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Provincial and Territorial Energy Profiles – Ontario

Table of Contents
  • Figure 1: Hydrocarbon Production

    Figure 1: Hydrocarbon Production

    Source and Description:

    NEB – Canada's Energy Future 2018

    This graph shows hydrocarbon production in Ontario from 2007 to 2017. Over this period, crude oil production has decreased from 1.9 Mb/d to 0.6 Mb/d. Natural gas production has deceased from 21 MMcf/d to 8 MMcf/d.

  • Figure 2: Electricity Generation by Fuel Type (2017)

    Figure 2: Electricity Generation by Fuel Type (2017)

    Source and Description:

    Statistics Canada (Tables 25-10-0020-01 and 25-10-0019-01), NEB Estimates

    This pie chart shows electricity generation by source in Ontario. A total of 152.0 TW.h of electricity was generated in 2017.

  • Figure 3: Electricity Capacity and Primary Fuel Sources Map

    Figure 3: Electricity Capacity and Primary Fuel Sources Map

    Source and Description:

    NEB, Natural Resources Canada

    This map shows electricity generation facilities in Ontario. Facilities are shown by capacity and by primary fuel source.

    PDF version [531 KB]

  • Figure 4: Crude Oil Infrastructure Map

    Figure 4: Crude Oil Infrastructure Map

    Source and Description:


    This map shows all major crude oil pipelines, rail lines, and refineries in Ontario.

    PDF version [375 KB]

  • Figure 5: Natural Gas Infrastructure Map

    Figure 5: Natural Gas Infrastructure Map


    Source and Description:


    This map shows all major natural gas pipelines in Ontario.

    PDF version [1062 KB]

  • Figure 6: End-Use Demand by Sector (2016)

    Figure 6: End-Use Demand by Sector (2016)

    Source and Description:

    NEB – Canada's Energy Future 2018

    This pie chart shows end-use energy demand in Ontario by sector. Total end-use energy demand was 3 000 PJ in 2016. The largest sector was industrial at 38% of total demand, followed by transportation (at 29%), residential (at 18%), and lastly, commercial (at 15%).

  • Figure 7: End-Use Demand by Fuel (2016)

    Figure 7: End-use Demand by Fuel (2016)

    Source and Description:

    NEB – Canada's Energy Future 2018

    This figure shows end-use demand by fuel type in Ontario in 2016. Refined petroleum products accounted for 1 428 PJ (48%) of demand, followed by natural gas at 841 PJ (28%), electricity at 485 PJ (16%), biofuels at 131 PJ (4%), and other at 115 PJ (4%).

    Note: "Other" includes coal, coke, and coke oven gas.

  • Figure 8: GHG Emissions by Sector


    Figure 8: GHG Emissions by Sector

    Source and Description:

    Environment and Climate Change Canada – National Inventory Report

    This stacked column graph shows GHG emissions in Ontario by sector every five years from 1990 to 2016 in MT of CO2e. Total GHG emissions have decreased in Ontario from 179 MT of CO2e in 1990 to 161 MT of CO2e in 2016.

Energy Production

Crude Oil

  • Ontario produced 600 barrels per day of light oil in 2017 (Figure 1). Ontario’s production represents less than 0.1% of total Canadian oil production.
  • Ontario is home to Canada’s first commercial oil production when oil was discovered near Black Creek (later renamed Oil Springs) in 1858. Large oil deposits were discovered in the 1860s in Petrolia, just north of Oil Springs.
  • All of Ontario’s oil production occurs in southwestern Ontario.

Refined Petroleum Products (RPPs)

  • Ontario has four refineries: Imperial Oil, Suncor, and Shell in Sarnia, and Imperial Oil in Nanticoke. These refineries have a total capacity of 390 Mb/d, which gives Ontario the 2nd largest refining capacity after Alberta and accounts for 20% of total Canadian refining capacity.
  • Western Canada supplied the majority of Ontario’s refinery demand in 2017. Imports from the United States (U.S.) accounted for around 20% of total crude oil consumed by Ontario’s refineries.

Natural Gas/Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs)

  • In 2017, natural gas production in Ontario averaged 7.7 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) (Figure 1). Ontario’s production represented less than 1% of total Canadian natural gas production in 2017.
  • Natural gas is produced in southwestern Ontario near Sarnia.
  • There is no field production of NGLs in Ontario. Small volumes of propane and butane are produced in Ontario’s refineries.

