Canada is the second largest country in the world. It occupies an area of 10 million square kilometres and has about 32 million inhabitants. The capital of Canada is Ottawa. The name “Canada” comes from the Iroquois word “kanata” meaning village or settlement.
Canada is located in the north of the continent of North America. Canada is extending from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and it shares land borders with the United States. Canada has the world’s longest coastline, more then 240,000 km. Canada has a varied landscape. There are lot of mountains, for example the Rocky Mountains, the Mackenzie Mountains and the Coast Mountains. The highest peak is Mt. Logan in the Yukon (5959 m). Almost 1 million sq km is covered with lakes and rivers. There are the Great Lakes in the south (Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Ontario and Lake Erie). And in the north there are Great Slave Lake and Great Bear Lake. Moving to east you will find the vast plateau of the Great Plains, rich with oil in some parts and ideal for wheat farming in others.
The country is divided into ten provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan/seskečue/, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island) and three territories (Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon).
Canada mostly has a continental climate with cold snowy winters and warm summers.
The history of Canada started when migrating peoples from Asia entered North America three thousands years ago. European exploration began in 15th century by Portuguese. In 1497 John Cabot, an Italian in English service, discovered Newfoundland and he laid the basis for English claims to Canada. In 1534 Jacques Cartier planted the flag of France on the area of Canada. It started a long history of rivalries between English and French settlers. Canada was a British colony until Confederation in 1867 when was born the Dominion of Canada. This status meant it was independent of the UK except in foreign affairs. In 1982 through the Canada Act, Canada became formally separated from the UK.
Canada is a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Canada is a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as the ceremonial head of state. Her representative is the Governor General. The Canadian government has two chambers: the House of Commons and the Senate. The leader of the government is called the Prime minister. Each province also has its own parliament and the head of the government in province is the Premier.
About 80% of the population live 150 kilometres from US-Canadian border. The capital Ottawa has a population of about 775 thousand.
- writers Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje
- song-writers Leonard Cohen and Neil Young
- pop singer Nelly Furtado, “the Queen of Pop” Celin Dion
- comedian Jim Carrey
The largest cities are Ottawa, the capital of Canada, in Ontario; Montreal in the French-speaking province of Quebec; Toronto in Ontario. Toronto is famous for the CN Tower(553 m), the world’s tallest tower. The largest city on the west coast is Vancouver.
Canada is a great sporting nation. Popular sports include ice-hockey, Canadian football, basketball, lacrosse and curling.
Flag has a central maple leaf emblem and the red and white colours which are Canada’s official colours. Canada’s aboriginal people had discovered the food properties of maple sap. The maple leaf was the dominant symbol used by Canadian soldiers during the WWI and WWII.
Canada has two official languages, English and French. About 70% of the population speak English and 22% speak French.
The currency is Canadian dollar.
The Canadian national animal is the beaver.