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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Eastern Ontario

██ Core area ██ Extended area
Country Canada Canada
Province Ontario Ontario
 - Total 35,296 km2 (13,628 sq mi)
 - Extended area 7,028 km2 (2,714 sq mi)
 - Core area 28,269 km2 (10,915 sq mi)
Population (2006)
 - Total 1,603,625
 - Extended area 155,970
 - Core area 1,447,655
Time zone EST (UTC−5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
Postal code prefixes K,
Area code(s) 613/343

Eastern Ontario (census population 1,603,625 in 2006) is a subregion of Southern Ontario in the Canadian province of Ontario which lies in a wedge-shaped area between the Ottawa River and St. Lawrence River. It shares water boundaries with Quebec to the north and New York State to the east and south, as well as a small land boundary with the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region of Quebec to the east.

It includes the census divisions of Prescott and Russell, Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, Lanark, Renfrew, Leeds and Grenville, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, and Ottawa.

Some sources may also include Hastings, Prince Edward, and sometimes even Northumberland in the definition of Eastern Ontario, but others classify them as Central Ontario. Strictly speaking, Eastern Ontario refers to the part of the province that lies east of where Lake Ontario narrows into the St. Lawrence River.

The physical features of Eastern Ontario are described in the Eastern Ontario Visual Character Project [1].



Downtown Ottawa

French explorers and fur traders were the first Europeans to pass through this region. Samuel de Champlain, explorer, traversed the Ottawa River in 1615 on his way westward to the Great Lakes. By far the largest city in the region is the recently amalgamated city of Ottawa, capital of Canada, which accounts for roughly 60% of Eastern Ontario's population. Kingston, itself once capital of the Province of Canada, is the other major city in the region outide of the National Capital Region.

Much of the remainder of the region relies on agriculture and tourism. Heavier reliance on recreation and tourism exists in the more rugged Renfrew county in the northwest of Eastern Ontario.

Of all Ontario's regions, parts of Eastern Ontario are the most heavily influenced by the United Empire Loyalists, American settlers who moved to Upper Canada out of loyalty to the British Crown during and after the American Revolutionary War. The Loyalist influence has a presence in the counties of Lennox and Addington, Leeds and Grenville, Frontenac, Lanark, Hastings, and Prince Edward.

In Ottawa, Prescott and Russell, Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, and (although declining) Renfrew, Eastern Ontario is home to the largest Franco-Ontarian community within Ontario.

Extensive immigration by Scottish Highlanders from the Highland land clearances also took place around the time of the United Empire Loyalist migration. Large numbers of Irish Catholics, mainly from Cork and surrounding counties also settled in the area in the decades following the war of 1812, the majority of them in or near present-day Ottawa. Many arrived through government backed immigration schemes to settle unoccupied lands and fill labour shortages. Along with the Franco-Ontarians in particular, they made up the majority of canal builders on the large Rideau Canal project and were heavily employed in the area's extensive lumber industry.

Through the last century, newer immigrant groups have added to the cultural mix, mostly in Ottawa itself. There are still a large number of Francophones in Eastern Ontario, especially in Prescott and Russell United Counties.


The climate of Eastern Ontario is humid continental with large seasonal variation. Snow and ice are dominant during the winter season. Ottawa receives close to 250 cm (100 in) of snowfall over an average winter and snow usually remains on the ground for a couple of months, at minimum.

Winters are long and celebrated in Eastern Ontario. The average temperature in January is -6°C (21 °F). In recent years, there seems to be a trend towards snow free periods, even in mid-winter. However, in the winter months of 2008, there were records levels of snow fall.

Ice storms are also relatively common, especially on lower terrain if compared with other parts of the country. One such large storm caused vast power outages and affected the local economy, known as the 1998 Ice Storm. Winters are more severe and longer along the Ottawa River, particularly in higher terrain of Renfrew County than further south along the Upper St. Lawrence River shoreline.

Summers are fairly warm and humid in the Ottawa and St. Lawrence valleys, usually lasting a little longer than winter does in duration. The average July maximum temperature is 27 °C (80 °F). Temperatures occasionally exceed 35 °C (95 °F), and during periods of hot weather, high humidity is often an aggravating factor. During August, temperatures occasionally reach into the 40's (100's) with the humidex. Thunderstorms are on occasion severe, causing tree and property damage.

Spring and fall are changeable seasons, prone to extremes in temperature and unpredictable swings in conditions. Average annual precipitation averages around 950mm (37 in.).


Thousand Islands

The eastern section of Eastern Ontario, that is east and south-east of Ottawa, including the towns of Cornwall, Embrun and Hawkesbury is generally a flat plain, dotted with some extensive woodlots and boggy marshes, but is primarily farmland. Certain sections here are prone to low lying flooding and spring ice jams, particularly on the banks of the South Nation River.

The Laurentian Highlands, which form a small section of the extensive Canadian Shield, cuts through the western section from the Upper Ottawa River valley southeast toward to the St. Lawrence River around Gananoque. Here sedimentary rock can be found folding over the Shield. This is also the portion where the greatest concentration of inland lakes are found. In Renfrew County, this higher terrain is called the 'Madawaska Highlands', after a major river that bisects these hills. Some highland peaks are over 400m higher than the Ottawa River. The picturesque area of the St. Lawrence River bordering New York State is known as the Thousand Islands region reflected by its numerous small islands. The bulk of the Laurentian Upland is located just to the north of the Ottawa River in adjacent Quebec and covers a vastly larger area within that province.

