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Canada: History

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Canada: History

Topics include Things to Do, Dining Scene, For Foreign Visitors & more!

First Nations (Natives, Indians, Inuit, Eskimos, Aboriginal peoples)

They were here first, so their history and traditions go back the longest.

Vikings, c. 1000 A.D.

The Vinland Saga and the Saga of Eirik the Red tell of the Vikings’ discovery of, and settlement in, North America. They were long thought to just be legends, until Norwegian archeologists Helge Ingstand and Anne Stine excavated the remains of a Viking settlement in Newfoundland in the 1960’s.

Basque Fishermen ,16th Century

From 1520 until about 1600, Basque fishermen from France and Spain regularly fished for cod and hunted right whales and bowhead whales in the waters off Labrador. Fifteen to twenty seasonal whaling stations were established along the Labrador coast, and underwater archeologists have discovered several well-preserved vessels in the waters off Labrador.

French Regime, 17th & 18th Centuries

The first successful French settlement in North America was at St. Croix Island, in 1604. However, due to heavy losses during the winter, the establishment was moved to Port-Royal in 1605. This initial toehold was followed up by exploration and settlements throughout the Maritime provinces and Quebec.

  • Port-Royal National Historic Site, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia
  • Historic District of Quebec, Quebec City, Quebec (Unesco World Heritage Site)
  • Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, Louisbourg, Nova Scotia
  • Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site, near Campbellton, New Brunswick
  • Notre Dame des Victoires Church (built 1723-1733), Quebec City, Quebec
  • Basilica-Cathedral of Notre Dame de Quebec , Quebec City, Quebec (originally built 1647, rebuilt 1922-1930, this was North America’s first Catholic cathedral and first basilica)
  • Battlefields Park Interpretation Centre, near the Plains of Abraham, Quebec City, Quebec.

The events known as the «French and Indian Wars» in the U.S., are considered to be part of the «Seven Years’ War» in Canada. Canadian events in this war included two sieges of Louisbourg, the Acadian expulsions, and the Battle of the Restigouche. The North American part of this international war finally ended on 13 Sept 1759, at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, just outside of Quebec City. The English defeat of French forces in this battle meant an end to French control of Canada.

Acadia During & After the French Regime

The Maritime provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island) were called «Acadia» under the French regime, and included small and large settlements, and some rather amazing military establishments such as Fortress Louisbourg (see above). During the Seven Years’ War, parts of Acadia came under English control. When the conflict between France and England continued, it was decided that the Acadians posed a threat to British control in the Maritimes, and the Acadians were forcibly deported from their homes and farms. Those who would not take an oath of allegiance to the British Crown, some 11,000 plus Acadians, were largely deported to Louisiana, though as much as one third of these Acadians died on their journey South.

English Rule, pre-Confederation (1759-1867)

  • Old Town Lunenburg, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia (Unesco World Heritage Site)
  • Hector Heritage Quay, Pictou, Nova Scotia
  • King’s Landing Historical Settlement, Prince William, New Brunswick
  • Upper Canada Village, Morrisburg, Ontario
  • Rideau Canal National Historic Site, Ottawa, Ontario

The West and the Fur Trade

From the earliest days of Canadian settlement, the fur trade was one of the main economic engines of growth and expansion. At about the same time that Acadia and New France were first being settled, beavers became extinct in Europe. Since beaver fur was used in making a luxury commodity (high-quality felt hats), it became a good source of income for the struggling colony. At first, Natives brought their furs to trade centres such as Tadoussac; later, traders would receive licences to take canoes loaded with trade goods directly to the Natives. Traders who purchased licences were called voyageurs (travellers); traders who did business with the Natives illegally, without licences, were called coureurs de bois (woods runners). The most famous of the coureurs de bois were Étienne Brulé, Louis Joliet, Médard des Groseilliers and Pierre-Esprit Radisson. The last two went on to become co-founders of the Hudson’s Bay Company. When, in the 1740’s, the fur trade expanded westward, it was a joint venture between the military and business interests. The legendary La Verendrye family played a major role in this expansion; from their Quebec base, they established fur posts as far west as Manitoba.

The Hudson’s Bay Company (so much more than a department store). The Pedlars from Quebec. Race to the Sea? The fur trade explorers: Samuel Hearne, Alexander Mackenzie, David Thompson.

The Red River Rising, and the North-West Rebellion.

Development of the West Coast Fur Trade and the establishment of the Province of British Columbia in 1858

After Confederation (1867- )

Coming to terms with the First Nations.

Western immigration

Many immigrant workers who came to the west coast worked in the fishery and the lucrative trade in canned salmon.

History of Canada

History of Canada

Questions:
1. Who were the first people to live in Canada?
2. How did they come to Canada?
3. What countries took part in exploration of Canada?
4. When did Canada gain it’s independence?
5. Is Canada a developed country now?
6. What problems does Canada face today?

История Канады
История Канады — увлекательная история превращения обширной пустыни в великое государство. Большинство экспертов считает, что первые люди, которые жили на этой земле, пришли из Азии около 15000 лет назад. Они пришли по перешейку, который некогда соединял Азию с Северной Америкой. Их потомки сейчас известны как индейцы. Предки эскимосов пришли на Аляску за ними, вероятно, около 5000 лет назад.
В 1497 году Джон Кэбот, итальянский мореплаватель, состоявший на службе Англии, обнаружил рыбные места у юго-западного побережья Канады. Его открытие привело к исследованию Канады европейцами. Франция основала колонию на востоке Канады в начале XVII века. Великобритания получила контроль над страной в 1763 году, и тысячи английских эмигрантов пришли в Канаду. В 1867-м канадцы английского и французского происхождения помогли создать объединенную колонию, названную доминионом Канада. Обе группы работали вместе, чтобы заселить страну и разработать ее большие залежи полезных ископаемых и другие природные ресурсы.
Канада получила независимость от Британии в 1931 году. В течение полувека прилежные канадцы превратили свою страну в экономического гиганта.
Сегодня Канада является ведущим производителем пшеницы, овса и ячменя. Канада также находится среди ведущих стран-производителей и является главным поставщиком электроэнергии.
На протяжении своей истории Канада часто сталкивалась с проблемами недостатка единства среди ее населения. Французские канадцы, большинство которых живет в провинции Квебек, стремились сохранить свою собственную культуру. Они уже давно раздражены политикой Канады, основанной на британских традициях. Многие из них поддерживают движение, целью которого является сделать Квебек отдельным государством. Люди в остальных девяти провинциях Канады также часто предпочитают местные нужды национальным интересам.

Источник: 100 тем английского языка. Авторы Каверина В. Бойко В. Жидких Н.

Canada

Contents

Canada is the world’s second largest country by area, only behind Russia. Known as the Great White North, Canada is renowned for its vast, untouched landscape, and its multicultural heritage. While much of Canada consists of forests, it has more lakes than any other country, the Rocky Mountains, the Prairies, and a sparsely populated archipelago extending into the Arctic.

Regions [ edit ]

Visiting Canada all in one trip is a massive undertaking. Over 7,200 km (4,475 mi) separate St. John’s, Newfoundland from Victoria, British Columbia (about the same distance separating London and Riyadh, or Tokyo and Kolkata). To drive from one end of the country could take 7–10 days or more (and that assumes you’re not stopping to sight see on the way). A flight from Toronto to Vancouver takes over 4 hours. When speaking of specific destinations within Canada, it’s better to consider its distinct regions:

Atlantic Canada (New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island)
This region prides itself on its history, particularly that of the formation of Canada as a sovereign state. Atlantic Canada is well-known for unique accents, the origin of Acadian culture, natural beauty (particularly around coastal areas), the historic beauty of Halifax and St. John’s, and a huge fishing and shipping industry. It is also home to the distinctive culture of Newfoundland and Labrador, which was simultaneously the first part of what is now Canada to be explored by Europeans and the last part to join the confederation.
Quebec
Quebec is the only province with a French-speaking majority, having been settled as part of the New France colony. The region is culturally distinct from the rest of Canada, and is known for its cultural landscape, such as Quebec City’s Winter Festival, Montreal’s classic architecture, and maple syrup and poutine (two staples of Canadian cuisine). Montreal is also a prominent global francophone city, though through centuries of influence from both the British and the French, it is also very much a bilingual city, and its inhabitants have developed a self-proclaimed distinct sense of identity.
Ontario
Canada’s most populous province is geographically vast, allowing for endless activities to partake in. Toronto, Canada’s largest city, is eclectic, multicultural, and vibrant with 140 unique neighbourhoods. Ottawa is Canada’s charming, bilingual capital and features an array of art galleries and museums that showcase Canada’s past and present. Farther south is Niagara Falls and the north is home to the untapped natural beauty of the Muskoka and beyond. All these things and more highlight Ontario as what is considered quintessentially Canadian by outsiders.
Prairies (Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan)
Known for their vast open spaces and plentiful resources, the Canadian Prairies are a dynamic set of provinces with some of the most stunning natural beauty in the world. The region is rich in geographic variety, from rolling hills and canola farm fields in Manitoba and Saskatchewan to forests rich in diversity and the rather unique rock formations of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta. This region is also one of the fastest growing in Canada, and is well-known for mountain resorts like Banff and Jasper. The major cities of Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, and Winnipeg are modern cities with massive rodeos, museums, and stunning architecture.
British Columbia
Vancouver is the heart of British Columbia. It is known as one of the most liberal and culturally diverse cities in North America with everything from world-class skiing to nude beaches. Travelling outside Vancouver, one finds Victoria, provincial capital with a bustling downtown and stunning legislature grounds; the Okanagan, which is home to wineries, graceful mountains, and resorts; and retirement villages. Get lost in the vastness of mountains, lakes, and other natural wonders. The province also has the mildest winters in Canada on average (though often cloudy), especially in coastal regions, making it popular with Canadians who are less enthusiastic about winter.
The North (Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon)
The territories are some of the most remote regions on Earth and constitute most of Canada’s landmass. Though more known for their unique fauna and landscapes, the Territories also have some interesting human settlements, including Dawson City, a city that looks nearly untouched from the gold rush of 1898, and Iqaluit, Canada’s newest territorial capital, which is home to some interestingly adaptive architecture to the harsh climate of the North.

Cities [ edit ]

There are many cities in Canada, all of which are distinctive, welcoming to tourists, and well worth visiting, including

  • 45.424722222222 -75.695 1Ottawa — Canada’s national capital, this city is home to national government monuments like Parliament Hill, many major museums like the National Gallery, cool urban neighbourhoods like the ByWard Market, and great old architecture.
  • 51.05 -114.06666666667 2Calgary — A boom-town without a doubt, Calgary is a major Canadian financial city, but for non-business travellers, it offers the world- >44.647777777778 -63.571388888889 3Halifax — home to the second largest natural harbour in the world is rich in history with architecture dating back from English colonialism. See fortress Citadel hill, Canadian museum of the Atlantic, and the active night life where everything is a short walk away.
  • 45.508888888889 -73.561666666667 4Montreal — Once Canada’s largest metropolis, Montreal is the core of North America’s Francophone culture (you can still get by with English) and is home to some of the finest galleries, museums, venues, and festivals in the country along with great shopping on streets like Sainte-Catherine and Saint-Denis. Don’t miss Mount Royal, either.
  • 46.816111 -71.224167 5Quebec City — The Province of Quebec’s capital, founded 1608, well known for its quaint old city, its grand winter festival and gorgeous architecture like the Château Frontenac.
  • 43.670277777778 -79.386666666667 6Toronto — The largest city in Canada, fourth-largest in North America, Toronto is the media, entertainment, business, economic and cultural capital of Canada. Toronto is well known for famous landmarks like the CN Tower, but also has many great museums, theatres, sports venues, shopping districts, entertainment districts, beaches, and recreational parks.
  • 49.25 -123.1 7Vancouver — One of the most densely populated cities in Canada, Vancouver is a city of steel and glass condominiums and outstanding natural beauty. It is unique in that it is a city where one can ski and sit on the beach in the same 24 hours. The city was also the host of the 2010 Winter Olympics and is frequently ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world.
  • 60.717222222222 -135.05583333333 8Whitehorse — M >49.883333 -97.15 9Winnipeg — This city is near the heart of the continent and has a rich French-Canadian and First Nations culture, along with well preserved blocks of historic commercial buildings, renowned arts and culture, and the vibrancy of the Forks.

Other destinations [ edit ]

Understand [ edit ]

Capital Ottawa
Currency Canadian dollar (CAD)
Population 35.7 million (2015)
Electricity 120 volt / 60 hertz (NEMA 1-15, NEMA 5-15)
Country code +1
Time zone UTC−06:00 to Newfoundland Standard time and Central Time Zone, Mountain Time Zone, Pacific Time Zone, Eastern Time Zone
Emergencies 911
Driving side right
edit on Wikidata

Canada is a land of vast distances and rich natural beauty. Canada’s economic, cultural, linguistic and social characteristics closely resemble its neighbour to the south, the United States, but there are significant differences as well, particularly in Quebec and Atlantic Canada. For one thing, over 20% of Canadians (mostly, but by no means all, in Quebec) speak French as a first language. There’s also a significant and growing number of Spanish speakers in Toronto and Montreal, but it’s a small percentage compared to the United States. Also, while Canada has somewhat more land than the US, it has only about a tenth the population, most of them living within 200 km of the US-Canada border. Large areas further north are quite sparsely populated and some is nearly uninhabited wilderness. For a comparison of population that surprises many: There are more African Americans living in the US than there are Canadian citizens.

Though a medium sized country by its population (34 million), Canada has earned respect on the international stage and is consistently ranked as one of the wealthiest, least corrupt and most livable nations on earth.

History [ edit ]

The main wave of prehistoric settlers that came into the Americas from Northeast Asia via Alaska are thought to have arrived around 15,000 years ago, although the first migrants may have arrived around 30,000 years back and the last about 5,000. The main current theory as to the expansion of the prehistoric settlers is a southward migration along the coast with branching populations moving east and, later on, north. By this theory, the longest established cultures are the Pacific Coast tribes and the most recently established are the Arctic cultures.

The first confirmed European contact with Canada was just after 1000CE: Vikings under Leif Erikson certainly reached Newfoundland and there are some controversial indications that they also sailed far up the St Lawrence and south along what is now the US coast. The next confirmed group were the Portuguese who had fishing outposts along the Atlantic coast by the early 1500s. However, neither group built permanent settlements. The Viking attempt at a settlement, L’anse Aux Meadows, was abandoned after a few years and only rediscovered in 1960. There are unconfirmed claims of several other European groups reaching Canada earlier, notably including the Irish Saint Brendan in the 6th century.

More permanent settlements were subsequently founded by the English and the French. John Cabot, an Italian working for the English, seems to have reached Newfoundland in about 1497, but the records are neither clear nor complete. The French explorer Jacques Cartier landed on the Gaspé Peninsula in 1534 and claimed it for King Francis I of France. French fishing fleets began to sail to the Atlantic coast, where they traded with the indigenous people. Quebec City was founded by Samuel de Champlain in 1608 as the first permanent settlement in New France.

The English explorer Humphrey Gilbert landed at St John’s, Newfoundland and claimed it for Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1583 as the first English colony in North America. Under King James I, the English established more settlements in Newfoundland, from which they eventually moved on to establish the colony of Virginia further south in what is now the United States of America.

The British took Quebec in 1759 during the Seven Years’ War. The most important battlefield of that war in Canada is on the Plains of Abraham just outside the old city walls; it is now one of Quebec City’s tourist attractions. At the end of that war in 1763, the French ceded most of their colonies in continental North America to the British, though the British agreed to permit the continued official usage of the French language and legal system in the ceded colonies, and French continues to be the dominant language in Quebec province to this day. Following the British victory, New France was split into the colonies of Upper Canada (later Ontario), Lower Canada (Quebec), Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Under the French, most of what is now Atlantic Canada was called Acadie. The British expelled many of the French settlers and most of them went to Louisiana, where the region in which most of them settled is referred to as Acadiana; the term «Cajun» is an English corruption of the word Acadien. Some of them would later return to the region and settle in New Brunswick.

After the American War of Independence, during which the thirteen colonies became independent from the British as the United States of America, there was considerable migration to Canada by people who wanted to remain part of the British Empire. They are known in Canada as United Empire Loyalists, though Americans might call them Tory traitors. Some of the Loyalists were of African descent, many of them former slaves who had been granted their freedom in exchange for service for the British or escapees from owners aligned with the U.S. government. Some of them or their descendants later moved to England or what is today Sierra Leone, but there are still Afro-Canadians who can trace their heritage to Black Loyalists. Other substantial waves of immigration were ex-soldiers, mostly Scots, after the Napoleonic wars and many Irish from about the time of the Potato Famine onward.

The British and Americans fought a war in 1812 in which invasions were launched across the U.S.-Canada border in both directions. Some of the hotter heads on both sides had quite ambitious goals — drive the British out of North America entirely and annex Canada into the US, or reverse the effects of the American Revolution a few decades earlier and bring the U.S. back into the Empire. Neither side got anywhere near achieving such goals, and both ideas were thoroughly discredited by the end of the war. The U.S. national anthem was written about one of the battles in this war. Americans consider the war a draw, since no boundaries changed as a result. Canadians don’t necessarily see it that way as fending off a large-scale U.S. annexation of Canadian territory, particularly on the valuable Niagara Peninsula, is heralded as a historic British-Canadian military victory.

Slavery was abolished in the British Empire in 1834, but would remain legal in much of the U.S. until 1865, after the end of the American Civil War. The 1850 introduction of the U.S. Fugitive Slave Act, a federal law which angered abolitionist northern states by allowing black people to be abducted by slave-catchers and forcibly returned to slavery in the south, led to the establishment of an Underground Railroad of disparate routes leading north to freedom in Canada, mainly the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario and Halifax in Nova Scotia. Canada never had any large scale African descendant slave population, but both descendants of Underground Railroad refugees and «Black Loyalists» (African Americans both free and enslaved who fought for England during the American Revolution) continue to live in Canada, albeit in much smaller numbers than American blacks.

The British established their first colony on the Pacific coast of Canada in 1849, when Vancouver Island was chartered with Fort Victoria as its capital. The colony of British Columbia was established in 1858, and the two were merged in 1866.

The colonies of Upper Canada (Anglophone Ontario), Lower Canada (Francophone Quebec), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick federated to from the self-governing Dominion of Canada in 1867, with each former colony becoming a province. The federation was greatly expanded in 1870. A huge territory called Rupert’s Land — all the land whose rivers drain into Hudson’s Bay, much of Canada and parts of a few US states — was granted by the British crown to the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1670. In 1870, the newly formed dominion purchased it. That more than doubled the sizes of existing provinces Ontario and Quebec and led to the creation of new provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Manitoba joined the federation in 1870, followed by British Columbia in 1871, Prince Edward Island in 1873, and Saskatchewan and Alberta in 1905. Following World War II, the former Dominion of Newfoundland became the final province to join the Canadian federation in 1949. Canada’s newest territory, Nunavut, was created in 1999 from part of the existing Northwest Territories.

Canada’s relationship with the UK is somewhat complex. It was the British parliament’s British North America Act in 1867 that established the country and the British monarch is still King or Queen of Canada, with a Governor General representing him or her on the ground. However, this is a constitutional monarchy in which the monarch «reigns but does not rule»; the real governing power is Parliament. There were changes in 1931 which made Canada more-or-less fully independent of the United Kingdom. One notable difference was that in World War I, there were Canadian regiments in the British Army under British generals, but by World War II there was a Canadian Army with its own generals; Canadians and Newfoundlanders made significant contributions in both wars. Another significant change is that since the 1960s all the Governors-General have been Canadians; prior to that they were all British and often noblemen.

Canada’s relationship with the US is also complex. In general, the two nations are friendly and there is a great deal of trade and tourism in both directions. Many Canadians migrate to the US for various work opportunities — Hollywood has dozens — and some Americans come north. The first big wave was Empire Loyalists during or after the American Revolution; later there were Underground Railroad passengers, draft dodgers during the Vietnam War, and others. The two countries have not been to war since 1814 and are proud to have «the world’s longest undefended border», but there have been tensions and even threats. In the 1840s the slogan «Fifty-four-forty or fight» was used in American elections, asserting a claim to about half of what is now British Columbia; the boundary was eventually set by negotiation at 49 °N, several hundred miles south of 54°40′. The bellicose attitude of many Americans on that issue was in part connected to the contemporary Mexican-American War which was seen as a blatant land grab of pro-slavery forces at the time and the unwillingness of the federal government to assert a claim over Northern lands as aggressively as over Southern lands was seen as yet another sign for the federal government being controlled by Southern interests. Actual animosity towards Canada or the British played a marginal role in this jingoistic fervor. Canada and the US have been allies in a number of wars, notably both World Wars, Korea, Afghanistan, the first Iraq War and the current campaign against Da’esh (ISIS). However, Canada stayed out of some American wars, notably Vietnam and the second Iraq War.

