Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province accounting for 38.3 percent of the country's population, and is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario's economy had its beginnings in exploitation of natural resources: fur, timber and minerals. The province's many rivers and lakes, particularly the Great Lakes, made for natural transportation routes. As the population of Ontario increased, people started new industries and surveyed, cleared and farmed the rich agricultural land. Today, northern Ontario's economy is still highly dependent on natural resources while southern Ontario, with its proximity to the enormous American market, is heavily industrialized.