Great Lakes Ontario Overview

Great Lakes Communities and Ecosystems at RiskThe Regionspacer
Confront the Challenge
• Climate in the Region
• The Report
• Technical Background
• For Teachers

Explore the Impacts
• Overview
• Migrating Climates
• Water Resources
• Sense of Place

Discover the Solutions
• Overview
• Solutions where we Live
• Reducing our Emissions
• Managing our Response
• Ten Personal Solutions

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Climate Change and Ontario

White Trillium

Climate Projections
Forests & Wildlife
Human Health
Lakes, Streams, & Fish
Property and Infrastructure
Recreation & Tourism
Water Supply & Pollution
Wetlands & Shorebirds
Climate Solutions
Resources & Links

From the coniferous forests of western Ontario that support populations of black spruce, moose, caribou, lynx, and wolf to the sandy beaches along the shores of Lake Ontario, Georgian Bay, and Lake Huron, Ontario boasts some of the most intact and distinct ecosystems of the Great Lakes region. These ecosystems—represented by places such as Killarney Provincial Park and Point Pelee—attracted more than $7 billion in tourism and recreation by providing some of the best bird watching opportunities in the region, pristine landscapes, and excellent fishing. While the majority of Ontario’s inhabitants live in cities in the southern part of the region, northern stretches of coniferous forest are cherished by the people of Ontario and are an integral part of Ontario’s economy. Ontario’s forestry sector and the 90,000 people it employs depend upon the well-being of these forests.

Ontario forest

A common thread through these activities is Ontario’s ecological richness. This richness, however, is at risk from climate change. This change is largely driven by human activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels to produce electricity and drive our cars, which in turn emits gases—principally carbon dioxide—that blanket the planet and trap heat. The resulting fundamental change in the Earth's atmosphere and climate is affecting people and the environment in the Great Lakes region.

In the Ontario section of this web feature, we explore what a changing climate could mean for the province. Specifically, we examine how climate is projected to change in Ontario; how these changes may impact human health, agriculture, forest and wildlife, water supplies, property and infrastructure, aquatic ecosystems, and tourism and recreation; and how Ontario residents can help reduce these potential impacts by pursuing several solutions strategies.

After you’ve learned about the threats that a changing climate pose to Ontario, please take a couple of minutes to tell policymakers to begin tackling the problem. This is easy to do by visiting the Great Lakes section of the David Suzuki Foundation website,

Ontario Summary Global Warming Solutions for Ontario
Impacts on Ontario Communities and Ecosystems Global Warming Solutions for Ontario

For more information, please see the David Suzuki Foundation website.

Photo Credits:
Swallowtail -- US Fish and Wildlife Service, James C.Leupold.
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We can reduce global warming emissions and ensure communities have the resources they need to withstand the effects of climate change—but not without you. Your generous support helps develop science-based solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.