Canada is situated in the North of America. It borders the USA in the south. Its area is almost 10 million km2 – it is the second largest country in the world (Russia is larger). Canada´s capital is Ottawa and others cities are Toronto (the biggest), Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton, Hamilton, and Quebec. Canada is divided into 10 provinces and 3 territories.
Canada is famous for its varied and beautiful countryside, especially near the Great, Slave, and Bear Lakes. Tourists in Canada can see Niagara Falls, which is to be found between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Niagara Falls is located in both Canada and the US. The Canadian falls are called the Horseshoe Falls and are 49 m high and almost 1 km wide. In Canada, there are also high mountain ranges, such as the Rocky Mountains and the Mackenzie Mountains. The highest mountain is Mt. Logan in the Alaska Region. The longest river is the Mackenzie. Others are the Yukon, the Columbia, and the St. Lawrence River.
The climate is mostly continental in Canada, with warm summers and cold winters. In the north, the climate is arctic – winter temperatures fall to -50°C.
Canada also has many islands – Baffin Island, Newfoundland, Vancouver Island, Prince Edward Island, and others.
The original inhabitants came to Canada some 10 000 or 25 000 years ago. Canada was discovered by the Vikings more than a thousand years ago, but it was rediscovered by Europeans in the 15th century. The French occupied a large part of the territory in the 16th century. They built their settlements in the valleys of the St. Lawrence River. This was the beginning of the colony called New France. The French were followed by the English who captured most of Canada from them in the wars of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
Today the population of Canada is more than 26 million people. 46% are of British origin, 29% of French origin, and 23% have their origins in other European countries. In Canada, there are also native Canadians – Indians and Eskimos. Most of the inhabitants (about 80%) are concentrated near the border with the USA.
Canada is a bilingual country. English and French are spoken there. 60% of the population speaks English, while 30% speaks French. Canada 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 is the Prime Minister.
Canada’s economy is traditionally based on natural resources and agriculture. Important agricultural items are vegetables, fruits, tobacco, leather, and dairy products. This country is the world’s second largest exporter of wheat. The main industries of Canada are: coal, metal, oil and gas, machine-building and chemical.