Facts about Canada for each letter of the alphabet.
Click on the highlighted word for more information.
The Amish way of life largely revolves around working and socializing together as a family and community. Amish have lived in Canada since the 1800s. Today they number nearly 5,000 with over a dozen communities. Ontario is the only province in Canada where Amish are found. Miverton is the oldest settlement. Nearly 4,000 Old Order Mennonites also live in Ontario in over 40 congregations. Old Order Mennonites, or “Team” Mennonites as they are also known, share some similarities with Amish.
Canada has many ARCHAEOLOGY sites. The Archaeological Survey of Canada is the archaeology division of the Canadian Museum of Civilization. The Ancient Echoes Interpretive Center in Herschel has 1500 year old petroglyphs. In addition to the historic Anishinaabe and European settlement of Manitoulin Island, archaeological discoveries at Sheguiandah have found Paleo-Indian and Archaic cultures dating from 10,000 BCE to 2000 BCE. Most date the beginnings of human habitation at Cayquot Sound beyond 9,000 years to present. In 2015, fossilized footprints, thought to have been made 13,000 years ago, were discovered below the current shoreline on Calvert Island and may be the oldest in North America. In 2017, a 14,000 year old village was found on an island in Canada.
Part of Canada is in the ARCTIC a polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth. It is called "Tundra" which means barren land in Finish.. The region consists of an ocean and adjacent seas with a seasonally varying ice cover, surrounded by treeless permafrost. The area can be defined as north of the Arctic Circle. The Magnetic North Pole is located in the Canadian Arctic and Canada has land access to the North Pole. The arctic people include a number of indigenous groups as well as more recent arrivals from southern latitudes and have adapted to its cold and extreme conditions. Life in the Arctic includes organisms living in the ice including zooplankton and phytoplankton. The Arctic Ocean is home to fish and marine mammals and land animals. It also has birds and plant life.
Canada has hundreds of species of BIRDS including aquatic birds. Many of the species are endangered. The Arctic Tern spends 3 months in the Arctic and 3 months in the antarctic and 6 months in flight. The National Bird of Canada is the Common Loon. Each Province and Territory has an official bird. The Canadian Wildlife Service is working with Partners in Flight to build a national conservation program. The Canadian geese have been featured on postage stamps. Canada has bird observatories and bird refuges.
BRIDGES can be found throughout Canada including 87 Suspension Bridges some of which are still in use. Capilano Suspension Bridge is one of the most spectacular suspension bridges in the world. There are covered bridges throughout Canada, and New Brunswick has 64. Skytrail is the longest pedestrian bridge in the country. The Confederation Bridge is the longest bridge over ice-covered water in the world.
Canada has all forms of COMMUNICATIONS including newspapers, radio, television, telephone, and internet. There are several Telephone Area Codes in the country. All of the Provinces in Canada have Internet Service Providers, and Webcams are located across the country.
Canadian CURRENCY has an interesting history dating back to the early 16th century. Today, the Canadian Dollar is the currency of Canada. It is abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or sometimes Can$, or C$ and divided into 100 cents. The Canadian dollar is the 5th most held reserve currency in the world. Because of the image of a loon on the one-dollar coin, the currency is sometimes referred to as the loonie. The country has issued many
commemorative coins. In 2017, The Royal Canadian Mint put into circulation a series of new coins celebrating Canada's 150th anniversary. It also released a glow-in-the-dark-coin. The first of it kind released into circulation. The Bank of Canada Currency Museum has the largest collection of Canadian bank notes, coins, and tokens in the world.
Canada has 2 DESERTS. The Okanagan DESERT is a semi-arid area located in the South Okanagan region of British Columbia. Part of the area is called the Nk'mip Desert by the Osoyoos Indian Band.. The desert, which is actually an antelope-brush ecosystem, is one of the most endangered habitats in Canada. In 1998, Desert Society opened an interpretive facility, the Osoyoos Desert Centre. The Carcross Desert in the Yukon in Canada was created by the last ice age and is the smallest desert in the world measuring approximately 1 square mile.
