Canada with it's capital Otawa became a self-governing dominion in 1867 while retaining ties to the British crown, being a land of vast distances and rich natural resources.
Canada is bordered at the 49th parallel by the United States, on the north by the North Pole, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by the Pacific Ocean.
Canada is the second largest country in the world in area, after Russia, and has the longest coastline of any country in the world, being next to the Pacific, Arctic, and Atlantic Oceans.
Native people lived in what is now Canada for thousands of years before the first Europeans arrived. They are known as the First Nations and the Inuit people. The Metis have part First Nations and part European backgrounds.
The Vikings were the first European
s known to land in Canada, in what is now Newfoundland. They did not stay there long, however. In the early 16th century, Europeans started exploring Canada's eastern coast, beginning with John Cabot for England in 1497, and later Jacques Cartier in 1534 from France. Alexander Mackenzie later reached the Pacific coast over land, where captains Cook and Vancouver went by sea.
A large number of immigrants from almost every part of the world come to live in Canada. Canada has a greater mix of people with different backgrounds than almost anywhere on Earth.
Major Cities :
- Toronto, in Ontario;
- Montreal, in Quebec;
- Vancouver, in British Columbia;
- Calgary, in Alberta;
- Ottawa, in Ontario;
- Edmonton, in Alberta;
- Quebec City, in Quebec;
- Winnipeg, in Manitoba;
- Hamilton, in Ontario;
- Halifax, in Nova Scotia;
- St. John's, in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Canada is a very cold and snowy place. In some cities the temperature can get very cold in the winter; however, most of Canada can get quite hot in the summer, often over 30 degrees Celsius. On the Pacific coast, there is a lot of rain but very little snow.
Today, about 25% of Canadians speak French as their first language. Many people can speak both French and English. Although most French Canadians live in the province of Quebec, there are French-speaking communities and people all across Canada. For example, 40% of the people in the province of New Brunswick and 20% of those in Manitoba have a strong French background, as do people in Ontario, mainly along its border with Quebec.