Canada occupies almost the entire north of the North American continent and is
the second largest country in the world after Russia with an area of 9,970,610 km² (28 times Germany’s).
In the north the country is enclosed by the polar sea, in the east by the Atlantic, in the west by the Pacific; in the south and in the southeast it borders on the northern states of the USA, in the west on the US state Alaska.
According to 800zipcodes, the climate of Canada is significantly colder compared to the corresponding latitudes in Europe. Toronto is at the same latitude as Florence and Nice, Ottawa is at the same latitude as Milan and Venice.
Apart from the coastal areas, islands and the areas around the Great Lakes, most of Canada is characterized by a continental climate. This means that the long winters get very cold and the summers very hot, while the spring and fall are short.
The entire north of the country lies within the sub-polar climate. The climatically most favored region is the southeast of Ontario – the region around the Great Lakes (Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Lake Ontario) – where even wine is grown.
Flora and fauna
The flora of Canada can be divided into the northern tundra regions and the forest and prairie regions further south. Treeless tundra is characteristic of the Arctic region, whose permafrost is covered with lichen and moss. In the transition regions to the subarctic climate zone, there is not only tundra vegetation but also coniferous forest. Firs, larches, pines and spruces grow here.
The south of Canada belongs to the so-called humid middle latitudes, its vegetation consists mainly of deciduous forests ; The forests on the Pacific coast represent a special case, which are very densely overgrown due to very high rainfall and include Douglas fir trees.
The typical animal species in the polar region are sea lions and polar bears, other predators in the Arctic region are wolf and various species of fox. Lemmings have adapted to the sparse vegetation of the tundra region.
Numerous fur animals live in the boreal coniferous forests. The most noticeable of these are musk ox, which owe their name to the fact that the males, which can be up to two and a half meters long, smell strongly of the body secretions used in the perfume industry during the rut.
The caribou, eye-catching with their large antler shovels, are native to the south-eastern subarctic forests. Numerous others live alongside this species of reindeer Animal species in the forest areas, including wolves, mountain hares, bison, elk, foxes and beavers; further south also badgers and squirrels. Deer prefer less dense forest areas with clearings. Smaller mammals include squirrels, minks (which are also bred in large numbers in Canada), skunks, rabbits, marmots, mice and moles. Regionally limited animal species include turkeys in southern Ontario and sheep, goats and black bears in the Rocky Mountains.
Canada, as a typical immigration country, has an ethnically very heterogeneous population. Just over half of Canada’s 34 million or so citizens are of British or French descent. In the largest province of the country, Quebec, around 80% of the citizens are of French descent, in Newfoundland there is a similar majority for English-born British.
Other groups of immigrants who have settled in Canada are: Dutch, Ukrainians, Germans, Hungarians, Poles, Croats, Serbs. But Canada has also become a new home for Italians, Greeks, Portuguese and – on the west coast – Chinese.
In addition to the immigrants in modern times, there are around 200,000 Indians and Inuit (Eskimos) in Canada.
The country’s mean population density is very low, at 3.2 people per square kilometer. Exceptions are the Toronto-Montreal region in the east and, to a lesser extent, Vancouver in the west and some other cities. The five largest metropolitan areas in the country are:
- Toronto (5.1 million residents)
- Montreal (3.6 million residents)
- Vancouver (2.1 million residents)
- Ottawa (1.1 million residents)
- Calgary (1.1 million residents)
The population of Canada is growing by an average of 0.8% annually; life expectancy is 80 years, as in many western industrialized countries.
Canada has rich mineral resources, extremely fertile soils and a very high level of education of its multicultural population. Thanks to the liberal and highly technological economic structure, Canada developed from an agricultural country into one of the seven richest countries on earth.
The fishing contributes with large amounts of tuna, lobster and cod to export profits. Due to the extensive forest areas, which cover more than 45% of the national territory, forestry is an important factor within the agricultural sector.
Canada has extensive natural resources including crude oil, natural gas, potash salts and oil sands, uranium, zinc, gold, silver and cobalt and is the world’s largest producer of electricity from hydropower.
On the basis of its wealth of raw materials, Canada has built a diversified industry, the focus of which is on the automobile and aircraft construction, metal industry, food processing and wood and paper processing. Around three quarters of all industrial operations are in the provinces of Ontario and Québec. The final production is mainly concentrated there, while the intermediate processing of raw materials dominates in the other provinces. Branches of the American and Japanese automotive industries play an important roleas well as suppliers. The high level of education and at the same time somewhat lower wages than in the USA are attractive for these groups. Independent Canadian industrial groups are in the minority.
The exports, in particular motor vehicles, industrial machinery and products of the IT area include are supplied to over 85% in the neighboring United States.
Around three quarters of all employed persons are employed in the service sector. This tertiary sector generates around two thirds of Canada’s economic output. Wholesaling and retailing make up the largest share, followed by finance, which includes banks, insurance companies and real estate. This part of the economy is concentrated in large urban centers like Toronto, Calgary, and Montreal.
Politics and administration
Canada is a federally organized parliamentary monarchy within the Commonwealth according to its 1982 constitution. The head of state is the British monarch (since 1952 ELIZABETH II), represented by a governor-general who is proposed by the Canadian government.
Canada has ten provinces:
Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan
as well as three territories:
Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon.
Canada’s legal system is based on English civil law, with the exception of Quebec, where civil law is based on French law.
The capital of the Canadian state has been Ottawa since 1867.