Canada is rich in fossils and there have been many DINOSAURS including Ichthyosaurs (large marine reptiles), and other types of fossils found there. Many dinosaurs have been named after Canadian cities, provinces, and rock formations. Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve on the Avalon Peninsula contains the site of Ediacaran fossils representing the oldest multicellular life on Earth. The reserve contains one of the most diverse and well-preserved collections of Precambrian fossils known. In 1994 a Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaur skeleton was uncovered in the providence of Saskatchwa - one of the few ever found. In 2001, the first exploration of a large cave in the Queen Charlotte Islands yielded the 17,000-year-old bones of a Black Bear. In 2014 researchers discovered a 70 million-year-old skull of a horned dinosaur in the Alberta Badlands. That same year, an extremely well-preserved baby dinosaur skeleton was discovered in Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta and within weeks pipeline crews uncovered the complete skeletons of two massive duck-billed Hadrosaurs. A Nodosaur was found in Alberta in 2001 and hailed as the best-preserved armored dinosaur in the world. It was unveiled at the Royal Tyrrel Museum in 2017. The Royal Tyrell Museum of Paleontology in Dumheller, Alberta, contains the world's largest display of complete dinosaur skeletons.
EDUCATION in Canada is for the most part provided publicly, funded and overseen by federal, provincial, and local governments Each province decides what will be taught and teacher qualifications. Except for a few provinces children usually start school at age 6 and continue until they are 16. The country also many Private Schools and Special Needs Schools, and Homeschooling is popular.
Canada has many Festivals and EVENTS during the year. The country celebrates Public Holidays and other special days including Victoria Day, Canada Day, and Boxing Day and Aboriginal Day. The Provinces and Territories have their own special days.
< Many species of FLOWERS grow in Canada including many wildflowers. The country does not have a national flower, but the rose is commonly used on emblems as a symbol of England, while a stylized lily, or fleur-de-lis, represents France. Each province and territory has an official flower.
Nearly half of Canada is covered by FORESTS and there are many species of trees. The Great Bear Rainforest in the western part of the country is the largest temperate rainforest in the world. The Sugar Maple tree figures in many symbols, including the maple leaf on the national flag. The provinces and territories of Canada have tree emblems.
The GLOBAL POSiTION of Canada ranges from 42 degrees north latitude to 133 degrees west latitude. It is the 2nd largest country in the world and extends across the continent of North America from Newfoundland on the Atlantic coast to British Columbia on the Pacific coast. The United States is to the south and the Arctic Ocean is to the north. The border between Canada and the United States is the longest unguarded border in the world, and there are 8,000 monuments and reference points along the border. Geocaching is a treasure hunt using a Global Positioning Finder. Canada has geocaches located throughout the country.
The GREAT SEAL of Canada is used on all state documents. The seal dates back to the beginning of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and bears her likeness. The inscriptions are in French and English which are the official languages of Canada.
Canada has nearly a thousand HISTORIC sites including forts, and religious sites. There are also many National Historic Sites including archaeological discoveries at Sheguiandah and the Alexander Graham Bell Historic Site. Canada has had many historic disasters. The 2 deadliest historic natural disasters occurred in 1775 - a volcanic eruption and a massive hurricane. The Northwest territory has some strange and dangerous places.
The HISTORY of Canada dates back to groups of Aboriginal peoples. Some of these civilizations had long faded by the time of the first European arrivals and have been discovered through archaeological investigations. Exploration of Canada by Europeans began with the Norse in the late 10th century. Following the arrival of Jacques Cartier in 1534, British and French explorers gradually moved further west. France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America to Britain in 1763 after the Seven Years' War. In 1867, with the union of 3 British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of 4 provinces. This began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the British Empire, which became official with the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and completed in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament. Canadian Museum of History has permanent galleries that explore Canada's 20,000 years of human history.
Canada has over 35,000 species of INSECTSincluding beetles, flies, ants, bees, and true bugs butterflies, moths and skippers. There many butterflies including the bird-winged butterfly which is the largest butterfly in the world. Victoria has Butterfly Gardens. Canada has a variety of bees, wasps and hornets including over 800 species of native bees. Beekkeeping is a thriving industry and Canada has over thousands of beekeepers. The country has a variety of spiders. The Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids, and Nematods is considered on of the best collections in the world for its size. The University of Guelph Insect Collection is the oldest insect collection in Canada.