Canadians sometimes cash in on events in the US. Canada’s only involvement in the Civil War was selling supplies to the North, and Canada was the main source for smuggled booze during prohibition.

Canada and particularly Newfoundland also played an important role in the history of transatlantic aviation. Gander was one of the closest points in North America that was fog free most of the year where an airport could be built and it turned into a frequent refueling stop before planes gained enough range to cross the Atlantic nonstop. During the Cold War, defections sometimes happened during those refueling stops. While its European equivalent Shannon is still the second biggest airport in Ireland, Gander has since lost most of its importance but briefly came to the centre of the world’s attention when after 9/11 countless flights that could not enter US airspace were diverted there and the locals took in stranded visitors from all over the world giving a piece of positive news to report on a generally depressing newsday.

In 1982, the UK passed the Canada Act, with Canada simultaneously passing the Constitution Act, ending any residual power the British parliament may have had to pass laws for Canada.

Quebec has twice had a referendum on the question of leaving Canada, the first time in 1980 with an almost 60-40 «no» vote and the second time in 1995 with an extremely narrow «no» vote of 50.58% to 49.42%. Quebec separatism is no longer a pressing issue, but it does come up from time to time, as do grumblings of other provinces — particularly the Maritimes and the Western provinces — about being left out or ignored by federal policy.

Politics [ edit ]

Canada has a federal system of government, consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Laws vary slightly from province to province, though they are for the most part fairly uniform.

At the federal level, the Canadian parliament is based on the British Westminster system, with a lower House of Commons that is popularly elected by the people, and an upper Senate that is appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the Prime Minister. The head of government is the Prime Minister, who is typically the leader of the party with the most seats in the House of Commons. Each province has its own provincial government and legislature, based on the same system but without a senate. The premier serves as the head of the provincial government.

The executive branch is the Cabinet, which is headed by the Prime Minister, who appoints his Cabinet ministers from among the members of the House of Commons, and occasionally from the Senate. The Supreme Court of Canada heads the judicial branch, and has served as the highest court of appeal since taking over that role from the UK Privy Council in 1949.

Queen Elizabeth II remains the nominal head of state, with an appointed governor-general as her representative in Canada and a lieutenant-governor in each province. This is a constitutional monarchy; the roles of the Queen and her representatives are largely ceremonial, with the prime minister wielding the most authority in government.

The Canadian constitution defines certain areas of exclusively provincial jurisdiction. For example, each province sets its own drinking age, minimum wage, sales tax, labour regulations, and administers its own roads, health care and education systems. Two of the three territories’ legislative assemblies (Nunavut and the Northwest Territories) are non-partisan – no political parties are represented and instead, all candidates run as independents in their constituency.

There are five main parliamentary parties at the federal level consisting of four nationally represented parties and one regionally focused party: the Conservative Party (right of centre), the Liberal Party (left of centre), the New Democratic Party (left), and the Green Party (left) are nationally represented while the Bloc Québécois is a regional party that promotes the independence of Quebec from Canada, running no candidates outside of Quebec. Only the Conservatives and the Liberals have ever formed the national government, though the NDP have governed various provinces. As of 2020, the Green Party has only secured less than 10 seats wherever elected and have formed the government opposition in Prince Edward Island. The Bloc – who have generally drawn criticism from outside of Quebec for their separatist focused agenda – do not participate in provincial-level politics, but another provincial-level sovereignist party, the Parti Québécois, has won provincial elections and formed the government in Quebec on several occasions. While minority governments are somewhat common, coalition governments are almost unheard of and usually elections result in an outright majority of the seats for one party, even if this party only gained somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of the popular vote. For most of its history since Confederation, Canada has been governed by the Liberal Party, which former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien referred to as «Canada’s natural governing party.» After a Conservative Government that served from 2006 to 2015, the Liberals under Justin Trudeau (son of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, another Liberal prime minister) returned to government in 2015.

While Canada does not have the equivalent of «red states» and «blue states» as the US, there are some marked preferences for particular parties by province that have been relatively stable. However, the first-past-the-post system can cause electoral upsets as happened in 2015 in Alberta when the right-wing parties, the Progressive Conservatives and the Wildrose parties (both defunct), split the vote giving rise to an NDP government in a province that had been governed by the Progressive Conservatives parties for 44 years continuously.

Culture [ edit ]

Domestically, Canada has displayed success in negotiating compromises among its own culturally and linguistically varied population, a difficult task considering that language, culture, and even history vary significantly throughout the country. In contrast to the United States’ traditional image of itself as a melting pot (now falling out of use), Canada prefers to consider and define itself as a mosaic of cultures and peoples. Canadians are used to living and interacting with people of different ethnic backgrounds on a daily basis and will usually be quite friendly and understanding if approached in public. The country is largely urban-based and is home to a diverse population (less so in rural areas). As is common with any neighbouring nations, there is some rivalry between Americans and Canadians, which may be more evident in Canada than the United States. Consequently, if you are obviously an American visitor, a minority of Canadians may make comments that could offend you. However, if you aren’t «in your face» about you being American and don’t negatively compare Canada to the US the worst you will probably hear are some good-natured jokes.

Time zones [ edit ]

The Canadian Sir Sandford Fleming first proposed time zones for the entire world in 1876, and Canada, being a continental country, is covered coast to coast with several zones.

Daylight saving time, when clocks are moved forward by one hour, is observed in most of the country (except Saskatchewan) from 2AM on the second Sunday in March until 2AM on the second Sunday in November; during this time, for example, British Columbia uses GMT −7 while Alberta has GMT −6.

Anglophone Canada mostly uses the 12-hour clock system, but the 24-hour clock is generally used in francophone Canada. The 24-hour notation is also often used in English in such contexts as train and airline schedules.

Units of measure [ edit ]

Canada’s official measurement system is metric, but many Anglophone Canadians still use the imperial system for many things in colloquial usage. One of the most common holdovers from the imperial system is the use of feet and inches for measurement of short distances and heights, and especially the use of pounds for masses, even among younger Canadians and Francophones, though these measurements will be recorded in metric units on official documents. In Quebec and other Francophone communities, Imperial units are referred to by their French names. Feet become pieds, inches become pouces and pounds become livres. Older Canadians might still use the term ‘mile’ when referring to informal distances. Fahrenheit temperatures are only used when referring to water in pools and hot tubs, and for oven temperatures. Air temperature, both inside and outside is almost exclusively reported in Celsius. All weather forecasts will be in °C, centimetres of snow and millimetres of rain. Similarly, all road signs will use metric units, meaning that speed limits will be given in km/h and distances will be given in km. «Gallons», «quarts», «pints» and «fluid ounces» in Canada are generally used to refer to the British and not the American versions of those units.

Climate [ edit ]

Trying to distill the climate of Canada into an easy-to-understand statement is impossible, given the vast area and diverse geography within the country, but «Frozen North» would be a reasonable first approximation. In most places, winters are harsh, on par with Russia. The most populated region, southern Ontario has a less severe climate, similar to the bordering regions of the mid-western and northeastern United States. Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut, is just south of the Arctic Circle and remains very cold except for the months of July and August, when the July average maximum is only 12°C (54°F). On the other hand, the coastline of British Columbia is very mild for its latitude, remaining above freezing for most of winter, yet it is not far away from some of the largest mountain glaciers on the continent.

Most of the large Canadian urban areas are within 200 km (125 mi) of Canada’s border with the United States (Edmonton, Calgary, Halifax and St. John’s being notable exceptions). Visitors to most cities will most likely not have to endure the weather that accompanies a trip to more remote northern or mountainous areas often pictured on postcards of Canada. Summers in the most populated parts of Canada are generally short and hot. Summer temperatures over 35°C (95°F) are not unusual in Southern Ontario, the southern Prairies and the southern Interior of BC, with Osoyoos being the hot-spot of Canada for average daily maximums. Toronto’s climate is only slightly cooler than many of the larger cities in the northeastern United States, and summers in the southern parts of Ontario, Quebec (including Montreal) and Manitoba are often hot and humid. In contrast, humidity is often low in the western interior during the summer, even during hot weather, and more cooling occurs at night. In the winter, eastern Canada, particularly Atlantic Canada, is sometimes subject to inclement weather systems entering from the US, bringing snow, high wind, rain, sleet, and temperatures in their wake of under −10°C (14°F).

Many inland cities, especially those in the Prairies, experience extreme temperature fluctuations, sometimes very rapidly. Owing to a dry climate (more arid west than east on the southern Prairies), bright sunshine hours are plentiful in the 2,300–2,600 annual hours range.

Winnipeg has hot summers with bouts of aggressive humidity, yet experiences very cold winters where temperatures around −40°C (−40°F) are not uncommon. The official hottest temperature in Canada ever recorded was in southern Saskatchewan, at 45°C (113°F), while the coldest was in Snag, Yukon −63°C (−81°F). Summer storms in the Prairies and Ontario can be violent and sometimes unleash strong damaging winds, hail, and rarely, tornadoes. On the west coast of British Columbia, Vancouver and Victoria are far more temperate and get very little snow, average low wind speeds and seldom experience temperatures below 0°C or above 27°C (32–80°F) but receive high rainfall amounts in winter then in turn dry, sunny, pleasant summers.

The average temperature is typically colder in Canada than in the US and Western Europe as a whole, so bring a warm jacket if visiting between October and April, and earlier and later than this if visiting hilly/mountainous terrain or Northern areas. For most of the country, daytime highs in the summer are generally well above 15 °C (60 °F) and usually into the 20s–30s°C (70s–100s°F) range.

Holidays [ edit ]

Canada recognizes and celebrates the following national holidays (some provinces may have minor differences):

  • New Year’s Day — 1 January
  • Family Day — 3rd Monday in February (not observed in all provinces, known as Louis Riel Day in Manitoba, Islander Day in PEI)
  • Good Friday — Friday before Easter (a few institutions also close on Easter Monday)
  • Easter Sunday — late March or early April, first Sunday after first full moon after the spring equinox
  • Victoria Day—Last Monday in May before 25 May (known as Fêtes des Patriotes in Québec; always one week before the US Memorial Day)
  • St. Jean Baptiste Day (Québec) — 24 June (also known as Fête Nationale)
  • Canada Day— 1 July
  • Civic Holiday — first Monday in August (only applies in some provinces, under different names; not in Québec)
  • Labour Day — first Monday in September
  • Thanksgiving—Second Monday in October (the same day as the US holiday of Columbus Day)
  • Remembrance Day —11 November (bank holiday only; the same day as the US Veterans Day)
  • Christmas Day — 25 December
  • Boxing Day—26 December

Canada’s Labour Day is not celebrated on 1 May, as in much of the world, but on the first Monday in September (the same day as the US celebrates its Labor Day).

Talk [ edit ]

Bilingualism and politics


Although most Canadians are monolingual, one place where you can see Canada’s official bilingualism on display is in Parliament, as MPs have the right to address the House in either English or French. This bilingualism is also on display during election season, as all the major parties’ prime ministerial candidates are expected to debate in both French and English on television, making bilingualism almost essential if one has aspirations for high office.

English and French are the only two official languages in Canada at the national level, though many other languages are spoken among immigrants or Canada’s native peoples. All communications and services provided by the federal government are required by law to be available in both official languages. However, individual provinces are free to decide which languages they wish to adopt as official languages at the provincial level, meaning that offices of the provincial governments may not necessarily offer services in both languages (e.g. British Columbia only offers services in English, while Quebec only offers services in French). Most Canadians are functionally monolingual, although some parts of the country have both English and French speakers. Over a quarter of Canadians are bilingual or multilingual. A majority of Montrealers and Gatinois, as well as about 40% of Ottawans, are at least conversationally bilingual. New Brunswick is officially bilingual as roughly one third of the province speak French as their first language, mostly in Northern New Brunswick.

English is the dominant language in all regions except Québec, where French is dominant and actively promoted as the main language. However, there are numerous francophone communities scattered around the country, such as:

  • the national capital region around Ottawa, and various towns between Ottawa and Montréal
  • some parts of eastern and northern Ontario,
  • the city of Winnipeg (particularly St. Boniface) and areas to the south,
  • the Bonnie Doon neighbourhood in Edmonton, and several surrounding communities,
  • a few parts of the Acadian region of Atlantic Canada, scattered across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island).

Likewise, there are anglophone communities in Québec, such as the on-island western suburbs of Montreal. Most Francophones outside of Québec are bilingual, as are most Anglophones living in Québec.

Canadian English uses a mixture of British and American spellings, often with US vocabulary («gas» instead of «petrol») and UK spelling (a «meter» is a measuring instrument, a «metre» is a unit of length). Some British terms not usually understood in the United States are widely used in Canada. Certain words, as well as the letter «z», follow British instead of American pronunciations, but the accents of Canadians and Americans are nonetheless quite similar. The standard Canadian accent differs from the standard American (Midwest) accent being smoother, less nasal and faster-paced (common phrases that are normally two words are pronounced as though there is no space between them) and is virtually identical to the West Coast American accent. Canadian English also tends to have a stronger French influence than other varieties of English, and Canadians are also more likely than other English speakers to pronounce loan words from French according to their original French pronunciation.

Atlantic Canada has the greatest variety of regional accents in English-speaking North America, largely as a result of the isolated nature of the fishing communities along the Atlantic coastline prior to the advent of modern telecommunications and transportation. A visitor to the Atlantic provinces may have some difficulty understanding strong local accents rich in maritime slang and idiom, particularly in rural areas. From Ontario westward, the accent of English Canadians is more or less the same from one region to another and is akin to that spoken in northern US border states.

English-speaking Canadians are generally not required to take French after their first year of high school, and thus most English-speaking Canadians outside Quebec cannot speak French unless they are closely related to someone who does, or have chosen to continue French studies out of personal or professional interest. Ottawa is an exception as French is needed in many civil service jobs. Education in other languages (such as Spanish, German, and Japanese) is offered, although only a small minority of students take these courses, and those that do rarely progress past the basics. As Canada is a popular destination for migrants from all over the world, you will often hear different languages being spoken in Canada’s major cities, and you will often find neighbourhoods or suburbs whose primary language is that of their respective immigrant communities. Most immigrants learn English or French in addition to speaking their native tongue with family and friends.

In Quebec, one can usually get by with English in Montreal, Gatineau, on-the-beaten-path areas of Quebec City, and a few traditionally Anglophone rural areas such as the Lower North Shore, Chaleur Bay, and some areas along the U.S. border. However, elsewhere in the province, knowledge of French ranges from very useful to downright essential. Even if you’re just passing through, it pays to know at least enough French to read road signs (this is especially true if you’re planning to venture off the autoroutes onto country roads). It may also be useful to know at least a few basic French phrases in the larger cities, where some attempt by travellers to communicate in French is often appreciated. The varieties of French spoken in Québec and the Acadian regions differ in accent and vocabulary from each other and from European French. Some Franco-Europeans have difficulty understanding Canadian French. Nevertheless, all Francophone Canadians learn standard French in school, so they will generally be able to speak standard French if required.

Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal are home to large Chinese migrant populations, and Cantonese is widely spoken in the Chinatowns in these cities. Due to migration from mainland China, and the increasing prominence of China’s rising tourism industry, Mandarin is becoming increasingly more widely spoken. Other Chinese dialects are also spoken, but less common.

There are also dozens of aboriginal languages spoken by many Canadians of aboriginal descent. In Nunavut more than half the population speaks Inuktitut, a traditional language of the Inuit, with a significant minority speaking Inuinnaqtun. Nevertheless, most of these people speak English or French as well, so learning these languages is generally not a necessity to communicate, though it would certainly impress your hosts.

Two sign languages are predominant in Canada. American Sign Language, or ASL, is used in Anglophone Canada; Quebec Sign Language, or LSQ, is used in Francophone Canada. While the two are distinct languages, they share a degree of mutual intelligibility. Both are part of the French Sign Language family, and LSQ is believed to be a mix of French Sign Language and ASL.

Get in [ edit ]

Citizens of the following countries do not need a visa to visit Canada for a stay of (generally) up to six months, provided no work or study is undertaken and the traveller holds a passport valid for six months beyond their intended date of departure:

A visa exemption also applies to individuals holding nationalities that are not specified above if they are in possession of a US Green Card or can provide other evidence of permanent residence in the United States. Persons who do not require a visa and who are entering for any reason other than tourism must have a letter of invitation from the individual, business, or organization that they are visiting (information about letters of invitation and what information they need to contain).

Foreigners entering Canada visa-free by plane are required to obtain an eTA (electronic Travel Authorization) in order to be allowed on the plane. The eTA is issued by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and is similar to the US ESTA, but the fee is lower at $7 and is valid for as long as the passport or for a maximum of five years. US citizens (but not permanent residents) and French citizens of Saint Pierre and Miquelon are exempt from this. The eTA is not required if you are entering by land or sea.

Canada is quite strict about admitting anyone with a criminal record, and even people who would otherwise not need a visa may be denied entry or may need additional paperwork if they have a record, no matter how long ago or minor it may be. Even a drunk driving conviction counts, because that is considered a criminal offence under Canadian law. Anybody with a criminal record, including US citizens, should contact a Canadian diplomatic mission for advice before making travel plans. See Traveling with a criminal history#Canada.

All others will be required to obtain a Temporary Resident Visa to enter the country. This can be done at the applicants’ nearest Canadian Visa Office. Applicants are required to submit, as part of their application:

  • A valid travel document (such as a passport)
  • Two properly-formatted, passport-sized photos for all applicants
  • The application fee (the fee per person is $75 for a single entry visa, $150 for a multiple entry visa or $400 for a family (multiple or single entry)
  • Reservation confirmation (for tourists) or letter of invitation (for everybody else).
  • Proof that you have enough money for your visit to Canada. The amount of money may vary, depending on the circumstances for your visit, how long you will stay and whether you will stay in a hotel, or with friends or relatives. You can get more information from the visa office.
  • Other documents as required. These documents could be identification cards, proof of employment, or a proposed itinerary. Check the website of the visa office responsible for the country or region where you live for more information.

If you plan to visit the United States and do not travel outside the borders of the US, you can use your single entry visa to re-enter as long as the visa has not passed its expiry date.

Working while in the country is forbidden without a work permit, although Canada does have several temporary work permits for youth from specific countries. See «Work» below.

Quebec has been given limited autonomy in the selection of immigrants by the federal government. While its immigration rules differ slightly from the rest of Canada, these rule differences do not affect short-term visitors (such as tourists and business travellers) who do not plan to work or immigrate.

United States citizens travelling by land (vehicle, rail, boat or foot) to Canada need only proof of citizenship and identification for short-term visits. In addition to a passport, a number of other documents may also be used to cross the border:

  • United States Passport Card (issued by the Department of State)
  • Enhanced Drivers License or Non-Driver Photo ID card (issued by Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, and Washington State)
  • Enhanced Tribal ID Card
  • Trusted Traveler Cards issued by the US Department of Homeland Security for the Canadian Border (NEXUS and FAST).

DHS issued cards for the Mexican Border (SENTRI) and for international air travellers (Global Entry) cannot be used to enter Canada, but they are acceptable to re-enter the United States and may be used in the dedicated NEXUS lanes into the US, where available.

Prior to 2009, it was possible to travel across the US-Canada border with just a birth certificate or a driver’s licence. Birth certificates are still acceptable to enter Canada, but United States Customs and Border Protection stopped accepting birth certificates when the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) went into effect. This is because many (especially older) certificates are little more than a typewritten piece of carbon paper with no security. If you try to re-enter the United States with your birth certificate, you will eventually be let in, but only after significant delays while CBP verifies the information on it with the issuing department. You may also be fined or prosecuted for non-compliance, although anything more than a written warning is unlikely for a first time violator.

Residents of Greenland, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon and some Caribbean nations are not required to present a passport if they can prove nationality and identity via some other means.

Residents of Greenland, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, and the United States also benefit from arrangements where applications for work and study permits can be made upon arrival in Canada at the Immigration Office at the port of entry without the need for an advance Temporary Resident Visa or advance application at a consulate. However, all the paperwork normally needed for such a permit has to be submitted at the port of entry as it would at a consulate, including a letter of introduction/invitation, the appropriate paperwork issued by the institution/employer, and the appropriate fees.

