Canada is the world’s second-largest country, surpassed only by the Russian Federation. The country is encased by the world’s longest coastline. Distances in Canada can be vast.
The image of Canada as a frigid northern climate is not totally accurate. Much of the north, which is virtually uninhabited, has an arctic climate that is particularly harsh, and ground that is permanently frozen.
There are some two million lakes in Canada, covering about 7.6% of the Canadian landmass. Canada’s terrain incorporates a number of mountain ranges: the Torngats, Appalachians and Laurentians in the east; the Rocky, Coastal and Mackenzie ranges in the west; and Mount St. Elias and the Pelly Mountains in the north. At 6,050 m, Mount Logan in the Yukon is Canada’s tallest peak.
Canada’s first inhabitants crossed what is now the Bering Strait. For thousands of years, the aboriginal population flourished in Canada. The first fully documented exploration by Europeans was that of John Cabot with an English expedition in 1497. Following the British victory over the French in 1763, Canada became a British colony.
Canada’s population is over 30 million with the vast majority (77%) living in cities and towns. The largest cities in Canada are: Toronto (4.44 million), Montréal (3.33 million), Vancouver (1.89 million), Ottawa-Hull, the National Capital Region (1.03 million).
The maple leaf was used as a symbol of Canada as early as 1700. Since February 15, 1965, a red maple leaf has been on the national flag of Canada. It has become our most well-known and important symbol.
Canada has two official languages: English, the mother tongue of about 59% of Canadians; and French, the first language of 23% of the population. A full 18% have either more than one mother tongue or a mother tongue other than English or French, such as Chinese, Italian, German, Polish, Spanish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Ukrainian, Arabic, Dutch, Tagalog, Greek, Vietnamese, Cree, Inuktitut, or other languages.
Canada is a constitutional monarchy and a federal state with a democratic parliament.
Canada’s economy is made up of many different industries. There are three main types of industries in Canada: natural resources, manufacturing and services.