Yours to Discover: Tourism in Ontario through Time: Government and the Tourist Industry - Expansion and Diversification - Page Banner

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People toured Ontario in the winter months too, as revealed by this photo of ice effects at Niagara Falls. The Ministry of Travel and Publicity recognized that and established a Winter Promotion unit to publicize the many winter activities available. These included skiing, snowmobiling, curling, snowshoeing and ice-fishing.



Click to see a larger image (109K)
Ice-covered lampposts from the spray
from Niagara Falls, [1927]
John Boyd
John Boyd fonds
Reference Code: C 7-3, 21038
Archives of Ontario, I0003695

Photo: Ice-covered lampposts from the spray from Niagara Falls, [1927]

Photo: Skiers, Huntsville, 1960
Click to see a larger image (103K)
Skiers, Huntsville, 1960
Department of Travel and Publicity, Publicity Branch
Reference Code: RG 65-35-3, 11764-X4115
Archives of Ontario, I0005713

Photo: Snowmobilers enjoying the great outdoors, 1964
Click to see a larger image (76K)
Snowmobilers enjoying the great outdoors, 1964
Department of Travel and Publicity, Publicity Branch
Reference Code: RG 65-35-3, 11764-X6140
Archives of Ontario, I0017603

Cover: Ontario Snowtime Vacations, [ca. 1948]
Click to see a larger image (396K)
Ontario Snowtime Vacations
Toronto: Department of Travel and Publicity, [ ca.1948]
Reference Code: Govt Doc T & P Misc. Box 3 no 17
Archives of Ontario Library Collection

This video clip is from a 1955 Travel & Publicity film promoting winter tourism in Ontario.

Click below to view this clip.
For Windows Media Player 381K 827K 2.66Mb
For Quicktime Player 1.10Mb 3.07Mb 7.66Mb

Ontario Winter Holiday, 1955
Ontario Department of Travel & Publicity
16mm colour film
Reference Code: RG 5-2-0-5
Archives of Ontario

sprockets Video Clip: Ontario Winter Holiday, 1955 sprockets

With post-World War II economic growth, societal and urban development resulted in many diverse tourist attractions. The government realized that Ontario’s attractions were no longer limited to Niagara Falls and wilderness sites, and that the cities would also appeal to a worldwide market. Points of interest in several cities were strongly publicized throughout the world.

Photo: Toronto’s City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square [197-]
Click to see a larger image (97K)
Toronto’s City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square [197-]
Metro Toronto Convention & Visitors Association
James Montagnes fonds
Reference Code: F 4367-9-10
Archives of Ontario, I0026616

Toronto had gardens, museums, galleries, a new City Hall (1965), and the CN Tower soaring 533 meters into the clouds (1976).

Photo: Toronto skyline showing the CN Tower with the Island Park in the foreground, [198-]
Click to see a larger image (61K)
Toronto skyline showing the CN Tower with the Island Park in the foreground, [198-]
Metro Toronto Convention & Visitors Association
James Montagnes fonds
Reference Code: F 4367-9-10
Archives of Ontario, I0026615


The Canadian National Exhibition, held mid-August to Labour Day in Toronto, dates back to 1879, and in the 1970s was still drawing crowds of tourists.

Photo: Dufferin Gate, Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), Toronto, [ca. 1960]
Click to see a larger image (65K)
Dufferin Gate, Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), Toronto, [ca. 1960]
Canadian Government Travel Bureau Photo
James Montagnes fonds
Reference Code: F 4367-9-10, CGTB 6-2231
Archives of Ontario, I0026614

Photo: Night view of the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), Toronto, 1953
Click to see a larger image (77K)
Night view of the Canadian National
Exhibition (CNE), Toronto, 1953
Department of Travel and Publicity, Publicity Branch
Reference Code: RG 65-35-3, 11764-X2829
Archives of Ontario, I0005554


Ottawa was another popular destination, known for its tulips in the spring, and changing of the guard at the Parliament Buildings.

Photo: Canada’s Parliament Buildings form a perfect background for the Changing of the Guard Ceremony seen by visitors to the capital, Ottawa, [197-]
Click to see a larger image (86K)
Canada’s Parliament Buildings form a perfect
background for the Changing of the Guard Ceremony
seen by visitors to the capital, Ottawa, [197-]
James Montagnes fonds
Reference Code: F 4367-9-7
Archives of Ontario, I0026613

Photo: Tulips at Parliament Hill, Ottawa, with the clock tower in the background, [ca. 1960]
Click to see a larger image (106K)
Tulips at Parliament Hill, Ottawa, with the
clock tower in the background, [ca. 1960]
James Montagnes fonds
Reference Code: F 4367-9-7
Archives of Ontario, I0027688


The government also developed sites aimed at showcasing the province’s history.