Canada has many large ISLANDS. The largest is Baffin Island in Nunavet. The Gulf Islands in British Columbia have over a dozen islands. The Canadian Arctic Archipelago is made up of 36,563 islands and comprises much of the territory of Northern Canada. This is the least accessible place in the country. Haida Gwaii, formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, is an archipelago on the North Coast of British Columbia, Canada. Haida Gwaii consists of 2 main islands: Graham Island in the north and Moresby Island in the south, along with approximately 150 smaller islands. Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron is the largest freshwater island in the world. St. Lawrence Islands National Park consists of 21 islands plus many smaller islets and much of the park is only accessible by boat.
The court system of Canada forms the JUDICIAL branch of government, formally known as "the Queen on the Bench". It interprets the law and is made up of many courts differing in levels of legal superiority and separated by jurisdiction. Some of the courts are federal in nature, while others are provincial or territorial. The Canadian constitution gives the federal government the exclusive right to legislate criminal law, while the provinces have exclusive control over civil law.
Public LIBRARIES are located in nearly every community in Canada. The National Library in Ottowa promotes the use of library resources in the country. The The NEOS Library Consortium consists of 17 Canadian university, college, government, and hospital libraries with 49 sites between them.
The history of LIGHTHOUSES in Canada dates back to the 1700s. The country has the longest coastline in the world and there are many lighthouses and lightstations. The oldest lighthouse on the continent, and the first Canadian one, went into service at the French fortress of Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island in 1734.
Canada has many MOUNTAINS and Mountain Peaks and several Mountain Ranges. Mt. Logan in the tallest mountain in the country and the 2nd tallest in North America. Mountain climbing is a popular activity. The Association of Canadian Mountain Guides has trained and certified Mountain Guides, Hiking Guides, and Climbing Instructors.
Canada has hundred of MUSEUMS The New Brunswick Museum in Saint John is the oldest continuing museum in Canada. The Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottowa is Canada's national aviation history museum. The Bank of Canada Museum is closed for renovations until 2017. The Canoe Museum in Peterboroughoffers gives a look at Canadian history as seen from a canoe. The Saskatchewan Western Development Museum is a network of 4 museums preserving and recording the social and economic development of the province each focusing on a different theme. The Museum of Vancouver is the largest civic museum in Canada.
The only NATIVE people in Canada are the Indians since all other Canadians were originally immigrants. The country has many Tribesand Nations. Some tribes are known as First Nations and most live on reserves. In 1999 a new territory was created called Nunavut which means "Our Land" in Inuktitut. This area is divided into 6 regions. Several tribes live in the subarctic region. The Taicho is a new territory. It is self-ruled and covers over 15,000 square miles of land in Canada's sparsely populated north.
Canada is surrounded on three sides by OCEANS . The Atlantic Ocean is to the east, the Pacific Ocean to the West, and the Arctic Ocean to the North. The Labrador Sea is to the Northeast, and the Beaufort Sea is to the North. Canada has the longest coast land of any country. Many shipwrecks have occurred in Canada, off the coasts, in lakes, and on rivers The highest tides in the world occur in the Bay of Fundy on the south coast of New Brunswick. The Northwest Passage is a sea route through the Arctic Ocean waterways amidst the Canadian Arctic Archipelago connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. NOAA provides information on why the ocean is salty.
The Inuit were Canada's first PEOPLE. Canada has over 35 million people and more than 150 ethnic groups. Although it is the largest country in area in the world, Canada is the most sparsely populated. Twenty to thirty percent of the population lives in rural areas. Multiculturalism was officially recognized with the Multiculturalism Act. Many famous people have been born or lived in Canada. Canada has had several Monarchs. However, it was not until 1953 that the title monarch was made official with Elizabeth II being the first monarch to be separately proclaimed as Queen of Canada, as per the Royal Style and Titles Act.
