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Ontario Celebrates Its French Heritage -- 400 Years in the Making

Archived News Release

Ontario Celebrates Its French Heritage -- 400 Years in the Making

All Ontarians Invited to Join the Official Commemorations This Summer and Fall

Ministry of Francophone Affairs

The province is celebrating 400 years of the French presence in Ontario with a full slate of activities to commemorate the history and contribution of the province's francophones.

Over the summer and fall, more than 60 local and regional celebrations are taking place across the province including:  

Supporting the Franco-Ontarian community is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up. This four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic and innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.

Quick Facts

  • The year 2015 marks the 400th anniversary of French explorer Samuel de Champlain’s first passage through Ontario.
  • More than 610,000 francophones live in Ontario. It is the largest French-speaking community in Canada outside of Quebec.
  • Tourism in Ontario generates over $28 billion in economic activity and supports more than 359,000 direct and indirect jobs in Ontario.

Additional Resources


“Ontario recognizes the important role of francophones in helping Ontario grow into a unique and prosperous province. The 400th commemoration is the opportunity for all Ontarians to pay tribute to Franco-Ontarians and celebrate their contributions to the economic, social and political vitality of this province.”

Madeleine Meilleur

Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs

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