Electricity and Renewables

  • In 2017, Ontario generated 152.0 terawatt hours (TW.h) of electricity (Figure 2), which is approximately 24% of total Canadian generation. Ontario is the 2nd largest producer of electricity in Canada and has a generating capacity of 40 123 megawatts (MW).
  • About 90% of electricity in Ontario is produced from zero-carbon emitting sources: 58% from nuclear, 22% from hydroelectricity, 8% from wind, and 2% from solar. The remaining 9% is primarily from natural gas, with some biomass and diesel. Ontario’s electricity generating capacity is primarily located in the southern portion of the province with significant hydro generating stations located in eastern Ontario in the Ottawa River basin and northeastern Ontario in the Moose River basin (Figure 3).
  • Three nuclear stations with a combined 13 500 MW of capacity provide the bulk of Ontario’s baseload generation. Bruce Power on the east shore of Lake Huron is the largest, with eight generation units and a capacity of about 6 600 MW. It is one of the largest nuclear power plant currently operating in the world.
  • Ontario has over 66 hydroelectricity generation facilities and a total hydroelectric capacity of 8 872 MW.
  • Ontario leads Canada in wind capacity. About 4 826 MW of wind capacity was added between 2005 and 2017.
  • About 98% of solar capacity in Canada is installed in Ontario. In 2017, solar in Ontario had a total capacity of 2 291 MW.
  • Ontario Power Generation is the largest utility in Ontario’s competitive electricity market, with over 16 000 MW of capacity.

Energy Transportation and Trade

Crude Oil and Liquids

  • Sarnia is the major oil pipeline, petrochemical, and refinery hub in Ontario. Sarnia receives crude oil from western Canada and North Dakota via Enbridge’s Line 5 and 6B, which have capacities of 540 Mb/d and 500 Mb/d, respectively (Figure 4).
  • Enbridge’s Lines 9 and 7 run eastwards from Sarnia to supply refineries in eastern Ontario and Quebec. Line 9 has a capacity of 300 Mb/d and transports crude oil to Westover, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec. Line 7 has a capacity of 180 Mb/d and also delivers crude oil to Westover. At Westover, both pipelines interconnect with Enbridge’s Line 10 and Line 11.
  • Line 10 has a capacity of 74 Mb/d and delivers crude oil to the Union Oil refinery in Warren, Pennsylvania. Line 11 has a capacity of 117 Mb/d and supplies Imperial Oil’s Nanticoke refinery.
  • The Trans-Northern Pipeline delivers refined petroleum products, such as gasoline and diesel, and links refineries in Montreal, Quebec with major markets and distribution centres in Ontario.
  • There are no crude-by-rail offloading facilities in Ontario.

Natural Gas

  • The TransCanada Mainline begins at the Alberta/Saskatchewan border and transports western Canadian gas through the prairies to Ontario (Figure 5).
  • The Mainline has interconnects with other pipelines at several import/export points in southern Ontario. It also connects to the Trans-Quebec and Maritimes (TQM) pipeline at the Ontario/Quebec border.
  • Historically, Ontario was a consumer of western Canadian natural gas and flowed through more natural gas to the U.S. than it imported. In recent years, Ontario has become a net importer and has increased gas imports from the U.S. Northeast and Midcontinent.
  • Dawn Hub, one of North America’s major natural gas trading hubs and pricing benchmarks, is located in Ontario. With a capacity of about 240 billion cubic feet (Bcf), Dawn is home to approximately 30% of Canada’s underground natural gas storage.
  • Ontario’s two main distribution companies are Union Gas and Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc. (EGDI). Union operates more than 69 000 kilometres (km) of main, service, and transmission lines in Ontario and serves 1.4 million customers in over 400 communities. EGDI operates more than 82 600 km of pipelines in Ontario and serves 2.1 million customers in over 100 communities. Both Union and EGDI are regulated by the Ontario Energy Board.
  • Both Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc. and Union Gas have been under common ownership since February 2017, when Enbridge and Spectra Energy, the parent company of Union Gas, completed a merger. The Ontario Energy Board approved an application on 30 August 2018 and amended it on 17 September 2018 to merge the two utilities, with an expected effective date of 1 January 2019.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

  • Union Gas operates a small-scale LNG facility near Sudbury, Ontario. It has been in operation since 1968.
  • A small-scale LNG facility in Thorold, Ontario has been proposed by Northeast Midstream. The project has received local and provincial permits, and has a proposed capacity of 31.3 MMcf/d. Two other small scale LNG projects in Northern Ontario have been proposed by Northeast Midstream, with service expected to begin in 2020. 


