Population: approx. 12 million
People: a melting pot of various nationalities
Industry: motor vehicle production, mining, forestry, finance, tourism
Climate: (in the north) continental, cold winters, mild summers; (in the south) moderate, high precipitation
Geography: St. Lawrence Lowlands, Canadian Shield, Hudson Bay Lowlands
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Jen Serdetchnaia, Canadian Shield, St Lawrence Lowlands, Ontario Canada, ontario flag, northern Ontario, Lake Superior, Lake Ontario, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, Royal Canadian Mint, capital of Canada is Ottawa, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Parliament Hill, lumber town, Queen Elizabeth, ROM, Royal Ontario Museum, Science Centre, Toronto Blue Jays, Roger's Centre, Toronto Zoo, CN Tower, Bruce Peninsula, Oktoberfest, Underground Railway, Pelee Island, Maid of the Mist, Loyal she began loyal she remains, trillium, Hudson Bay