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Flag of Canada:
The colours of the Canadian flag are red and white. The maple leaf is a symbol of the Canadian cultural heritage, including their own natural resources in Canada. The colour red represents good fortune and hope, whilst the colour white reflects Canada’s neutrality, as well as symbolising placidity and tranquility. The current flag of Canada was publicly and officially proclaimed by Queen Elizabeth II on 15th February, 1965.
Canada is a gigantic country with an abundance of lakes, rivers, magnificent landscapes and land regions surrounded by thousands of islands. It is also the largest country by surface area in North America. Canada is physically bordered by the United States of America (USA) in the south, except for the American state of Alaska which is located in the northwestern (NW) direction of Canada.
Largest and most populous city:
The largest and most populous city in Canada is Toronto. Toronto CBD has a population of approximately 2.9 million people. It is the capital city of the province of Ontario. The CN Tower is one of Toronto’s most popular attractions for both tourists and locals alike. Toronto also hosted the 1976 Summer Paralympics and was the first-ever city in history to host the World Masters Games in 1985.
The capital city of Canada is Ottawa, which is also located in the province of Ontario. Ottawa CBD has a population of approximately 1.1 million people. Ottawa is home to several attractions such as the National Gallery of Canada, Canadian War Museum, Rideau Canal, and Parliament Hill. Additionally, it is home to the world’s largest outdoor naturally frozen ice skating rink in the world, known as the Rideau Canal Skateway, which is only available during winter.
Canada’s provinces and territories:
Due to its enormous size, Canada is divided into various provinces and territories. There are a total of ten provinces and three territories, respectively. The ten provinces are British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and New Brunswick. The three territories are Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
The official currency of Canada is the Canadian dollar ($CAD).
$1 New Zealand dollar (NZD) = $0.83 Canadian dollar (CAD)
The total population of Canada is approximately 38.3 million, as of May 2022.
The national anthem of Canada is O Canada. It was composed by both Calixa Lavallée and Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier, and performed for the first time in Canada on 24th June, 1880. The lyrics of the English version have changed over the years, with the most recent changes taking place in February 2018. The lyrics of the French version have also been abridged but still remain unmodified from the original. O Canada was formally declared as Canada’s national anthem under the National Anthem Act on 27th June, 1980.
The national tree of Canada is the maple tree. Although the maple leaf is a prominent symbol of Canada, the maple tree was not actually officially proclaimed as Canada’s arboreal emblem until 1996. 13 out of 150 known species of maple trees are native to North America. Ten of these grow in Canada and at least one of the ten species grows in each of Canada’s ten provinces.
The national animal of Canada is the beaver. It was provided official status as one of Canada’s emblems when an act to provide the beaver as a symbol of Canada’s sovereignty formally received royal assent on 24th March, 1975. Nonetheless, the beaver was a major part of the Canadian identity for a long time before the Canadian Parliament even passed the National Symbol of Canada Act.
The national emblem of Canada is the Arms of Canada. It was created by Cathy Bursey-Sabourin in 1921. This national emblem comprises symbols of the four founding nations of Canada featured on the shield; the floral emblems of the four founding nations, the lion of England and unicorn of Scotland holding two different flags, and the Royal Crown at the top. It is used predominantly on federal government possessions such as passports, money, buildings, publications and official seals.
The national symbol of Canada is the Maple Leaf Tartan. It was publicly proclaimed as an official national symbol on 9th March, 2011. The Maple Leaf Tartan was initially designed in anticipation of the 100th anniversary of Canada’s confederation in 1967. The pattern of the maple leaf tartan symbolises the colours of the leaf through the changing seasons.
The national horse of Canada is the Canadian horse. Although it was declared by Parliament to be their nation’s national breed in 1909, it was not until May 2002 that it was actually recognised as the national horse of Canada by Act of Parliament. The origins of the Canadian horse date back to the 17th century in the year 1665. At that The Canadian horse is known for its equable and placid personality, intelligence, endurance, strength and resilience.