Transit [ edit ]

Similar to the US, Canada also requires entry formalities even if you are transferring between two international flights at the same airport. The exception to this is if you are connecting from another international flight to a US-bound flight (but not vice versa) at an airport with US border pre-clearance, and if the connection is made in the same terminal. If you are not eligible for a visa waiver to enter Canada, then in general you will need to apply for a free-of-charge transit visa to transit through Canada. While Canada’s visa policy is in general somewhat more relaxed than the US, making it a popular route for people who wish to avoid transiting through the US, Canada’s rules on criminal inadmissibility are even more strict than that of the US. In other words, if you have a criminal record, or even a drunk-driving conviction, it is likely that you will be refused immigration clearance to transit through Canada and should plan alternative routes.

Customs [ edit ]

Canada has very strict biosecurity laws. Similar to the United States, Australia and New Zealand, all food items being brought into Canada must be declared to customs on arrival and inspected. Failure to declare any food items could lead to a hefty fine, even if the items are permitted.

Canadian drug laws are considerably stricter than American ones, and attempting to bring illicit drugs into Canada is a very serious offence which carries a heavy jail term with it. In particular, while medicinal marijuana is legal in much of the US, it is illegal to attempt to bring marijuana into Canada, even if you have a prescription and even though recreational use of cannabis is legal in Canada — see the government’s Cannabis and International Travel page for details.

It is illegal to bring firearms and explosives across the border into Canada without declaring them, with proper paperwork, to customs. Anyone under 18 years of age cannot legally bring a firearm into Canada at all. For details, see the Canada Border Services Agency’s Import and Export a Firearm or Weapon into Canada page for firearms and the Natural Resources Canada Importing, Exporting and Transporting-in-Transit pages for ammunition.

Although there is no restriction on the amount of money that can be brought into or out of Canada, customs requires you to declare if you are carrying $10,000 (Canadian) or more, or its equivalent in foreign currency. Failure to declare could lead to prosecution and possible seizure of the cash.

From the United States [ edit ]

If you are a US citizen or permanent resident and travel to Canada frequently, consider applying for a NEXUS card. NEXUS allows pre-approved, low risk travellers to use expedited inspection lanes both into Canada and the United States at many land crossings with minimal questioning. You can also utilize kiosks to make your customs declaration and clear the border at major international airports if you opt for an iris scan. The application fee is $50 and requires being legally admissible to both nations, a thorough background investigation, credit check, fingerprinting and an interview with both US Customs and Border Protection and Canada Border Services Agency.

Participants in other DHS trusted traveller programs such as Global Entry (expedited clearance at airports), SENTRI (expedited US-Mexico border clearance) and FAST (for truck drivers) cannot utilize NEXUS lanes into Canada, although are allowed to use their Global Entry, SENTRI, or FAST card as a travel document denoting identity and citizenship. Additionally, these cards can be used in NEXUS lanes entering the United States.

If you are travelling to Canada from the United States and you are not a permanent resident of either country you need to be careful to satisfy the US authorities on any subsequent trip that you have not exceeded their limits on stays in North America. Your time in Canada counts towards your maximum allowed United States stay if you are returning to the US prior to your departure from North America.

  • If you are returning to the US in this trip, keep your visa documents. Do not hand over your US visa or visa waiver card (I-94 or I-94W) to border control. You can enter the US multiple times during the time allocated to your visa (for Western tourists, normally 90 days), but you need to have the immigration document as well to validate the visa. If you come back from the US without that document, you will not only have to apply again for a visa or visa waiver but also will also need to satisfy US immigration of the validity of your trip (meaning to show them that you will not intend on immigrating there).
  • If your default US time is going to run out while you are in Canada, and you want to return to the US direct from Canada, you need to apply for a US visa with a longer time period (e.g. B-1/B-2, or a C-1 transit visa) before your first trip through the US. For example, if you are going to stay in Canada for six months, and you transit through the US on a visa waiver, then the US will regard your six months in Canada as not allowing you to return to the US without leaving North America first, as you have stayed more than 90 days in North America in total. In this scenario, you have not done anything wrong by visiting the US and then staying in Canada for a long time, simply that the US will not allow you to return directly from Canada, you have to reset their clock by leaving North America. Visa waiver travellers may be able to avoid this by returning their I-94W (green) form to their airline upon departing the US, or to the Canadian immigration inspector if entering Canada by land; since the US has no outbound immigration check, it’s up to the traveller to remember this.
  • If you are intending to leave North America entirely without returning to the US on this trip, return any visa documents at the time of leaving the US for Canada. This means handing over your I-94 or I-94W card to airline staff at the check-in counter if departing by air, or to the Canadian immigration inspector if departing by land. If you do not, you will need to prove to the US that you didn’t overstay to be admitted on future trips (the US CBP website has information on how to correct this mistake).

If you leave Canada to briefly visit the United States and wish to re-enter Canada in a short period of time, you generally may do so without getting a new Canadian visa as long as you return within the initial period authorised by the immigration officer or have a valid temporary residence permit authorising you to re-enter, and you do not leave US soil before returning to Canada (i.e. not even during a cruise which begins and ends at a US point but crosses international waters in-between). If you leave US soil for a third country for any reason on a single-entry Canadian visa, you will have to apply for a new visa before re-entering Canada.

By plane [ edit ]

Canada’s main international airports are located in Toronto (YYZ IATA ), Vancouver (YVR IATA ) and Montreal (YUL IATA ). Many other cities have international airports as well, with the following being of particular use to visitors: Calgary, Ottawa, Halifax, St. John’s, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Kelowna, Victoria and Quebec City.

Flag carrier Air Canada and WestJet are the country’s only national air carriers, covering the entire country and international destinations. There are also regional domestic airlines, and charter airlines serving mainly international destinations.

With rare exceptions, Canadian three-letter IATA airport codes start with a «Y» and the corresponding ICAO codes are «CY»; the last two letters of both codes almost always match.

Luggage allowance for flights to or from Canada usually operates on a piece-wise in addition to the weight system even for foreign carriers. This means that you are allowed a limited number of bags to check-in where each bag should not exceed certain linear dimensions (computed by adding the length, width and height of the bags). The exact restrictions on weight, linear dimension and number of baggage allowed are determined by the carrier you are flying with and the class of service you are travelling in, usually individual bags may be up to 23 kg (50 lb) if travelling in economy class.

If you are flying across the border from the United States, Air Canada and all US-based carriers (Alaska, American, Delta, and United) charge checked bag fees. Typically $25 for a single bag of up to 23 kg (50 pounds), and $35–50 for a second bag, unless you have elite status, are travelling in First or Business class, or qualify for a fee waiver (e.g. US military personnel). If you are flying to the US from a major airport, you will typically clear US customs and immigration at the Canadian airport before departure; make sure you give yourself ample time to complete all these procedures

By car [ edit ]

Canada has a land border with only one country – the United States. There are two land borders, Canada’s southern border with the 48 contiguous states and another between Western Canada and Alaska. See the from the United States subsection for more information on what to do when leaving the US.

You might also enter the country by road from the United States through one of many border crossing points. The same rules will apply here, but if your case is not straightforward, expect to be delayed, as the officials here (especially in more rural areas) see fewer non-US travellers than at the airports. Also expect delays during holiday periods, as border crossings can become clogged with traffic.

After crossing the border into Canada, road signs change into metric units; distances are in kilometres and speed limits in km per hour. One mile is 1.609 km so multiply what you see on the road signs by 5/8 to get its approximate equivalent in miles e.g. 40 km ≈ 25 miles and 100 km/h ≈ 62.5 mph. If you are driving a US-model vehicle into Canada, the speedometer will usually have US units on top or outward while metric units are below or inward. If only US units are displayed, there will usually be a switch allowing you to change the speedometer to metric units; check your owner’s manual to find where it is.

As of 2013, drivers of US registered vehicles in Canada are no longer required to carry a separate Canadian insurance document. It is your responsibility as the driver to ensure that your US policy will cover you in Canada and meets the minimum coverage level of the provinces you’ll be driving in. C$200,000 liability coverage is the standard requirement in all provinces apart from Nova Scotia which sets the minimum at C$500,000, by contrast, most US states have statutory minimums of US$50,000 or less. Most American insurers will cover you fully in Canada although some require advanced notification and/or payment of an additional premium. Call your agent prior to any cross-border car trips to discuss requirements and procedures.

By train [ edit ]

Via Rail is Canada’s national passenger rail service. The US counterpart, Amtrak, provides connecting rail services to Toronto from New York via Niagara Falls; Montreal from New York and Vancouver from Seattle via Bellingham. Their trains are an inexpensive way to get into Canada, as tickets start from as low as US$43 return between Seattle and Vancouver.

Not many take the train as a regular means of inter-city transportation. Most simply drive to where they want to go if the distance is short (which in Canada can still mean hundreds of kilometres!), or fly if distances are long.

Important: If you’re travelling cross-border on Amtrak services, you must have your tickets validated prior to boarding. Pick up your tickets from the window (not the Quick-Trak kiosk) and show your passport or travel document to the agent (your travel document information is sent ahead of time on a manifest to border services to facilitate crossing procedures). Some stations, such as New York City, have a dedicated window for international passengers.

As of 2020, Hostelling International members are eligible at 12.5% discount from Via Rail.

By bus [ edit ]

Greyhound Canada serves Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto, with connecting service to regional lines and US Greyhound coaches.

Many routes connect major Canadian and American cities including Montreal – New York City which is operated by New York Trailways and Vancouver–Seattle operated by Greyhound (USA). The Toronto to New York City route (via Buffalo) is operated by a number of bus companies: Greyhound and Trailways for traditional service, and Megabus (Coach Canada) on the discount side. There are also many local bus companies throughout Canada.

Effective October 31, 2020, Greyhound Canada terminated all bus service in Northern Ontario (north-west of Sudbury) and all of Western Canada (Prairies and British Columbia). This did not affect the Vancouver-Seattle service operated by Greyhound (USA).

By boat [ edit ]

Several cruise lines run cruises between the eastern United States and Halifax. Most freight routes run to Montreal on the east coast and Vancouver on the west coast. International passengers will be required to pass through customs in their port of arrival.

Ferries enter British Columbia from Alaska and Washington. Alaska Marine Highway serves Prince Rupert, whereas Washington State Ferries serves Sidney (near Victoria) through the San Juan islands. Black Ball runs a car ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles; tourist-oriented passenger-only ferries run from Victoria to points in Washington.

A car ferry in Sonra, Ontario serves Marine City, Michigan (midway between Windsor-Detroit and Sarnia-Port Huron). A truck ferry joins Windsor-Detroit, primarily to carry dangerous goods prohibited on the Ambassador Bridge. A small car ferry operates from Pelee Island and Kingsville (Ontario) to Sandusky, Ohio when ice and weather allows. A small car ferry operates seasonally between Wolfe Island, Ontario (near Kingston) and Cape Vincent, NY.

A ferry runs seasonally (May 1-end Oct) between Yarmouth and Portland (Maine).

A seasonal bird-watching tour from Cutler, Maine visits Machias Seal Island in New Brunswick; capacity is strictly limited.

A passenger ferry runs from Fortune in Newfoundland to Saint Pierre and Miquelon; it is not possible (as of 2020) to bring a car onto the ferry.

Cruising on small craft is also an option to reach Canada from Saint Pierre and Miquelon or from US border towns on the Great Lakes, Saint Lawrence Seaway, New Brunswick’s St. Clair River and on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. The master of small craft arriving in Canada must contact Customs at +1-888-CANPASS (226-7277) before passengers disembark from the boat.

Get around [ edit ]

Canada is huge – the second largest country in the world by land area after Russia; this means that you will need several days to appreciate even a part of the country. The distances involved will boggle many travellers, though perhaps not those from other large countries.

The distance from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Vancouver (over 5,000 km or 3,000 miles as the crow flies) is considerably more than from London to any major European city, including Moscow, and somewhat more than from New Delhi to either Beijing or Istanbul.

This being said, the span of Canada’s population is actually very small: 90% of Canada’s population resides within 160 km of the American Border (excluding the Yukon-Alaska border), and 57% of Canadians reside south of the parallel on which Seattle resides. As such, getting around in Canada is almost completely restricted to the southern «Canadian Corridor» and any travel to Northern Canada requiring a plane to access.

By plane [ edit ]

The best way to get around the country is by air. Air Canada is the main national carrier, and has by far the largest network and most frequent schedules. For travel between major centres, WestJet offers competitive fares. Because of protectionism policies favouring Canadian carriers and high taxes, fares tend to be more expensive than flying similar distances in the United States, Australia or China, and sometimes, transiting in the US could be cheaper than a direct domestic flight. Most major airports are served by public transit. This consists of trains and feeder buses running at peak frequencies ranging from five to fifteen minutes or less (Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, Ottawa). Service may be spotty or non-existent late at night or on weekends if you are outside the major centres. To travel to the city centre/downtown, one or more connections are required in all cities except Vancouver, Montreal, Winnipeg and Ottawa, making a taxi or shuttle a better idea for large groups or those with a lot of luggage.

Domestic flights in Canada are generally similar to those in the US in terms of service levels; airlines charge economy class passengers for meals and check-in baggage, and these are only included in the ticket price for business class passengers.

Air hitch-hiking [ edit ]

Float planes, lake to lake in northern Canada is another way to travel. It’s possible to do this for free. You can Air Hitch above the Arctic Circle by flying out of any of the airports, but the trick is getting access to pilots. This can be easier at the Abbotsford Air Show, near Vancouver, Canada, in the summer.

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When you get further north, above Prince George say, you’ll need to hook up with pilots, often delivering mail lake to lake. Often there are general store and post office type places near the lakes. Many air hitchers catch up with the pilots when they stop for a meal or coffee as one does with truck drivers. In the major and regional airports, one can catch the pilots going in or out of the Environment Canada weather offices.

Air couriers [ edit ]

Air courier travel is a dying phenomenon. It was once common to deliver urgent documents and parcels more quickly by using the checked baggage allocation of a passenger ticket on frequently-travelled routes (such as Paris to Montréal); as checked baggage must have a corresponding passenger, the seat would be offered with carry-on luggage only to a traveller at a reduced rate. With rare exception, any time advantage has been eliminated by airlines improving their cargo operations and by major parcel carriers (such as FedEx and UPS) moving the bulk of their cargo on their own aircraft.

If one accepts work in Canada’s high north, many employers will pay one’s passage. Because it pays so well and there is little work in places like Newfoundland, many Canadians commute from the Atlantic provinces to well- paid jobs in Northern Canada and Alberta.

By bus [ edit ]

Travel by intercity coach is available between most major cities in Canada. Service is best in the densely packed Windsor-Quebec corridor between Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa. Service in this corridor is provided by a number of companies:

  • Megabus (Coach Canada): Toronto – Kingston — Montreal
  • Greyhound: Toronto – Ottawa, Montreal – Ottawa, and routes between Toronto and southwestern Ontario
  • Orleans Express: Montreal – Quebec City

DRL runs a daily Newfoundland service, and Maritime Bus operates in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick.

Since the discontinuation of Greyhound’s Western Canada service, a cross-Canada bus trip is essentially impossible.

There are bus services in the most populated parts of eastern Canada, but service through northern Ontario to Winnipeg is provided on daytime runs by Kasper Bus from White River, requiring an overnight layover Thunder Bay. There is no carrier offering westbound service from Winnipeg to Saskatchewan (as of January 2020). Rider Express offers a Regina-Saskatoon-Edmonton service, and a daily Calgary-Vancouver run.

By car [ edit ]

Many travellers to Canada rent a car. Although somewhat expensive if you are travelling alone, this can be an economically reasonable alternative if you are sharing the costs with others. However, there are many limitations and drawbacks on car rentals in Canada, including:

  • There can be very high surcharges associated with dropping off the car at a different location than where it was picked up.
  • Unlimited kilometres are usually offered for the province you rent it in only. As soon as you enter another province, even for a few kilometres, your entire trip gets limited (mostly to 200 km a day).
  • Driving is usually permitted on paved roads only.
  • There are no manual transmission rental cars available in Canada.

In some cases, frugal travellers may be able to «earn» budget automobile travel by delivering a car across Canada. The option is not common. Nor does it offer the opportunity to spend much time stopping along the way. However, it can be a cheap way to cross Canada while seeing the interior. Canada Drive Away and Hit the Road are options.

Traffic moves on the right in Canada with most cars being left-hand-drive (as in the USA and France).

Driving within Montreal, Vancouver or Toronto is not always practical; these cities are densely populated and parking can be difficult to find and/or expensive. All three cities provide extensive public transit, so it may be better to park in a central location, or at your hotel or lodging, then use public transit. You can usually obtain maps of the public transit systems at airports, subway kiosks, and train stations. Outside those cities, public transport tends to be unreliable or non-existent, so a car is almost essential just to get around at all.

Gasoline in 2020 was $1.00-1.40 per litre in most Canadian cities. Debit and credit cards without the «chip and PIN» are not recognized at the pumps, although most companies accept the cards if they are brought inside to the cashier.

In general, foreign visitors are allowed to drive using their foreign licence for up to 90 days if their licence is in English or French, after which they have to obtain a Canadian licence from the province or territory they are residing in. Foreign licences in other languages must be accompanied by an International Driving Permit (IDP). Most foreigners are required to take a written and practical test before they can get a Canadian licence, though individual provinces may have reciprocal agreements that exempt some foreigners from testing requirements; check with the relevant provincial government to be sure. Licensing laws and road rules vary slightly from province to province.

Many jurisdictions also have red light and speed cameras that issue fines via mail to the car’s registered owner, again via licence plate when the car is automatically photographed running (disobeying) a red traffic light or going above the speed limit. The above warning regarding rental agency policies applies to these as well. As the ticket is sent to the vehicle owner (not the driver) long after the alleged offence, it is difficult or impossible to obtain due process or a fair trial, making these traps a lucrative source of revenue for local and provincial governments.

By RV [ edit ]

If you are set on a road trip, an alternative to car rental is to rent an RV (motorhome or campervan). This gives you the flexibility to explore Canada at your own pace and is ideal if your trip is geared around an appreciation of Canada’s natural environment. Costs can also be lower than combining car rental with hotels.

By train [ edit ]

Passenger rail service in Canada, although safe and comfortable, is often an expensive, slow and inconvenient alternative to other types of transport. The corridor between Windsor and Quebec City is an exception to this generalization. The routes outside of this corridor are either the single day trains in Ontario and Quebec or the four multi day trains outside of the Central provinces. The approximately three-day train ride between Toronto and Vancouver called The Canadian is the most famous, and VIA’s flagship train, which passes through the splendour of the Canadian prairies and the Rocky Mountains, with domed observation cars to allow passengers to take in the magnificent views. The Ocean, a two day train trip that passes from Montreal to Halifax, passes through the Canadian Maritimes and provides excellent ocean views in its journey in Northern New Brunswick. The Winnipeg-Churchill route takes two days to travel to the shores of Hudson Bay and is the only passenger train service to Northern Canada. In British Columbia, The Skeena travels from Jasper to Prince Rupert over the course of 2 days and provides some of the best scenery aboard any VIA train. However, this train overnights in Prince George and a ticket does not include accommodation in the town. Additionally, the route travels along a heavily trafficked rail route, so expect multiple delays along the way. Unlike in Europe or East Asia, Canada does not have high-speed rail lines, and the Canadian railway network is primarily used for freight transport. Although passenger trains legally have right of way on the rails, VIA trains are significantly smaller than freight trains and as such will always yield to passing freight trains. VIA travels on Canadian National owned trackage exclusively: As a result, VIA trains do not travel through Regina-Calgary-Banff as this track is owned by Canadian Pacific Rail.

Make arrangements ahead of time to get lower fares. Via Rail is the main Canadian passenger rail company and often has 50% off sales or last minute discounts. Tickets in coach are often reasonably priced and competitive with equivalent plane tickets, however these tickets do not include food and drink on board, requiring coach passengers to pay in the service cars. Sleeper tickets, though significantly more expensive, include food in the prices and allow other privileges exclusive to such passengers.

Some tourist trains can also get you from A to B but their focus is mostly on sightseeing, not transportation and they are usually much more expensive than a plane, car or bus trip would be. The Rocky Mountaineer is the most well known and travels from Calgary to Vancouver along the historic Canadian Pacific Railway. However, this train is not a viable inter-city train as tickets are very expensive and oriented towards sight seeing tourists exclusively.

By thumb [ edit ]

Canada can be a great place for hitchhiking, and is still done by younger travellers strapped for cash, or seeking adventure. It’s most common in the far western provinces, although popularity is decreasing. Hitchhiking in the urban areas of Southern Ontario and Montréal is not a sure thing as many drivers will not pick up hitchhikers in these regions.

