Canada occupies the whole northern part of North America and many islands, e.g. Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, and Vancouver. It lies between the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. In south it borders with the USA. Canada is the second largest country in the world and its area is about 10 million km2.
In the south there is the Great Lakes Area which is the largest area of fresh water in the world. There are famous Niagara Falls between Lake Erie and Ontario. We can find also other big and beautiful lakes in Canada, e.g. Great Bear Lake, Great Slave Lake, Lake Winnipeg, etc.
Canada has large mountain areas – the Rocky Mountains, the Mackenzie Mountains and the Melville Hills. The highest mountain is Mt. Logan in the Alaska Region. The longest river is the Mackenzie and other big river are the Yukon, the Fraser, the Columbia and the river St. Lawrence.
The climate varies from Arctic climate in the North with winter temperatures minus 50 degrees Celsius, to moderate climate in the east and west. The north of the country near the Artic is a cold tundra with large and beautiful forests to the south. The central plains form the prairie.
Canada’s population is about 26 million inhabitants. The density is one of the lowest. 89% of the land has no permanent population. 80% Canadians live in large urban centers located within 300km of the southern border. More than 40% are of British origin, 30% of French origin, 20% of continental European origin and the rest is made by Eskimos or Indians. 60% of population speaks English, about 30% speak French, the rest are languages spoken by various ethnic minorities. Interesting is that the name Canada comes from the original inhabitants. Indians used the world “kanata” which means village.
The original inhabitants came to Canada some 10.000 or 25.000 years ago from Asia across a land bridge over what is now the Bering Strait. The first Europeans here were the Vikings who discovered Canada more than a thousand years ago. During the Age of Discoveries some navigators landed on the Canadian coast. First it was an Italian Caboto in 1497 but the first real exploration took place only after 1534 when Cartier discovered the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Since the 16th century large territories were occupied by the French but France lost this country in frequent wars with England during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Canada became a British dominion in 1867.
Canada has mainly coal, metal, oil and gas, machine-building and chemical industries which are highly developed. Although only about 7% of the land area is suitable for farming, agriculture is the fifth largest producer of wheat in the world and the second largest wheat exporter. 80% of Canada’s farmland is in the prairies. Other important agricultural items are live-stock production, oats, vegetables, fruits, tobacco, dairy product and leather. Canada is very rich in natural resources – gold, uranium, other metals and oil and gas.
GOVERNMENT TYPE AND ADMI NISTRATION:
Canada is an independent federal parliamentary system with the Queen Elizabeth II. as a head of the state. She is represented in Canada by the Governor-General. The countries supreme body is the Federal Parliament consisting of two houses – The House of Commons and the Senate. The leading figure in political life is the Prime Minister.
Canada is divided into 10 provinces and 2 territories. The biggest province is the Quebec City. The capital of Canada is Ottawa. The biggest city is Toronto and other large cities are Montreal, Vancouver, Hamilton and Winnipeg.
Canada is the member of many international organizations.