With a population of more than 13.5 million, Ontario is home to about 2 in 5 Canadians. More than 85% live in urban centres, largely in cities on the shores of the Great Lakes.
The largest concentration of people and cities is in the Golden Horseshoe along the western shore of Lake Ontario, including the Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton, St.Catharines and Niagara Falls.
The Greater Golden Horseshoe describes the extended metropolitan area, including parts of central Ontario surrounding the core region. With more than 9 million people, this area is one of the fastest growing areas in North America. The wider region spreads inland in all directions away from the Lake Ontario shoreline, southwest to Brantford, west to the Kitchener-Waterloo area, north to Barrie and northeast to Peterborough.
Population hubs in southwestern Ontario include London, Kincardine, Windsor and Sarnia. In eastern Ontario, Ottawa and Kingston are the predominant cities. In northern Ontario, key municipalities include Greater Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste.Marie, North Bay, Timmins and Kenora.