Ontario Economy Overview
Ontario is Canada's most productive province, generating some 40 percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product, with its strong manufacturing sector. Ontario's competitive advantages include its natural resources, a large, well-educated labour force, relatively inexpensive electrical power, and proximity to key U.S. markets.
Ontario and its products are within a day's drive of 120 million American consumers. Automobiles are Ontario's major manufacturing industry and most important export, directly employing more than 140,000 people and providing 26 percent of Canada's total exports.
Ontario owes its early and continued success to its bountiful natural resources. Mining is also important to Ontario's economy, with the extraction and refinement of gold, nickel, copper, uranium and zinc a multi-billion-dollar industry. The provincial government manages 87 percent of the province's forest lands, and licenses logging rights. The forest industry accounts for 6 percent of Ontario's exports.
The services sector is very important to Ontario's economy. Toronto is the world's fourth-largest capital market, and its stock exchange is North America's second-largest by volume and third-largest by value traded. Tourism is the province's third-largest industry, with over $10 billion in spending, and 320,000 person-years of employment.