facts on canada
 

 

Canada Fact Summary

Official Name. Canada.

Capital. Ottawa.

Coat of Arms.
Arms of England, Scotland, Ireland, and France on shield symbolize origins of Canadians; 3 maple leaves represent Canada. Lion on crest holds red maple leaf, symbol of sacrifice. Supporters are lion holding British Union and unicorn with ancient banner of France. Adopted 1958.

National Emblems. Maple leaf and beaver.

Motto. A mari usque ad mare (From sea to sea), from 72nd Psalm, verse 8.

Anthem. 'O Canada'.

NATURAL FEATURES

Borders. Coast--mainland, 1,053,482 miles (1,695,369 kilometers); islands, 333,550 miles (536,782 kilometers); land frontier--5,527 miles (8,895 kilometers).

Natural Regions. Appalachian Region, Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Lowlands, Canadian Shield, Interior Plains, Cordilleran Region, Innuitian Region.

Major Ranges. Coast Mountains, Rocky Mountains.

Notable Peaks. Mount Logan, 19,524 feet (5,951 meters); Mount Fairweather, 15,300 feet (4,663 meters); Mount Columbia, 12,294 feet (3,747 meters).

Major Rivers. Mackenzie, St. Lawrence, Nelson, Saskatchewan, Peace.

Major Lakes. Great Lakes (partly in Canada), Great Bear Lake, Great Slave Lake, Lake Winnipeg.

Major Island. Baffin.

Climate. Atlantic region--moderate, but cold currents; rain 30-55 inches (760-1,400 millimeters). Central region--mild; rain 30-55 inches (760-1,400 millimeters). Prairie region--short, hot summers; bitter winters; rain 13-20 inches (330-510 millimeters). Pacific region--mild temperatures; dry interior; cool and rainy central interior. Northern region--harsh; rain light in northern Yukon, heavy on mountainous coast of British Columbia.

THE PEOPLE

Population (1991 census). 27,296,859; 7.6 persons per square mile (2.9 persons per square kilometer); 77 percent urban, 23 percent rural.

Vital Statistics (rate per 1,000 population). Births--14.9; deaths--7.3; marriages--7.3.

Life Expectancy (at birth). Males--73.3 years; females--80.0 years.

Major Languages. English, French.

Ethnic Groups. Mother tongues. English, French, Italian, German, Ukrainian, Chinese.

Major Religions. Roman Catholicism, Protestantism.

MAJOR CITIES (1991 census, metropolitan areas)

Toronto, Ont. (3,893,046). Provincial capital; Lake Ontario port; industrial, financial, and commercial center; Riverdale Park; O'Keefe Center for the Performing Arts; Casa Loma (see Toronto).

Montreal, Que. (3,127,242). Chief seaport of Canada; industrial and financial center; Mount Royal Park; Expo 67; Chateau de Ramezay; Dow Planetarium (see Montreal).

Vancouver, B.C. (1,602,502). Canada's chief Pacific port; manufacturing center; Chinatown; Exhibition Park; Stanley Park; annual International Festival of the arts (see Vancouver).

Ottawa, Ont. (920,857). Picturesque federal capital; Parliament Buildings and Peace Tower; industries; Rideau Hall; annual Tulip Festival (see Ottawa).

Edmonton, Alta. (839,924). Provincial capital; petroleum center of Canada; gateway to North; University of Alberta; Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium (see Edmonton).

Calgary, Alta. (754,033). Important petroleum city; farm and livestock market; transportation center; Calgary Stampede; St. George's Island (see Calgary).

Winnipeg, Man. (652,354). Provincial capital; grain and livestock market; railroad center; Hudson's Bay Company (see Winnipeg).

Quebec, Que. (645,550). Provincial capital; old French walled city on St. Lawrence River; Chateau Frontenac (see Quebec, City of).

Hamilton, Ont. (599,760). Steel and industrial center; farm market; harbor; McMaster University (see Hamilton, Ont.).

London, Ont. (381,522). Manufacturing; agriculture; electric power from Niagara Falls; University of Western Ontario (see London, Ont.).

