Where is Canada located?

What countries border Canada?

Canada Weather

What is the current weather in Canada?


Canada Facts and Culture

What is Canada famous for?

  • Food and Recipes: Most Canadians eat three times a day. Breakfast can be a small meal of cereal, toast, yogurt or some fruit.... More
  • Family: Family life in Canada is as diverse as the country. In some areas, family size is small, and multigenerational families... More
  • Fashion: Some people think of Canada as a place where snow and cold weather are present year round, which can severely... More
  • Visiting: When visiting a Canadian home or family, trust your instincts and remain open and friendly in their home. They will... More
  • Recreation: Sports and recreation play a significant role in the social fabric of Canada. Popular national sports include Canadian football, basketball,... More
  • Cultural Attributes: Despite close ties to the United States, Canadians emphasize they are not Americans living in a northern country. To be... More

Canada Facts

What is the capital of Canada?

Capital Ottawa
Government Type federal parliamentary democracy (Parliament of Canada) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm; federal and state authorities and responsibilities regulated in constitution
Currency Canadian dollars (CAD)
Total Area 3,855,081 Square Miles
9,984,670 Square Kilometers
Location Northern North America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean on the east, North Pacific Ocean on the west, and the Arctic Ocean on the north, north of the conterminous US
Language English (official) 58.8%, French (official) 21.6%, other 19.6%
GDP - real growth rate 1.2%
GDP - per capita (PPP) $46,200.00 (USD)

Canada Demographics

What is the population of Canada?

Ethnic Groups British Isles origin 28%, French origin 23%, other European 15%, Amerindian 2%, other, mostly Asian, African, Arab 6%, mixed background 26%
Nationality Adjective Canadian
Nationality Noun Canadian(s)
Population 37,694,085
Population Growth Rate 0.77%
Population in Major Urban Areas Toronto 5.573 million; Montreal 3.856 million; Vancouver 2.267 million; Calgary 1.216 million; OTTAWA (capital) 1.208 million; Edmonton 1.142 million
Predominant Language English (official) 58.8%, French (official) 21.6%, other 19.6%
Urban Population 80.7%

Canada Government

What type of government does Canada have?

  • Executive Branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Julie PAYETTE (since 2 October 2017) head... More
  • Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal More
  • Citizenship: citizenship by birth: yes citizenship by descent: yes dual citizenship recognized: yes residency requirement for naturalization: minimum of 3 of last 5 years... More
  • National Holiday: Canada Day, 1 July (1867) More
  • Constitution: made up of unwritten and written acts, customs, judicial decisions, and traditions dating from 1763; the written part of the... More
  • Independence: 1 July 1867 (union of British North American colonies); 11 December 1931 (recognized by UK per Statute of Westminster) More

Canada Geography

What environmental issues does Canada have?

  • Overview: The world's second largest country in land area (3,851,809 square miles), Canada is bordered on the north by the Arctic... More
  • Climate: The climate varies greatly in the many diversified regions ranging from frigid to mild, but Canada generally may be described... More
  • Border Countries: US 8,893 km (includes 2,477 km with Alaska) More
  • Environment - Current Issues: air pollution and resulting acid rain severely affecting lakes and damaging forests; metal smelting, coal-burning utilities, and vehicle emissions impacting... More
  • Environment - International Agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine... More
  • Terrain: mostly plains with mountains in west and lowlands in southeast More

Canada Economy

How big is the Canada economy?

Canada News & Current Events

What current events are happening in Canada?
Source: Google News

Interesting Canada Facts

What unique things can you discover about Canada?

