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Covering most of the northern part of the North American continent and with an area larger than that of the United States, Canada has an extremely varied topography. In the east, the mountainous maritime provinces have an irregular coastline on the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Atlantic.

Capital : Ottawa

Largest city : Toronto

Total area : 9,984,670 sq Km or 3,854,085 sq m.


Canada is often associated with cold weather and snow, but in reality, its climate is as diverse as its landscape. Generally, Canadians enjoy four very distinct seasons, particularly in the more populated regions along the US border. Daytime summer temperatures can rise to 35°C and higher, while lows of -25°C are not uncommon in winter. More moderate temperatures are the norm in spring and fall.

  • Summers can be hot and dry on the prairies, humid in central Canada, and milder on the coasts.
  • Spring is generally pleasant across the country.
  • Autumns are often crisp and cool, but brightened by rich orange and red leaves on trees.
  • Winters are generally cold with periods of snow


The regional disparities in Canada’s economy continue to widen, with resource-rich provinces outgrowing the rest of the country by leaps and bounds.

In the Maritimes, the fastest-growing economy by far was Newfoundland, whose offshore oil wealth is quickly transforming the province from one of Canada’s poorest to one of Canada’s richest — at least in terms of the economic data. The province still has the highest ratio of job seekers to jobs in the country, making it a poor place to look for work.

Some economists have begun to express concerns about the economic imbalances caused by a booming energy sector and have begun to lament the loss of economic diversity that is taking place as Canada’s manufacturing sector struggles to grow while energy exports continue to grow.

$1.992 trillion (2014)

$2.149 Trillion (2015 est)


Throughout Canada's history, its culture has been influenced by European culture and traditions, especially British and French, and by its own indigenous cultures. Canadians come from many different racial and religious backgrounds. Consequently, it is not easy to define a typical Canadian family. Although the majority of Canadians are Catholic or Protestant, many belong to other religions. Some cultural characteristics, however, are shared by most Canadians. Unique cultures are encouraged.


Canada is a parliamentary democracy: its system of government holds that the law is the supreme authority. The Constitution Act, 1867 , which forms the basis of Canada's written constitution, provides that there shall be one Parliament for Canada, consisting of three distinct elements: the Crown, the Senate and the House of Commons. However, as a federal state, responsibility for lawmaking in Canada is shared among one federal, ten provincial and three territorial governments. Canada is also a constitutional monarchy, in that its executive authority is vested formally in the Queen through the Constitution.


Canada, which has been inhabited by natives including the First Nations and the Inuit for about 10,000 years, was first visited by Europeans around 1000, when the Vikings briefly had a settlement.

More permanent European visits came in the 16th and 17th century, as the French settled here.

They traded much of their lands with the British in 1763, and after the American Revolution, many British Loyalists settled in Canada.

With the passing of the British North America Act the British government granted the request of the French and English leaders of the colony of Canada, the status of an self-governing country on July 1, 1867.

More definitive independence came in 1931 with the Statute of Westminster, and in 1982 with the repatriation of Canada's constitution.

On July 7, 1969 French was made equal to English throughout the Canadian national government.

In the second half of the 20th century, some citizens of the French-speaking province of Quebec have sought independence, but two referendums have been defeated, albeit marginally in the last case (50.6% were against independence).

History of Canada