Amethyst was adopted as Ontario’s official mineral in 1975 to represent the mineral wealth of the province. Amethyst is a form of quartz that is found in clusters throughout northern Ontario, concentrating around the area of Thunder Bay, which formed in cavities which were created over one billion years ago.
The Common Loon was adopted as the official bird of Ontario in 1994. Found in lakes and rivers across the province, the Loon’s eerie call is associated with the beauty and solitude of Ontario’s wilderness. The Loon can dive to depths of 70 metres in search of food, and can stay under water for three minutes.
The Eastern White Pine
In 1984, the Eastern White Pine became the official tree of Ontario. Found throughout the province, the Eastern White Pine was an important source of income and trade during Ontario’s early days, and represents the province’s vast forests. It is known as the Tree of Great Peace by the Haudenosaunee First Nations of Southern Ontario. These trees are the tallest in Ontario, and can live over 250 years.
The White Trillium
The White Trillium became Ontario’s official flower in 1937. The Trillium blooms in early spring throughout the province. Its white blossom is associated with peace and hope.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not illegal to pick a white trillium in Ontario. However picking the flower can seriously injure the plant and it can take years to recover.
Ontario adopted an official tartan in 2000. The Tartan of Ontario is made up of four blocks of colour: red, white, three shades of green and two shades of blue. The shades of green represent the forests and fields of Ontario, while the blue represents the waters in the province. The red represents Ontario's First Nations and the white represents the sky over the province.
Ontario’s official flag was adopted in 1965. The flag includes the Union Jack, representing Ontario’s roots as a part of the British Empire, and Ontario’s Shield of Arms, symbolizing the province’s loyalty to Canada.
Ontario's Coat of Arms
Ontario’s Coat of Arms was adopted in 1909 illustrating Ontario’s ties to England and its loyalty to Canada. The deer, moose, and bear are the most common mammals indigenous to Ontario. The Latin motto on the Coat of Arms, "Ut incepit fidelis sic permanent" – translates to “loyal she began, loyal she remains.”