  • The most extreme tides occur in the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia. There the water level rises and falls more than 50 feet every six hours. The tide here comes in so fast that it can overtake a person trying to outrun it.
  • Dr. Frederick Banting and Dr. J.J.R. Macleod of the University of Toronto won the Nobel Prize in 1923 for the discovery of insulin. Their discovery has allowed diabetics around the world to live long, healthy lives.
  • Dr. Norman Bethune was a Canadian who ran the first mobile blood transfusion service during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. In 1938 he went to China, where he served as chief medical officer during the Japanese invasion. The Chinese honor him as one of their greatest heroes.
  • The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto is a leading world research center on children's health.
  • Canadian James Naismith invented basketball in 1891. For the first game, he used peach baskets nailed to a gymnasium balcony.
  • When the French explorer Jacques Cartier traveled up the St. Lawrence River in 1534, he asked the indigenous peoples what they called their land. They answered "Kanata." In Huron-Iroquois the word meant village, but Cartier wrote "Canada" on his map for the whole country.
  • Niagara Falls is one of Canada's most famous landmarks. The Canadian falls are 54 meters high and horseshoe-shaped. Part of the huge volume of water in the Niagara River has been diverted from the falls; it enters an underground tunnel leading to a hydroelectric plant.
  • Most Inuit live in Canada's newest territory, Nunavut, in Canada's Far North. Nunavut became Canada's third territory in April 1999. The word "Inuit" means "the people" in Inuktitut. The territory has about 20,000 inhabitants.
  • Canada's smallest province, Prince Edward Island, is connected to the mainland by a long bridge that opened in 1998. The 12.9-km-long Confederation Bridge was designed by Canadian engineers to withstand ice, wind, and even boats crashing into it.
  • In 1980, amateur athlete Terry Fox attempted to run across Canada and raise money to find a cure for cancer after he lost his right leg to the disease. He died of cancer before he could finish his run. Every fall Canadians from coast to coast uphold his dream by jogging, walking and running to raise money for cancer research.
  • The Toronto Film Festival is the second largest in the world, and Toronto and Vancouver are important centers of film-making.
  • The world's largest mall is the West Edmonton Mall which occupies 5.3 million square feet. More than 800 stores and services reside there.
  • In Atlantic Canada (Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Newfoundland) the birthday child better watch out. Many are ambushed so their nose can be greased for good luck. The greased nose makes the child too slippery for bad luck to catch them. This tradition is reputed to be of Scottish decent.

    In Quebec, the birthday person often receives a punch for each year they are alive and then one for good luck.
  • Canada is the largest country in the world that borders only one country. The United States of America is to the south, but Canada is surrounded by oceans on all other sides (North Atlantic, North Pacific and Arctic).
  • Students from all over the world come to Montreal to learn to be acrobats, trapeze artists, dancers and actors at Ecole Nationale du Cirque. This circus school works closely with the world-famous Cirque du Soleil.
  • The one-dollar coin is called the "Loonie" because of the image of a loon on one side. When the two-dollar coin was minted, Canadians called it the "Toonie."
  • When Canada was a more rural society, parents often had many children to help run the family farm. Today less than a quarter of all Canadians live in rural areas. Families tend to be smaller. The average family size is only three people.
  • There are over 30 billion honey bees in Canada. Their numbers have turned Canada into one of the top five honey producers in the world.
  • Over the past 25 years the top three non-official languages spoken in Canadian homes have changed significantly. In 1971, the top three languages were Italian, German and Ukrainian. In 1996, they were Chinese, Italian and Punjabi.
  • The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) provides national radio and television services in English and French. It broadcasts Canadian culture from coast to coast. APTV is a television station that highlights indigenous culture.
  • Some Canadians who practice native spirituality pray every day using a smudge bowl. In the bowl they burn cedar and sage, which are women's medicines, with tobacco and sweet grass, which are men's medicines. Burning them together creates a balance. A sacred eagle feather is passed through the smoke.
  • The indigenous peoples taught fur-trading voyageurs how to pack pemmican for their long journeys. Pemmican was made by pounding buffalo meat with fat and berries and packing it into leather pouches.
  • Canada's first school was founded in Trois Rivières in 1616. Laval University is Canada's oldest university. It traces its roots to the Jesuit Seminary of Laval, established in 1663.
  • At Confederation in 1867, Quebec kept its Catholic school system. When Newfoundland joined Confederation in 1949, it also kept its church-based school system. In 1997, the citizens of Newfoundland voted to abolish this system. Quebec has also changed its church-run school system.
  • Canadians have a reputation for being reserved and polite, yet informal. They usually address each other by their first names. Most people shake hands when they meet for the first time. Close friends may greet each other with a hug.
  • In the Yellowknife Dene (Northwest Territories) area, when a child loses a tooth the mother or grandmother might take the tooth and put it in a tree, then the family dances around it. This makes certain that the new tooth will grow in as straight as a tree.
  • When Canadian children lose their teeth, many of them put the tooth under their pillow and the Tooth Fairy comes.
  • Canadian natives are famous for totem poles. People carve animal faces one on top of the other into large logs. Each family has their own pole and the different animals on their poles have different meanings. They are used to tell stories about the family who made them.