The St. Lawrence Parks Commission was established to administer the heritage park of  Upper Canada Village near Morrisburg on the St Lawrence River, and Fort Henry at Kingston and the entrance to the Rideau Canal. Both attract thousands of visitors every year.

Click to see a larger image (108K)
Guards at Fort Henry, Kingston, 1951
Department of Travel and Publicity, Publicity Branch
Reference Code: RG 65-35-3, 11764-X2199
Archives of Ontario, I0005501

Photo: Guards at Fort Henry, Kingston, 1951
sprockets Video Clip: Ontario Sun Parlour [1959?] sprockets
Click below to view this clip.
For Windows Media Player 186K 393K 1.3Mb
For Quicktime Player 518K 1.5Mb 3.6Mb

Ontario Sun Parlour [1959?]
Ontario Department of Travel & Publicity
16mm colour film
Reference Code: RG 5-2-0-13
Archives of Ontario


Photo: Science North, Sudbury, [ca. 1983]

Science was not neglected either. The "Centennial Centre of Science and Technology," more commonly known as the Ontario Science Centre, opened in 1969 in Toronto. It was an immediate and resounding success and has since welcomed millions of visitors from around the world. Furthermore, Science North opened in Sudbury in 1984.

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Science North, Sudbury, [ca. 1983]
Photographer unknown
Moriyama & Teshima Architects fonds
Reference Code: F 2187-1-69, project 8016
Archives of Ontario, I0007452


Ontario Place, a leisure and entertainment complex, built on three man-made islands on the Toronto waterfront, opened in 1971. It was built as a showcase for the Province of Ontario and included the world's first permanent IMAX® theatre.

Photo: The Cinesphere at Ontario Place, [197-] - [198-]
Click to see a larger image (294K)
The Cinesphere at Ontario Place, [197-] - [198-]
Ministry of Transportation
Colour print
Reference Code: RG 14-151-3
Archives of Ontario, I0005847


Photo: Garden in front of Queen's Park, 1952
Click to see a larger image (93K)
Garden in front of Queen's Park, 1952
Department of Travel and Publicity, Publicity Branch
Transparency
Reference Code: RG 65-35-3, 11764-X2401-1
Archives of Ontario, I0005513

Photo: View from the Thousand Islands Bridge, 1959
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View from the Thousand Islands Bridge, 1959
Department of Travel and Publicity, Publicity Branch
Transparency
Reference Code: RG 65-35-3, 11764-X3579
Archives of Ontario, I0005664

Over the years, tourists have been drawn to all corners of the province by many diverse destinations.

Click to see a larger image (85K)
Boat in the lock, Peterborough Lift Lock, 1958
Department of Travel and Publicity, Publicity Branch
Transparency
Reference Code: RG 65-35-3, 11764-3343
Archives of Ontario, I0005616

Photo: Boat in the lock, Peterborough Lift Lock, 1958

Ontario had an opportunity to showcase its wide array of attractions to the world at Expo ’67 with the film “A Place to Stand”. The refrain from the title song releases nostalgic memories for many of us and the words come effortlessly to our lips . . . ”a place to stand, a place to grow, Ontari-ari-ari-o”.

sprockets Video Clip: A place to Stand, 1967 sprockets
Click below to view this clip.
For Windows Media Player 318K 684K 2.19Mb
For Quicktime Player 909K 2.55Mb 6.35Mb

A Place to Stand, 1967
Ontario Department of Economics and Development
35mm colour film
Reference Code: Rg 9 136-1-4-1
Archives of Ontario


Photo: Sunset, Ahmic Lake, near Burk's Falls, 1953
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Sunset, Ahmic Lake, near Burk's Falls, 1953
Department of Travel and Publicity, Publicity Branch
Transparency
Reference Code: RG 65-35-3, 11764-X2729
Archives of Ontario, I0005542

Although today people come to Ontario for many varied reasons - for its diverse and vibrant city life as well as for its serene and tranquil lakes and forests - many continue to be lured by the seduction of the site that drew our earliest visitors - Niagara Falls.

Photo: Aerial view of the Horseshoe Falls, Niagara Falls, 1960
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Aerial view of the Horseshoe Falls, Niagara Falls, 1960
Department of Travel and Publicity, Publicity Branch
Transparency
Reference Code: RG 65-35-3, 11764-X4296-1
Archives of Ontario, I0005746

The records in the holdings of the Archives of Ontario render Ontario’s tourist sites - both those of the present day and those enjoyed by early visitors - accessible to all of us. Records, such as the ones depicted here, make Ontario’s attractions “Yours to discover.”    

Vehicle License plate "Ontario. Yours to discover", [ca.1980]
Click to see a larger image (167K)
Vehicle License plate "Ontario. Yours to discover", [ca.1980]
Ministry of Transportation
Reference Code: RG 14-151-3-89
Archives of Ontario, I0026619