Ontario and Quebec
More than half the people in Canada live in cities and towns near the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River in southern Quebec and Ontario, known as Central Canada and the industrial and manufacturing heartland. Together, Ontario and Quebec produce more than three-quarters of all Canadian manufactured goods.
Nearly eight million people live in Quebec, the vast majority along or near the St. Lawrence River. More than three-quarters speak French as their first language. The resources of the Canadian Shield have helped Quebec to develop industries including forestry, energy and mining. Quebec is Canada's main producer of pulp and paper. The province's huge supply of fresh water has made it Canada's largest producer of hydroelectricity. Quebecers are leaders in cutting-edge industries such as pharmaceuticals and aeronautics. Quebec films, music, literary works and food have international stature, especially in La Francophonie, an association of French-speaking nations. Montreal, Canada's second largest city and the second largest mainly French-speaking city in the world after Paris, is famous for its rich multi-ethnic cultural diversity.
At more than 12 million, the people of Ontario make up one-third of Canadians. The large and culturally diverse population resources and strategic location contribute to a vital economy. Toronto is the largest city in Canada and the country's main financial centre. Many people work in the service or manufacturing industries, which produce a large percentage of Canada's exports. The Niagara region is known for its vineyards, wines and fruit crops. Ontario farmers raise dairy and beef cattle, poultry, and vegetable and grain crops. Ontario also has the largest French-speaking population outside of Quebec, with a proud history of preserving their language and culture. There are five Great Lakes located between Ontario and the United States: Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan (in the USA) and Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world.
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Quick Guide to Canada
What every Canadian citizen and immigrants who seek citizenship must know.