Updated 03 August 2022.
Copyright: European Union Public License, version 1.2 (EUPL-1.2).
What is this?
This article provides the history, key information, and commercial prospects for the Canadian province of Ontario.
Why do we need this?
Regarding North America, Canada is frequently the first country that many worldwide exporters seek to distribute their goods. And there is a solid explanation for that. When it comes to doing business in Canada, both new and current exporters will find that the country offers many advantages, including a shared language and culture, as well as excellent economic links. However, many exporters fail to remember that Canada is, in fact, a country comprising numerous distinct provinces, each of which has its own set of export regulations that must be followed. Therefore, specific to Ontario, as that is the province to be focused on in this article, it is essential for businesses who export or wish to export goods or services to Ontario to educate themselves on the specific industry conditions that are pertinent to the sale of their products or services in Ontario. You are in luck because the purpose of this article is to provide exactly that!
Ontario is a province in east-central Canada that borders the United States and the Great Lakes. The industries in Ontario encompass everything from growing crops to mining minerals to car manufacturing to developing software and cutting-edge technology. This unique combination of resources, manufacturing know-how, exports, and a passion for innovation that Ontario has for its economy makes it more desirable for business prospects.
1. Introduction to Ontario.
4. Natural Resources.
5. Ontario’s Economy.
6. Exporting to Ontario.
7. Cryptocurrency and taxes.
8. Government Assistance.
1. Introduction to Ontario.
With almost 14 million residents, Ontario is the most populous province in all of Canada. It is situated in the country’s east central region. Following Quebec in terms of area, Ontario is the second-largest province in Canada. It is located on the portion of the Canadian mainland that is between the Hudson and James Bays towards the north and the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes region towards the south. The province of Ontario is home to the nation’s capital, Ottawa, known for Parliament Hill’s Victorian architecture and the National Gallery, featuring Canadian and indigenous art and its most populated metropolis, Toronto, the provincial capital. With a significant portion of the nation’s natural resources and its most developed and diverse industrial sector, Ontario is reputable for being Canada’s wealthiest province.
What is now known as the province of Ontario has been inhabited for more than twelve thousand years by groups of Aboriginal people, with French and British exploration and colonization commencing in the 17th century. Ontario’s name derives from the Iroquois term “kanadario,” which means “sparkling” water. The word Ontario was first used to refer to a large area of territory on the north coast of the easternmost portion of the Great Lakes in 1641.
Prior to the arrival of the European settlers, the region of Ontario was inhabited by the Algonquian- and Iroquoian Aboriginal tribes. Samuel de Champlain was among a group of European settlers who established a French colony in North America in the year 1604 on Sainte-Croix Island and River. Four years later, Champlain established Quebec, and the first French explorers reached what is now Ontario in 1610. The British owned the majority of the land in Canada. The British referred to this region, which encompassed Quebec, Ontario, and a portion of the United States, as the province of Quebec.
However, as a result of the Quebec Act of 1774, Ontario became a part of an expanded colony governed by Quebec. Many British-loyal colonists from the United States, who were regarded as the United Empire Loyalists, relocated to Ontario following the American Revolution. In 1791, the British enacted the Constitutional Act dividing Quebec into two parts. Ontario became Upper Canada because it was upstream of the St. Lawrence River, whereas Quebec became Lower Canada.
Eventually, Lower and Upper Canada were unified in 1841, and upper Canada adopted the name Canada West. Through the Canadian federation achieved in 1867, Ontario and Quebec became separate provinces, and Canada west became the province of Ontario. Its provincial capital was located in Toronto, while Ottawa became the federal capital with Sir John A. MacDonald being the first prime minister.
2.1 Economic History.
The province’s educational system and the current municipal administration were established in the 1850s, a period that also saw extensive railroad building and the start of industrialization. Ontario manufacturing and industry expanded commencing with the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway through Northern Ontario and the Canadian Prairies to British Columbia. In the late 19th century, mineral extraction increased, resulting in the development of significant mining hubs in the northeast.
