Where is Canada?

Posted on May 31, 2018



What comes to mind when you think of Canada? I know it’s super cold there. Is it a part of the States? Is it the land of immigrants’ right? Is it true they have free universal healthcare? A lot of us wouldn’t know where Canada is on a map. It’s that massive piece of land, in fact, the second largest country in the world after Russia, that sits on top of their well-known neighbour – the United States of America. And no, Canada is not a part of the States. It is one of the three countries in North America. Most of Canada was covered in massive ice sheets just as little as 17,000 years ago. The melted ice sheets formed many of the lakes and water bodies of Canada, covering 7% of the land mass. It is estimated that Canada is home to one-seventh of the world’s fresh water. The country is bordered by three oceans: The Pacific Ocean in the west, the Atlantic Ocean in the east, and the Arctic Ocean to the north. It’s no surprise that Canada has the world’s longest coastline of over 200,000 km.
Canada has a small population of 35.5 million and an area of almost 9.98 million km². To put that in perspective, USA has a slightly smaller landmass of 9.86 million km² and a population of 318.9 million whereas India has an area of one-third that of Canada (3.29 million km²) and a population of 1.27 billion. The reason for Canada’s low population is largely due to the harsh climatic conditions in the North of Canada. Because of its proximity to the North Pole, the northern part of the country is frozen solid most of the year. This is the reason over half the population lives close to the great lakes and St. Lawrence region located near the southern border where temperatures are comparatively milder. In this region, temperatures can dip as low as -25 degrees Celsius during the winters and can shoot up as high as 35 degrees Celsius in the summer. The climate varies across the country, but there are generally four distinct seasons- summer, fall, winter, and spring.

The 10 provinces and three territories of Canada have some of the most beautiful natural landscapes with a mix of coastal areas, mountain ranges, prairie grasslands, and different types of forests. With such diverse landscapes, Canada is well endowed with many natural resources. There is a robust fishery industry, oil and natural gas industry, timber industry, minerals and ore industry, and agriculture.

Canada’s climatic conditions and landscape changes as one moves from one region to another on this massive piece of land.

The western coast (British Columbia) has the most temperate climate with much rain. It sees very little snow and is ideal for people who want to avoid heavy snowfall and cold. Many Indians migrating to Canada choose to settle in BC. Vancouver is one of Canada’s biggest and most populated cities and a popular destination for tourists and immigrants alike.

The Canadian Prairies (Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba) to the east of BC are known as the wheat basket and are some of the most productive agricultural land in the world. The Prairies have cold winter and hot humid summers with a moderate amount of snow and rain. Alberta has oil sands which led to the creation of a robust oil and natural gas industry in Alberta.

Moving east into the sugar maple country of Great lakes and St. Lawrence region (Ontario and Quebec), winters are harsh and snowy while summers are humid and longer than elsewhere in Canada. This region also has some of the best farmland in the country. Toronto (Ontario) and Montréal (Quebec) are two of the largest cities in Canada that lie in this region. This region is the industrial centre of Canada with 50% of the population residing here and producing 70% of Canada’s manufactured goods. Many Indian migrants choose to settle in Ontario and there is a large Indian community there.

Atlantic Canada comprising the four smallest provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. This region has one of the richest fishing grounds in the world and is also a popular destination for tourists.

The north comprising the three territories (Yukon, Northwest territories, and Nunavut) gets heavy snowfall and extreme temperatures most of the year. The ground in this region is permanently frozen and temperatures rise above zero only a few weeks in a year. The glacial formation in Canada’s arctic predate humanity. The population density in these territories is quite low with most of the aboriginal people dwelling in this region. Not many, if any, immigrants choose to settle in this part of Canada. (Fun fact: If you write a letter to Santa Claus at The North Pole, HOH OHO you will receive a reply from Santa.)

Canada imbibes diversity in its true sense be it in terms of its people, its landscape, or its climate. One can experience so much within the borders of this one big beautiful country.

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