The official languages of Canada are English and French. Despite Canada being an officially bilingual country, the linguistic diversity and abundance of various languages spoken in Canada is quite copious. In the 2016 census, approximately 29.97 million Canadians (86.2 percent of the Canadian population) reported themselves as speaking English. However, while French and English are both considered official languages by the federal government, French is only recognised as an official language at the provincial level by New Brunswick and Quebec. In the 2016 census, approximately 10.36 million Canadians (28.8 percent of the population) reported themselves as speaking French.
National day (Canada Day):
The national day of Canada is Canada Day. It takes place on the 1st of July annually. This is an important day for Canadians because it commemorates the confederation when the British North America came into effect in 1867. Therefore, it united three separate provinces of Nova Scotia, Canada, and New Brunswick into a single dominion called Canada. Canadians across the country observe and celebrate Canada Day with parades, barbecues, firework displays, festivals, picnics, and sporting events.
Current tallest building:
The current tallest building in Canada is First Canadian Place. It is also the tallest skyscraper in Canada standing at 298 metres tall, as well as the third tallest freestanding structure in Canada, after the CN Tower (also in Toronto) and the Inco Superstack chimney in Sudbury, Ontario. This skyscraper holds the record as the tallest business landmark in Canada since it first opened in 1975.
The tallest freestanding structure in Canada is the CN Tower in Toronto. The word “CN” is the abbreviation for Canadian National. It was formerly known as the world’s tallest freestanding structure until 2007, as well as the world’s tallest tower until 2009. It is the tallest freestanding structure in North America and the Western Hemisphere standing at 553 metres tall. Construction of the CN Tower commenced on 6th February, 1973 and concluded on 2nd April, 1975. Eventually, it officially opened to the public on 26th June, 1976.
The largest lake in Canada is Lake Superior. Among freshwater lakes, it is also the largest lake in the world by surface area, and the third largest lake by volume. This lake is bordered by Ontario, Canada to the north, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Wisconsin to the south, and Minnesota to the west. Additionally, 10% of the world’s surface fresh water is found in Lake Superior. It has a surface area of approximately 82,100 square kilometres and is the largest of the Great Lakes of North America.
The longest river in Canada is the Mackenzie River at 4,241 km in length. It is the second longest river in North America, after the Mississippi River. The Mackenzie River flows through a thinly populated and extensive region of tundra and forest completely within the Northwest Territories in Canada. It also stems from the Great Slave Lake to the Beaufort Sea in the Arctic Ocean.
The highest mountain in Canada is Mount Logan and its highest point is 5,959 metres above sea level. It is the second highest mountain in North America, after Denali in Alaska. This mountain was named after Sir William Edmond Logan, who was a geologist, and the first director and founder of the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC). Mount Logan is situated in the Saint Elias Mountains of southwestern Yukon.
Highest measured waterfall:
The highest measured waterfall in Canada is James Bruce Falls. Located in the province of British Columbia, it is the highest measured waterfall in North America and the ninth tallest waterfall in the world. Situated in Princess Louisa Marine Provincial Park, it stems from a small snowfield and cascades 840 metres down to Princess Louisa Inlet.
The three different types of Indigenous Peoples (aboriginal people) in Canada are Inuit, Métis, and First Nations. The Inuit mainly live in the northern regions of Canada. Métis people are of mixed Indigenous and European ancestry and primarily live in Ontario and the Prairie provinces, but also in different parts of Canada. The First Nations peoples were the original inhabitants of the land that is now Canada, frequently occupying territories in the southern regions of the Arctic.
From its beginning in the 1940s until today, the history of Canada’s television industry is tied to that of their neighbouring country in the south, the United States of America (USA). The influence of the United States commenced before the first local Canadian television station was established. Many Canadians living close to the American border were already accessing American television content from cities such as Detroit, Cleveland, and Seattle. Nevertheless, the first Canadian television stations were not officially launched until 1952, as a part of the government-created CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). At that time, owning a television set was still considered rather of a luxury. Nowadays, some seven decades later, the number of TV households in Canada and the overall consumption of television are on a decreasing trend as new streaming services and broadcasting innovations captivate the attention of an increasing audience.
Daylight saving time (DST) and daylight savings:
Daylight saving time (DST) starts on the second Sunday of March and ends on the first Sunday of November. In Canada, daylight saving time is observed in nine out of ten Canada’s provinces and two out of three territories respectively, with the exception of Saskatchewan, Yukon, eastern Quebec and some areas in British Columbia.
