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Canada is the second largest country in the world
- It is the second largest country after Russia.
- Canada has a total area of 9.9 million sq. km.
- Canada touches the Pacific, Arctic, and Atlantic oceans. It is the country with the longest coastline (243,791 km. long).
- It has 10 provinces and three territories. Ottawa is its capital.
- The provinces are:
- Alberta (capital: Edmonton)
- British Columbia (Victoria)
- Manitoba (Winnipeg)
- New Brunswick (Fredericton)
- Newfoundland and Labrador (St. John’s)
- Nova Scotia (Halifax)
- Ontario (Toronto)
- Prince Edward Island (Charlottetown)
- Quebec (Quebec City)
- Saskatchewan (Regina)
- The three territories are:
- Northwest Territories (Yellowknife)
- Nunavut (Iqaluit)
- Yukon (Whitehorse)
It is a land of lakes
- There are more than two million lakes in Canada.
- It has 563 lakes larger than 100 square kilometres.
- Canada’s largest lakes include:
- Lake Huron (Ontario)
- Great Bear Lake (Northwest Territories)
- Lake Superior (Ontario)
- Lake Winnipeg is Canada’s fifth largest lake. It is in Manitoba.
It has a Multicultural population
The largest groups among these visible minorities are:
- Canada is the first country to have a policy of multiculturalism.
- Canada embraces diversity.
- One-fifth of Canada’s population are immigrants.
- It is home to people from over 200 ethnic origins (2011 National Household Survey).
- 4.3 per cent of the total Canadian population reported an Aboriginal identity
- 19.1 per cent belong to a visible minority.
Learn more about Canada’s multiculturalism from this link.
- South Asians
- Latin Americans
- Southeast Asians
- West Asians
The government has three levels:
- Canada is a Parliamentary Democracy headed by a Prime Minister.
- It is also a Constitutional Monarchy. Executive authority is vested in the Queen.
- The Queen is the head of state.
- The Prime Minister is the head of government.
- Parts of a parliamentary democracy:
- Sovereign (Queen)
- House of Commons
The federal government is in Ottawa. The Prime Minister leads the government.Premiers head provincial and territorial governments.Mayors head municipal governments.
Canada means “village”
- The name Canada is from Kanata. It is a Huron-Iroquois word that means village.
- Two Indigenous youths used Kanata to describe the settlement of Stadacona (now Quebec City). They were speaking to European explorer Jacques Cartier.
- Cartier used the word Canada to describe a bigger area beyond Stadacona.
- Canada used to be called New France.
The maple leaf and other symbols
- It took 40 years for the Canadian parliament to decide on a Canadian flag.
- The flag was launched on February 15, 1965. Flag Day is February 15 each year.
- The maple leaf is an important symbol for Canada.
- Maple sap is a food staple for Indigenous peoples. They have used it for many years before the coming of European settlers.
- The maple leaf has been used as a symbol in Canadian coins, emblems and coats of arms.
- The maple tree is the official arboreal emblem.
- Canada produces three-quarters of the world’s maple syrup output.
- The beaver has been a national emblem since the 1700s.
- Canada was a top beaver pelt trader. Beaver pelts are used for fur hats.
- The Hudson’s Bay Company honoured the beaver by putting it in its coat of arms.
- The Maple Leaf Tartan became an official symbol in 2011. It was designed by David Weiser.
It is the anniversary of the joining of three British colonies. They are now called provinces.The provinces are:
- Canada Day is celebrated every July 1st.
- It honours the signing of the British North America Act (Constitution Act of 1867).
- This act created Canada.
See Canada Day celebrations all over the country: Canada Day.
- The United Province of Canada (Ontario and Quebec)
- New Brunswick
- Nova Scotia.
- “O Canada” is Canada’s national anthem.
- Calixa Lavallee composed the music.
- Sir Adolphe Basile-Routhier wrote the lyrics.
- Watch a rendition of the anthem with lyrics below
(Youtube video by Canada Immigrant):
National dish: Poutine
- Poutine is Canada’s national dish.
- It came from Quebec in the 1950s.
- It is made up of french fries, cheese curds and gravy.
- There are different versions of poutine. Here are some:
- Basketball was invented by Dr. James Naismith. He was a Canadian PE instructor in Massachusetts.
- The pacemaker was invented by electrical engineer John Hopps.
- IMAX (for Image Maximum) was created by Toronto-based Graeme Ferguson, Roman Kroitor, Robert Kerr and William Shaw.
- The Blackberry cellphone is a product of Research in Motion (RIM). It is in Waterloo, Ontario.
- Read: 19 things you might not know were invented in Canada.
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