The state-controlled Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario, subsequently known as Ontario Hydro, was founded after the province harnessed its water electricity to produce hydroelectric power. The rise of the industry was further aided by the accessibility of inexpensive electric electricity. After the founding of the Ford Motor Company of Canada and the General Motors Canada Company, the automobile industry rose to prominence in the 20th century as the most lucrative sector for the Ontario economy. The attainment of Ontario’s economic potential was greatly influenced by these significant events.
Ontario is the second-largest province in terms of land area in Canada, encompassing more than 415,000 square miles or 1 million square kilometres, and it is situated in East/Central Canada. The province of Ontario is bordered to the east by Quebec, to the west by Manitoba, to the north by Hudson Bay and James Bay, and to the south by the St. Lawrence River, Great Lakes and the United States. It is made up of the two distinct regions of Northern and Southern Ontario. Northern Ontario, which is made up of about 350,000 square miles, is a remnant of the ancient Canadian Shield, which is distinguished by its abundance of lakes, rivers, muskegs, and rough, heavily forested terrain. The Canadian Shield covers two-thirds of the province. The Hudson Bay Lowlands is the only part of the North that is not covered by the Canadian Shield. The region is a significant contributor to Ontario’s current prosperity due to its abundant mineral deposits, vast forest reserves, and potential for producing hydroelectric power from its fast rivers.
Only around 15% of the province is taken up by Southern Ontario, which is further divided into four sub-regions: Central Ontario, Eastern Ontario, Golden Horseshoe, and Southwestern Ontario. Nonetheless, a large percentage of the population is concentrated within southern Ontario, with a population of 9,765,188 in the 2021 census.
4. Natural Resources.
The diverse landscape of Ontario provides a wealth of natural resources. These resources include agricultural land, forests, lakes, rivers, hydroelectricity, minerals, wind and solar energy. Ontario has the biggest market for products and services based on natural resources in Canada. It boasts abundant supplies of both renewable and non-renewable resources. After Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba, the province comes in fourth place for agriculturally productive land.
4.1 Agricultural Land and Forests.
Forest land makes for 66 percent of the total land area in the province of Ontario. The land area covered by these forests accounts for approximately 18 percent of Canada’s total forest area and 2 percent of the total forest area worldwide.
In 2016, Ontario was responsible for harvesting roughly 10% of the total volume of timber that was cut across the entirety of Canada. The harvested wood is used to create furniture, flooring, pulp and paper, building materials, and a variety of other high-value goods.
Recreational options can be found in many of the more accessible forested regions as well as the numerous lakes and rivers in the province.
4.2 Rivers and Lakes.
The history and growth of Ontario are inextricably linked to the province’s extensive network of freshwater lakes, rivers, and streams. The patterns of habitation and industrialization were both determined by the waterways that connected the various areas. The vast water resources of the Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence River are put to use as important arteries for the movement of people and goods, as well as important sources of hydroelectric power and locations for recreational activities. The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Basin is responsible for roughly more than 75 percent of the manufacturing in Canada, as well as a third of the jobs in agriculture and food processing throughout the country.
Ontario is Canada’s leading producer of metallic minerals such as nickel, gold, and silver and comes in second to British Columbia in terms of copper production. The province produces more than 25 different metal and non-metal mineral products.
4.4 Wind and Solar Energy.
The capability for the generation of wind and solar power in Ontario is the highest in all of Canada. It generates more than one-third of all of Canada’s total wind-generated electricity and generates almost 99 percent of all of Canada’s solar-generated electricity.
Ontario’s power infrastructure is connected to over 120 generating stations that are powered by a variety of sources including nuclear, hydroelectric, gas, wind, and bio-energy. These power plants have the capacity to generate roughly 35,000 megawatts of electricity when working together.
5. Ontario’s Economy.
The development of Ontario’s economy can be attributed to the province’s abundant natural resources, skilled labour in manufacturing, high exports, and innovation. The province of Ontario has the most populous economy in Canada, accounting for 37 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, and it is home to roughly half of all Canadian residents employed in high technology, financial services, and other knowledge-intensive businesses. The province’s economy is the most productive in Canada as a result of its strategic central location in relation to other provinces, its proximity to U.S. markets and coal supplies, affordable power, large and skilled labour force, an abundance of natural resources, wide-ranging transportation network, and overall success to both domestic and foreign investment.
