Ontario has the largest number of Francophones outside Quebec, somewhere between 500,000 and 600,000, depending on whether mother tongue or first official language spoken is used as the criterion to estimate their numbers. They represent approximately 4% of the province’s total population.
Francophone settlement occurred in waves. The first settlers were inhabitants of New France who moved into what is now Ontario from 1610 to 1760, to trade with Indigenous people and evangelize them. They laid the foundations for the cities of Kingston, Windsor and Toronto. However, Ontario was primarily settled by thousands of Anglophones who arrived from the United States in the 1780s, followed by a flood of British immigrants in the 19th century.
To learn more about the Franco-Ontarian community, visit these community portraits on the website of The Francophone Heritage, Cultural and Tourism Corridor:
Ontario’s diverse Francophone community
Francophone vitality in Orléans and the United Counties of Prescott and Russell
Sudbury, a long-standing hub of Franco-Ontarian culture
Ontario’s Francophone North: Nature, Culture, and Hospitality
Source: The Francophone Heritage, Cultural and Tourism Corridor (All rights reserved, RDÉE Canada, 2018)
Crédits: JP Bernier (All rights reserved, l’Association française des municipalités de l’Ontario, mars 2019)