In heavily populated areas such as the Windsor-Quebec corridor, the main route used to be a road that went through every town as the main street. A freeway was built in the 1960s, leaving three options – hitchhike on the old road (slower, and more difficult as most of the remaining traffic is local), stand on the shoulder of the freeway (which is illegal, but not uncommon) or stand at the on-ramp and hope someone getting on at that crossroads is going your way. In less-populated areas (such as the vast stretches of Trans-Canada Highway across northern Ontario), the surface road remains the only highway, giving pedestrians (and hitchhikers) unfettered access at any point.

The small town of Wawa in Northern Ontario was famous in the 1960s and 70s as a place where westbound hitchhikers became stranded, sometimes for days. It might still be wise not to accept a ride that only goes to Wawa; look for one that goes through to Thunder Bay. More generally, look for lifts going to decent-sized towns rather than ones that will drop you in the middle of nowhere. This makes it easier to find your next lift, or food and lodging, and reduces risks of dangerous animals or being caught without shelter in nasty weather.

Hitchhiking in winter is best avoided (except as a last resort) as darkness falls early and drivers cannot see you easily in snowstorms or hazardous weather conditions.

As anywhere in the world, hitch-hiking carries risks.


By ride sharing [ edit ]

Ride sharing is increasing in popularity among users of Internet website Craigslist and dedicated ridesharing sites such as Kangaride, LiftSurfer and RideshareOnline. This method of transport works best between major centres, for example, Toronto-Montreal or Vancouver-Calgary. Generally anything along the Trans-Canada Highway corridor (Victoria, Vancouver, Banff, Canmore, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste Marie, Sudbury, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, St Johns, Halifax, PEI) should be no problem if your dates are flexible. Allo-Stop offers intercity carpool service in Québec but is not licensed to operate in other provinces.

Some tourist destinations, especially those popular with young people, can be accessed via rideshare, for example: Vancouver-Whistler or Calgary-Banff. People sharing a ride will usually be expected to pay for their fair share of the fuel cost, and may also be asked to do some of the driving on long hauls.

For best results be sure to post a request listing, and start checking for offer listings at least one week prior to your anticipated ride date. Backpacker’s hostel notice boards are also a good resource for ride sharing.

Like hitchhiking, some common sense and discretion is advisable.

On foot [ edit ]

The Trans Canada Trail covers 21,500 km of a planned 34,000 km route stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and to the Arctic Ocean.

Canada History, Language and Culture

History of Canada

The Indigenous peoples were the original inhabitants of Canada and are formed of three categories: Inuit, First Nations and Métis. The Indigenous population eventually began to decline as a consequence of Europe’s colonisation. A large portion of people died of European diseases they lacked immunity to such as influenza and measles.

The first Europeans believed to reach Newfoundland were descendants of Norse seafarers who had settled in Iceland and Greenland during the ninth and 10th centuries; the second wave of European arrivals, led by the Italian navigator Giovanni Caboto (better known as John Cabot), were seeking a passage to Asia, in 1497. Over the next 100 years, attracted by rich fishing grounds, English and French commercial interests flocked to Newfoundland.

During the 17th century, the French accelerated trading with the New France Company. The creation of England’s Hudson’s Bay Company initiated a long period of rivalry, culminating in the Anglo-French Seven Years’ War of the late 1750s to early 1760s; this ended with the surrender of the French-Canadian capital, Quebec, to the English forces. The Treaty of Paris, in 1763, gave all French territories in northeast America to the British.

Within two decades, however, the English had been ousted from their American colonies following defeat in the American War of Independence. Eastern Canada was then settled by loyalists from the USA holding allegiance to the defeated British Crown. In 1791, Canada was divided between regions occupied by the English-speaking and the longer-established French-speaking community, but the arrangement did not work and was replaced by a unified system.

In the mid-19th century, Canada was granted the status of a Dominion by the British Empire, with an autonomous government but with the British monarch as head of state. From 1968 to 1984, politics were dominated by the charismatic figure of Pierre Trudeau. Brian Mulroney was elected in 1984, and the Quebec issue (referring to the Quebec sovereignty movement) came to the fore once more. A 1995 referendum in Quebec resulted in an extremely narrow vote in favour of remaining inside Canada, although in 2006 the Canadian parliament agreed the Quebecois should ‘form a nation within a united Canada’.

In 2015, Justin Pierre James Trudeau followed in the footsteps of his father and was named 23rd prime minister of Canada. As leader of the Liberal Party, Trudeau Jr. built a cabinet from an equal number of men and women, starting a trend towards a new liberal form of politics. Virtually every Trudeau initiative, from tax policy to legalising marijuana, has been at odds with the previous Conservative administration.

2020 marked the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation and the country celebrated this sesquicentennial with a series of special events over the course of the year.

Canada Culture

Religion in Canada

Around 67% of the population belong to the Christian faith; most are Roman Catholic, followed by the United Church of Canada and Anglican denominations. There are numerous other active denominations and religions including Island, Hinduism and Sikhism.

Social Conventions in Canada

Handshaking predominates as the normal mode of greeting. Close friends often exchange kisses on the cheeks, particularly in French-speaking areas. Codes of practice for visiting homes are the same as in other Western countries: flowers, chocolates or a bottle of wine are common gifts for hosts, and dress is generally informal and practical according to climate. It is common for black tie and other required dress to be indicated on invitations. Exclusive clubs and restaurants often require more formal dress. Smoking has been banned in indoor public areas in all provinces except Alberta.

Language in Canada

Canada is officially bilingual (English and French). The use of the two languages reflects the country’s mixed colonial history — Canada has been under both British and French rule. However, while the federal government must operate in both languages as much as is practical, use of each language outside government varies widely across the country.

In almost all of the province of Quebec, as well as parts of New Brunswick, French is the dominant language; in most of the rest of the country, English dominates. Montréal, Ottawa and Moncton have large concentrations of fluently bilingual people. Immigration has also changed the language picture considerably; while not official languages, Chinese, Punjabi, Arabic and other languages are often heard on the streets of Canada’s largest cities.

History of lighthouses in Canada

История маяки в Канаде восходит к 1734 году.

Содержание

    1 18-го века 2 начале 19 века 3 Имперские Lights, 1857-60 4 последних 19-го века 5 Срок полковника Андерсона, 1900-14 6 Ссылки

18-го века

Первый маяк в то, что стало Канада (второй на всем побережье Северной Америки после Малой Брюстера острова в Бостон Харбор, который был построен в 1713 году), [1] был введен в эксплуатацию во французском крепости Луисбург на острове Кейп-Бретон в 1734. Луисбург Маяк является одним из самых известных легких домов в Канаде. По образцу после фр: Фар де Baleines построен от Ла-Рошель в 1682 году, Луисбург Свет был разрушен английскими войсками во время осады 1758 года и не восстановлен до 1842 года; щебень оригинального башни до сих пор видны в основании тока маяк, который датируется 1923 году.

Затем появились Sambro Остров Света в 1760 году. Расположенный у входа в Галифакс гавани, он был обновлен на протяжении многих лет, но остается старейшим непрерывно работает маяк в Северной Америке, предшествовавшие Sandy Hook Свет Нью-Джерси на 4 года, и таких маститых маяков как Вирджинии мыса Генри Света, Мэн фотогеничной Портленд Руководитель Свет, и Монтаук Point Light Лонг-Айленде в течение трех десятилетий.

Другое раннее маяк в Приморских провинциях, на мысе Roseway [2], датируется 1788 г., когда Шелберн был на подъеме, как самого крупного поселения Объединенных империи лоялистов на континенте. 92-футовый (28 м) восьмиугольной каменной кладки башни на McNutts острова, Новая Шотландия была приготовился с деревянными древесины и имел вагонкой снаружи, и, к сожалению было не подлежит ремонту огнем после попадания молнии в 1959 году.

В 1791 первый маяк был построен на въезде в Сент-Джон на Партридж-Айленд, Нью-Брансуик. Шесть лет назад, были там была создана первая иммиграция карантинный пункт в Канаде. Другим основным карантинный пункт, в Grosse Ile, Квебек, был построен как поспешным ответом на эпидемии холеры 1832 года. В том же году, оригинальный маяк на Партридж острова было уничтожено пожаром. В 1859 году второй маяк был оснащен первой паровой туман свистка, изобретение Роберта Foulis. Третий маяк Партридж Остров оперативных с 1880, пока он не был заменен бетонной восьмиугольной башней в 1959 году.

В начале 19-го века

Джон Форд разработан Гибралтар Point Lighthouse от того, что сейчас известно как Торонто островов в 1829 году. [3] Это была выведена из эксплуатации в 1907 году, но остается как старейший существующего маяка на Великих озерах, так как один построен в 1804 в устье реки Ниагара была снесена, чтобы освободить место для Форт Миссиссага во время войны 1812 года.

Другие ранние маяки на озере Онтарио включены Ложные Утки остров в 1828, Point Petre в 1831 году, Nine Mile точки в 1833 году, и Presqu’ile в 1840 году. Последние два до сих пор стоят, хотя Presqu’ile был его фонарь удалены в 1965 году. В том же году, Ложь Утка была снесена и его фонарь в конечном итоге стал центральным Мемориал Маяк парк Морской и музей [4] вблизи Милфорд ON.

Между тем в Нижней Канаде (т.е. Квебек), организация названа в честь британского Trinity House была создана в 1805 году. Один из первых проектов был иметь Эдвард Кэннон возводить кругового построить маяк на Иль Verte на предательской слияния рек Saguenay и Св. Лаврентия. [5] 40-футовый (12 м) кладка башни 1809 винтажа является третьим по старшинству Канадский маяк, и служил в качестве модели для тех, построен вниз по течению Пуэнт-де-Мон пт: Пуэнт-де-Мон # Le Phare в 1830 году, в Юго-западном Пойнт и Хит-Пойнт (восточной оконечности) на кораблекрушение гавани острова Антикости в 1835 году, в Южной Pillar и Иль Bicquette пт: Иль Bicquette в 1843 году, и в Иль-Руж в 1848 году.

Cape Spear lightbouse

В 1813 году ранняя маяк на Ньюфаундленде был построен в Форт Амхерст, чтобы отметить «сужается» из гавани Св. Иоанна. Cape Spear и Кабо Бонависта были построены Великобритании Trinity House в 1836 году и 1843 году, получив старый аппарат рефлектора лампы от известных Inchkeith и Bell Rock маяков Шотландии, соответственно.

Бум судостроение в атлантических провинциях Канады вызвало шквал маяка строительства, начиная в 1829 году с главой Harbour Файл: Маяк на Campobello острова. JPG на любимой острове Campobello Франклина Д. Рузвельта (Нью-Брансуик) в заливе Фанди. В 1832 был заменен оригинал 1809 Маяк на Brier Island на кончике Дигби шеи в Новой Шотландии; текущие даты маяка от 1944 года. Важным маяк был построен в 1830 году на пустынном острове Seal, Новая Шотландия, 18 миль (29 км) на шельфе и при въезде в заливе Фанди. В древесины из его 67-футовый (20 м) восьмиугольной башней, оказались удивительно прочный, хотя были заменены 1903-старинные фонарь и его 1-го порядка Линза Френеля (и переехал в музее копия маяка в Баррингтон Passage) в 1979 году. На самом деле 8-сторонняя деревянная модель была использована во многих последующих канадских маяков, в частности Джон Каннингем, в 1845 году в волновых промывают Gannet Скалы в заливе Фанди. [6] 8-сторонняя деревянная модель была использована в Порт Беруэлл на озере Эри, и в 1840 году на мысе Forchu маркировки вход в Ярмут гавани. В 1962 году оригинальный Ярмут свет был заменен отличительным бетонной башни известных местах, как «applecore».

На острове Кейп-Бретон после 1826 года Генеральная горная ассоциация консолидировала мины вокруг гавани Сиднея и значительно увеличило отгрузку угля в порты на Атлантическом побережье. [7] В поддержку этих усилий, маяк был построен в нижней точке 1832 по сосуды помощи, поступающие на гавань Сиднея. [8] Это первый маяк был восьмиугольная деревянная башня, высокая 69 футов, с красными и белыми полосами и красным круглым железа фонарь, содержащей 3-го порядка двойной бычий глаз линзы изготовлены во Франции Барбье, Бенара и др. Тюренн. [9] Это первое Низкий Point Lighthouse был заменен в 1932 году с восьмиугольной конкретного маяка, увенчанный редкой круговой железной фонарь жилья, окрашены в красный цвет, единственный оставшийся круглым фонарем в Новой Шотландии, построенный случайно Brothers, известных строителей Англии линз и фонари, [10] в настоящее время жилье вращающийся DCB-36 (диаметр 36 дюймов) aerobeacon.

Многочисленные кораблекрушений привело к строительству в 1839 году маяков на Scatari острове и на обоих концах острове Святого Павла, Новая Шотландия. Оригинальные башни были традиционной конструкции дерева, но когда на юг свет сгорел в 1914 году она была заменена чугунной цилиндрической башней; северная башня была заменена с. 1970.

60 футов (18 м) коническая кирпичная башня построена во 1845-7 в точке Prim является старый маяк на острове Принца Эдварда. Он был спроектирован и построен Исааком Смит, той же выдающегося архитектора, который проектировал Province House в Шарлоттаун. [11]

Вокруг середине века, использование кита или тюленя нефти как фонарь топлива была облегчена развития керосина доктора Авраама Pineo Геснера.

Мыс Сосновый маяк Мыс Гонка маяк

В 1851 году 40-летний механизм с острова мая в Шотландии была установлена на вершине новой Кабо Pine маяка Ньюфаундленда. [12] Башня была разработана фирмой Александр Сергеевич Гордон, используя тот же сборные подход чугунную как Маяк Гиббса Hill и других форпостов Британской империи. Впоследствии, несмотря на то непригодны для сырых и холодных зим, многие чугунные маяки были построены в Ньюфаундленде, в том числе канал-Port Окс басков в 1875 году, Lobster Cove руководителя [13] в 1892 году, и маяк, который теперь охраняет Национальный музей Наука и технологии [14], который после 50 лет службы на мысе гонки, был демонтирован и вновь возведен с новым фонарем на мысе Севера (NS) в 1906 году. Тогда в 1980 году, после того, как местный протест держал фонарь Остров Сил от уводят, исторический маяк на северной оконечности Кейп-Бретон был вместо целевых для переезда в Оттаве.

В 1884 году общественная шумиха после 1867 Королева Суонси трагедии привело к чугунной маяка возводится на саммите Галл-Айленд, вне Бэй де Верде полуострова Ньюфаундленда. На высоте 525 футов (160 м), это самый высокий свет на восточном побережье.

Имперские Lights, 1857-60

Кап-де-Розье Маяк, Квебек, построенный в 1858 году. Национальный исторический музей Канады.

К середине 19-го века было очевидно, что экономическое развитие Британской Северной Америке был сдерживается устаревших навигационных средств. Лоббирование Адмиралтейством и канадскими магнатов судоходных таких как Монреаля Хью Аллан привело к амбициозной 3-летней программы строительства, где все материальные и затраты на строительство будут нести Великобритании. Так называемые «Империал» огни были высокие конические башни кирпича или каменной кладки строительства, где, в некоторых случаях, гранит добывался и подготовленные шотландских каменщиков, и отправлены в колонию в качестве балласта. По стандартам 1850 они, должно быть, казалось Империал, т.е. чтобы выдержать возраст.

Анри Морис Перро, предназначенные маяки в Lotbiniere, Квебек (1860); Пуэнт-Окс-Trembles, Квебек (1862); L’Островок, Квебек (1865); Порт святого Франциска, Квебек на озере Св. Петра (1865); Isle Aux Чернослив противоположные Vercheres, Квебек (1866), а также подвижной маяка на Isle Aux изюмом, Квебеке (1867). [15]

Четыре башни были построены вдоль подступах к Св. Лаврентия: в Пт: Кап-де-Розье на полуострове Гаспе, в проливе Белл-Айл, при Pointe Amour ближайшее L’Anse Amour на побережья Лабрадора и в Вест-Пойнте на Остров Антикости. В 112 футов (34 м), последний соперничать Cap Розье как самое высокое маяк в Канаде до замены его в аэропорт типа маяк и сноса в 1967 году.

Точка Кларк маяк

Шесть Imperial Башни были построены на озере Гурон, в точке Кларк, и на островах, названных Чантри, Nottawasaga, Кристиан, Гриффит, и Cove. Строительство этих известняковых башен было поручено Джон Браун (1808-76). Все они были 80 футов (24 м) в высоту, исключение составляют Кристиан Остров, 55-футовый (17 м) возвышаются сопоставимы с Брауна 1858 маяка на Берлингтон.

Строительство 60-футовый (18 м) деревянный маяк, построенный на кессона от берега точка Пеле на озере Эри был также проведен в 1859 году, он был заменен в 1902 году маяк построен из стальных пластин, которые можно увидеть сегодня в Лейквью парка в Виндзоре. Улица Маяк флота в Торонто гавани был построен в 1860-х годах и в 1913 году был переведен в углу Lake Shore Boulevard и Флит-стрит, где он может увидеть и сегодня. Недавно восстановлен маяк на коньячный Pot острове близ Ривьер-дю-Лу (PQ) датируется 1862 г., в том же году деревянный маяк был построен на Bellechasse острова.

Kivas Талли разработали Маяк и хранитель дома, по крайней Королевы Wharf, Tonronto, Онтарио в 1861 году. Маяк был переведен в 1929 году на Lake Shore Boulevard Запада и Флит-стрит (Globe [Торонто], 14 июня 1861, 3, ТЦ) [16]

Fisgard Маяк, остров Ванкувер, Британская Колумбия

Оффшорные от острова Ванкувер на Канады побережье Тихого океана, императорских маяков на Race Rocks и то, что в настоящее время Fisgard Маяк Национальный исторический музей были построены Герман Отто Тидеманн в 1860, чтобы защитить подступы к базе ВМС в Esquimalt. [17]

Интересный винтовой сваи маяк был построен в Sandheads от устья реки Фрейзер в 1880 году, он был снесен в 1913 году и заменен на плавучий маяк. После построения длинный причал для стабилизации расположение канала, в 1960 году новый маяк был построен в Sandheads.

Последних 19-го века

Новый Доминион Канада предприняла еще один раунд маяка здания следующую Конфедерации. 1870-е годы увидели свыше 100 новых маяков введена в эксплуатацию, в течение этого периода Соболь Island, «кладбище Атлантики», и птичий Рок, обнажение архипелага Магдалены островов, были, наконец, лит.

Miscou маяк 1930

Большое количество маяков, построенных в 19 веке были сужающийся деревянные башни, как правило, 4 или 8-сторонние. У них было то преимущество, что дешево строить, а в некоторых случаях может быть перемещен, если сайт находится под угрозой в результате эрозии. Выжившие примеры включают Miscou острова и Малхолланд точку http://www. Flickr. com/photos/jjcd7/2519330449 / (на острове Campobello) в Нью-Брансуик, Margaretsville (NS), и Panmure Остров, East Point, мыс Нордкап, Вест-Пойнт, Кабо-медведь, и Вудс Остров на острове Принца Эдварда.

Многие из башни из 1870-1900 период были прикреплены к жилищу, например Peases острова [2] и Восточной Айронбаунд Остров в Новой Шотландии, Hope Island в грузинском Бэй, или второй маяк в Cap Gaspe в Квебеке. Их ряды включают в себя ряд живописной гавани или дальности света, таких как Гранд Анс в NB и New London заднего диапазоне света в PEI.

Джон Корбетт переехал в Оттаве, Онтарио в 1880 году после получения назначение суперинтенданта маяка строительства в морской отдел. Он умер в 1887 году. [18]

К сожалению, есть длинный список деревянных маяков, которые сожгли, в том числе второй на мысе Ray в Ньюфаундленде, один на Иль Haute в заливе Фанди, Голландии Рок в до н.э., и тот на удаленном Greenly острова, к югу от Лабрадора . Последние сделал заголовки в 1928 году, когда немецкая авиация Бремен совершил аварийную посадку там после внесения первого успешного востока на запад трансатлантический перелет.

Срок полковника Андерсона, 1900-14

В 1870-х ответственность за навигационных средств был переведен из Департамента общественных работ в Департамент морского и рыбного хозяйства. В 1904 году маяк совета Департамента дали широкую миссию, и его динамика председатель полковник Уильям П. Андерсон планируется к реализации амбициозной программы строительства. Различные прибрежные маяки были переведены от relector-типа к государством в самых современных линз Френеля, выпускаемых Барбье, Бенара и Тюренн Парижа (FR: BBT), или шанс Братьев Бирмингеме (Великобритания). Для того, чтобы уменьшить зависимость от таких иностранных поставщиков, Доминион Маяк депо была создана в бывшем крахмального завода в Прескотт, Онтарио в 1903 году. Многочисленные старые деревянные башни были заменены железобетона или сборных чугунных башен, примерами которых Метис, Кап-де-ла-Мадлен, Кап чат и Манат на полуострове Гаспе, Кабо Крокер на грузинском Бэй, и мыс Гонка в Ньюфаундленде. Последний был, пожалуй, самым важным обрушился маяком для Североатлантического трафика, и остается одним из немногих маяков в мире, оснащенных гигантского hyperradiant линзы Френеля. Он также красуется новый диафон или сжатого воздуха туманный горн, в 1902 изобретение Торонто JP Northery ООО нажмите, чтобы загрузить звуковой клип (формат WAV) от диафон горна в Дулут MN или электрического горна (формат RealAudio) в Раса Скалы, BC.

