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Land Area

Canada is the second largest country in the world (9.093.507 sq km), after Russia.



Ottawa, located in the Province of Ontario.


Provinces and Territories

Canada has ten Provinces and three Territories, each with its own capital: Alberta, Edmonton; British Columbia, Victoria; Manitoba, Winnipeg; New Brunswick, Fredericton; Newfoundland, St. John’s; Nova Scotia, Halifax; Ontario, Toronto; Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown; Quebec, Quebec City; Saskatchewan, Regina; Northwest Territories, Yellowknife; Nunavut, Iqaluit; and Yukon Territory, Whitehorse.



Canada is a vast nation with a wide variety of geological formations. It consists of prairie grasslands, mountains, lakes, rivers, forests and tundra.



Canada has a great variety of climatic conditions, varying from the glass lawyers of the North to the luxuriant vegetation of the west coast of British Columbia. The most populated regions of Canada, located in the south, along the United States border, enjoy four distinct seasons.


During the day, temperatures can reach 35ºC or more, while in winter they often go bellow 25ºC. Mild temperatures are usual in spring and fall.


Parks and Historic Places

Canada has 39 national parks, which cover approximately 2 per cent of the country’s total area. Banff, located in the Rocky Mountains, western Alberta, is the oldest park of the country, formally established in 1885; Tuktut Nogait, located in the Northwest Territories, was established in 1996. There are about 850 national historic places, to honour the people, places and historic events. Canada has also more than 1000 provincial parks and approximately 50 territorial parks.



Canada embraces a vast mountain system: the Torngats, the Appalachcians and the Laurentians in the east; the Rocky, the Coastal and the Mackenzie in the west; the Mount St. Elias and the Pelly Mountains in the north; and the Mount Logan in Yukon, which is the highest point in Canada, with 5 959 meters. 



There are approximately two million lakes in Canada, covering about 7.6% of the territory. Canada’s main lakes, ordered by area, are Lake Huron, Lake Great Bear, Lake Superior, Lake Great Slave, Lake Winnipeg, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. The largest lake located entirely in Canada is Lake Great Bear (31 328 sq km) in Northwest Territories.



St. Lawrence River (3 058 km length) is the most important Canadian river. It connects the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. The longest Canadian river is River Mackenzie, which runs 4 211km through the Northwest Territories. Other important rivers are Yukon (which also runs through the United States), Nelson, Churchill and Fraser. The main effluents are Saskatchewan, Ottawa, Athabasca and Liard


Time Zones

There are six different time zones in Canada: the most occidental, in Newfoundland, which marks 3 hours and 30 minutes before the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), the Atlantic, the East, the Centre, the Rocky Mountains, and in the Orient, the Pacific, which marks 8 hours before the GMT.



Canada is a confederation with a parliamentary democracy. The Parliament, located in Ottawa, consists of the House of Commons, whose members are elected, and the Senate, whose members are appointed. The members of the Parliament are elected every four years.


Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms was added to the Constitution of Canada and guarantees to citizens fundamental freedoms and rights, which can not be altered by any power. It includes the rights to combat discrimination, to move through Canada, enjoy security, as well as the freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assemblies.





National Symbol

The red maple leaf has always been associated to Canada. In 1868, it appeared in the coat of arms used in Ontario and Quebec, as well as in the troops’ badges in both World Wars. In 1965, with the introduction of the Canadian flag, the red maple leaf became the most important national symbol of the country.


The Flag

Many were those who collaborated in the flag’s conception. Jacques St. Cyr proposed the red maple leaf; George Bist proposed the flag’s dimension; and Dr. Gunter Wyszechi the colours. The final decision was made by a parliamentary commission composed by 15 members. After a long discussion, the parliament adopted the new flag, on February 15, 1965, which became the date of the commemoration of the Day of the Flag.



The anthem “Canada” was written in 1880, with music by Calixa Cavallée and lyrics by Judge Adolphe-Basile Routhier. In 1908, Robert Stanley Weir translated the anthem into English. On July 1, 1980, a century after being interpreted for the first time, the anthem “Canada” was proclaimed as Canada’s National Anthem.



The Canadian dollar is divided into 100 cents.



In 2000 Canadian population was of 30.7 million inhabitants.


Main Cities

Canada’s main cities are Toronto (4.68 million inhabitants), Montreal (3.43 million inhabitants), Vancouver (2.01 million inhabitants) and Ottawa-Hull, National Capital Region (1.06 million inhabitants).


Population Distribution

Approximately 77% of Canadian population live in cities and villages.


Family members

In 1998, the Canadian family members’ average was 3.1, including 1.2 children.  



Cost of living

Considering the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, Canada’s standard of living is the sixth highest in the world, after the United States, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Germany and Japan. This position may ascend if we consider life expectancy and education, which also pay an important contribute to the country’s quality of life. 


Health Care and Social Insurance

All basic health care, except dental care, is free. In many cases, medicines are free to all citizens with more than 65 years old and to all who are entitled to social aid. Canada also offers a wide net of social insurance support, which includes Old Age Security Pension, Family Allowances, unemployment insurance and social well-being.



In 1996, approximately 3% of Canadian citizens belonged to one or more of the three native groups recognized by the Constitutional law of 1982: the North-American Indians, the Metis and the Inuit. In addition, 69% are North-American Indians, 26% Metis and 5% Inuit.



According to the 1991 census, about 46% of Canadian citizens are Roman Catholic, and 36% Protestants. Other religions are Judaism, Islamism, Hinduism, Sikhs and Buddhists. Approximately 12.5% of the population have no religious belief.



Canada has two official languages: English, mother tongue to about 59% of the population, and French, first language to 23% of the population. The remaining 18% have more than one mother tongue or a nonofficial language, such as the Chinese, the Italian, German, Polish, Spanish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Ukrainian, Arabian, Dutch, Tagalog, Greek, Vietnamit, Cree, Inuktitut and others.  


Due to the Official Languages Law, French and English are Canada’s official languages. This law also includes the encouragement and support of the development of those two languages within the small communities. In addition, all services provided by Canada’s Federal institutions are available in English and French.




Ethnic Origin

In 1996, Canada’s ethnic identities were the following: about 19% of the population reported to be “Canadian”, 17% reported to be from the British Isles and only 9% of French origin. Approximately 26% reported more than one ethnic group: 10% a combination between British, French, Canadian, and 16% between British, French, Canadian and other origins. Finally, about 28% reported other ethnic origins.



Educational systems in Canada, which are different from province to province, consist of 6 or 8 years in elementary school, 4 or 5 years in secondary school and 3 or 4 years in university. The 1996 census showed that 23% of all children of compulsory school age finished secondary school, approximately 9% had a bachelors degree and about 6% a masters.



The most popular sports in Canada are swimming, ice hockey, cross-country, ski, baseball, tennis, basketball and golf. Ice hockey and lacrosse are Canada’s national sports.


Natural Resources

Canada’s main natural resources are natural gas, petroleum, gold, coal, copper, steel, nickel, potassium, uranium, zinc, as well as wood and water.


Main Industries

Canada’s main industries are motor vehicles, wood pulp, steel, iron, machinery and equipment, mines, fossil fuels, forestry and agriculture.



Canada’s main exports are motor vehicles and car pieces, industrial machinery and equipment, high technology, crude petroleum, natural gas, metals, agriculture and forestry.



- Province of Ontario

- Province of Quebec

- Province of Manitoba

- Province of British Columbia

- Province of Alberta

Canada Flag
Azorean Emigration to Canada

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