Canada is made up of ten provinces and two territories. The largest province is Quebec.
The other provinces are Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick,
Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia. The territories are the Yukon
Territory and the Northwest Territories. Canada occupies the northern part of the North
American continent except Alaska. On Canada's southern border lies the USA and on the
north is the Arctic Ocean. The total area of Canada is 9,970,610 km2. Of this, 9,215,430
km2 is land and 755,180 km2 is fresh water. Canada is the second largest country in the
world after Russia.
Canada is famous for its diverse and beautiful scenery particularly in the Great Lakes region in the south-east. Visitors travel to Canada to see the Niagara Falls which are located between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Canada has also high mountain ranges, like the Rocky Mountains and the Mackenzie Mountains. The highest Canadian peak is Mt. Logan (6 000 m). The longest river is the Mackenzie flowing from the Rocky Mountains to the Arctic Ocean. There are about thirty national parks in Canada, one of them is Jasper National Park in Alberta. The climate is mostly continental in Canada, with warm summers and cold winters. Conditions in the north are arctic.
The original inhabitants came to Canada about 16 000 to 25 000 years ago from Asia. Canada was "discovered" twice, first by the Vikings more than a thousand years ago then by Europeans in the 15th century. The French occupied large parts of the territory in the 16th century. They were followed by the English who captured most of Canada from the French in wars of the 17th - 19th centuries.
Canada became a British dominion in 1867. Now it is an independent federal state and a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. The head of the state is the British monarch represented by the Governor-General. The leading figure in the political life of the country is the Prime Minister.
Now the population of Canada is more than 29 million people, which means that the density is one of the lowest. 45 per cent of Canadians are of British origin, 29 % of French origin and 23 % have their origin in other European countries. Most of the inhabitants are concentrated near the border with the USA by the St. Lawrence River.
Canada´s economy is traditionally based on natural resources and agriculture. Canada is the world´s second largest exporter of wheat. Some districts are renowned for their forestry. Forests cover 44 percent of the land area. Coal, oil, gas, gold, silver, zinc and other ores are found in Canada. Main industries are chemical, machine-building, ship-building, motor-car, iron and steel. Canada's main trading partner is the USA.
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