В 1904 году сборные чугунный маяк на славы Point, недалеко Anse-а-Valleau на побережье Gaspe, стал первым морским беспроводной (Маркони) станция в Северной Америке. В 1977 году этот маяк был демонтирован и стал туристической достопримечательностью в Квебеке, но был запланирован были репатриированы в ее прежнем месте в конце 1997 года.

Для поддержки более высокого порядка линзы (которые плавали в ванной ртути), подвергаются железобетонные башни были иногда подкрепляется, например, в точке Аткинсон [3] в Lighthouse парка вблизи Ванкувера до н.э., Нэйташкуан Пойнт в Квебеке, Иль Parisienne в озере Улучшенный, или, по крайней Лангара и Шерингем Пойнт на острове Ванкувер. В 1910 году один из этих башен была построена в продуваемой всеми ветрами вершине треугольника острова, в 25 милях (40 км) от северной оконечности острова Ванкувер. Однако это оказалось дорогостоящим промах; на высоте 650 футов (200 м), свет был слишком высоким, чтобы быть видимыми в плохую погоду. После 10 лет, фонарь был демонтирован и привез на базу береговой охраны в штате Виктория в то время как первоначальный план строительства маяк на мысе Скотт был проведен в 1927 году.

Строительство Пуант-о-Пере маяка

Искусство строить высокие маяки железобетонные достиг своей конечной выражение в аркбутанами из Estevan Пойнт на побережье Тихого океана, на Michipicoten острова и дистанционного карибу острове в озере Верхнем, в Северо-Восточной Belle Isle в пролива Белл-Айл, на Bagot Bluff на острова Антикости, и в Пуэнт-о-Пере ближайшее Rimouski, Квебек. В 109 футов (33 м) последних рядах с точки Amour Маяк как второго самого высокого маяка Канады.

Некоторые маяки от начала 1900-х были традиционной 8-сторонней деревянных конструкций, например, на Точка Riche вблизи Порт-о-Choix, Ньюфаундленд, Генри Island в Кейп-Бретон (NS), в Ла Martre, Квебек (сайт музея) на берегу залива Святого Лаврентия, Lonely Island в озере Гурон, или, по крайней Pachena Пойнт на острове Ванкувер, сайт страшная 1906 кораблекрушения ПС Валенсии. Тем не менее, подавляющее большинство пост-1910 маяков воспроизведены восьмиугольную шаблон, используя новый железобетонный строительной техники. Примерами являются Cove и Западной Остров Пегги (NS), Кап Гаспе файла: Forillon Национальный парк Канады 4.jpg и Cap Au Saumon (PQ), и Machias Остров Сил (NB). Этот стиль был доведен до впечатляющей высоты (102 футов) на мысе острова Сейбл (NS), Лонг-Пойнте в озере Эри и Великая Duck Island в озере Гурон.

Богато маяк в Пойнт Abino ближайшее Fort Erie, Онтарио датируется 1917 году. Он был построен как памятник экипажу Буффало основе США Lightship # 82, который спустился со всем экипажем во время печально известной Великих озер Буря 1913, который утверждал, в общей сложности двенадцать судов и 235 жизней.

Статья была переведена автоматически. Источник: Википедия

Опубликовано ср, 02/02/2011 — 12:57 пользователем Valeratal

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Canada

Contents

Location
Flag
Quick Facts
Capital Ottawa
Government Federal parliamentary democracy
Currency Canadian dollar ($, CAD)
Area 9,984,670km²
water: 891,163km²
land: 9,093,507km²
Population 35,540,419(2014 est.)
Language Official: English and French
(recognized at territorial levels:
Inuktitut, Inuinnaqtun, Chipewyan, Cree, Gwich’in, Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, North Slavey, South Slavey, Tłı̨chǫ, +66 other indigenous languages
Religion Roman Catholic 38.7%, Protestant

17%, No religious affiliation 23.9%, Other

10% Electricity 120V, 60Hz (Type «A» plug) Country code +1 Internet TLD .ca Emergencies dial 911

Canada is the largest country in North America by land area, second in the world overall (behind only Russia). Renowned worldwide for its vast, untouched landscape, its blend of cultures and multifaceted history, Canada is one of the world’s wealthiest countries and a major tourist destination.

Understand [ edit ]

Canada is a land of vast distances and rich natural beauty. Economically and technologically, and in many other ways she closely resembles her neighbour to the south, the United States, although there are significant differences between the two countries. While both countries have a long and continuing history of colonialism over the Indigenous people of their countries, Canada is perfectly happy with its British heritage and many Canadians are proud of this. Much of Canada’s current built environment and influence has come primarily from immigrants from two European nations, Britain and France. This dual nature is very different than in the United States, and in some parts of Canada, particularly Quebec and parts of New Brunswick, Canadians primarily speak French. Canada became a self-governing dominion in 1867 by an act of the British parliament, and is still a proud member of the Commonwealth of Nations. By 1931 it was more or less fully independent of the United Kingdom, although true independence did not occur until 1982. Canada’s past and ongoing colonialism is still of some contention between Indigenous people, Canadians, and the Canadian government. Though a medium-sized country by its population (35 million), Canada has earned respect on the international stage for its strong diplomatic skills, peacekeeping efforts, and respect for human rights. Canadians generally enjoy a very high quality of life — Canada consistently scores very well on indices of economic freedom, corruption, respect for civil rights, and more. Domestically, the country has displayed some success in negotiating compromises amongst its own culturally and linguistically varied populations, a difficult task considering that language, culture, and even history can vary significantly throughout the whole country. Similarly to the United States’ traditional image of itself as a melting pot, there are many different minorities from all over the world living in Canada, particularly in urban centres. Canadians are, for the most part, used to living and interacting with people of different ethnic backgrounds on a daily basis and will usually be quite friendly and understanding if approached in public. The country is largely urban-based, where peoples of all backgrounds may rub elbows with one another.

Time zones [ edit ]

The Canadian Sir Sandford Fleming first proposed time zones for the entire world in 1876, and Canada, being a continental country, is covered coast to coast with multiple zones. Canada uses the 12-hour clock system, however the 24-hour clock system is used in the provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick where French is an official language and this clock system is used with that language; and where ambiguity must be avoided, such as train or airline schedules when given in both English and French, because they will be indicated in each clock system. Daylight Saving Time, when clocks are moved forward by one hour, is observed in most of the country from 02:00 on the second Sunday in March until 02:00 on the second Sunday in November; during this time, for example, British Columbia is observing GMT-7 while Alberta is observing GMT-6. Saskatchewan does not observe Daylight Savings Time, but the City of Lloydminster does.

Climate [ edit ]


Trying to distil the climate of Canada into an easy-to-understand statement is impossible, given the vast area and diverse geography within the country. Overall, in most places, winters are harsh compared to much of the world, on par with northern Eurasia. The most populated region, southern Ontario, has a less severe climate, similar to the bordering regions of the midwestern and northeastern United States. Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut, is just south of the Arctic Circle and remains very cold except for the months of July and August, when the July average maximum is only 12°C (54°F). On the other hand, the coastlines of British Columbia are very mild for their latitude, remaining above freezing for most of winter, yet they are not far away from some of the largest mountain glaciers found on the continent.

Most of the large Canadian urban areas are within 200 kilometres (124 mi) of Canada’s border with the United States (Edmonton and Calgary being the only exceptions). Visitors to most cities will most likely not have to endure the weather that accompanies a trip to more remote northern or mountainous areas often pictured on postcards of Canada. Summers in the most populated parts of Canada are generally short and hot. Summer temperatures over 35°C (95°F) are not unusual in Southern Ontario, the southern Prairies and the southern Interior of B.C., with Osoyoos being the hot spot of Canada for average daily maximums. Toronto’s climate is only slightly cooler than many of the larger cities in the northeastern United States, and summers in the southern parts of Ontario and Quebec (includes Montreal) are often hot and humid. In contrast, humidity is often low in the western interior during the summer, even during hot weather, and more cooling occurs at night. In the winter, eastern Canada, particularly the Atlantic Provinces, are sometimes subject to inclement weather systems entering from the U.S. bringing snow, high wind, rain, sleet, and temperatures in their wake of under -10°C (14°F).

Many inland cities, especially those in the Prairies, experience extreme temperature fluctuations, sometimes very rapidly. Owing to a dry climate (more arid west than east on the southern Prairies), bright sunshine hours are plentiful in the 2300-2600 annual hours range. Winnipeg (also colloquially known as ‘Winterpeg’) has hot summers with bouts of aggressive humidity, yet experiences very cold winters where temperatures around -40°C (-40°F) are not uncommon and can stay below -15°C (5°F) for long stretches. The official hottest temperature in Canada ever recorded was in southern Saskatchewan, at 45°C (113°F), while the coldest was in Snag, Yukon -63°C (-81°F). Summer storms in the Prairies and Ontario can be violent and sometimes unleash strong damaging winds, hail, and rarely, tornadoes. On the west coast of British Columbia, Vancouver and Victoria are far more temperate and get very little snow, average low wind speeds and seldom experience temperatures below 0°C or above 27°C (32-80°F) but receive high rainfall amounts in winter then in turn dry, sunny, pleasant summers.

The average temperature is typically colder in Canada than in the U.S. and Western Europe as a whole, so bring a warm jacket and other winter clothing if visiting between October and April. The rest of the year, over most of the country, daytime highs are generally well above 15°C (60°F) and usually into the 20s-30s°C(70s-90s°F) range during the day. Most weather forecasts outside border towns are in degrees Celsius (°C), however degrees Fahrenheit (°F) are occasionally used, especially by the older generation.

Holidays [ edit ]

Canada recognizes and celebrates the following national holidays (some provinces may have minor differences):

  • New years day — 1 January
  • Family Day — 3rd Monday in February (not observed in all provinces, known as Louis Riel Day in Manitoba, Islander Day in PEI)
  • Good Friday — typically sometime in late March or early April
  • Easter Sunday — the Sunday after Good Friday
  • Victoria Day—Last Monday in May before 24 May (always one week before the U.S. holiday of Memorial Day)
  • Canada Day—1 July
  • Civic Day — first Monday in August (only applies in some provinces, under different names ie. in Ontario its referred to as Simcoe Day after an early Lieutenant Governor)
  • Labour Day — first Monday in September
  • Thanksgiving—Second Monday in October (the same day as the U.S. holiday of Columbus Day)
  • Halloween —31 October
  • Remembrance Day —11 November (this day is observed in the U.S. as Veterans Day)
  • Christmas — 25 December
  • Boxing day—26 December

Note also that Canada’s Labour Day is not celebrated on 1 May, as in much of the world, but on the first Monday in September (the same day as the U.S. celebrates its Labor Day).

Politics [ edit ]

Canada’s government is a parliamentary democracy based on the Westminster system inherited from the British and similar to that of the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Canada is formally a constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state. She is represented in Canada by the Governor-General, currently Julie Payette, who carries out her duties. The monarchy serves mostly as a figurehead, though, and in practice the Prime Minister, his or her cabinet, and the Parliament are the source of almost all real political power.

Canada is a federal state, and Canadian provinces have a great deal of autonomy. Each province has its own legislature and provincial government, and the Canadian constitution defines certain areas of exclusively provincial jurisdiction. For example, each province sets its own drinking age, minimum wage, sales tax, labour regulations, and administers their own road, healthcare and education systems. Two of the three territories’ legislative assemblies (Nunavut and the Northwest Territories) are peculiar, as they are non-partisan — no political parties are represented.

There are three main parliamentary parties at the federal level: the currently-governing Liberal Party (centre), the opposition Conservative Party (right of centre), and the New Democratic Party (left of centre).

Regions [ edit ]

Visiting Canada all in one trip is a massive undertaking. Over 5000 kilometres (3100 mi) separate St. John’s, Newfoundland from Victoria, British Columbia (about the same distance separates London and Riyadh, or Tokyo and Kolkata). To drive from one end of the country could take 7-10 days or more (and that assumes you’re not stopping to sight see on the way). A flight from Toronto to Vancouver takes over 4 hours. When speaking of specific destinations within Canada, it is better to consider its distinct regions

Atlantic Provinces (New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island)
This region is known for its history, particularly during the formation of Canada as a sovereign state. Atlantic Canada is well-known for unique accents, the origin of Acadian culture, natural beauty (particularly around coastal areas), the historic beauty of Halifax, and a huge fishing and shipping industry. It is also home to the distinctive culture of Newfoundland and Labrador, which was simultaneously the first part of what is now Canada to be explored by Europeans and the last part to join the confederation.
Quebec
Quebec is one of the most unique regions in Canada, and for that matter, North America. Originally settled as part of New France, Quebec is culturally distinct from the rest of Canada. French is the dominant language, unlike the rest of the country, and the province is known for great cultural sites like Quebec City’s Winter Festival, Montreal’s classic architecture, and maple syrup and poutine (two staples of Canadian cuisine). Montreal is also the second largest French-speaking city in the world, though through centuries of influence from both the British and the French, its inhabitants have developed a distinct sense of identity.
Ontario
Canada’s most populous province is also quite geographically vast, allowing for endless activities to partake in. Toronto, Canada’s largest city, is eclectic and vibrant, and prides itself on its multiculturalism. The province is also home to Ottawa, Canada’s charming, bilingual capital, as well as Niagara Falls, and the untapped natural beauty of the Muskoka and beyond. All these things and more make Ontario showcase a lot of what is considered quintessentially Canadian by outsiders.
Prairies (Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan)
Known for their vast open spaces and plentiful resources, the Canadian Prairies are a dynamic set of provinces with some of the most stunning natural beauty in the world. On the western edge of the Prairies, in Alberta lie the mountainous national parks of Banff and Jasper, and on the eastern edge in Manitoba, lies the beginning of the Canadian Shield, which contains some of the oldest rock on the surface of the earth. The major cities of Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg are modern cities with everything from massive rodeos to high-class museums.
British Columbia
Colloquially known as «B.C.», this province prides itself on being beautiful. From cultured Vancouver, to charming Victoria, to the iconic ski slopes in Whistler, to the wineries of the Okanagan, B.C. is filled with wonder, both natural and man-made. The province also has the mildest winters in Canada on average (though often cloudy), especially in coastal regions, making it popular with Canadians who are less enthusiastic about winter.
The North (Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon)
The Territories are some of the most remote regions on Earth and constitute most of Canada’s landmass. Though more known for their unique fauna and landscapes, the Territories also have some interesting human settlements, including Dawson City, a city that looks nearly untouched from the gold rush of 1898, and Iqaluit, Canada’s newest territorial capital, which is home to some interestingly adaptive architecture to the harsh climate of the North.

Cities [ edit ]

There are many cities in Canada, all of which are distinctive, welcoming to tourists, and well worth visiting. Just NINE of these are:

  • Ottawa — Sitting in Eastern Ontario with a view of Quebec across the river, Ottawa is the national capital of Canada. It’s home to Parliament Hill, many national museums, the ByWard Market, and the best Canada Day celebrations.
  • Calgary — Conf >Other destinations [ edit ]

Get in [ edit ]

Do I Need a Visa?

Visa Not Required

  • United States of America
  • Saint-Pierre and Miquelon
  • California

Visa Not Required, but eTA Required for Air Entry

  • All EU & EEA member states (biometric passport necessary for Romanian citizens)
  • All British nationals, including BN(O), BOT, BOC and British Subject passport holders
  • Andorra
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Brunei
  • Chile
  • Hong Kong
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Solomon Islands
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan (with National ID Number recorded in passport)
  • Vatican City

Transit Visa Not Required (Only for transit to and from the United States under certain conditions)

An advance visa is required of all other foreigners not listed.

Most travellers entering or transiting Canada by air will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or a visitor visa. (Exceptions include U.S. citizens/nationals and Saint-Pierre and Miquelon residents.) An eTA costs $7 and is valid for five years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. Entry requirements for other methods of travel (land, sea) have not changed.

Those who are not eligible for an eTA are required to obtain a Temporary Resident Visa prior to travelling to Canada. This can be done at the applicants’ nearest Canadian Visa Office. Applicants are required to submit, as part of their application:

  • A valid travel document (such as a passport)
  • Two properly-formatted, passport-sized photos for all applicants
  • The application fee (The fee per person is $100 for a visa, single or multiple entry, or a maximum of $400 for a family (multiple or single entry); no charge for Transit Visas)
  • Reservation confirmation (for tourists) or letter of invitation (for everybody else).
  • Proof that you have enough money for your visit to Canada. The amount of money may vary, depending on the circumstances for your visit, how long you will stay and whether you will stay in a hotel, or with friends or relatives. You can get more information from the visa office.
  • Other documents as required. These documents could be identification cards, proof of employment, or a proposed itinerary. Check the website of the visa office responsible for the country or region where you live for more information.

If you plan to visit the United States and do not travel outside the borders of the US, you can use your single entry visa to re-enter as long as the visa has not passed its expiry date.

Working while in Canada is forbidden without a work permit, although Canada does have several temporary work permits for youth from specific countries. See «Work» below.

United States/American Samoan citizens to Canada need only proof of citizenship and identification for short-term visits. In addition to a driver’s license, a number of other documents may also be used to cross the border:

  • United States Passport Card (issued by the Department of State)
  • United States Passport Book (issued by the Department of State)
  • Enhanced Drivers License or Non-Driver Photo ID card (currently issued by Michigan, New York, Vermont, and Washington State)
  • Enhanced Tribal ID Card
  • Trusted Traveler Cards issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for the Canadian Border (NEXUS and FAST).

DHS issued cards for the Mexican Border (SETRI) and for international air travelers (Global Entry) cannot be used to enter Canada, but they are acceptable to re-enter the United States and may be used in the dedicated NEXUS lanes into the US, where available.

Prior to 2009, it was possible to travel across the US-Canada border with just a driver’s license. Birth certificates are technically still acceptable to enter Canada, but United States Customs and Border Protection stopped accepting birth certificates when the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) went into effect. This is due to the fact that many (especially older) certificates are little more than a typewritten piece of carbon paper with no security. If you try to re-enter the United States with a US birth certificate, you will eventually be let in, but only after significant delays while CBP verifies the information on it with the issuing department, you may also be fined or prosecuted for non-compliance, although anything more than a written warning is unlikely for a first time violator. Since after 2009 a normal driver’s license will still get you in Canada but will not be accepted coming back into the US.

Upon entry to Canada, the standard questions will include your intended itinerary, if you have visited Canada before, and if you are in possession of any firearms. Under no circumstance is it a good idea to try to carry weapons over the frontier. If you are driving you should have proof of insurance coverage ready to go and you should have some listed hotels or places to stay ready to present if asked.

Residents of Greenland, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon and some Caribbean nations are not required to present a passport if they can prove nationality and identity via some other means.

Residents of Greenland, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, and the United States also benefit from arrangements where applications for work and study permits can be made upon arrival in Canada at the Immigration Office at the port of entry without the need for an advance Temporary Resident Visa or advance application at a consulate. However, all the paperwork normally needed for such a permit has to be submitted at the port of entry as it would at a consulate, including a letter of introduction/invitation, the appropriate paperwork issued by the institution/employer, and the appropriate fees.

Character concerns [ edit ]

All potential visitors, whether applying for a temporary resident visa or requesting landing permission at the border must be of good moral character, and under Canadian law this means having a completely clean criminal history. Immigration authorities take character concerns of visitors very seriously and any offence, misdemeanour or felony, regardless of how minor or how long ago it took place can exclude you from Canada for a period of time, indefinitely, or permanently. This also includes US citizens, some of whom had to be turned back while attempting to drive across the border. In fact, even former U.S. President George W. Bush needed to apply for a waiver to enter on an official state visit during his term in office because of a conviction for drunken driving. There are a few exceptions, and if you are inadmissible because of a criminal conviction, you do have some options.

