Useful facts & stats
Population as of 2016 census (density)
35,151,728 (3.92 people per kilometre squared)
Ottawa (1,323,783 – metropolitan area)
Toronto, Ontario (2,731,571 City of Toronto, 5,928,040 Greater Toronto Area)
Federal multiparty constitutional monarchy
Justin Trudeau (Liberal Party)
Queen Elizabeth II
Independence from the UK
British North America Act – 1 July 1867 (incorporation of Canada)
Statute of Westminster – 11 December 1931
Canada Act – 17 April 1982
Canadian dollar = 100 cents
GDP in 2002 ($US Dollars)
Total – $1.763 trillion
Per head $47,657
GMT (UTC) -3.5 to -8
English and French (both official)
British (36%), French (16%), Irish (14%), German (10%), Italian (5%), Chinese (4%), First Nations (4%), Ukrainian (4%), and Dutch (3%).
Christianity (Roman Catholic 47%, Protestant 41%), Judaism, Islam, Hinduism.
International Calling Code
North of the tree line, the Canadian Arctic is primarily composed of permanent ice and tundra. The most northern mountains, the Inuitian Mountains are on Ellesmere Island in Nunavut.
The arctic regions of Canada include the Canadian Territories: Yukon Territory, Northwest Territory and Nunavut; and also some of the northernmost parts of Ontario, Manitoba and Quebec.
East of the Rockies are the interior plains spanning most of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The predominantly flat and treeless terrain are where most of the arable agricultural farms in Canada can be found.
The Cypress Hills and Alberta Badlands are the exception to the stereotypical Prairie province look. These areas are quite hilly and rugged. Northern Manitoba is also a more rugged region dotted by thousands of lakes. Northern Manitoba is also a popular spot for visitors to Canada in search of polar bears around Churchill on the edge of Hudson Bay.
Canadian Sheild and Central regions
Canada’s central provinces of Ontario and Quebec are some of the most densely populated areas and also some of the most thinly populated. The two larges provinces are roughly the size of Western Europe.
Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, is located in Ontario on the border of Quebec.
South and Western areas of Ontario border the United States and the Great Lakes. Much of the north of the province is forested or covered by the dense rocky surface known as the Canadian Shield which extends into the Arctic and Quebec.
Quebec’s major cities (Hull, Montreal, Quebec City) lie along the Saint Lawrence River. The Northern Appalachian Mountains reach from the USA into Quebec. The Gaspé Peninsula is where the Saint Lawrence meets the Atlantic Ocean. Quebec’s northern expanse is surrounded by water and Labrador.
Maritimes and Atlantic Canada
The Maritime Provinces of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia make up Eastern Canada. The Atlantic Provinces incorporate these Maritime Provinces and also include Newfoundland and Labrador.
Most of the Maritimes are forested areas with river valleys and plenty of coastlines.
Prince Edward Island is connected to the mainland by the Confederation Bridge to New Brunswick and a ferry route to northern Nova Scotia.
Cape Breton is Nova Scotia’s northern island which is accessibly by road and rail routes which cross a causeway. Cape Breton is also home to a huge inland lake known as Bras d’Or Lake and the Cape Breton Highlands
The island of Newfoundland and northern region of Labrador are mostly barren regions which can see icebergs floating by major settlements. The Capital of the province, St. John’s, has a varied climate due to its location on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.
Western Canada & Rocky Mountains
Western Canada and the Rocky Mountains include the provinces of British Columbia, the western part of Alberta and the southern regions of Yukon Territory. Most of the terrain in Western Canada is rugged mountains. However, British Columbia is also home to rainforests, a desert, rolling green pastures and world-class winemaking vineyards. Most of Western Canada is coniferous forest.
The Rocky Mountains are part of the North American continental divide reaching from the Arctic Circle into the United States. Most of the mountains are impassable and the handful of routes through the Canadian Rockies are noted as some of the most spectacular drives and rail routes anywhere in the world.
The Pacific Coast is home to thousands of islands, the largest being Vancouver Islands. Separated from the mainland by the Georgia Strait and Juan de Fuca Strait, Vancouver Island is where the capital of British Columbia, Victoria, can be found.
Total area of Canada:
9,984,670 square kilometres
9,093,507 square kilometres
891,163 square kilometres
Second largest country in the world after Russia
Distance East to West is 5,514 kilometres
Cape Spear, Newfoundland and Labrador to Yukon Territory Alaska boundary
Canadian Border with the United States
10% of the world’s Freshwater is in Yukon Territory, Northwest Territories and Nunavut
Canada has the longest coastline in the world
Canada’s Trans-Canada Highway is the longest national highway in the World
The Dempster Highway is the northernmost highway 720 kilometres
Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron is the world’s largest island in a freshwater lake 2765 square kilometres
Highest mountain in Canada is Mount Logan, Yukon Territory
Baffin Island in Nunavut is the largest island in Canada
507,451 square kilometres
The world’s highest tide is in the Bay of Fundy between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia
Tide range is 16.1 metres
The longest river in Canada is the Mackenzie River
Canadian Government and Economy
Canada’s first people, the ancestors of the Native Americans, or Indians, arrived in North America from Asia around 40,000 years ago. Later arrivals were the Inuit (Eskimos), who also came from Asia. Europeans reached the Canadian coast in 1497 and a race began between Britain and France for control f the territory.
Ottawa City Hall France gained an initial advantage, and the French founded Quebec in 1608. But the British later occupied eastern Canada in1867, Britain passed the British North America Act, which set up the Dominion of Canada, which was made up of Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Other areas were added, the last being Newfoundland in 1949. Canada fought alongside Britain in both World Wars and man Canadians feel close ties with Britain. Canada is a constitutional monarchy, and the British monarch is Canada’s head of state.
