Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. It is located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean. In the south it borders on the USA and this border is the world’s longest land border. There are the Great Lakes with famous Niagara Falls between Lake Erie and Ontario. In Canada we can find also other big and beautiful lakes such as Great Bear Lake, Great Slave Lake or Lake Winnipeg.
Canada is the second largest country in the world after Russia with its area of about 10 million square kilometres. The population of Canada is almost 35 million. The density of population is very low. It’s only from 2 to 3 inhabitants within one square kilometre. The capital city of Canada is Ottawa. Toronto is the biggest city in Canada. Other big cities are Quebec, Montreal, Vancouver, Winnipeg or Calgary.
The name Canada is believed to have originated with the first inhabitants. Indians used the word „kanata“ which means „village“. The first people are thought to arrive from Asia 30,000 years ago crossing from Siberia to Alaska. Some of them settled in Canada. Seeking a new route to the rich markets of Orient, the English and the French explored the waters of North America. In 1497 John Cabot claimed the land for the English Crown, in 1534 Jacques Cartier planted the flag of France on a Gaspé promontory. In 1791 English-speaking Upper Canada and French-speaking Lower Canada were created. In 1867 Constitution Act officially proclaimed Canadian Confederation on July 1, 1867. Originally there were four provinces – Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Brunswick.
It is an English and French speaking country. It means that English and French are the two official languages spoken in Canada. The maple leaf is Canada´s symbol which is most noticeable on the red and white national flag.
The climate varies from Arctic climate in the North with winter temperatures as low as 50 digrees, to moderate climate in the east and west. The north of the country near the Arctic is a cold tundra with large and beautiful forests to the south. The central plains form the prairie.
Canada has large mountain areas – the Rocky Mountains, the Mackenzie Mountains and the Melville Hills. The highest mountain is Mt. Logan (6050 m) in the Alaska Region. The longest river is the Mackenzie (flows from the Rocky Mountains to the Arctic Ocean), other big rivers are Yukon, the Fraser and the Columbia (they flow to the Pacific Ocean)
The Canadian economy is dominated by the service industry, which employs about three-quarters of the country’s workforce. Canada is rich in natural resources – coal, oil, gas, gold, silver, zinc and other ores are found there. Forestry is also important for the Canadian economy because forests cover 44% of the land area. Logging and petroleum industries are the most industries.
Canada is a federal state governed as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state.
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