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study-in-canada About Canada

About Canada

Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean. Canada is the world’s second-largest country by total area, and its common border with the United States is the world’s longest land border shared by the same two countries.

The land that is now Canada has been inhabited for millennia by various Aboriginal peoples. Beginning in the late 15th century, British and French colonial expeditions explored, and later settled, the region’s Atlantic coast. France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America to the United Kingdom in 1763 after the French and Indian War, which was essentially the North American theatre of the Seven Years’ War. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces. This began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy, culminating in the Canada Act 1982.

Canada is a federal state governed as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. The country is officially bilingual and multicultural at the federal level, with a population of approximately 35 million as of 2013. Canada’s advanced economy is one of the largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed trade networks, especially in the United States, with which it has had a long and complex relationship.

Canada is a developed country, with the ninth highest per capita income globally, and the 11th highest Human Development Index ranking. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of education, government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, and economic freedom. Canada is a recognized middle power and a member of many international institutions, including the G7, G8, G20, ICCPR, NATO, NAFTA, OECD, WTO, Commonwealth of Nations, Francophonie, OAS, APEC, and the United Nations.

Fact Sheet:

Capital Ottawa
Largest city Toronto
Official languages English / French
Demonym Canadian
Government

  • Monarch
  • Governor General
  • Prime Minister
  • Chief Justice
Government

  • Elizabeth II
  • David Johnston
  • Stephen Harper
  • Beverley McLachlin
Legislature

  • Upper house
  • Lower house
Parliament

  • Senate
  • House of Commons
Area

  • Total
  • Water (%)
  • 9,984,670 km2 (2nd) 3,854,085 sq mi
  • 8.92 (891,163 km2 / 344,080 mi2)
Population

  • 2011 census
  • 33,476,688
  • Density
  • 3.41/km2 (228th) 8.3/sq mi
Currency
  • Canadian dollar ($) (CAD)
Time zone

  • Summer (DST)
  • (UTC−3.5 to −8)
  • (UTC−2.5 to −7)
Date format dd-mm-yyyy
mm-dd-yyyy
yyyy-mm-dd (CE)
Calling code +1
ISO 3166 code CA
Internet TLD .ca

Largest Metropolitan Areas in by Population (2011 Census)

Name Province Population Name Province Population
Toronto Ontario 5,583,064 London Ontario 474,786
Montreal Quebec 3,824,221 St.Catharines
Niagara
Ontario 392,184
Vancouver British
Columbia
2,313,328 Halifax NovaSctia 390,328
Ottawa
Gatineau
Ontario
Quebec
1,236,324 Oshawa Ontario 356,177
Calgary Alberta 1,214,839 Victoria British
Columbia
344,615
Edmonton Alberta 1,159,869 Windsor Ontario 319,246
Quebec quebec 765,706 Saskatoon Saskatchewan 260,600
Winnipeg Manitoba 730,018 Regina Saskatchewan 210,556
Hamilton Ontario 721,053 Sherbrooke Quebec 201,890
Kitchener-
Cambridge-
Waterloo
Ontario 477,160 St. John’s Newfoundland
and Labrador
196,966