The school year in Canada typically commences in early September and concludes around mid to late June. However, every private and public school is different in Canada. Students have a two-week break over the Christmas and New Year period as well as enjoying another two-week holiday during the Spring Break in March or April. The annual summer break in Canada normally takes place in the months of July and August every year.
Canada has various time zones due to its immense size. It is divided into six time zones – from west to east, they are Pacific Time Zone, Mountain Time Zone, Central Time Zone, Eastern Time Zone, Atlantic Time Zone and Newfoundland Time Zone.
Current Prime Minister (head of government):
The current Prime Minister (head of government) of Canada is Justin Trudeau. He has served as the 23rd Prime Minister of Canada since 4th November, 2015 and the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada since 14th April, 2013. He is the second youngest Prime Minister in Canadian history after Joe Clark. His father, Pierre Trudeau, also served as Canadian Prime Minister from 1968 to 1979 and 1980 to 1984.
Current Governor-General (the Queen’s representative/sovereign representative):
The current Governor-General of Canada is Mary Simon. She has served as the 30th Governor-General of Canada since 26th July, 2021. She is also the first ever person of indigenous descent (Inuk/Inuit) to hold that position in office. She served as Canada’s ambassador to Denmark for three years from 1999 to 2002.
Current Head of State (monarchy):
The current head of state of Canada is Her Majesty (HM) Queen Elizabeth II. She has been the Queen of Canada ever since she ascended the throne on 6th February, 1952 at the age of 25 years. The Queen has officially visited Canada 22 times throughout her reign – her most recent visit to Canada took place in 2010. She has visited Canada on more occasions than any other country in the world, officially opened the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal and appears on the Canadian $20 banknote and all of the Canadian coins.
Due to Canada’s colossal size, Canada has a wide variety of different climate zones. Hence, average temperatures (high and low) vary across Canada according to the location. The southern regions in Canada typically have a humid continental climate with very warm and humid summers and long, cold winters whilst the coastal areas of British Columbia have a maritime temperate climate. The northern regions in Canada tend to be significantly colder than in the southern regions due to its close proximity to the Arctic.
- James Cameron
- Justin Bieber
- Drake (Aubrey Drake Graham)
- Avril Lavigne
- Michael Bublé
- Shawn Mendes
- Mike Myers
- Ryan Reynolds
- Keanu Reeves
- Jim Carrey
Longest-serving Prime Minister:
The longest-serving Prime Minister in Canadian history is William Lyon Mackenzie King. He served as the 10th Prime Minister of Canada for three non-consecutive terms from 1921 to 1926, 1926 to 1930, and from 1935 to 1948. He is most notable for his leadership in Canada during the Great Depression and the Second World War. He also made a significant contribution to Canada during his time in Parliament, particularly in the welfare state of Canada. He had a total of 21 years and 154 days in office.
The largest mall (shopping centre) in Canada is West Edmonton Mall. This shopping mall is very unique because it has its own indoor amusement and water park, indoor wave pool, and indoor lake. Additionally, there are more than 800 stores with a surface area of approximately 500,000 square metres – hence, it is the largest mall by surface area in North America. There are also many other things to do while exploring this enormous mall such as visiting Galaxyland, enjoying delicious gourmet food in restaurants, visiting the massive indoor water park, and even staying over at either of the two hotels close to West Edmonton Mall. It officially opened to the public on 15th September, 1981.
The largest and busiest airport in Canada is Toronto Pearson International Airport. This airport is named after Lester B. Pearson, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957 and served as the 14th Prime Minister of Canada. In 2019, it served 50.5 million passengers. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the airport passenger traffic in 2020 and 2021 has significantly diminished. The airport code for Toronto Pearson is YYZ and its primary airline is Air Canada.
The largest university in Canada is the University of Toronto in terms of enrolment. It has a total enrollment of approximately over 88,000 students across campuses in three different locations. It is also one of the most diverse and multicultural universities in Canada with students coming from more than 160 countries.