  • Most of Ontario’s electricity trade flows from north to south. Ontario’s net interprovincial and international electricity outflows were 13.1 TW.h in 2017.
  • Hydro One owns and operates almost all of Ontario’s transmission capacity and has 29 000 km of transmission lines. There are over 70 distribution companies operating in Ontario.
  • Ontario has interconnections with Manitoba, Quebec, Michigan, Minnesota, and New York.

Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

Total Energy Consumption

  • End-use demand in Ontario was 3 000 petajoules (PJ) in 2016. The largest sector for energy demand was industrial at 38% of total demand, followed by transportation at 29%, residential at 18%, and commercial at 15% (Figure 6). Ontario’s total energy demand was the 2nd largest in Canada, and the 9th largest on a per capita basis.
  • Refined petroleum products were the largest fuel type consumed in Ontario, accounting for 1 428 PJ, or 48%. Natural gas and electricity accounted for 841 PJ (28%) and 485 PJ (16%), respectively (Figure 7).

Refined Petroleum Products (RPPs)

  • Refineries in the province can produce roughly 75% of Ontario’s demand for RPPs, including gasoline. Imports are mainly from Quebec, delivered via the Trans-Northern Pipeline, rail, and truck. Imports also come from the U.S. Midwest. In 2017, roughly 17% of total Canadian RPP imports were for the Ontario market.
  • Ontario is the largest market in Canada for RPPs. Total 2017 demand in Ontario for RPPs was 562 Mb/d, or 31% of total Canadian RPP demand. Of Ontario’s total demand, 284 Mb/d was for motor gasoline and 130 Mb/d was for diesel.
  • Ontario’s per capita RPP consumption in 2017 was 2 298 litres (14.4 barrels), the lowest in Canada. Ontario’s RPP consumption per capita is 20% below the national average of 2 886 litres per capita. 

Natural Gas

  • Ontario consumed an average of 2.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas in 2017. Ontario demand represented 24% of total Canadian demand, making it the largest consuming province after Alberta.
  • Ontario’s largest consuming sector for natural gas was the industrial sector, which consumed 0.84 Bcf/d in 2017. The residential and commercial sectors consumed 0.77 Bcf/d and 0.54 Bcf/d, respectively.


  • In 2016, annual electricity consumption per capita in Ontario was 10.0 megawatt hours (MW.h). Ontario ranked 11th in Canada for per capita electricity consumption and consumed 33% less than the national average.
  • Ontario’s largest consuming sector for electricity in 2016 was commercial at 46.2 TW.h. The residential and industrial sectors consumed 45.7 TW.h and 42.5 TW.h, respectively. Ontario’s electricity demand has grown 3% since 2005.

GHG Emissions

  • Ontario’s GHG emissions in 2016 were 160.6 megatonnes (MT) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). Ontario’s emissions have declined 10% since 1990.Footnote 1
  • Ontario’s emissions per capita are the 3rd lowest in Canada, at 11.5 tonnes of CO2e – 41% below the Canadian average of 19.4 tonnes per capita.
  • The largest emitting sectors in Ontario are transportation at 35% of emissions, buildings (residential and commercial) at 21%, and heavy industries (including iron, steel, and chemicals) at 19% (Figure 8).
  • Ontario’s GHG emissions from the oil and gas sector in 2016 were 9.4 MT CO2e. Of this total, 1.9 MT were attributable to production, processing, and transmission and 7.5 MT were attributable to petroleum refining and natural gas distribution.
  • In 2016, Ontario’s electricity sector emitted 4.5 MT CO2e emissions, or 6% of total Canadian GHG emissions attributable to power generation. Ontario’s GHG emissions from power generation peaked in 2000 at 42.6 MT CO2e and then saw emissions decline as it phased out coal-fired generation from 2005 to 2014.

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