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2. Canada Canada occupies the northern part of North America except Alaska, and many islands such as Baffin Island, Victoria Island, Newfoundland Island. Canada borders on the USA in the south and on the Arctic Ocean in the north. Its area is almost 10 million square kilometres, which makes it the second largest country in the world. Canada is famous for its varied and beautiful countryside, especially near the Great Lakes in the southeast. Visitors to Canada are eager to see Niagara Falls, which are to be found between Lake Ontario and lake Erie. Every minute 155 million litres of water hit the bottom of the falls. They are also famous as honeymoon attraction and also for many attempts to go over them in a barrel. One Czech made an attempt but didn’t survive. Canada has also high mountain ranges, like the Rocky Mountains and the Mackenzie Mountains. The highest peak is Mt. Logan in the Alaska region (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. The north is arctic. The original inhabitants came to Canada about 10 000 to 25 000 years ago from Asia. The Vikings discovered Canada more than a thousand years ago, but it was rediscovered 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. Now the population of Canada is more than 27 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 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. Canada is divided into ten provinces and two territories. The largest province, Quebec is mainly French-speaking.. Canada’s capital is Ottawa in Ontario. Other main cities are: Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Toronto is the largest city in Canada. It is famous for the CN Tower, a 533m high structure that is the tallest freestanding structure in the world. Downtown are tall glass office towers, which belong to Canada’s banks. Montreal is the largest city in Quebec. It is a fashionable city with excellent restaurants and shopping. Vancouver is the fastest-growing city, which is on the west coast of Canada. There are many immigrants there from Hong Kong. Many of these immigrants are still working in Hong Kong while their families are living in Canada. They are called ‘astronauts’ because they fly between Canada and Hong Kong every weekend. 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 per cent of the land area. Coal, oil, gas, gold, silver, zinc and other ores are found in Canada. Main industries are chemical, machine building, shipbuilding, motorcar, iron and steel. The main trading partner is USA. Valid currency is Canadian dollar.

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