Geography

There are 578,040 people in the Franco-Ontarian community with French as their first official language spoken, which represents 4.8% of the province's population. Only 532,855 Ontarians have French as their mother tongue, suggesting that at least 45,000 Franco-Ontarians use French as their main language, even though it is not their mother tongue - an undeniable sign of an increasingly diversifying community.

While Francophones are located throughout Ontario, they remain concentrated in specific regions, with the biggest concentration in the eastern part of the province. Here, Franco-Ontarians live mainly in three census divisions, Ottawa (163,265), Prescott-Russell (53,165) and Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry (24,945).

The north-eastern region has the second highest contingent of mother-tongue Francophones. This population is located mainly in the census divisions of Greater Sudbury (43,240), Cochrane (38,610), Nipissing (20,655) and Timiskaming (8,080).

A relatively large Francophone population is also located in Central Ontario, particularly in the census divisions of Toronto, Niagara and Hamilton. Moreover, Ontario's cities are witnessing a significant increase in their French-language population: Ottawa and Toronto alone have almost 15,000 more Francophones than five years ago, with respective growth rates of 5.4% and 5.9%.

The demographic weight of Francophones varies greatly from one census division to the next. In the eastern region, Francophones are in the majority in the division of Prescott-Russell (67.52%). This is in fact the only provincial census division with a Francophone majority.