Watch video on Canada

What can you learn about Canada in this video?

Canada Guide YouTube, Expoza Travel

Canada Travel Information

What makes Canada a unique country to travel to?

Country Description

Canada is the second largest country in the world in land area, and has large mountain ranges and extensive coastlines. Tourist facilities are widely available in much of the country, but the northern and wilderness areas are less developed and facilities there can be vast distances apart. It is a highly developed stable democracy with a vibrant economy. English and French are the official languages.

Crime

Although Canada generally has a lower crime rate than the United States, violent crimes do occur throughout the country, especially in urban areas. Visitors to large cities should be aware that parked cars are regularly targeted for opportunistic smash-and-grab thefts, and they are cautioned to avoid leaving any possessions unattended in a vehicle, even in the trunk. Due to the high incidence of such crimes, motorists in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and some other jurisdictions can be fined for leaving their car doors unlocked or for leaving valuables in view.

Auto theft in Montreal and Vancouver, including theft of motor homes and recreational vehicles, may even occur in patrolled and apparently secure parking lots and decks. SUVs appear to be particular targets of organized theft.

While Canadian gun control laws are much stricter than those in the United States, such laws have not prevented gun-related violence in certain areas.

Be aware of your surroundings. As in the United States, travelers in popular tourist areas may be targeted by pickpockets and other petty criminals.

In many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available. Do not buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.

Criminal Penalties

While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Canada’s laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Canada are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Canadian law prohibits the unlawful importation or trafficking of controlled substances and narcotics. Smugglers risk substantial fines, a permanent bar from Canada, and imprisonment.

Based on the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, bilateral agreements with certain countries, and customary international law, if you are arrested in Canada, you have the option to request that the police, prison officials, or other authorities alert the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate of your arrest, and to have communications from you forwarded to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Importation of Firearms: Firearms are much more strictly controlled in Canada than in the United States. Violation of firearms restrictions may result in prosecution and imprisonment.

Visitors bringing any firearms into Canada, or planning to borrow and use firearms while in Canada, must declare the firearms in writing using a Non-Resident Firearm Declaration form. Visitors planning to borrow a firearm in Canada must obtain a Temporary Firearms Borrowing License in advance. These forms must be presented in triplicate and signed in front of a CBSA officer at the border (it is not possible to make photocopies at the border). Full details and downloadable forms are available at the Canadian Firearms Centre website, under the heading "Visitors / Non Residents."

Canadian law requires that officials confiscate any firearms and weapons from persons crossing the border who deny having the items in their possession. Confiscated firearms and weapons are never returned. Possession of an undeclared firearm may result in arrest and imprisonment. Travelers are strongly advised to inspect all belongings thoroughly prior to travel to Canada to avoid the accidental import of ammunition or firearms.

Canada has three classes of firearms: non-restricted, restricted, and prohibited.

Non-restricted firearms include most ordinary hunting rifles and shotguns.

These may be brought temporarily into Canada for sporting or hunting use during hunting season, use in competitions, in-transit movement through Canada, or personal protection against wildlife in remote areas of Canada.

Anyone wishing to bring hunting rifles into Canada must:

Be at least 18 years old;
Properly store the firearm for transport; and
Follow the declaration requirements described above.

Restricted firearms are primarily handguns; while they are not firearms, pepper spray, mace, and some knives also are included in this category.

A restricted firearm may be brought into Canada, but an Authorization to Transport permit must be obtained in advance from a Provincial or Territorial Chief Firearms Officer.

Prohibited firearms include fully automatic, converted automatics and certain military style weapons, including weapons designed for civilian use. A full list of prohibited weapons is available on the Canadian Firearms Centre website. Prohibited firearms are not allowed into Canada.

Pornography: Canada has strict laws concerning child pornography, and in recent years there has been an increase in random checks of electronic media of travelers entering Canada.

Computers and cell phones are subject to searches without a warrant at the border and illegal content can result in the seizure of the computer as well as detention, arrest, and prosecution of the bearer.

