Canada - Geography, Political system, Cities, Population, History, Economy and transportation
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13 Canada Provinces and territories in Canada Geography Canada is bordered by the USA in the south, the Pacific Ocean and Alaska (USA) in the west, the Arctic Ocean in the north and Atlantic Ocean in the east. Its area is almost 10 million square kilometres (9 976 139 km2) that makes it the second largest country in the world. It is divided into ten provinces and two territories: Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon Territory. Canada is famous for its varied and beautiful countryside1 venkov , especially near the Great Lake in the southeast and the Slave and Bear Lakes in the northwest. Visitors to Canada usually want to see Niagara Falls that are between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. The Canadian part is called the Horseshoe Fall and is 49 m high and almost 1 km wide. Canada also has high mountain areas, such as the Rocky Mountains and the Mackenzie Mountains. There are about thirty national parks in Canada, the most known is Jasper National Park in Alberta. Thousands of tourists visit Canada’s national parks all over the year. In those parks people can admire the scenery or they can be walking, climbing, sightseeing, fishing or skiing there. Canada can be divided into seven regions, each with a very different landscape2 and climate: The pacific Coast - influenced by the Pacific, it has the most moderate3 climate of Canada’s regions. This area includes the coast of British Columbia and Vancouver Island. The Cordillera - this region is consists of the Rocky Mountains, the Coast Mountains and the other ranges running north to south. The Canada’s highest mountains are the St. Elias Mountains. There is also the highest point of Canada is Mount Logan and is 6050 m high. The Prairies - the plains of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are among the richest grain-producing regions in the world. Alberta is greater producent of petroleum in Canada, because under the Prairies are important deposits of oil, natural gas and potash4 . The Canadian Shield includes a huge inland sea called Hudson Bay. The Shield is the largest geographic feature in Canada. It is considered to be a nucleus of the North American continent and is made up of roots of ancient mountains. This region can be called the storehouse of minerals, because of its large deposits of gold, silver, zinc, copper and uranium. The Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Lowlands. Here are located two largest Canadian cities - Montreal and Toronto. This is the industrial heart of Canada. In this small region live one half of Canadians and is produced more than two thirds of all Canada’s manufactured goods. But this region is not only industrial, also agriculture is here on high level. This region produces sugar maple, grapes, peaches, pears and other fruits. The Atlantic Provinces - Appalachian Region. In this region are located the smallest Canadian provinces - New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. First settlement from Europe was here in year 1000 AD - the Norse. This region is larger exporter of fishes, because of its good position near Gulf Stream. The Arctic is no longer an inaccessible frontier. Many places can be reached by road, and every community is served by air. Most have electricity, stores and medical services. During the short summer, when daylight is nearly continuous and flowers bloom on the tundra, the temperature can reach 30°C. Yet the winters are long, bitterly cold, dark and unforgiving. The climate is in Canada mostly continental with warm summers and cold winters, but in the north can temperature fall to minus 50°C. Political system Canadian flag Canada is constitutional monarchy, a federal state and parliament democracy with two official languages - French and English. Canada became a British dominion5 in 1867. Now it is an independent federal state and a member of the British Commonwealth. Since 1965 it has had its own national flag: red and white are official colours of Canada while the maple leaf has long been a Canadian emblem. Toronto skyline with the Canadian Tower which is 554 m high The head of the state is the British monarch represented by the governor-general, usually appointed for a 5-year term by the Canadian cabinet. The leading figure in the political life of the country is the Prime Minister. Cities and places of interest in Canada Canada’s capital is Ottawa in province Ontario. Ottawa is “only” capital of Canada, but it is not capital of Ontario, it is Toronto, where the world’s tallest structure, Canadian Tower was built. The largest city in Canada is Montreal and it is also the second largest French-speaking city in the world. The capitals of majority provinces are known as competitors of National Hockey League (NHL) - Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto and Calgary, which is known as organiser of winter Olympic games in 1988. Toronto is city of many nationalities. The largest group are Italians, which create 8% of Toronto’s population. Toronto lies on coast of lake Ontario, so it can easily transport anything from and to industrial centres of USA like Detroit. There are many interesting buildings, not only the Canadian Tower. Very interesting is new Toronto City Hall building, that is using modern architectonic technologies. Montreal is situated on island in the St. Lawrence River. Montreal is one of the oldest cities in Canada, because its history started in 1667. Today is Montreal one of the largest harbours in the world. It is centre of international events in Canada (1976 Summer Olympic Games). In Montreal are the most important French-speaking universities in Canada. Vancouver is the largest city on the west coast of Pacific ocean. It is modern city. All buildings are newer than 100 years, because old wooden Vancouver was burned in 1886. It is important transport crossing. There is a harbour and many highways and railroads. Population and history of co