The province of Ontario is home to a diverse range of industries, including agriculture, mining, automobile manufacture, service industries and the development of cutting-edge software and technological innovations. In the sections to follow, we shall delve deeper into a few of these industries.
The province of Ontario is the most notable producer of manufactured goods in Canada. It accounts for around one-half of the total number of manufacturing jobs in the country and contributes approximately one-half of the entire value of production. The automotive, information and communications technology, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical device manufacturing sectors are among the most important manufacturing industries in Ontario.
5.3 Services Industry.
Despite Ontario’s reputation as a leader in the manufacturing industry, the province’s most important economic driver is the service sector. Since the 1930s, Toronto, the capital of the province, has served as the center of Canada’s primary financial-service industry. The Toronto Stock Exchange, which is located in Toronto, is without a doubt the largest in the country. Furthermore, the city is home to the headquarters of the country’s most important financial institutions, as well as a huge number of insurance businesses, brokerage houses, and legal, accounting, and management consulting organizations.
The province of Ontario is critical to the success of Canadian agriculture, as it is to the success of many other economic sectors across the country. Almost all the best agricultural land in Canada is located in the southern part of the province of Ontario, which is one of the country’s major agricultural regions.
6. Exporting to Ontario.
The province of Ontario is the most productive in terms of exports and imports for Canada, as trade is considered extremely important to Canada since it helps maintain Canadians’ earnings and living standards, as well as the nation’s overall success. There is a good chance that the potential benefits of exporting to Ontario far surpass any potential difficulties that may be encountered by exporters. Since the end of World War II, Canada’s manufacturing, mining, and service sectors have experienced significant expansion, which has resulted in the country’s economy shifting from being predominantly rural to being primarily industrial and urban.
Ontario’s most promising industry sectors include.
- All forms of Renewable energy such as; Hydro, wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and marine energy.
- Public-private collaborations on government and infrastructure initiatives.
The Federal Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act of Canada mandate that labels on exported goods sold in Ontario must be in accordance with the Act’s requirements. One must first be aware of the distinctions between foreign labelling and Canadian labelling and then explore the measures that must be taken in order to sell and market items in Ontario.
The exportation of firearms, textiles, agricultural goods, steel, apparel, and natural or non-prescription health treatments are among the products that provide the greatest amount of difficulty in the province. Because of this, many manufacturers believe it is best to engage with a customs broker.
Lastly, the following are the major products and services exported to Ontario, along with their overall percentage share.
- Vehicles (13.7 %).
- Machinery including technological devices (14.4%).
- Electrical machinery (9.4 % ).
- Mineral fuels (6.2 % ).
- Plastics (2 % ).
- Pharmaceuticals (3.8 % ).
- Iron, steel (2.1 % ).
7. Cryptocurrency and taxes.
In Ontario, cryptocurrency has emerged as a recent innovation that calls for taxes regulations. In Canada, cryptocurrencies are not regarded as fiat currency. Rather, it is seen as a capital asset, a commodity, similar to a stock or a rental property. The digital representation of value known as cryptocurrency is not recognized anywhere as a currency yet. It is a kind of value that can be stored digitally and transferred electronically, functioning as a medium of exchange for goods and services. In the province of Ontario, any revenue generated through transactions using cryptocurrency is classified as either a gain in capital or a business income, depending on the specifics of the transaction. Even if you are only purchasing, trading, and selling cryptocurrency as an investment, the Bank of Canada may nevertheless consider the profits you make to be those of a business. This is especially true if you engage in these activities on a regular basis with the purpose of making a profit from them.
Cryptocurrency is only used as a medium of exchange with no capital gain/income generated. Hence, you are not required to declare anything in your tax returns. You are only required to declare/report taxes on crypto when you generate income or capital gains. Nonetheless, it is essential to bear in mind that one of the most effective ways to reduce the amount of tax that you might wind up owing is to record and report all of your capital gains and losses. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) states that cryptocurrency losses can still be carried over into subsequent tax years and can be recorded as a deduction against cryptocurrency gains. However, because we use UBI tokens as a means of payment, you are not required to declare anything as cryptocurrency; rather, just the equivalent in Canadian dollars (CAD) is necessary. In addition, you are not required to declare any transactions if you exchange your UBI tokens for Euros (€) because the transaction is merely a swap and there is no capital gain involved. Given that there will be no need to worry about taxes while directly transacting in UBI tokens, we strongly recommend that you make use of it.
