Canada is located in the north of the continent of North America… is the second largest country by area in the world… is part of the Commonwealth. Unlike many other Commonwealth nations it does not have the Union Jack on the flag. There is a maple leaf on the flag. Canada has a relatively small population of 30 million. It is a multicultural country with two official languages, English and French. About 70% of the population speak English and 22% speak French. A lot of the Canadian terrain is rough and uninhabitable and the climate is arctic in the north.
A large percentage of Canadians live in cities along the Canada–US border. The three largest urban centres: Toronto (5.5 million people), Montréal (4 million people), and Vancouver (2.5 million people) are very ethnically diverse. Native Indian populations, live segregated and in very poor conditions in reservations. The Inuits (Eskimos) inhabits the northern territories of Canada. Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, only has a population of about 1 million.
„Kanata“ meaning village or settlement, was the original name for the country.
The southern part of the country is covered in forest. The northern part is mostly tundra. The Canadian Rocky Mountains lie along the west coast. There are also many lakes and rivers, the Mackenzie and St Lawrence rivers are the longest. The country is divided into ten provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, 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 far north has a polar climate.
Canada has natural environment for many different animal species. Animals commonly found in Canada include the beaver, the Canadian national animal, the moose, the Canada goose, the black bear, the grizzly bear, which lives mostly in the north-west, the polar bear in the Arctic region and the coyote.
The history of Canada started when migrating peoples from Asia entered North America. By 1600, more than 250,000 of their descendants inhabited what is now Canada. Many of them died during the European colonization from diseases carried by the settlers. European exploration began after 1480 when the explorers, with government support, were looking for a North West Passage by sea from Europe to Asia’s riches and saw Canada as an obstacle as well as a potentially useful discovery. The voyage to Newfoundland in 1497 of John Cabot, an Italian in English service, began further exploration and laid the basis for English claims to Canada.
Canada was a British colony until Confederation in 1867 when the Dominion of Canada was born and the first Prime Minister, Sir John Alexander Macdonald, began to build the country we know today. Canada has a long history of rivalries between French and English settlers but much care was taken to protect the interests of both peoples and to have a constitution that served everyone.
Along with Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, and others, Canada is a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Canada is a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as its reigning monarch. She is the head of state, and the Governor General is her representative in Canada. He must sign all new laws before they can be passed. Canada has a party system in parliament with the majority party as the government. Their party leader is the prime minister. The Canadian government was modeled directly on the British parliamentary system.
Famous people (up to 33 mil. people):
The award-winning writers Margaret Atwood, the author of The Blind Assassin, and Michael Ondaatje, the author of The English Patient, are Canadian. In music, famous Canadians are the singer and poet Leonard Cohen, one of the most influential song-writers of the last 50 years… the guitarist / singer-songwriter Neil Young, a very influential musician… the pop singer Nelly Furtado. Celine Dion is known as Queen of Pop.
Prominent Canadian actors are the comedian Jim Carrey… Dan Aykroyd, who is famous for appearing in the film Ghostbusters.
Sports and culture:
Canada’s national holiday is the 1st of July known as Canada Day. It marks the founding of the Dominion of Canada in 1867 and is celebrated with fireworks and barbecues and parades. Thanksgiving, celebrated on the second Monday in October, is traditionally a time to give thanks for the harvest and enjoy elaborate meals of roast turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce.
Canada is a great sporting nation. Popular sports include ice-hockey, American (Canadian) football, basketball and lacrosse. Another popular sport in Canada is curling.
Canadian cities and travelling:
The most visited places are / include Ottawa, the capital of Canada, which is in Ontario; Montreal,the largest city in the French-speaking province of Quebec, and Toronto, the largest Canadian metropolis, also in the province of Ontario. Toronto’s attractions include the CN Tower, the world’s tallest tower. Vancouver is also a popular destination and is the largest city on the west coast. Tourists / visitors can admire the natural beauty in several national parks, such as Banff National Park in Alberta, which stands out / is notable for its dramatic landscape and wildlife.