Canada is divided into 6 geographic REGIONS. The Western Region includes the British Columbia coast and is indented by deep fiords and shielded from the Pacific storms by Vancouver Island. The Northern Region includes the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. The Far North refers to the Canadian Arctic. A rocky region called the Canadian Shield is the largest geographical feature in the country. The Prairie Region is among the richest grain-producing regions in the world. The Eastern Region consists of several provinces. The Great Lakes/St. Lawrence River Region consists of Southern Ontario where the Great Lakes surrounds it. Along the banks of the St Lawrence river, on both sides, this region extends through the province of Quebec.The country also has national and provincial regions.
Canada has many species of REPTILES and amphibians including salamanders and newts, frogs and toads, turtles, snakes, and lizards. The country also has freshwater and marine reptiles. The The Narcisse Snake Pits are located in the Rural Municipality of Armstrong north of Narcisse, Manitoba, Canada. The dens are the winter home of tens of thousands of red-sided garter snakes and are the largest concentration in the world of this particular type of snake.
Canada has many RIVERS that form extensive water networks across the country. They flow into the Arctic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and Hudson Bay. The longest river is the Mackenzie River. There are many Heritage Rivers in the country. Some of the rivers are endangered.. The 2nd Sunday in June is Canadian Rivers Day.
Canada has the longest coastland of any country and the shores have many species of SEA LIFE including abalone, Pacific herring and the Pacific Harbour Seal. Of 7 Canadian Beluga Whale populations, the 2 inhabiting eastern Hudson Bay and Ungava Bay are endangered. The Intertidal Zone is alive with sea life and seaweeds. The Gully is a large underwater canyon in the Atlantic Ocean east of Nova Scotia and is a Marine Protected Area. Canada has a SPACE Program and has sent astronauts into space as part of the U.S. space program. The Canadian Space Agency has its own astronaut training program and also trains with NASA.
Canada has many SPORTS. The most popular spectator winter sport in the country is Ice Hockey and it is the official national winter sport. Lacrosse, a sport with Indigenous origins, is the oldest sport and the official summer sport. Great achievements in Canadian sports are recognized by the Canada Sports Hall of Fame.
The Canada has many TRAILS including long distance hiking trails and the Great Divide Trail in the Canadian Rockies. The Trans Canada Trail is the longest network of recreational trails in the world. Icefields Parkway, one of the most scenic highways in the world. A scenic alternative to the Trans-Canada Highway is Yellowhead Highway that passes through mountains, forest, and farmland. Saskatchewan Highway 33 near Regina is 85 miles stretch of straightness and one of the 10 longest straight roads in the world.
TRANSPORTATION in Canada is by water, air, road, and rail. The Canadian Pacific Railway & the Trans-Canada Highway both run across the country from coast-to-coast. The highway is the longest in the world. Major airports are located throughout the country. Trains carry goods to every province except Prince Edward Island. Most cities have Public Transportation.
Canada has many UNESCO sites both cultural and natural. The L'Anse aux Meadows dating to around the year 1000, is the only site widely accepted as evidence of pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact. Kluane /Wrangle- St. Elias/Glacier Bay Tatshenshini-Alsek is an international park system located in Canada and the U.S., at the border of Yukon, Alaska and British Columbia.
Canada has examples of almost every type of VOLCANO. None have erupted in recent years but the eruptions of volcanoes in other countries effect Canada. In the event of an eruption, the Canadian Meteorological Centere provides information about ash fallout.
Many species of WILDLIFE and animals are native to Canada. The Arctic is home to the Arctic fox and Arctic hare, the Rocky Mountains has brown, black, and grizzly bears, the Plains has coyotes and beavers, and the Canadian Shield has moose and deer. The beaver is a National Emblem and was featured on the first Canadian postage stamp. The country has several wildlife refuges. Polar bears are a special attraction at Churchill, Manitoba.
People have been living in the YUKON region for almost 30,000 years. In 1896 gold was discovered in Dawson City in the Klondike an area in the Yukon Territory. By 1910 more than 100 million dollars worth of gold had been taken.
ZOOS and aquariums are located throughout Canada. The Toronto Zoo is the largest zoo in the country. The Papanack Park Zoo has a Junior Zoo Keeper Camp. The Oaklawn Farm Zoo in Nova Scotia is the home of exotic and native animals.