St. Catharines-Niagara Falls, Ont. (364,552). Industrial center on southern shore of Lake Ontario.

Kitchener, Ont. (356,421). Industrial, financial, and transportation center.

Halifax, N.S. (320,501). Seaport and commercial center; oil refineries; educational and cultural center; Halifax Citadel (see Halifax).

Victoria, B.C. (287,897). Provincial capital; fish and lumber center; most British city in Canada; ornate Victorian Parliament Buildings; British Columbia Provincial Museum (see Victoria).

Windsor, Ont. (262,075). Automobile center of Canada; busy point of entry from United States; University of Windsor; Dieppe Gardens; Jackson Park Sunken Garden; International Freedom Festival; locally made handicrafts (see Windsor).

Oshawa, Ont. (240,104). Regional municipality of Durham County; port of entry; manufacturing center; General Motors of Canada home site; woolen mills; foundries; glass manufacture; pharmaceuticals.

Saskatoon, Sask. (210,023). Distribution center for potash-mining and wheat-growing region; flour milling; food processing; meat-packing; transportation hub; Memorial Art Gallery; Gardiner Dam; University of Saskatchewan (see Saskatoon).

ECONOMY

Chief Agricultural Products. Crops--wheat, barley, corn, oats, rapeseed, potatoes, vegetables; nursery and floriculture. Livestock and fish--cattle, pigs, sheep, poultry, freshwater fish and seafood.

Chief Mined Products. Crude petroleum, natural gas, natural gas by-products, coal, iron ore, copper, zinc, gold.

Chief Manufactured Products. Foods and beverages, paper and allied products, transportation equipment, petroleum and coal products, chemicals and chemical products, primary metals, metal fabricating.

Foreign Trade. Imports, 48%; exports, 52%.

Chief Imports. Motor vehicle parts, motor vehicles, communications equipment, crude petroleum, office machines, motor vehicle engines, nonferrous metals.

Chief Exports. Motor vehicles, motor vehicle parts, lumber, natural gas, newsprint paper, crude petroleum, equipment and tools, wheat, wood pulp, chemicals, communications equipment, nonmetal minerals.

Chief Trading Partners. United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Germany.

Monetary Unit. 1 Canadian dollar = 100 cents.

EDUCATION

Public Schools. Provincial governments are responsible for education systems; federal government for education of Indian children and children of servicemen.

Compulsory School Age. Attendance is compulsory for about 10 years, beginning at age 5, 6, or 7, depending on the province.

Literacy. 95.6 percent of population.

Leading Universities. University of Toronto; University of British Columbia, Vancouver; University of Alberta, Edmonton; University of Montreal; University of Western Ontario, London; McGill University, Montreal.

Notable Libraries. National Library of Canada, Ottawa; Library of Parliament, Ottawa; Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa; National Library of Quebec, Montreal; Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information, Ottawa.

Notable Museums and Art Galleries. Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; McCord Museum, McGill University Museum of Fine Arts, both in Montreal; National Museums of Canada, Ottawa; New Brunswick Museum, St. John; Nova Scotia Museum, Halifax; Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; Saskatchewan Museum of Natural History, Regina; Vancouver Art Gallery.

GOVERNMENT

Form of Government. Federal parliamentary state.

Constitution. Proclaimed April 17, 1982.

Sovereign. Monarch represented by governor-general.

Governor-General. Appointed by monarch on advice of prime minister of Canada; assisted by Privy Council of Cabinet ministers.

Prime Minister. Leader of majority party in House of Commons; term, as long as party retains majority.

Cabinet. Selected by prime minister from House of Commons or Senate.

Parliament. Senate and House of Commons; annual sessions. Senate--104 members, appointed by governor-general on advice of prime minister; term, to age 75. House of Commons--295 elected members; term, five years.

Judiciary. Supreme Court of Canada--chief justice and 8 associate judges; terms, life, retirement at age 75. Federal Court of Canada--Appeals Division and Trials Division.

Political Divisions. 10 provinces--Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan; 2 territories--Northwest Territories, Yukon Territory.

Voting Qualification. Age 18.

 

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