Along the extreme western edge of Eastern Ontario are a continuation of the Laurentian Highlands, known as the Opeongo Hills, and they contain some of the highest elevations in Southern Ontario. They stretch into the northern portions of Central Ontario, near Algonquin Provincial Park.

Ottawa itself is at the confluence of the Rideau River and Ottawa River. A series of rugged rapids and waterfalls are found along these rivers in Ottawa. Most of the underlying rock in and around the city of Ottawa is limestone bedrock, also found in abundance farther south around Kingston. Limestone was used during the construction of the Rideau Canal, which connects Kingston and Ottawa by water and was also heavily used as the building blocks for many governmental and other buildings in both cities.

The Ottawa and St. Lawrence Rivers do not actually converge in Ontario. A small portion of Quebec, Vaudreuil-Soulanges, lies between the Ontario-Quebec border and the river junction. This region has a land border with Ontario, but must cross water to reach any other part of Quebec.


Queens Theological Hall

The region is home to several universities and colleges, including Carleton University, Queen's University, Royal Military College of Canada, the University of Ottawa, Algonquin College, La Cité collégiale, and St. Lawrence College.

Algonquin College has 5 campuses in Ottawa, Perth, Pembroke, Hawkesbury, and Renfrew.

St. Lawrence College has 3 campuses in Kingston, Cornwall, and Brockville.

List of urban areas in Eastern Ontario


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Eastern Ontario article)

From Wikitravel

North America : Canada : Ontario : Eastern Ontario

Eastern Ontario, south of the Ottawa Valley, is sandwiched between New York State to the south and Quebec to the north. It takes a little flavor from each.

  • Prescott (pop. 4,000)
  • Kemptville (pop. 4,000)
  • Winchester (pop. 2,500)
  • Morrisburg (pop. 2,500)
  • Chesterville (pop. 1,500)
  • Merrickville (pop. 1,000)
  • Carp


Although Eastern Ontario is situated in Canada, which has a reputation for being very cold, Eastern Ontario is in the "Long Summer/Short Winter" belt of Southern Ontario and Southwestern Quebec, which is the only part of Canada in which the summer is significantly longer than the winter. Summers in Eastern Ontario usually last about 5-6 months long, and winters are about 4-4 1/2 months long. Autumn and spring are very short (especially Autumn).

The first snowfalls of the year usually occur in mid-to-late November, but snow doesn't actually cover the ground until December. Before that, snow usually melts as soon as it hits the ground.

In the spring, the snow usually starts melting in March, although occasional "warm breaks" with temperatures as high as 10°C (50°F) usually occur once or twice in January and February.

In recent years, winters have gotten much warmer, so often in the winter freezing rain will occur, when it is not warm enough for rain but not cold enough for snow. Freezing rain is basically raining ice pellets, which makes driving very hazardous and often closes down schools and makes the roads very icy for a few days.

In the summer, humidity is often common, especially in July. Although temperatures are usually just under 30°C (86°F), humidity can make the temperature feel like its about 38°C (100°F). Humidex temperatures have even been known to reach 45°C (113°F).

Average Afternoon Temperatures Per Month:

  • January: -6°C/21°F
  • February: -5°C/23°F
  • March: 5°C/41°F
  • April: 14°C/57°F
  • May: 20°C/68°F
  • June: 24°C/75°F
  • July: 29°C/84°F
  • August: 29°C/84°F
  • September: 23°C/73°F
  • October: 19°C/66°F
  • November: 7°C/45°F
  • December: -5°C/23°F

(Statistics based on temperatures in Eastern Ontario over the course of 2000-2005)



Eastern Ontario was inhabited by several First Nations tribes (most notably the Algonquin, Haudenosaunee and Wyandot) for thousands of years.

European intervention in Eastern Ontario started as early as the 1600s when the French voyageurs would paddle along the Ottawa River, but actual European settlement in Eastern Ontario didn't first start until the mid-1700s, when the settlement of L'Orignal in what is now Prescott-Russell was founded.

Further European settlement began in the late 1770s and 1780s, with the United Empire Loyalists (groups of Americans who stayed loyal to Britain after the American Revolution) settled along the St. Lawrence River and parts of the Ottawa River.

But European settlement inland (away from the Ottawa and St. Lawrence Rivers) didn't start until the first half of the 1800s, when the settlements of Russell, Saint Augustine-de-Catherine (now Embrun), Perth and Smiths Falls were founded.

Eastern Ontario continued to grow throughout the rest of the 1800s and into the 1900s. The past 10 years have seen prosperity in much of Eastern Ontario, most notably in Prescott-Russell and Lanark County.


When it comes to language, Eastern Ontario is divided into three linguistic sub-regions: the Canadian French area, the Canadian English area and the Ottawa Valley Twang area.

The Canadian French area is mainly in Prescott-Russell, in the far northeastern section of Eastern Ontario. In this area, the French language is dominant culturally.

The Canadian English area is mainly in Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, Leeds-Grenville, Frontenac County and Lanark County. In this area, the English language is dominant culturally.

The Ottawa Valley Twang area is mainly in Renfrew County. In this area, an accent of the English language, called Ottawa Valley Twang is dominant. Often common phrases that are normally two words are pronounced as though there is no space between them (eg. "Good day" is pronounced as "gidday").

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