Most popular airline (primary airline) in Canada:
The most popular airline in Canada is Air Canada. It is also the largest airline in Canada by passenger traffic and fleet size. Its corporate headquarters are situated in Montreal, which was the host city for the 1976 Summer Olympics.
Lacrosse is the national summer sport of Canada whilst ice hockey is the national winter sport of Canada. However, there are also many other sports played in Canada such as curling, rugby, soccer, Canadian football, basketball, athletics, swimming, baseball, skiing, snowboarding, badminton, and golf.
Pros and Cons of Canada:
- Canadians are known for their amiable and affable demeanour.
- Canada is a very diverse and multicultural country.
- Canada is a welcoming country for immigrants.
- Canada is a beautiful country to visit.
- Canada has an excellent education system.
- Canada is a democratic country.
- Canada has a very low crime rate.
- Canada has an abundance of natural attractions.
- Canada enjoys a high quality of life and high standards of living.
- Canada is a safe country to live in.
- Canada is a peaceful country.
- Winters in Canada are very harsh, snowy, and frigid.
- Canada can be an expensive place to live.
- Travelling between cities in Canada can be difficult, particularly by car.
- Domestic flights in Canada are quite expensive.
- Government control in Canada can be an inconvenience.
- Taxes are quite high in Canada.
Fascinating facts about Canada:
- Canada is the largest country by surface area in the Commonwealth.
- Canada is the coldest country in the Commonwealth as well as one of the coldest countries in the world.
- Canada is often referred to as the “Great White North”.
- Canada is the second largest country in the world by surface area, after Russia.
- Canada has the longest coastline than any other country in the world.
- Canada has the highest number of lakes across every other country in the world.
- Canada has one of the most successful sporting teams in the world in both ice hockey and curling.
- Canada is the largest country by surface area in the Western Hemisphere.
- Canada has participated in every Commonwealth Games event ever since it first took place in 1930 in Hamilton, Ontario.
- Canada has won at least one gold medal in every Commonwealth Games event since it commenced for the first time in 1930.
- Canada is well known for its maple syrup and unique poutine dishes.
- Canadians drive on the right side of the road, like their neighbouring country, the United States of America (USA).
- The country code top-level domain for Canada is .ca.
- Pink Shirt Day initially launched in 2007 in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.
- Canada is one of the least densely and most sparsely populated countries in the world.
- Canuck is an informal term or slang word for a Canadian.
- Canada is one of the original or founding member nations of the Commonwealth.
- Canada has the second highest number of trees in the world, after Russia – it is home to approximately 318 billion trees.
- Canada has the third largest forest cover or forest area in the world, after Russia and Brazil.
- Canada and the United States both share the longest international land border in the world which is approximately 8,891 kilometres (8,891 km) long in length.
Best time to visit Canada:
The best time to visit Canada would generally be between May and September, due to the higher frequency of daylight, pleasant weather, long, sunny days, and warmer temperatures. Summer is also the most ideal time for tourists and visitors to enjoy the beautiful outdoors, Canada’s fine natural beauty and attractions, kayaking, water rafting and boat cruises, visit the hiking or tramping trails and explore the phenomenal national parks that Canada has to offer.
However, for those who love and enjoy cold weather, snow, ice skating and winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding and ice hockey, the best time would usually be between December and March.
Why people should visit Canada:
I believe that people should visit Canada because Canada is a beautiful country with an abundance of lakes, rivers, forests and natural attractions. Canada has been blessed with magnificent landscapes and natural scenery for both tourists and locals to enjoy viewing while exploring the outdoors and nature. Canada is also known for its unique poutine dishes, maple syrup, ice hockey, diversity and multiculturalism, unique accents, and Indigenous culture. Moreover, there are many other things to do whilst visiting Canada such as learning about the history of Canada, exploring different cities, visiting Niagara Falls, participating in the Edgewalk at the CN Tower in Toronto and learning more about its unique wildlife and things that are native to Canada.
Famous tourist attractions:
- Niagara Falls, Ontario
- CN Tower, Toronto
- Rideau Canal, Ottawa
- Parliament Hill, Ottawa
- Canadian War Museum, Ottawa
- National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
- Bay of Fundy
- Vancouver Island
- The Rocky Mountains (The Rockies)
- Calaway Park, Springbank, Alberta