Rivalries between French and English speaking Canadians continue. In 1995 Quebeckers voted against a move to make Quebec a sovereign state. The majority was less than 1% and this issue seems unlikely to disappear. Another problem concerns the rights of the Aboriginal minorities, who would like to have more say n the running of their own affairs. To this end, in 1999, Canada created a new territory called Nunavut for the Inuit population in the north. Nunavut covers approximately 64% of what was formerly the eastern part of the Northwest Territories.
Canada’s system of government was originally based on the British system and now operates as a federal multiparty constitutional monarchy. A Federal government oversees and acts on matters of national interest. Provincial governments operate with their own ability to legislate on provincial matters. The head of state is the British Queen with a Governor General appointed as the Commonwealth’s representative in Canada.
Ottawa, on the south bank of the Ottawa River in eastern Ontario, is home to Canada’s parliament, House of Commons and senate.
Political parties in Canada are wide spread in views and popularity leaving three main parties: the Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, and the New Democratic Party (NDP). The NDP have never been appointed to form a federal government. The Canadian Alliance has rose from the west of Canada but has been unable to achieve enough popularity for its right-wing views. The Bloc Québecois, the separatist party from Québec are also an important voice in the political arena.
The provinces are run by the three main parties although in British Columbia the Social Credit Party have been able to form a provincial government. Provincial governments act independently from their related federal parties.
Canada’s economy allows for a high standard of living similar to that of most Western countries. The United Nations consistently ranks Canada as one of the most desirable countries to live in. Canada is a highly developed and prosperous country. Although farmland covers only 8% of the country, Canadian farms are highly productive. Canada is one of the world’s leading producers of barley, wheat, meat and milk. Forestry and fishing are other important industries. It is rich in natural resources, especially oil and natural gas, and is a major exporter of minerals. The country also produces copper, gold, iron ore, uranium, and zinc. Manufacturing is highly developed, especially in the cities where 78% of the people live. Canada has many factories that process farm and mineral products. It also produces, cars, chemicals, electronic goods, machinery, paper and timber products. Services accounts for 74% of the economy including banking, communication, education, insurance, and an enormous civil service.
Unemployment has wavered around the 8% mark although this varies regionally.
People and Society of Canada
Canada has a widely spread population of 35,151,728 (2016). Most people live within 300km of the southern border. Almost 36% of Canadians are of British descent and 50% being Western European. Chinese and South Asian also make up a significant portion of the population.
The indigenous people who account for 1,172,790 First Nations and 32,000 Inuit are much less than when the Europeans first inhabited Canada. There are also approximately 450,000 Metis, the name used to denote those of mixed aboriginal and European blood. All together this group of inhabitants accounts for around 4% of the population.
Inuits are the Eskimos of Canada and Inuit is the preferred word that helps to distinguish from other Eskimo civilisations such as those in Asia.
Canada is home to over 2250 reserves set up by the government as recognised areas set aside for the Native peoples. 70% of the Natives live on these reserves, most of which are in poverty and rely on government assistance.
Religion in Canada
Canada is a multi-cultural country, and so it’s no surprise that there are a wide variety of religions practiced in Canada as well. Although Canada began as a Christian country and Christianity continues to dominate, there is a wide spectrum of spiritual beliefs that cover all corners of the country.
Following is a brief description of the major religions in Canada and in the case of Christianity, some of the major denominations. The information covered generally includes the origins, major beliefs, scriptures, practices, holidays, and information on numbers and practices in Canada.
Canadian Arts, Sports & Leisure
Arts and culture is lived and breathed in every corner of Canada. Due to an ethnic and immigrant population the variety and richness of art and sports is very evident.
Since the Second World War, Canada has produced an impressive amount of writing. From novels to poetry, the selection is wide. Native writers are also becoming better known across Canada in recent years.
Musicians are reaching a higher level of recognition in the world music scene. Everything from Country to Pop, Classical to Heavy Rock can be found across Canada and across the globe performed by Canadian artists.
Film Crew in Canada The National Film Board is the primary producer of movies in Canada however many Hollywood studios are turning to Canada as a source for locations and as an alternative to the more expensive USA. Many well known actors, directors, screen writers and movies come from Canada and often scoop awards for their work.
French art was the first to appear in Canada along the St Lawrence in and around Quebec. Since then the volume of art and artists has increased. Canadian photography as well as painting by Canadians are not well known outside of Canada but recognition is increasing.
Sport is a major part of today’s society in Canada. Hockey is the most popular spectator sport with more participants taking part in curling. American style football and baseball are also very popular and all of these sports are played across Canada.
Education in Canada
Canada provides free education from elementary to secondary school. Post secondary, such as colleges and universities require for tuition to be paid although taxes do subsidise the full cost. Education falls under the jurisdiction of the provinces and is very similar to that of other western education systems.
French immersion programs where English-speaking children are taught classes in French are an option for some schools in Canada.
There are private schools in Canada, some of which implement alternate teaching methods.
Approximately 85% of Canadians complete high school and 65% continue to a post-secondary education. Universities in Canada attract students from all over the world.
Wildlife and flora
Canada’s rich biodiversity and vast areas of natural wilderness provides a wide variety of habitats for thousands of species of plant and animal.
Bears, beavers and moose are found all across the country and are considered a symbol of Canada. But the diverse range of animals which live in Canada extends far beyond the famous three.