Overview of Canada

Canada is the second largest country in the world so it offers a wide variety of fascinating places to visit as well as some of world's most spectacular sites in the world. Canada consists of 10 provinces and 3 territories. The newest Canadian territory was Nunavut and this was officially declared in April of 1999.

Canada’s head of state is the British Monarch, but runs a political democracy and is run by its Prime Minister, Stephen Harper. There are 2 official languages in Canada – French and English. French is mostly spoken in Quebec province, although the language is a required subject in schools across the country. The rest of the country speaks English primarily. Canada’s current population is over 32 million.

Canada has a rich native history and it has not always been peaceful between the natives who were there first, and the settlers who arrived hundreds of years later. There have been many land claims and settlements between the natives and the government throughout the years.

Canada prides itself on its diverse culture and peaceful nature. According to not only popular society but also Canadian Acts, it welcomes people of all cultures and races. The Government is committed to providing understanding of people from all different cultures, religions and backgrounds – and this is prevalent throughout Canadian history.

Canada is one of the world’s leading trading nations and is rich in natural resources. Crude oil, minerals, natural gas, copper, iron ore, nickel, coal and cement are just a few of the resources that Canada exports. Manufacturing is also a major industry in Canada. As much as 80% of goods are exported to the U.S. This makes it the largest single bilateral trade relationship in the world.

Canada's national motto is “from sea to sea”. This is because it is bordered by 3 oceans. On the west it is bordered by the Pacific Ocean, on the east it is boarded by the Atlantic Ocean, and the Arctic Sea is to its north. In terms of neighbouring nations, the USA is to its south and to the north is Greenland. An interesting fact is that the USA and Canada share the world's longest border that is unprotected.

Canada has two national sports: hockey and lacrosse. Many provinces have National Hockey League teams that partner with the U.S. as well as many Canadian owned hockey teams. Hockey is Canada's official winter sport and Lacrosse is the official summer sport. Interestingly enough, both ice hockey and lacrosse were actually invented in Canada.

Weather and climate can vary greatly from province to province. The territories are the coldest, being in the northern part of Canada. Southern parts of Canada experience hot, humid summers and bitterly cold winters. Snow accumulation could be great and blizzards are common during December – March. Tornadoes do occur from April to June.

There are many fun and exciting things to see and do in Canada that will give you an idea of the beauty and rich history and culture. Whether you want to take in a hockey game or visit the many museums you can’t help but learn more about Canada and its inhabitants. If you visit Ontario, you will want to visit Niagara Falls, located about an hour outside of Toronto, the province’s capital. This is one of the natural wonders of the world, so it definitely should not be missed out.

If you’re in Quebec, you will want to go on a Maple Syrup tour and try the country’s famous syrup. If you visit British Columbia in the winter, you should go skiing at Whistler which is one of the world's most famous resorts. Even in the summer time, it offers some of the most breathtaking scenery which is great for honeymooners, nature lovers, and families alike. You can also go on some whale watching tours for a glimpse at these beautiful and graceful animals.

New Brunswick and the eastern provinces provide you with a peek at the Irish influence of its people and you will want to taste the fresh-caught lobster. The Northern Territories offer sled dog tours and an education into the history of the Inuit people. Each province offers many dinner cruises, sightseeing tours, native museums and much more.