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Thursday 13th June
Canada Information - Page 1
Canada is situated in northern North America. Its land border is with the United States of America; sea borders are the North Pacific Ocean to the west, the North Atlantic Ocean on the east, and the Arctic Ocean in the north.

Ottawa is the capital. Other important cities include Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg.

Canada is divided into ten provinces and three territories: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut Territory, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan and the Yukon Territory.

The terrain consists of plains, mountains in the west, and lowlands in the southeast. Lakes include Lake Athabasca, the Great Bear Lake, the Great Slave Lake, Lake Winnipeg and the following Great Lakes shared with the USA: Erie, Huron, Ontario and Superior. Major rivers are the St Lawrence and the MacKenzie.

The climate varies from temperate in the south to sub-arctic and arctic in the north.

Canada's protected areas are the responsibility of the Parks Canada Agency. A number of the National Parks are World Heritage sites: the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks (Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, Kootenay National Park, Yoho National Park), Gros Morne National Park, Kluane National Park, Nahanni National Park and Wood Buffalo National Park.

Tremblant National Park is Quebec's largest park.

UNESCO-MAB Bisphere Reserves include Charlevoix, to the north of the Saint Lawrence River, Georgian Bay Littoral, the largest island archipelago of the North American Great Lakes, and Waterton, encompassing a section of the Rocky Mountains.

Over thirty-five sites are listed on the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.

Animals found in protected areas are musk oxen, bison, caribou, bear, beaver and mink.

First Nation Peoples in Canada lived in homes suited to their lifestyle. Iroquois were farmers living in villages of longhouses surrounded by fence fortifications. Families had their own space within the wooden houses. Other First Nation Peoples were hunters and lived in wigwams. The Algonkian used dome shaped wigwams covered with sheets of birch bark.

Wood was in plentiful supply for use by the early European settlers although colonists preferred to construct buildings in stone. French colonists introduced French architecture and, later, American designs became popular.

Quebec is the only city in North America to preserve its fortifications and the Old City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Another Canadian World Heritage site is the British Colonial town of Lunenburg where buildings from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are still in use today.

The Toronto architect Edmund Burke (1850-1919), who designed the Simpson department store and the Bloor Viaduct, is one of Canada's most famous architects. Impetus was given to Canadian architectural design by the introduction of the national Massey Medals for architecture in the 1950s and 1960s. Graham House, designed by Arthur C. Erickson and built in Vancouver in 1963, is a spectacular example of modern Canadian architecture.

Perhaps Canada's most famous building is the CN Tower, a broadcast and observation tower, designed by John Andrews in the 1970s. The tower is one of the world's tallest buildings at a height of 553.33 m.

The population of Canada was estimated at 34,030,589 in 2011.

Canada has been officially bilingual since the Official Languages Act was passed in 1969. Official languages are English and French. The majority of French speakers live in Quebec. Cree is the most commonly used language of the Canadian indigenous peoples.

The majority of Canadians are Christians. Others are Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims.

Canadian food reflects the variety of ethnic groups living in Canada, for example Scottish Bannock, Pate Aux Poireaux and Windsor Canadian Goose. Canadian Chinese food is also popular.

Fish, such as cod, halibut, monkfish, rockfish and salmon, and other seafood products are plentiful. Beef, lamb, pork and poultry are used in main dishes. Venison and bison are also available.

Tomatoes, potatoes, and sweet corn are grown extensively. Other vegetables are broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, Chinese broccoli, pak choi and native fiddleheads (an edible type of fern).

Maple syrup which comes from the sap of maple trees is a national food and is eaten on pancakes, waffles and French toast. Desserts include Maple Mousse and Maple Syrup Pie.

A variety of fruits grown include apples, peaches, pears, plums, cherries, blackberries, black raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, saskatoons and strawberries. The main wine grape areas are in British Columbia and Ontario.

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