Canada stretched from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, from the Arctic Ocean to the USA border. Canada is vast, it is varied, it is awe-inspiring, it is unique, and so are the people living here and calling the great country home. Our landscape and seascape is more diverse than in any other country in the world.
Canada is divided up into ten Provinces and three Territories. The Territories are from east to west, Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon. The Provinces are, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Québec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. See our map of Canada.
- Total land area – 9,984,670 km²
- Population – 34,372,000
- Coastline – 243,042 km
- Capital – Ottawa
- Language – English and French
Population wise, Canada has 3.6 times more people then Sweden, 4.4 times more then Switzerland, Great Britain has 1.8 times more people, and USA 8.9 times more people
If we look at the population per km² Canada has 3.41 people per km², Sweden 21/km², Switzerland 188/km², Great Britain 383/km², and USA 29.7/km².
Indigenous people lived in various areas of what we now call Canada for over 26,000 years. In the northern Yukon from 26,500 years ago, and in southern Ontario from 9,500 years ago. They lived in harmony with nature and developed a extreme keen sense of survival in an often harsh land and climate.
Europeans first arrived when Norse sailors settled briefly at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland around 1000. However there are now evidence that Europeans might have visited Baffin Island in Nunavut several hundred years before the Vikings (see the history on Nunavut).
No further European exploration occurred until 1497, when Italian seafarer Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot) explored Canada's Atlantic coast for England.
Between 1498 and 1521, Basque and Portuguese mariners established seasonal whaling and fishing outposts along the Atlantic coast. In 1534 Jacques Cartier explored the Saint Lawrence River for France. French explorer Samuel de Champlain arrived in 1603 and established the first permanent European settlements at Port Royal in 1605 and Québec City in 1608.
Jumping ahead in history a little... To open the West, the government sponsored construction of three transcontinental railways. This opened the prairies to settlement with that the North-West Mounted Police was founded to assert its authority over this territory.
In 1898, after the Klondike Gold Rush in the Northwest Territories, the Canadian government created the Yukon Territory. In the following years the continental European immigrants settled on the prairie provinces. Alberta and Saskatchewan became provinces in 1905 and Newfoundland (now Newfoundland and Labrador) joined Canada in 1949. More on Canada's history
Canada has two official languages, English and French. English is spoken by 60% and French by 23%. There are 11 Aboriginal language groups in Canada. They are made up of more than 65 distinct dialects.
Of these, only Cree, Inuktitut and Ojibwa have a large enough population of fluent speakers to be considered viable to survive in the long term. Several aboriginal languages have official status in the Northwest Territories (see languages in Northwest Territories). Inuktitut is the majority language in Nunavut, and one of three official languages in the territory.
Over six million people in Canada list a non-official language as their mother tongue. Some of the most common non-official first languages include Chinese, Italian, German, Punjabi, and Spanish.
Canada Tourist Information
You really have your work cut out if you want to discover all of Canada. This website is a good place to start, then take a trip to Travel Canada's website.
In this wonderful country of ours you can enjoy and do just about anything your heart desires.
Walking on a sandy beach any time of year, you got it! Golfing any time of year, you got it. Skiing any time of year, fishing any time of year, horse back riding, camping, kayaking, hiking, shopping.... Guess what, you got it all in Canada, any time of year. And one can do it in political freedom.
Coast to coast this great country of Canada has voluminous adventures to explore. Let us know what you would like to do and will try to send you off in the right direction. Canada, Yours to Discover.