As a general rule, a conviction for anything more serious than a speeding ticket will keep you out of Canada for at least five years from the date you finish your sentence. More serious offences (such as felonies) may require you to wait up to ten years, or in the most serious cases obtain a pardon or other civil relief locally before applying for entry. In addition to criminal convictions, certain «summary offences» (which include minor drug possession tickets that are not handled through the criminal system) are considered criminal convictions for the purpose of immigration law, even if you were never arrested, charged with a crime or sentenced. Additionally, you cannot enter Canada if there are current charges pending against you or a trial is underway.

Although unlikely as a visitor who meets all other entry requirements, you may also be refused if you have significant unpaid debt, have an active civil judgement against you, or have recently declared bankruptcy. In these cases, you can regain your ability to enter Canada by either paying the debt in full, showing evidence of a payment plan in good standing or after a bankruptcy showing a history of financial solvency over the period of a few years.

Offences committed before the age of 18, parking tickets, local ordinance violations and crimes of conscience (such as publishing statements critical of the government in China) generally do not result in inadmissibility. Similarly, non-criminal traffic tickets usually do not result in inadmissibility, although if you were ever required to appear in court over a traffic violation (not simply going to court to challenge a ticket) or you accumulated enough points that your license was summarily suspended or revoked, you may be inadmissible and should contact a Canadian embassy or high counsel for advice.

Rehabilitation [ edit ]

If you have a single misdemeanor or summary offence on your record and it’s been at least five years since you finished your sentence, and your offence would be punished with a prison term of 10 years or less in Canada, you can be deemed rehabilitated on the spot by an immigration officer without formally applying in advance. That being said, you have one chance in your entire lifetime at this type of rehabilitation and the border officer has the absolute final decision on your fate. The burden is on you, the visitor, to provide proof that you have indeed reformed and are unlikely to re-offend. Possible proof includes but is not limited to:

  • Police «good conduct» reports
  • Character references
  • Letters from employers, pay stubs, tax returns or other documentation showing that you have steady employment
  • Evidence of any educational, volunteer or treatment experience that you’ve completed since your conviction.

Bring everything and anything you have that suggests you’re living a stable and crime-free life. The more documentation you have and the less the officer has to rely on your word that you’ve turned your life around the stronger your case is for being admitted.

If you are turned away, or if your offence makes you ineligible to be deemed rehabilitated, you can apply for individual rehabilitation directly to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). Again, at least five years must have passed since you completed your sentence. An application for individual rehabilitation has onerous documentation requirements, costs between $200 and $3000 depending on the nature of the offence and whether the application requires approval from the Minister of Justice (most do) and can take up to a year to get an answer. While you can compile the documentation and submit the application yourself, both CIC and many who have gone through the process highly advise retaining an immigration attorney to complete and file the application on your behalf. If you are denied rehabilitation, there is no right of appeal, you will not be given specific reasons as to why your application was denied, and you must wait at least one year before applying again.

Temporary resident permits [ edit ]

If you aren’t qualified for either type of rehabilitation or are turned down, another option is a temporary resident permit, or TRP, is a one-time waiver for an inadmissible person to enter Canada. This is not the same as a temporary resident visa, but the two can be applied for together if you are from a country requiring such a visa. These used to be relatively easy to obtain with documented good behavior and a good enough reason for traveling besides going on vacation, but today they are only issued for «exceptionally compelling humanitarian grounds» or «reasons of significant national interest.» The website of the Canadian Counsel General Office in Buffalo states that temporary resident permits will not be issued for «sightseeing, visiting friends or relatives, attending cultural or sporting events, attending business meetings or conventions, hunting or fishing trips, or going to the family cottage» [1]. Terms of the permit are fairly specific as to duration and purpose. Visitors from the U.S. with a previous DUI often don’t realize it’s considered a serious offence in Canada and are often denied entry. Thousands are denied entry into Canada each year on the basis of criminality.

Pardons [ edit ]

Obtaining a pardon or unconditional discharge will generally restore your ability to travel to Canada, and depending on your circumstances you may have much more luck going this route. If the crime was committed in Canada, there’s a centralized process you can go through and odds of success are fairly high if you’ve shown commitment to turning your life around and kept your nose clean since then.

If your pardon or discharge was issued for a crime outside Canada, be sure to bring documentation to that effect with you to the border or when applying for a visa.

Credit History [ edit ]

Canada may consider your credit history as part of the character and risk assessment when applying for a visa or landing permission at the border. Whether a credit check will occur and what role (if any) it will play into your admissibility decision depends largely on what immigration status you’re applying for.

    As a temporary visitor (especially from a country that doesn’t require a temporary res >Other concerns [ edit ]

Besides a criminal record, CIC lists a host of other situations that may prevent admission into Canada. While most of these shouldn’t be an issue for the average traveller (e.g. previously overstayed or violated visa conditions, human rights violations, involvement with terrorism or organized crime, etc. ), there are a few that do occasionally complicate or bar entry for visitors:

  • Purpose of visit. The days when you could simply walk over the Rainbow Bridge with your driver’s license, telling customs that you wanted to see the other side of the city are long gone. If you’re visiting as a tourist (including day-trip pedestrians from Niagara Falls, NY or Detroit), border officers expect that you have a clear idea of what you plan to do and see while in the country. Vague answers and those such as «I’ll see when I get to this city» will only invite further scrutiny of your case. They are going to want a detailed itinerary of the places you’ll be visiting. It’s a good idea to research the places you intend to tour and have all the pertinent information written down ahead of time, and to include contact information if any of your destinations aren’t standard tourist attractions or more off the beaten path. Also be prepared with a physical street address at which you will be staying (a hotel name by itself is not acceptable) if you’ll be in the country for more than a single day.
  • Letter of invitation. In absence of a visa authorizing employment, long-term residency or study, a letter of invitation (sometimes called a «letter of introduction») is required for persons visiting for any reason other than tourism (including visiting relatives or friends). For business visitors, there is specific information this letter must contain (including a statement of financial support), but for everybody else something in writing (e-mail or hard copy) along with contact information from the person you’re visiting is sufficient. You must bring the letter with you to the port of entry, even if you used it to apply for a temporary resident visa. The letter of invitation requirement is strictly enforced. If you are a business visitor and show up without one you will be denied entry. Others may or may not be admitted after significant delays and additional rounds of unpleasant questioning while border officials attempt to verify your story.
  • Health concerns. If you are very sick, to the point where the border officer has to consider whether you might burden the healthcare system during your visit, you will be denied entry.
  • Support funds . You need to prove you have enough funds to support yourself and dependants while in Canada. For most Western tourists a major credit card (not a debit, ATM or bank card) is sufficient.
  • Inadmissible family members. If you have an immediate family member who is deemed inadmissible, you may also be disqualified from entry based on that fact, although this is at the discretion of the border or visa officer. It seems to be a problem more for persons with known terrorists, members of the Mafia, or other high profile criminals in their family, not just a sibling with a misdemeanour conviction.

As a general rule, admissibility and rehabilitation decisions cannot be appealed beyond a supervisory review at the visa office or border. The only exception is if you can prove the decision was based on wrong information (for example you were acquitted of a crime, but that fact was never properly recorded in Canada’s database.) That being said, you are usually allowed to apply again once any specific issues relating to a refusal have been corrected, once the requisite time has passed for rehabilitation, or one year after being denied rehabilitation.

From the United States [ edit ]

If you are travelling to Canada from the United States and you are not a permanent resident of either country you need to be careful to satisfy the U.S. authorities on any subsequent trip that you have not exceeded their limits on stays in North America. Your time in Canada counts towards your maximum allowed United States stay if you are returning to the US prior to your departure from North America.

  • If you are returning to the US in this trip, keep your visa documents. Do not hand over your US visa or visa waiver card (I-94 or I-94W) to border control. You can enter the US multiple times during the time allocated to your visa (for Western tourists, normally 90 days), but you need to have the immigration document as well to validate the visa. If you come back from the US without that document, you will not only have to apply again for a visa or visa waiver but also will also need to satisfy US immigration of the validity of your trip (meaning to show them that you will not intend on immigrating there).
  • If your default US time is going to run out while you are in Canada, and you want to return to the US direct from Canada, you need to apply for a US visa with a longer time period (eg B-1/B-2, or a C-1 transit visa) before your first trip through the US. For example, if you are going to stay in Canada for six months, and you transit through the US on a visa waiver, then the US will regard your six months in Canada as not allowing you to return to the US without leaving North America first, as you have stayed more than 90 days in North America in total. Note that in this scenario, you have not done anything wrong by visiting the US and then staying in Canada for a long time, simply that the US will not allow you to return directly from Canada, you have to reset their clock by leaving North America. Visa waiver travellers may be able to avoid this by returning their I-94W (green) form to their airline upon departing the US, or to the Canadian immigration inspector if entering Canada by land; since the US has no outbound immigration check, it’s up to the traveller to remember this.
  • If you are intending to leave North America entirely without returning to the US on this trip, return any visa documents at the time of leaving the US for Canada. This means handing over your I-94 or I-94W card to airline staff at the check-in counter if departing by air, or to the Canadian immigration inspector if departing by land. If you do not, you will need to prove to the US that you didn’t overstay to be admitted on future trips (the US CBP website has information on how to correct this mistake).

If you leave Canada to briefly visit the United States and wish to re-enter Canada in a short period of time, you generally may do so without getting a new Canadian visa as long as you return within the initial period authorised by the immigration officer or have a valid temporary residence permit authorising you to re-enter, and you do not leave US soil before returning to Canada (eg, not even during a cruise which begins and ends at a US point but crosses international waters in-between). If you leave US soil for a third country for any reason on a single-entry Canadian visa, you will have to apply for a new visa before re-entering Canada.

By plane [ edit ]

You are likely to arrive to Canada by air, most likely into Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary or Vancouver (the 5 largest cities, from East to West). Many other cities have international airports as well, with the following being of particular use to visitors: Halifax, St. John’s, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Kelowna, and Victoria.

Air Canada [2] and WestJet [3] are the country’s only national air carriers, covering the entire country and international destinations (Note that a number of regional domestic airlines also exist as well as charter airlines serving only international destinations).

As a rule of thumb, all Canadian three-letter IATA airport codes start with a «Y».

Note that most of the major Canadian airports have U.S. Pre-Clearance facilities where travelers on United States-bound flights (even if they will be flying to a third country immediately afterward) complete U.S. immigration and customs processions prior to departing Canada. If flying back to the U.S. from such an airport, make sure you get to the airport extra early, so you have time to complete this process (Toronto’s and Vancouver’s pre-clearance facilities are particularly busy). The good news is that this service spares you the need to complete the formalities upon arrival in the U.S.

Luggage allowance for flights to or from Canada usually operates on a piece-wise in addition to the weight system even for foreign carriers. This means that you are allowed a limited number of bags to check-in where each bag should not exceed certain linear dimensions (computed by adding the length, width and height of the bags). The exact restrictions on weight, linear dimension and number of baggage allowed are determined by the carrier you are flying with and the class of service you are travelling in, usually individual bags may be up to 23 kilos (50 lb) if traveling in economy class.

Additionally, if you are coming from the United States, be advised that Air Canada (on transborder itineraries onlynot Canadian domestic service) as well as all US based carriers that operate transborder service (Alaska, American, Delta, United and US Airways) charge checked bag fees. Typically $25 for a single bag of up to 23 kilos/ 50 pounds, and $35-50 for a second bag, unless you qualify for a fee waiver based on elite status or class of service.

By car [ edit ]

Canada has a land border with only one country — the United States. See the «from the United States» subsection for more information on what to do when leaving the US.

You might also enter the country by road from the United States through one of many border crossing points. Obviously, the same rules will apply here, but if your case is not straightforward, expect to be delayed, as the officials here (especially in more rural areas) see fewer non-U.S. travelers than at the airports. Also expect delays during holiday periods, as border crossings can become clogged with traffic.

Drivers of American cars will need to carry a Canadian Non-Resident Insurance Certificate in addition to their standard insurance card and must be prepared to present both documents for inspection. The Certificate comes in the form of a yellow paper card which can only be issued by foreign insurers who are authorized to do business in Canada.

Canada has some of the highest levels of minimum auto insurance coverage in the world: $200,000 in all provinces except Quebec and Nova Scotia (which are $50,000 and $500,000 respectively.)

Since most US states have insurance minimums under $50,000 and some states do not require insurance at all, the non-resident certificate signifies that your insurance company will cover you up to provincial mandatory limits while driving in Canada (which the company was required to agree to as a condition of doing business in Canada). Rules regarding the issuing of this certificate vary widely depending on which carrier you have. GEICO and AAA will issue a certificate valid for the entire term of your policy if you ask for it. Liberty Mutual and Progressive will only issue a certificate with advance approval for a specific date range, and some insurance companies (especially smaller local insurance companies in non-border states) will not cover you in Canada at all. If you are planning on driving into Canada, its very important to talk to your insurance company as soon as you know you’ll be going so they can print up the certificate (if they offer it) and mail it to you.

If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and travel to Canada frequently, you may consider applying for a NEXUS card. NEXUS allows pre-approved, low risk travelers to use expedited inspection lanes both into Canada and the United States at many land crossings with minimal questioning. You can also utilize kiosks to make your customs declaration and clear the border at major international airports if you opt for an iris scan. The application fee is $50 and requires being legally admissible to both nations, thorough background investigation, fingerprinting and an interview with both U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Canada Border Services Agency. See [4]

If you intend to enter Canada using a U.S. car, take note that after crossing the border going north, the road signs change into metric units (i.e. distances are in kilometres and speed limits posted are in kilometres per hour). The usual speed limit on U.S. freeways is between 65-75 miles/hour, but you will need to read your speedometer in kilometres for the speed limit (in km/hour) once past the border, ie. 100 km/h = 62.5 mp/h. One mile is equivalent to 1.6 km so div >

When driving within Montreal, Vancouver or Toronto keep in mind that these cities are densely populated and parking can be difficult to find and/or expensive. All three cities provide extensive public transit, so it is easy to park in a central location, or at your hotel or lodging, and still travel in the metropolitan area. You can usually obtain maps of the public transit systems at airports, subway kiosks, and train stations.

By train [ edit ]

Via Rail [5] is Canada’s national passenger rail service. Amtrak [6] provides connecting rail service to Toronto from New York via Niagara Falls, Montreal from New York and Vancouver from Seattle via Bellingham. The train is an inexpensive way to get into Canada, with tickets starting from as low as US$43 return to Vancouver. There is also thruway service between Seattle and Vancouver.

Be wary though: Not many private citizens in Canada take the train as a regular means of transportation. Most citizens simply drive to where they want to go if the distance is short (which in Canada can still mean hundreds of kilometres!), or fly if the distance is long.

Important: If you’re traveling cross-border on Amtrak service, you must have your tickets validated prior to boarding. Pick up your tickets from the window (not the Quick-Trak kiosk) and show your passport or travel document to the agent (your travel document information is sent ahead of time on a manifest to border services to facilitate crossing procedures). Some stations, such as New York City have a dedicated window for international passengers.

By bus [ edit ]

Greyhound Canada serves many destinations in Canada, with connecting service to regional lines and U.S. Greyhound coaches. Be sure to inquire about discounts and travel packages that allow for frequent stops as you travel across Canada. Many routes connect major Canadian and American cities including Montreal — New York City which is operated by New York Trailways [7], Vancouver — Seattle operated by Greyhound and Toronto — New York City via Buffalo, this route in particular is operated by a number of bus companies: Greyhound, Coach Canada [8], New York Trailways, Megabus [9], and Ne-On [10].

Note: in July 2020, Greyhound announced it was ending bus and freight service to the western provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia) as well as some routes in Northern Ontario, as of October 2020. Some regional carriers have been established or will be picking up some, but not all, of the routes, and mostly only within provinces.

By boat [ edit ]

In British Columbia, you can enter Canada by ferry from Alaska and Washington. Alaska Marine Highway serves Prince Rupert, whereas Washington State Ferries serves Sidney (near Victoria) through the San Juan islands. There is a car ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles run by Black Ball; there are also tourist-oriented passenger-only ferries running from Victoria to points in Washington.

There is a passenger ferry running from Fortune in Newfoundland to Saint Pierre and Miquelon.

A small car ferry operates between Wolfe Island, Ontario (near Kingston) and Cape Vincent, NY.

A small car ferry operates between Pelee Island Ontario, Kingsville Ontario and Sandusky Ohio when ice and weather allows.

The CAT car ferry between Rochester, NY and Toronto, Ontario was discontinued in January 2006 because of poor ridership. The Bay Ferries route from Bar Harbor in Maine to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, also called the CAT, was discontinued in 2010 due to a lack of funding. (Bay Ferries does still run a New Brunswick to Nova Scotia ferry.)

Several cruise lines run cruises between the eastern United States and Halifax. Most freight routes run to Montreal on the east coast and Vancouver on the west coast. International passengers will be required to pass through customs in their port of arrival.

Get around [ edit ]

Canada is large — the second largest country in the world after Russia. This means that you will need several days to appreciate even a part of the country. In fact, St. John’s, Newfoundland, is geographically closer to London, UK, than it is to Vancouver.

By plane [ edit ]

The best way to get around the country is by air. Air Canada [11] is the main national carrier, and has by far the largest network and most frequent schedules but WestJet [12] also offers a very similar service. For travel between major centres, no-frills carrier WestJet [13] offers competitive fares. Unfortunately, due to protectionist government policies favouring Air Canada, fares tend to be more expensive than flying similar distances in the United States, Australia or China, and sometimes, transiting in the US could be cheaper than a direct domestic flight.

Another reason for why air fares are so high in Canada is that the Canadian federal government is notorious for using airports as a cash cow and levying higher-than-average fees and taxes upon airports. They can do that because traditionally the federal government expropriates land for airports and then leases it back to local governments to operate them, which contrasts sharply against the US model where local governments own and operate airports, then contract with the federal government for particular services like security and immigration. While most industrialized governments hit airport travelers with a lot of fees and taxes, the ones imposed by Canada are unusually severe. To save money, many Canadians often drive to US airports just across the border to save hundreds of dollars per flight. Unless they are enrolled in the NEXUS trusted traveler program, they have to put up with long lines to enter the US.

Most major airports are served by public transit. This consists of feeder buses running at peak frequencies ranging from five to fifteen minutes or less (Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, Ottawa). Service may be spotty or nonexistent late at night or on weekends if you are outside the major centres. To travel to the city centre/downtown, one or more connections are required in all cities except Vancouver, Montreal, Winnipeg and Ottawa, making a taxi or shuttle a better idea for large groups or those with a lot of luggage.

Air Hitchhiking [ edit ]

Float planes, lake to lake in northern Canada is another way to travel. It is possible to do this for free. One can Air Hitch above the Arctic Circle by flying out of any of the airports, but the trick is getting access to pilots. This can be easier at the Abbotsford Air Show, near Vancouver, Canada, in the summer.

When one gets further north, above Prince George say, one needs to hook up with pilots, often delivering mail lake to lake. Often there are general store and post office type places near the lakes. Many air hitchers catch up with the pilots when they stop for a meal or coffee as one does with truck drivers. In the major and regional airports, one can catch the pilots going in or out of the Environment Canada weather offices.


Air Couriers [ edit ]

Often professionals like lawyers need to transport documents urgently between cities and countries. Most use FedEx or UPS these days, but sometimes it is possible to wangle free air transportation, as an Air Courriers, a category of traveler recognized by IATA. Air Courriers negotiate either directly with a professionals or through a broker or courrier agent. In this way many Air Hitchers travel for free between Paris and Montreal, the main difficulty being that one may only travel with carry on luggage.

If one accepts work in Canada’s high north, many employers will pay one’s passage. Because it pays so well and there is little work in places like Newfoundland, many Canadians commute from the North Atlantic provinces to well-paid jobs in Northern Canada and Alberta.

By bus [ edit ]

Travel by intercity coach is available between most major cities in Canada. Service is best in the densely packed Windsor — Quebec City corridor which includes the major cities of Toronto and Montreal as well as the national capital, Ottawa. Service in this corridor is provided by a number of companies, chief among them being: Coach Canada [14] and Megabus [15] whose main route is the heavily used Toronto — Montreal route, Greyhound [16] who runs the Toronto — Ottawa route, the Montreal — Ottawa route and routes between Toronto and southwestern Ontario and Orleans Express [17] who runs the Montreal — Quebec City route using modern, leather-upholstered coaches with North American and European electrical sockets at every seat. To the west of this corridor most routes are operated by Greyhound and to the east routes are operated by Acadian [18] a subsidiary of Orleans Express. In Canada, only one company is given a license to run a particular route, as a result there is little to no competition among providers and fares can be unusually high and can be raised without notice. The only exception to this is the Toronto — Niagara Falls route, which is run by many American coach companies, who continue on to Buffalo and ultimately New York City. Prices on a U.S. bus company are usually slightly less than their Canadian counterparts.

