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Western Brook Pond, Terranuova (Newfoundland), Canada. Author Matt MacGillivray (qmnonic). Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution
Western Brook Pond, Terranuova (Newfoundland), Canada. Author Matt MacGillivray (qmnonic)

Canada: untouched nature and economic power

Canada (Canada) is a federal monarchy associated with the British Commonwealth, composed of 10 provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador) and 3 territories (Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut). The country borders in the north with the Arctic Ocean, to the west with Alaska and the Pacific Ocean, to the south with the United States, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean.

Canada (9,970,610 sq. km surface), which occupies more than 40% of the territory of North America, is the second largest country in the world after Russia. The Canadian territory can be divided into six major geographical areas: the Canadian Arctic archipelago, the Canadian Shield, the Central Plains, the Rocky Mountains and Coast Mountains, the system of Appalachian mountainous, the St. Lawrence basin and Great Lakes.

The Canadian Arctic Archipelago is made up of several islands including some of notable size, as the Baffin Islands (476,065 sq km, the fifth largest island in the world), Ellesmere (212,687 sq km), Victoria (212,198 sq km), Banks, Melville, Prince of Wales, Somerset, Devon and Axel Heiberg.

Canada Map

Canada Map

The Canadian Shield, a vast region, deeply eroded by ice, as a centre of the Hudson Bay (a huge internal gulf 1,230,000 sq. km) and extends over Québec, Labrador, Manitoba and most of the Northwest Territories, it’s bordered to the west by the Rocky Mountains and to the east by the St. Lawrence River. To the west, between the Canadian Shield and the Rockies are the Central Plains, the most fertile area of the country that extend into the territories of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Apart from the Central Plains are the Canadian Rocky Mountains, which rise up to 3,954 metres, of Mount Robson, further north, the continuation of these are the Mackenzie, Selwyn and Richardson mountains.

Percé Rock (Rocher percé), Gaspesie, Quebec, Canada, Canada. Author Mélanie Plante (Melle Plante). Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution

Percé Rock (Rocher percé), Gaspesie, Quebec, Canada, Canada. Author Mélanie Plante (Melle Plante)

To the west of the Rocky Mountains, parallel to the Pacific Ocean, are the Coast Mountains, which stretches from north-west to south-east for more than 1,600 km, Mount Waddington (4,019 metres), is the highest peak, here the coast is dotted with inlets, fjords and islands including Vancouver Island (32,134 sq km). Towards north, at the border with Alaska, lies the Saint Elias Mountains, which has the highest mountain of Canada, Mount Logan (5,959 metres). On the other side of the country, along the Atlantic Ocean, the Appalachian mountain range stretches from the island of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and the Gaspé Peninsula to the border with the United States of America, this is the last part of the northern Appalachian Mountains, which in Canada reach the height of 1,268 meters with Mount Jacques-Cartier.

Chateau Frontenac, Quebec, Canada, Canada. Author Ryan Tir. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution

Chateau Frontenac, Quebec, Canada, Canada. Author Ryan Tir

The flat area that includes the basin of the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes, is one of the richest agricultural areas of the country and the main industrial area. With the exception of Lake Michigan, which belongs exclusively to the United States, the other four big lakes are divided between Canada and the United States, are these the Lake Superior (84,131 square kilometres, the second largest lake in the world after Caspian Sea), Lake Huron (61,797, fourth lake in the world), Lake Erie (25,612 sq km) and Lake Ontario (18,941 sq km). In addition to the Great Lakes, Canada presents numerous and large lakes, such as the Great Bear Lake (31,792 sq km), the Great Slave Lake (28,438 sq km), Lake Winnipeg (24,514 sq km), Lake Athabasca (8,080 sq km), Lake Winnipegosis (5,447 sq km), Lake Manitoba (4,706 sq km) and Lake Mistassini (2,335 sq km). The longest river of Canada is the Mackenzie (4,241 km long), which flows into the Arctic Ocean, other major rivers are the Yukon, Fraser and Columbia, flowing in the Pacific Ocean; Saskatchewan, tributary of Lake Winnipeg and San Lorenzo, emissary of Lake Ontario, which flows in the Atlantic Ocean.

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. Author Satoru Kikuchi. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. Author Satoru Kikuchi

Canada is one of the most industrialised countries of the world, rich in raw materials, there are extracted in large quantities coal, iron, silver, uranium, cobalt, potassium, gold, oil, natural gas, nickel, platinum, asbestos, lead, copper , zinc, sulphur. In the country there are major industrial areas concentrated in major urban agglomerations (Montréal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Quebec, Hamilton, Edmonton, Calgary, Saint John, Halifax, Vancouver), there are textile, paper and wood, engineering and pharmaceuticals industries. Of great importance is the production of electricity, mainly from hydroelectric sources. Very important is tourism development due to the presence of areas of great scenic interest and numerous national parks. Very important is fishing for which the country is one of the first exporters to the world (salmon, cod, herring, crabs, lobsters, sturgeon, trout).

Canada is a major exporter of agricultural products, agriculture is widespread in the southern regions of the country, where the climatic conditions are more favourable, the most common crop is wheat (of which Canada is among the top global exporters), but are also cultivated oats, barley, corn, rye, rapeseed, soybeans, potatoes, sugar beets, vegetables, tobacco, fruits (apples, peaches, pears, grapes). Breeding and industry connected to it is another important resource of Canada, there are bred mainly cattle, but also sheep, poultry, pigs, animal fur and horse; are products: milk, butter, salami, and meat. The forest resources, mainly spruce, pine, birch, maple and cedar, are of enormous importance, well developed is pulping and paper mills industry.

  • Area: 9,970,610 sqkm. (Arable 4,6%, Pastures 2,8%, Forests and Woodlands 49,5%, Uncultivated and Unproductive 43,1%)
  • Population: 31,612,000 (2006 data) (English 20.2%, French 15.8%, Scottish 14.0%, Irish 12.9%, German 9.3%, Italian 4.3%, Cinese 3.7%, Ukrainian 3.6%, and First Nations 3.4%; Data 2001).
  • State Capital: Ottawa.
  • Languages: Official languages: English (17,882,775; 60%) and French (6,817,655; 23%). Among the unofficial languages spoken by 6,147,840 people include: Chinese (1,012,065), Italian (455,040), German (450,570). (2006 data)
  • Religion: Christian 77.1% (Roman Catholic 43.6%; Protestant 29.2%; Orthodox 1.6%) Muslim 1.9%, Jewish 1.1%, Buddhism 1%; Hinduism 1%.
  • Currency: Canadian Dollar (CAD)
  • Time: Canada includes 6 time zones: (UTC-3.5 to -8) – Summer (DST) (UTC-2.5 to -7)

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