Possession of child pornography is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Production and distribution of child pornography is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Browsing for child pornography on the internet is punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Prohibitions cover visual representations of sexual activity by persons (real or imaginary) under the age of 18 and include comic book imagery such as anime and manga.

Alcohol-related driving offenses, such as driving while intoxicated (DWI), driving while ability-impaired, and driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, are criminal offenses in Canada. Penalties are heavy, and any prior conviction (no matter how old or how minor the infraction) is grounds for exclusion from Canada. U.S. citizens with a DWI record must seek approval for rehabilitation from Canadian authorities before traveling to Canada, which requires several weeks or months to process.

Medical Facilities and Health Information

The level of public health and sanitation in Canada is high. Canada’s medical care is of a high standard but is government-controlled. Quick and easy access to ongoing medical care is difficult for temporary visitors who are not members of each province’s government-run health care plans. Many physicians will not take new patients. Access to a specialist is only by referral and may take months to obtain. Emergency room waits can be very long. Some health care professionals in the province of Quebec may speak only French.

Traveler’s medical insurance is highly recommended even for brief visits. No Canadian health care provider accepts U.S. domestic health insurance, and Medicare coverage does not extend outside the United States. Visitors who seek any medical attention in Canada should be prepared to pay cash in full at the time the service is rendered.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions

While in Canada, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Canada is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance. As in the United States, all emergency assistance in Canada can be reached by dialing 911.

Transport Canada is the Canadian federal government agency responsible for road safety, although each province or territory has the authority to establish its own traffic and safety laws and issue driving licenses. For detailed information on road conditions throughout Canada, as well as links to provincial government websites, please see the Transport Canada website or the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) website. The CAA honors American Automobile Association membership. Some automobile warranties of vehicles purchased in the United States may be invalid in Canada; please check the warranty of your vehicle.

Driving in Canada is similar to driving in many parts of the United States. Distances and speeds, however, are posted in kilometers per hour and some signs, particularly in Quebec, may only be in French. U.S. driver’s licenses are valid for visitors in Canada. Proof of auto insurance is required. U.S. auto insurance is accepted as long as an individual is a tourist in Canada. U.S. insurance firms will issue a Canadian insurance card, which should be obtained and carried prior to driving into Canada. For specific information concerning Canadian driving permits, mandatory insurance and entry regulations, please contact the Canadian National Tourist Organization.

Unless otherwise posted, the maximum speed limit in Canada is 50km/hr (32 miles/hr) in cities and 80km/hr (50 miles/hr) on highways. On rural highways, the posted speed limit may be 100km/hr (approximately 60 miles/hr). Seat belt use is mandatory for all passengers, and child car seats must be used by children under 40 pounds.

Some provinces require drivers to keep their vehicles’ headlights on during the day and some have banned driving while using a hand-held cell phone. Motorcycles cannot share a lane, and safety helmets for motorcycle riders and passengers are mandatory.

Many highways do not have merge lanes for entering traffic. Emergency vehicles frequently enter the oncoming traffic lane to avoid congestion. Drivers should be aware that running a red light is a serious concern throughout Canada and motorists are advised to pause before proceeding when a light turns green. Turning right at a red light is prohibited on the Island of Montreal, and motorists are subject to substantial fines.

It is illegal to take automobile radar detectors into Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, the Yukon or the Northwest Territories, regardless of whether they are used or not. Police there may confiscate radar detectors, operational or not, and impose substantial fines.

Winter travel can be dangerous due to heavy snowfalls and hazardous icy conditions. Some roads and bridges are subject to periodic winter closures. Snow tires are required in some provinces. The CAA has tips for winter driving in Canada. Travelers also should be cautious of deer, elk, and moose while driving at night in rural areas.

Highway 401 from Detroit to Montreal, which is one of the busiest highways in North America, has been the scene of numerous deadly traffic accidents due to sudden, severe, and unpredictable weather changes, high rates of speed, and heavy truck traffic.

There have been numerous incidents on Canada highways involving road racing and dangerous truck driving. Drivers can be aggressive, exceeding speed limits and passing on both sides, and police enforcement is spotty. In addition, approaches to border crossings into the United States may experience unexpected traffic backups. Drivers should be alert, as lane restrictions at border approaches exist for drivers in NEXUS and FAST expedited inspection programs.

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