Routes in the prairies can be extremely long, some of them taking several days; as a result, passengers should be sure they will be able to bear sitting in a seat for 48 or more hours with only rare stops for food and toilet breaks. Despite a recent violent murder on a bus in the prairies, intercity buses in Canada are generally very safe, however travelers should be aware of their belongings at all times and make sure that their valuables are on their person if they intend to sleep. In contrast to the United States, most Canadian bus stations are not owned or run by the coach companies serving them, they are generally run by the municipal government or, in the case of Montreal and Ottawa, a separate third-party corporation. Also unlike the United States, bus stations in Canada are not generally in the worst parts of the city, in fact, in Toronto, the bus station is located between a major theatre and shopping district and a neighbourhood full of large, wealthy, research-intensive hospitals.

By car [ edit ]

Canada is one of the only two countries (the other being the United States) to have the world’s lowest set driving age. But the legal driving age varies between 14 and 16 throughout the country. Alberta is among the places in the world with the lowest set driving age (14).

Of course, many people choose to rent a car. Although somewhat expensive if you are travelling alone, this can be an economically reasonable alternative if you are sharing the costs with others. However, there are many limitations and drawbacks on car rentals in Canada. To name a few of them:

  • Surcharges associated with dropping off the car at a different location than where it was picked up are usually very high.
  • “Unlimited” km may be limited for the province you rent it in only (check the conditions thoroughly). If they are and you enter another province, even for a few km, your entire trip gets limited (mostly to 200km or 124 mi a day).
  • Driving is usually permitted on paved roads only (most rental companies won’t stop you or charge extras but CDW and roadside assistance is void outside paved roads).
  • There are no manual transmission rental cars available in Canada. Don’t bother searching.

Basically, if you really want to get around in Canada, except in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal, or places where there are few or no roads, it’s best to have a car.

In some cases, frugal travellers may be able to «earn» budget travel by delivering a car across Canada. The option is not common. Nor does it offer the opportunity to spent much time stopping along the way. However, it can be a cheap way to cross Canada while seeing the interior. CanadaDriveAway and HitTheRoad.ca are two options.

In Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, public transit is a strongly recommended alternative to driving.

Unlike the US, gas is sold by the litre and as of March 2014, it cost CAD1.30-1.40 per litre (CAD4.92-5.29 per US gallon) in most urbanized areas in Canada (closer to CAD1.20 per litre in Alberta), and the price typically escalates in March, just in time for summer driving season. Year round, prices tend to be about 50% higher than those in the US after converting litres into gallons and factoring in higher taxes and the currency exchange rate. American drivers will generally find that their credit and debit cards do not work in gas pumps in Canada (due to US cards generally not having «chip and PIN» functionality), although many of the larger chains (such as Petro-Canada and Esso) can run US cards via magnetic stripe if you bring the card inside to the cashier. (This is becoming a non-issue however, as of 2015 the US has made the switch to chip and PIN debit and credit cards.)

Of particular note is highway 407/ETR (Express Toll Route) in Ontario, which circles around the northern flank of Toronto. The 407 is an electronic toll road (the only privately owned road in Canada), in that tolls are billed to the vehicle’s owner based on license plate number, or transponder account. Be sure to check your rental agencies’ policy regarding use of this road as some firms have been known to add fees and surcharges that can easily double or triple the original toll.

Many jurisdictions also have red light and speed cameras that issue fines via mail to the car’s registered owner, again via license plate when the car is automatically photographed running (disobeying) a red traffic light or going above the speed limit. The above warning regarding rental agency policies applies to these as well. Your best bet to avoid this nasty surprise is to simply not run any red lights or speed.

By RV [ edit ]

If you are set on a road trip, an alternative to car rental is to hire an RV (motorhome or campervan). This gives you the flexibility to explore Canada at your own pace and is ideal if your trip is geared around an appreciation of Canada’s natural environment. Costs can also be lower than combining car rental with hotels, however RV rentals usually apply milage charges while car rentals usually don’t.

Traffic rules to be aware of [ edit ]

  • Canadians drive on the right of the road.
  • In the province of Quebec, roadsigns are written solely in French but for the most part their meaning is obvious.
  • Canadians use the metric system for traffic measurements. Speed measurements are measured in kilometers and speed are in km/h.

Metric Conversions 50 mph = 80 km/h

  • In many areas of Canada (with the exception of the Island of Montreal) it is legal to turn right (after stopping) on a red light. Drivers may also turn left after stopping at a red if they are turning onto a one-way street from another one-way street.
  • Pedestrians have the right of way at intersections and crosswalks, prov >By train [ edit ]

Passenger rail service in Canada, although very safe and comfortable, is often an expensive and inconvenient alternative to other types of transport. The corridor between Windsor and Quebec City is a bit of an exception to this generalization. Also, if natural beauty is your thing, the approximately three-day train ride between Toronto and Vancouver passes through the splendour of the Canadian prairies and the Rocky Mountains, with domed observation cars to allow passengers to take in the magnificent views.

Make arrangements ahead of time to get lower fares. VIA Rail is the main Canadian passenger rail company.

By thumb [ edit ]

Hitch hiking is quite common among younger travellers strapped for cash or seeking adventure.

In the mountainous regions of Alberta and B.C. hitching is accepted and safe. Hitch hiking in the urban areas of Southern Ontario, and Montreal is not a sure thing as many drivers will not pick up hitch hikers in these regions. Further east, in the maritimes, it is easier and somewhat more common.

Paying for a hitch is not normal, and most trucking companies prohibit their drivers from taking passengers.

As anywhere in the world, use your common sense when taking or offering a ride.

By ride sharing [ edit ]

Ride sharing is increasing in Canada, as well as the United States, due in large part to the internet website Craigslist [22] and dedicated ridesharing sites such as LiftSurfer [23] and RideshareOnline [24]. This method of transport works best between major centres, for example Toronto-Montreal or Vancouver-Calgary. Generally anything along the Trans-Canada Highway corridor (Victoria, Vancouver, Banff, Canmore, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste Marie, Sudbury, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, St Johns, Halifax, PEI) should be no problem if your dates are flexible.

Some tourist destinations, especially those popular with young people, can be accessed via rideshare as well, for example: Vancouver-Whistler or Calgary-Banff. People sharing a ride will usually be expected to pay for their fair share of the fuel cost, and may also be asked to do some of the driving on long hauls.

For best results be sure to post a request listing, and start checking for offer listings at least one week prior to your anticipated ride date. Backpacker’s hostel notice boards are also a good resource for ride sharing.

Like hitchhiking, some common sense and discretion is advisable.

Talk [ edit ]

English and French are the two official languages in Canada. All communications and services provided from the federal government are available in both languages. Most Canadians are functionally monolingual, although some parts of the country have both English and French speakers. Over a quarter of Canadians are bilingual or multilingual. Many people in Montreal, Ottawa, and Quebec City are at least conversationally bilingual.

English is the dominant language in all provinces except Québec, where French is dominant and actively promoted as the main language. However, there are numerous francophone communities scattered around the country, such as:

  • the national capital region around Ottawa,
  • some parts of eastern and northern Ontario,
  • the St. Boniface area of Winnipeg and towns in southeastern Manitoba,
  • the Bonnie Doon neighbourhood in Edmonton, and several surrounding communities,
  • many parts of the Acadian region of Atlantic Canada, scattered across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and the French Shores of Newfoundland).

Likewise, there are anglophone communities in Québec, such as some of the western suburbs of Montreal.

Canadian English uses a mixture of British and American spellings, and many British terms not usually understood and employed in the United States are more likely to be understood in Canada. Certain words also follow British instead of American pronunciations, but the accents of Anglo-Canadians and Midwestern/Northeastern Americans are nonetheless still quite similar.

Atlantic Canada is reported to have the greatest variety of regional accents in English-speaking North America, largely as a result of the isolated nature of the fishing communities along the Atlantic coastline prior to the advent of modern telecommunications and transportation. A visitor to the Atlantic provinces may have some difficulty understanding strong local accents rich in maritime slang and idiom, particularly in rural areas. From Ontario westward, the accent of English Canadians is more or less the same from one region to another and is akin to that spoken by those in northern US border states.

English-speaking Canadians are generally not required to take French after their first year of high school, and thus many citizens outside of Québec and Ottawa do not speak or use French unless they are closely related to someone who does, or have chosen to continue French studies out of personal or professional interest. Education in many other languages is available, such as Spanish, German, Japanese, etc. However, these are rarely taken. Most immigrants learn English or French in addition to speaking their native tongue with family and friends.

In Québec, one can get by with English in the major cities and tourist destinations, but some knowledge of French is useful for reading road signs as well as travels off the beaten path, and almost essential in many rural areas. It may also be useful to know at least a few basic French phrases in the larger cities, where some attempt by travellers to communicate in French is often appreciated. The French spoken in Québec and the Acadian regions (Southern Gaspe and Northern New Brunswick) differs in accent and vocabulary from European French, although if you speak European French you will get by with few problems.

Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal are home to large Chinese migrant populations, and Cantonese is commonly spoken in the Chinatowns in these cities.

There are also dozens of aboriginal languages spoken by Canadians of aboriginal descent. Almost all first nations inhabitants that speak their native communities tongue are still bi-lingual in either English or French depending on what province you are in. In Nunavut more than half the population speaks Inuktitut, the traditional language of the Inuit.

Two sign languages are predominant in Canada. American Sign Language, or ASL, is used in Anglophone Canada; Québec Sign Language, or LSQ, is used in Francophone Canada. While the two are distinct languages, they share a degree of mutual intelligibility. Both are part of the French Sign Language family, and LSQ is believed to be a mix of French Sign Language and ASL.

See [ edit ] [ add listing ]

Toronto [ edit ]

  • CN Tower A Canadian landmark, a 553-meter tower with a revolving restaurant and a glass floor. It’s located bes >Ottawa [ edit ]
  • Parliament Hill A parliament building on a top of a hill where the government res >Montreal [ edit ]
  • Old port Montreal Popular complex with shops & activities along the St.Lawrence River
  • Mount Royal Also known as Mont-Royal in French. A park on top of a hill
  • Montreal Olympic Park Landmark site of 1976 Summer Olympics

Quebec City [ edit ]

  • Quebec Citadel Complex featuring a long-standing active fort, plus a museum & changing of the guard ceremonies.
  • Quartier Petit Champlain Cooperative-owned shopping quarter with independent boutiques, galleries, restaurants & a theatre.
  • Old Port Quebec City The port of the old-quarter of the city where historic buildings with French Architecture still surrounds to this day.
  • Art Gallery of the Château Frontenac (Galerie d’Art du Château Frontenac) An art gallery at the heart of Quebec old town
  • Place d’armes A public squre similar to the one in Montreal with the statue of Paul de Chomedey
  • Old-town Quebec An old quarter of the city famous for its french architecture and history of French Canada

Vancouver [ edit ]

  • Stanley Park A vast green open space park located near the Pacific Ocean.
  • Capilano suspension br >Do [ edit ] [ add listing ]

    Bear Watching, Whale Watching and Wildlife Viewing

    • In Manitoba, Churchill is known for its Polar Bears and Belugas and Riding Mountain National Park and adjacent Parkland area for its abundant population of Black Bears that vary in color from blond, cinnamon and chocolate to black. Riding Mountain National Park is known for its «watchable» wildlife. Canada is known for its wildlife. There are countless local tours across the country. [25]

    Canada is a country with a rich cultural heritage. In Canada, festivals and events are held annually to celebrate the multicultural landscape of this great nation. Each festival represents a single cultural facet belonging to the diverse population of Canada. These festivals are easily identified by season.

    Spring [ edit ]

    In some parts of the country, April and May mark the beginning of Canadian music festival season. Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories celebrates spring with the Cariblues Festival, Halifax showcases chamber music with the Scotia Festival of Music and Ottawa highlights concerts, flowers and history at the Canadian Tulip Festival.

    Canada is also renowned the world over for its theatre festivals such as Ontario’s Stratford Festival [26] in beautiful Stratford Ontario and the Shaw Festival [27] in scenic Niagara on the Lake, both of which begin at this time and continue through to the fall. There are also a number of children’s festivals including the Calgary International Children’s Festival and the annual Saskatchewan International Film Festival for Young People.

    Summer [ edit ]

    June 21 to July 1 marks 10 days of celebrations in Canada (though not all parts of Canada participate in each celebration). The festivities begin on 21 June with National Aboriginal Day and celebrations across the country continue on 24 June with Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, in honour of the patron saint of French Canadians, on 27 June with Canadian Multiculturalism Day, and culminate with Canada Day with parties everywhere on 1 July (Ottawa has the best Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill).

    In addition to this, summer is peak season for festivals of any kind in Canada. Cities such as Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton, and Winnipeg often pride themselves on their diverse summer festivals. Some festivals are music-orientated, such as Ottawa’s Bluesfest, Montreal’s Jazz Festival and Piknic Elektronic, Toronto’s NXNE, and both Calgary and Edmonton’s Folk Fests. Others are cultural (or multicultural) events, such as Caribana in Toronto, Folklorama in Winnipeg, and Caraquet’s (New Brunswick) Acadian Festival, along with the many well-attended gay pride festivals across the country. Others still are driven by the arts, such as the Toronto International Film Festival, Montreal’s Just for Laughs Comedy Festival, Edmonton’s Fringe Theatre Festival, and Vancouver’s Khatsalano Festival. Summer is also when the Calgary Stampede takes place, one of the most popular festivals in all of Canada, which showcases the Canadian ranching culture of Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan.

    Fall [ edit ]

    Fall is traditionally a time for literary festivals and film festivals. Lovers of the written and spoken word may like the Trois-Rivières’ bilingual Festival International de la Poésie, Halifax’s Atlantic Canada Storytelling Festival, and Toronto’s International Festival of Authors. Film lovers can choose from the Toronto International Film Festival, the Vancouver International Film Festival, the Montreal World Film Festival, the Atlantic Film Festival, and St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival in Newfoundland, among many others.

    Kitchener-Waterloo hosts the largest Oktoberfest celebration outside Bavaria. This nine-day festival features numerous cultural and entertainment activities. Many local venues are converted into biergartens (Beer Gardens) and take on Germanic names for the duration of the festival. Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest attracts over 700,000 visitors annually.

    Fall is also a time for families to enjoy the autumn splendour of nature in fall festivals or in simple activities where one enjoys the beautiful countryside.

    If you go bowling in Canada, you will find that small ball bowling games such as candlepin, five-pin and duckpin are more dominant in Canada. Tenpin bowling is available in larger metropolitan areas. Across western Canada, most of Ontario and Newfoundland, five pin bowling is the dominant type of bowling. Candlepin is the dominant type of bowling in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Duckpin bowling is common in Quebec. Tenpin bowling is dominant in Sault Ste. Marie, select areas of Southern Ontario and select areas in Quebec. Some bowling alleys offer tenpin on a convertible lane, which uses a specialized string-type pinsetter. Depending on the city, prime rates for tenpin bowling can be up to 40% higher than the small ball equivalent.

    Winter [ edit ]

    Winter is the time when Canadians and their families take to the slopes and hit the ice at ski resorts and community hockey rinks across the country. Canada’s world-famous winter festivals take place in late January and February including Carnaval de Québec in Quebec City and Winterlude/Bal de neige in Ottawa and Gatineau. There are also winter events that pay homage to Canada’s hardy pioneers such as the Festival du Voyageur in Winnipeg and the Yukon Sourdough Rendez-vous Festival set in Whitehorse.

    In Calgary, the month of January is devoted to showcasing challenging national and international theatre, dance, and music in The High Performance Rodeo, one of Canada’s leading festivals of new and experimental theatre.

    Especially popular in British Columbia, winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding are practiced and enjoyed regularly during the winter. British Columbia is home to many of the world’s top ski resorts, including Whistler. The 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics took place in Whistler and Vancouver. Vancouverites can easily access smaller ski resorts, such as Cypress Mountain, Mount Seymour, and Grouse Mountain. This is typically a 15-30 minute drive from Downtown Vancouver.

    Buy [ edit ] [ add listing ]


    Canada’s currency is the Canadian dollar (symbol: $ proper abbreviation is CAD), commonly referred to simply as a «dollar», «loonie» or «buck» (slang). One dollar ($) consists of 100 cents (¢). In the 1970s, the Canadian dollar was worth more than the U.S. dollar, but it slipped to about 66 cents U.S. by the mid-1990s. Currency traders made jokes about the «Hudson’s Bay Peso». As of August 2020, the Canadian dollar is roughly at $0.80 for every American Dollar.

    Canadian coins are of 1¢ (penny; phased out, but still accepted as legal tender), 5¢ (nickel), 10¢ (dime), 25¢ (quarter), $1 (loonie) and $2 (toonie). The purchase total is rounded to the nearest nickel if you pay with cash. (Most coins roughly match their U.S. counterparts in size, shape, and colour, but not in metallic composition.) Canadian notes come in $5 (blue), $10 (purple), $20 (green), $50 (red) and $100 (brown) denominations. Although paper notes remain legal tender, banks have been taking them out of circulation in favour of plastic bills.

    Note: Due to the physical similarity between Canadian and American 5, 10 and 25 cent coins, it is common to receive US coins in change in Canada, especially in major tourist destinations or communities close to the US border. Generally speaking, these US coins are accepted at face value and are treated like Canadian coinage because merchants and consumers rarely bother to look. This also applied to the 1-cent coin, however few merchants accept them anymore since the phasing out; although still legal tender, they are generally only accepted at banks. The American 50 cent and $1 coins are not similar to the Canadian equivalents and are not accepted in the same way. Note however that American coins, especially the quarter, may not always be accepted by Canadian vending machines, parking meters and video lottery terminals that have been calibrated for the lighter Canadian coins.

    In comparison to the United States, Canada can be more expensive with some things (fast food, certain groceries, apparel, etc.) costing

    25-50% more than what they would in the United States, due to higher sales taxes (see below), higher tariffs on certain goods, and the cost of importing certain goods from the US, among other reasons.

    In general, you should focus on buying brands or specific goods that are available only in Canada or are manufactured there (e.g., Canadian souvenirs). International tourists visiting the US and Canada on the same itinerary should plan to do most of their shopping in the US, where they can get much more for their money. For most international tourists, it makes sense to splurge in Canada only if they can’t or don’t want to enter the US.

    Be aware that Canada sells fuel (gasoline, diesel, etc.) in liters, as opposed to gallons. Alcohol and cigarettes are much more expensive in Canada than in the US, due to higher taxes on these goods. There are now many microbreweries across the country, many with restaurants and pubs on premises; some of these are permitted to sell beer and cider on site.

    Bargaining [ edit ]

    Bargaining is extremely rare in ordinary retail shopping in Canada and attempts to talk a retail worker down in price will result in nothing (besides testing the employee’s patience). This is rarely a problem, as most retailers in Canada price their items fairly and do not look to extort their customers due to the highly competitive market and well-off economy. For larger-ticket items, especially high-end electronics and vehicles, many employees work on commission, so bargaining is sometimes possible for these items, and sales-people may offer you a lower price than what is ticketed right from the get-go. Some large retail stores will offer you a discount if you can prove to them that one of their competitors is selling the same product for a lower price. However, in certain establishments such as flea markets, antique stores, farmer’s markets, garage sales (see below) etc, you may be able to negotiate a lower price, although it is, again, often unnecessary to put forth the effort.

    Garage sales [ edit ]

    Like the US, many homes in Canada host garage sales (also known as yard and basement sales depending on the venue; block sales occur when entire groups of homes take part) where household goods, and other items are sold privately. Most often held on Saturdays and Sundays during the warmer months (spring to fall), these sales are not only a good way to find unique items, but offer a chance to explore the neighbourhoods of a community (useful for those considering relocation). Prices vary widely from extremely low to «antique store», though bargaining (see above) is common. As private sellers, people hosting garage sales do not charge tax. There is a risk for those who expect to cross a border and go through customs returning home, however, as the providence of items found at a garage sale cannot be verified and garage sales generally do not give out receipts that can prove that an as-new item with a retail value of $50 was actually purchased at a garage sale for a mere $1.

    Currency exchange [ edit ]

    In all cities and towns, it is possible to convert between Canadian dollars and most major currencies at many banks. In addition, many retailers in Canada will accept US currency either at par or at slightly reduced value, and many Canadian bank branches allow users to withdraw USD cash instead of CAD. All Canadian banks provide currency exchange at the daily market value. In some areas, private exchange bureaus will give better exchange rates and lower fees than banks, so if you have time during your travels to look one up. It might save you some money on the exchange both when you arrive and before you leave, because Canadian dollars may not be worth as much in your home country, particularly the coin.