8. Government Assistance.
The government of Ontario provides assistance to new and existing exporters in the province by assisting them in the formation of business relationships and the pursuit of new business prospects. In addition to this, we have export professionals working and residing in significant international markets who are able to assist Ontario businesses in establishing local business ties.
A few examples of Ontario’s Government Resources include.
- Export Development Canada- The Export Development Canada (EDC) is a government-owned corporation with the mission of assisting Canadian companies of all sizes in expanding their export operations to both established and newly emerging markets all over the world. In order to give knowledge and experience on exporting, the EDC often hosts webinars and other types of virtual events.
- Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade- In addition to promoting innovation and the expansion of businesses, the mission of the MEDJCT is to increase the competitiveness of Ontario as an investment destination. One of the various services that they offer is information on how a company can grow by increasing its revenue from exports and expanding into international markets. They host frequent webinars for companies that are interested in expanding their operations internationally and cover a variety of topics.
This article demonstrates, with the help of some eye-opening statistics, that over the course of the last few decades, Ontario has made great headway toward the construction of global trade networks. Because of these operations, exporting goods to Ontario is made simpler for enterprises. The economy of Ontario is increasing at an astounding rate, which is yet another compelling argument in favour of extending your company’s operations into the country.
- About Ontario. (2015). Information and resources for exporters. ontario.ca. Retrieved from https://www.ontario.ca/page/information-resources-for-exporters
- The Archives of Ontario. (n.d.). French Ontario in the 16th and 17th Centuries. Retrieved from http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/explore/online/franco_ontarian/index.aspx#:~:text=In%20the%20summer%20of%201604,to%20what%20is%20now%20Ontario.
- The Canadian Encyclopedia. (n.d.). Natural Resources in Ontario. The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/natural-resources-in-ontario#:~:text=Ontario’s%20natural%20resources%20include%20agricultural,and%20wind%20and%20solar%20energy.&text=Ontario%20is%20the%20largest%20market,renewable%20and%20non%2Drenewable%20resources.
- Chen, Z. J. (2022, June 15). This article presents the highlights and a brief analysis of the results from the 2021 Census of Agriculture for the Province of Ontario. Ontario is an agricultural powerhouse that leads in many farming categories. Retrieved from https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/96-325-x/2021001/article/00006-eng.htm
- County of simcoe export opportunities – simcoe county. Country of Simcoe. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://edo.simcoe.ca/PublishingImages/Programs/business-resources/EDO%20Export%20resources%20Aug%202021v6%20%281%29.pdf
- Global Affairs Canada. (2022, June 20). International Trade and Its Benefits to Canada. GAC. Retrieved from https://www.international.gc.ca/trade-commerce/economist-economiste/state_of_trade-commerce_international/special_feature-2012-article_special.aspx?lang=eng
- Government of Canada. (n.d.). About Ontario. Ontario.ca. Retrieved from https://www.ontario.ca/page/about-ontario#section-2
- Government of Canada. (2020, March 27). Origin of the names of Canada and its provinces and territories. Natural Resources Canada. Retrieved from https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/earth-sciences/geography/origins-canadas-geographical-names/origin-names-canada-and-its-provinces-and-territories/9224
- Salmon, J. (2015). 5 themes of geography // Ontario, Canada. ThingLink. Retrieved from https://www.thinglink.com/scene/632701682391711746
- Statistics Canada. (2021). Population and Dwelling Counts, Census Subdivisions (Municipalities) Included in the Extended Golden Horseshoe. Census geography. Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20061208012153/http://geodepot.statcan.ca/Diss/Maps/ThematicMaps/horseshoe_e.cfm
- Wise, S. F. (2007). Ontario. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/place/Ontario-province