The name Ontario comes from an Iroquois word which is translated either as “beautiful lake” or “beautiful water.”The name is appropriate given that over one sixth of the province is covered with lakes and rivers. It is these bodies of water, as well as the pristine wilderness and sandy beaches which so often accompany them, which make Ontario an ideal destination for tourists. A good two thirds of the province is covered by the Canadian Pre-Cambrian Shield: a massive expanse of ancient rock, deposited by glaciers, which encompasses the entire northern region of the province and extends down into Muskoka and Algonquin Park, where it thrusts down between the St. Lawrence River cities of Brockville and Kingston before relenting. The rest of southern Ontario, when not dominated by city and highway, is blanketed by farmland – rolling in the east and northwest, flat in the southwest.

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The glory of the province are its provincial and national parks and lakeland resorts. And there is an abundance of both, usually in close proximity to each other and for every budget. There are over 220 Provincial Parks and numerous National Parks. Though varying in size, every park offers, at the very least, first-class hiking, while most offer excellent fishing, swimming, canoeing, boating and overnight camping. Some are heavily developed with recreation facilities, interpretive trails, and campgrounds, while others leave it up to the visitors to explore uncharted forests and lakes where moose, beavers and timber wolves that make the parks their home.


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