    Private businesses are under no obligation to exchange currency at international rates. Even in the most rural areas, converting between Canadian and American dollars should not pose a problem, although travelers expecting to convert other currencies at a Canadian bank may need to be patient. In fact, most tourist destinations will accept American dollars as such, and are most likely to give a very good exchange rate. This is particularly true of regions that rely on tourism as a cornerstone of their local economy.

    As Canadian Banks cash Canadian dollar travellers cheques free of charge, almost all businesses will do the same. This makes travellers cheques a safe and convenient way to carry money in Canada.

    Many businesses across Canada accept U.S. Currency based on their own exchange rate for general purchases. Bills are taken with the current exchange rate. Most U.S. coins are similar in size to Canadian coins and are accepted at equal value; it is quite common for change to be given in a mix of Canadian and US coins, however most vending machines will reject U.S. coins.

    Credit cards [ edit ]

    Credit cards are widely accepted, with Visa and MasterCard being accepted in most places, and American Express somewhat less frequently and Diners Club only in the more upscale restaurants and hotels. Discover is usually accepted at places geared towards Americans such as hotels and car rental agencies. Generally, using a credit card also gets you a better exchange rate since your bank will convert the currency automatically at the prevailing daily rate.

    Electronic banking/purchasing [ edit ]

    The banking system is well developed, safe and technologically advanced. ATM usage in Canada is very high. There is a safe and widespread network of bank machines (ATMs) where you may be able to use your bank card to withdraw money directly from your account at home, but the fees involved can be more than for credit cards. If possible, try to use chartered bank ATM machines as the fees are often cheaper than the independent ATM machines. All Canadian banking institutions are members of the Interac international financial transaction network. Most retailers and restaurants/bars allow purchases by ATM card through Interac, even if they do not accept major credit cards, and many Canadians rarely use cash at all, prefering electronic forms of payment. Other ATM networks, including PLUS are widely supported and will be indicated on the ATM screen.

    Taxes [ edit ]

    No more GST rebates
    Until 2007, travellers to Canada could claim back their GST on leaving the country, but this is no longer possible.

    Be aware that (in contrast to other countries where what you see is what you pay and so called «hidden costs» are forbidden by law) you will almost always pay more than the prices displayed, as listed prices usually exclude sales tax.

    Taxes will be added on top of the displayed price at the cashier. Exceptions where the displayed price includes all applicable taxes are gasoline (the amount you pay is as it appears on the pump), parking fees, liquor bought from liquor stores, some groceries, and medical services such as eye exams or dentistry.

    A Federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 5% is applied to most items. In addition to the GST, all provinces except Alberta and Canada’s 3 territories charge an additional Provincial Sales Tax (PST) on purchases. Ontario and the Atlantic Provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador have joined or «harmonized» the PST and GST. In these provinces, instead of being charged two separate taxes on a purchase, consumers will see one tax called the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).

    While the GST and PST or HST are charged on most goods and services, some items are currently exempt from taxation. While this list can vary by province and tax, some common examples are: basic groceries (not prepared foods), prescription drugs, residential housing, medical and dental services, educational services and certain childcare services.

    The sales tax rates (as of January 2014) are:

    • Alberta — no PST, GST only (5% total)
    • British Columbia — 7% PST and 5% GST (12% total)
    • Manitoba — 8% PST and 5% GST (13% total)
    • New Brunswick — 13% HST (13% total)
    • Newfoundland and Labrador — 15% HST(15% total)
    • Northwest Territories — no PST, GST only (5% total)
    • Nova Scotia — 15% HST (15% total) — Previous provincial government promised to reduce the HST to 14%, but this is no longer planned.
    • Nunavut — no PST, GST only (5% total)
    • Ontario — 13% HST (13% total)
    • Prince Edward Island — 14% HST(14% total)
    • Quebec — 10% PST and 5% GST (15% total)
    • Saskatchewan — 5% PST and 5% GST (10% total)
    • Yukon — no PST, GST only (5% total)

    Additional taxes have been placed on some goods (such as alcohol and gasoline) and vary by province; however, these taxes are often included in the displayed price of the good.

    Major chains [ edit ]

    Many large US retail chains such as Walmart, Costco, and Best Buy are also found throughout Canada, and the country’s shopping malls feature dozens of US and European boutique chains. However, for many decades, Sears was the only major US department store that had a major Canadian presence; after several years of planning, US luxury department store Nordstrom finally opened its first Canadian stores in 2015. The dominant Canadian department store companies are Hudson’s Bay, Holt Renfrew, and La Maison Simons.

    The dominant Canadian pharmacy chain is Shoppers Drug Mart; the big three US pharmacies (Rite Aid, CVS, and Walgreens) do not operate in Canada.

    Many US retail chains have attempted to enter the Canadian market, but ultimately exited after they were chewed up and spat out by ferocious local competitors. The latest examples of this are Target (closed all stores in 2015) and Safeway (sold all stores to Sobeys in 2013).

    Like the US, Canada’s supermarket chains operate under multiple legacy brands specific to particular regions and market segments. The major supermarket operators are Sobeys, Loblaw, Metro, and Jim Pattison, but they operate under many different local brands.

    Other retail chains that are unique to Canada and not found anywhere else include Canadian Tire (automotive/hardware), RONA (hardware), Winners (clothing), Mark’s Work Wearhouse (clothing), Urban Behavior (clothing), West 49 (clothing), Home Outfitters (Home Goods), The Brick (Furniture/Home Goods), Sport Chek (sporting goods), Chapters (bookstore), and Indigo Books and Music (bookstore), among others.

    Canada

    Contents

    Canada is the world’s second largest country by area, only behind Russia. Known as the Great White North, Canada is renowned for its vast, untouched landscape, and its multicultural heritage. While much of Canada consists of forests, it has more lakes than any other country, the Rocky Mountains, the Prairies, and a sparsely populated archipelago extending into the Arctic.

    Regions [ edit ]

    Visiting Canada all in one trip is a massive undertaking. Over 7,200 km (4,475 mi) separate St. John’s, Newfoundland from Victoria, British Columbia (about the same distance separating London and Riyadh, or Tokyo and Kolkata). To drive from one end of the country could take 7–10 days or more (and that assumes you’re not stopping to sight see on the way). A flight from Toronto to Vancouver takes over 4 hours. When speaking of specific destinations within Canada, it’s better to consider its distinct regions:

    Atlantic Canada (New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island)
    This region prides itself on its history, particularly that of the formation of Canada as a sovereign state. Atlantic Canada is well-known for unique accents, the origin of Acadian culture, natural beauty (particularly around coastal areas), the historic beauty of Halifax and St. John’s, and a huge fishing and shipping industry. It is also home to the distinctive culture of Newfoundland and Labrador, which was simultaneously the first part of what is now Canada to be explored by Europeans and the last part to join the confederation.
    Quebec
    Quebec is the only province with a French-speaking majority, having been settled as part of the New France colony. The region is culturally distinct from the rest of Canada, and is known for its cultural landscape, such as Quebec City’s Winter Festival, Montreal’s classic architecture, and maple syrup and poutine (two staples of Canadian cuisine). Montreal is also a prominent global francophone city, though through centuries of influence from both the British and the French, it is also very much a bilingual city, and its inhabitants have developed a self-proclaimed distinct sense of identity.
    Ontario
    Canada’s most populous province is geographically vast, allowing for endless activities to partake in. Toronto, Canada’s largest city, is eclectic, multicultural, and vibrant with 140 unique neighbourhoods. Ottawa is Canada’s charming, bilingual capital and features an array of art galleries and museums that showcase Canada’s past and present. Farther south is Niagara Falls and the north is home to the untapped natural beauty of the Muskoka and beyond. All these things and more highlight Ontario as what is considered quintessentially Canadian by outsiders.
    Prairies (Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan)
    Known for their vast open spaces and plentiful resources, the Canadian Prairies are a dynamic set of provinces with some of the most stunning natural beauty in the world. The region is rich in geographic variety, from rolling hills and canola farm fields in Manitoba and Saskatchewan to forests rich in diversity and the rather unique rock formations of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta. This region is also one of the fastest growing in Canada, and is well-known for mountain resorts like Banff and Jasper. The major cities of Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, and Winnipeg are modern cities with massive rodeos, museums, and stunning architecture.
    British Columbia
    Vancouver is the heart of British Columbia. It is known as one of the most liberal and culturally diverse cities in North America with everything from world-class skiing to nude beaches. Travelling outside Vancouver, one finds Victoria, provincial capital with a bustling downtown and stunning legislature grounds; the Okanagan, which is home to wineries, graceful mountains, and resorts; and retirement villages. Get lost in the vastness of mountains, lakes, and other natural wonders. The province also has the mildest winters in Canada on average (though often cloudy), especially in coastal regions, making it popular with Canadians who are less enthusiastic about winter.
    The North (Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon)
    The territories are some of the most remote regions on Earth and constitute most of Canada’s landmass. Though more known for their unique fauna and landscapes, the Territories also have some interesting human settlements, including Dawson City, a city that looks nearly untouched from the gold rush of 1898, and Iqaluit, Canada’s newest territorial capital, which is home to some interestingly adaptive architecture to the harsh climate of the North.

    Cities [ edit ]

    There are many cities in Canada, all of which are distinctive, welcoming to tourists, and well worth visiting, including

    • 45.424722222222 -75.695 1Ottawa — Canada’s national capital, this city is home to national government monuments like Parliament Hill, many major museums like the National Gallery, cool urban neighbourhoods like the ByWard Market, and great old architecture.
    • 51.05 -114.06666666667 2Calgary — A boom-town without a doubt, Calgary is a major Canadian financial city, but for non-business travellers, it offers the world- >44.647777777778 -63.571388888889 3Halifax — home to the second largest natural harbour in the world is rich in history with architecture dating back from English colonialism. See fortress Citadel hill, Canadian museum of the Atlantic, and the active night life where everything is a short walk away.
    • 45.508888888889 -73.561666666667 4Montreal — Once Canada’s largest metropolis, Montreal is the core of North America’s Francophone culture (you can still get by with English) and is home to some of the finest galleries, museums, venues, and festivals in the country along with great shopping on streets like Sainte-Catherine and Saint-Denis. Don’t miss Mount Royal, either.
    • 46.816111 -71.224167 5Quebec City — The Province of Quebec’s capital, founded 1608, well known for its quaint old city, its grand winter festival and gorgeous architecture like the Château Frontenac.
    • 43.670277777778 -79.386666666667 6Toronto — The largest city in Canada, fourth-largest in North America, Toronto is the media, entertainment, business, economic and cultural capital of Canada. Toronto is well known for famous landmarks like the CN Tower, but also has many great museums, theatres, sports venues, shopping districts, entertainment districts, beaches, and recreational parks.
    • 49.25 -123.1 7Vancouver — One of the most densely populated cities in Canada, Vancouver is a city of steel and glass condominiums and outstanding natural beauty. It is unique in that it is a city where one can ski and sit on the beach in the same 24 hours. The city was also the host of the 2010 Winter Olympics and is frequently ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world.
    • 60.717222222222 -135.05583333333 8Whitehorse — M >49.883333 -97.15 9Winnipeg — This city is near the heart of the continent and has a rich French-Canadian and First Nations culture, along with well preserved blocks of historic commercial buildings, renowned arts and culture, and the vibrancy of the Forks.

    Other destinations [ edit ]

    Understand [ edit ]

    Capital Ottawa
    Currency Canadian dollar (CAD)
    Population 35.7 million (2015)
    Electricity 120 volt / 60 hertz (NEMA 1-15, NEMA 5-15)
    Country code +1
    Time zone UTC−06:00 to Newfoundland Standard time and Central Time Zone, Mountain Time Zone, Pacific Time Zone, Eastern Time Zone
    Emergencies 911
    Driving side right
    edit on Wikidata

    Canada is a land of vast distances and rich natural beauty. Canada’s economic, cultural, linguistic and social characteristics closely resemble its neighbour to the south, the United States, but there are significant differences as well, particularly in Quebec and Atlantic Canada. For one thing, over 20% of Canadians (mostly, but by no means all, in Quebec) speak French as a first language. There’s also a significant and growing number of Spanish speakers in Toronto and Montreal, but it’s a small percentage compared to the United States. Also, while Canada has somewhat more land than the US, it has only about a tenth the population, most of them living within 200 km of the US-Canada border. Large areas further north are quite sparsely populated and some is nearly uninhabited wilderness. For a comparison of population that surprises many: There are more African Americans living in the US than there are Canadian citizens.

    Though a medium sized country by its population (34 million), Canada has earned respect on the international stage and is consistently ranked as one of the wealthiest, least corrupt and most livable nations on earth.

    History [ edit ]

    The main wave of prehistoric settlers that came into the Americas from Northeast Asia via Alaska are thought to have arrived around 15,000 years ago, although the first migrants may have arrived around 30,000 years back and the last about 5,000. The main current theory as to the expansion of the prehistoric settlers is a southward migration along the coast with branching populations moving east and, later on, north. By this theory, the longest established cultures are the Pacific Coast tribes and the most recently established are the Arctic cultures.

    The first confirmed European contact with Canada was just after 1000CE: Vikings under Leif Erikson certainly reached Newfoundland and there are some controversial indications that they also sailed far up the St Lawrence and south along what is now the US coast. The next confirmed group were the Portuguese who had fishing outposts along the Atlantic coast by the early 1500s. However, neither group built permanent settlements. The Viking attempt at a settlement, L’anse Aux Meadows, was abandoned after a few years and only rediscovered in 1960. There are unconfirmed claims of several other European groups reaching Canada earlier, notably including the Irish Saint Brendan in the 6th century.

    More permanent settlements were subsequently founded by the English and the French. John Cabot, an Italian working for the English, seems to have reached Newfoundland in about 1497, but the records are neither clear nor complete. The French explorer Jacques Cartier landed on the Gaspé Peninsula in 1534 and claimed it for King Francis I of France. French fishing fleets began to sail to the Atlantic coast, where they traded with the indigenous people. Quebec City was founded by Samuel de Champlain in 1608 as the first permanent settlement in New France.

    The English explorer Humphrey Gilbert landed at St John’s, Newfoundland and claimed it for Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1583 as the first English colony in North America. Under King James I, the English established more settlements in Newfoundland, from which they eventually moved on to establish the colony of Virginia further south in what is now the United States of America.

    The British took Quebec in 1759 during the Seven Years’ War. The most important battlefield of that war in Canada is on the Plains of Abraham just outside the old city walls; it is now one of Quebec City’s tourist attractions. At the end of that war in 1763, the French ceded most of their colonies in continental North America to the British, though the British agreed to permit the continued official usage of the French language and legal system in the ceded colonies, and French continues to be the dominant language in Quebec province to this day. Following the British victory, New France was split into the colonies of Upper Canada (later Ontario), Lower Canada (Quebec), Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

    Under the French, most of what is now Atlantic Canada was called Acadie. The British expelled many of the French settlers and most of them went to Louisiana, where the region in which most of them settled is referred to as Acadiana; the term «Cajun» is an English corruption of the word Acadien. Some of them would later return to the region and settle in New Brunswick.

    After the American War of Independence, during which the thirteen colonies became independent from the British as the United States of America, there was considerable migration to Canada by people who wanted to remain part of the British Empire. They are known in Canada as United Empire Loyalists, though Americans might call them Tory traitors. Some of the Loyalists were of African descent, many of them former slaves who had been granted their freedom in exchange for service for the British or escapees from owners aligned with the U.S. government. Some of them or their descendants later moved to England or what is today Sierra Leone, but there are still Afro-Canadians who can trace their heritage to Black Loyalists. Other substantial waves of immigration were ex-soldiers, mostly Scots, after the Napoleonic wars and many Irish from about the time of the Potato Famine onward.

    The British and Americans fought a war in 1812 in which invasions were launched across the U.S.-Canada border in both directions. Some of the hotter heads on both sides had quite ambitious goals — drive the British out of North America entirely and annex Canada into the US, or reverse the effects of the American Revolution a few decades earlier and bring the U.S. back into the Empire. Neither side got anywhere near achieving such goals, and both ideas were thoroughly discredited by the end of the war. The U.S. national anthem was written about one of the battles in this war. Americans consider the war a draw, since no boundaries changed as a result. Canadians don’t necessarily see it that way as fending off a large-scale U.S. annexation of Canadian territory, particularly on the valuable Niagara Peninsula, is heralded as a historic British-Canadian military victory.

    Slavery was abolished in the British Empire in 1834, but would remain legal in much of the U.S. until 1865, after the end of the American Civil War. The 1850 introduction of the U.S. Fugitive Slave Act, a federal law which angered abolitionist northern states by allowing black people to be abducted by slave-catchers and forcibly returned to slavery in the south, led to the establishment of an Underground Railroad of disparate routes leading north to freedom in Canada, mainly the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario and Halifax in Nova Scotia. Canada never had any large scale African descendant slave population, but both descendants of Underground Railroad refugees and «Black Loyalists» (African Americans both free and enslaved who fought for England during the American Revolution) continue to live in Canada, albeit in much smaller numbers than American blacks.

    The British established their first colony on the Pacific coast of Canada in 1849, when Vancouver Island was chartered with Fort Victoria as its capital. The colony of British Columbia was established in 1858, and the two were merged in 1866.

    The colonies of Upper Canada (Anglophone Ontario), Lower Canada (Francophone Quebec), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick federated to from the self-governing Dominion of Canada in 1867, with each former colony becoming a province. The federation was greatly expanded in 1870. A huge territory called Rupert’s Land — all the land whose rivers drain into Hudson’s Bay, much of Canada and parts of a few US states — was granted by the British crown to the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1670. In 1870, the newly formed dominion purchased it. That more than doubled the sizes of existing provinces Ontario and Quebec and led to the creation of new provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Manitoba joined the federation in 1870, followed by British Columbia in 1871, Prince Edward Island in 1873, and Saskatchewan and Alberta in 1905. Following World War II, the former Dominion of Newfoundland became the final province to join the Canadian federation in 1949. Canada’s newest territory, Nunavut, was created in 1999 from part of the existing Northwest Territories.

    Canada’s relationship with the UK is somewhat complex. It was the British parliament’s British North America Act in 1867 that established the country and the British monarch is still King or Queen of Canada, with a Governor General representing him or her on the ground. However, this is a constitutional monarchy in which the monarch «reigns but does not rule»; the real governing power is Parliament. There were changes in 1931 which made Canada more-or-less fully independent of the United Kingdom. One notable difference was that in World War I, there were Canadian regiments in the British Army under British generals, but by World War II there was a Canadian Army with its own generals; Canadians and Newfoundlanders made significant contributions in both wars. Another significant change is that since the 1960s all the Governors-General have been Canadians; prior to that they were all British and often noblemen.

    Canada’s relationship with the US is also complex. In general, the two nations are friendly and there is a great deal of trade and tourism in both directions. Many Canadians migrate to the US for various work opportunities — Hollywood has dozens — and some Americans come north. The first big wave was Empire Loyalists during or after the American Revolution; later there were Underground Railroad passengers, draft dodgers during the Vietnam War, and others. The two countries have not been to war since 1814 and are proud to have «the world’s longest undefended border», but there have been tensions and even threats. In the 1840s the slogan «Fifty-four-forty or fight» was used in American elections, asserting a claim to about half of what is now British Columbia; the boundary was eventually set by negotiation at 49 °N, several hundred miles south of 54°40′. The bellicose attitude of many Americans on that issue was in part connected to the contemporary Mexican-American War which was seen as a blatant land grab of pro-slavery forces at the time and the unwillingness of the federal government to assert a claim over Northern lands as aggressively as over Southern lands was seen as yet another sign for the federal government being controlled by Southern interests. Actual animosity towards Canada or the British played a marginal role in this jingoistic fervor. Canada and the US have been allies in a number of wars, notably both World Wars, Korea, Afghanistan, the first Iraq War and the current campaign against Da’esh (ISIS). However, Canada stayed out of some American wars, notably Vietnam and the second Iraq War.

    Canadians sometimes cash in on events in the US. Canada’s only involvement in the Civil War was selling supplies to the North, and Canada was the main source for smuggled booze during prohibition.

    Canada and particularly Newfoundland also played an important role in the history of transatlantic aviation. Gander was one of the closest points in North America that was fog free most of the year where an airport could be built and it turned into a frequent refueling stop before planes gained enough range to cross the Atlantic nonstop. During the Cold War, defections sometimes happened during those refueling stops. While its European equivalent Shannon is still the second biggest airport in Ireland, Gander has since lost most of its importance but briefly came to the centre of the world’s attention when after 9/11 countless flights that could not enter US airspace were diverted there and the locals took in stranded visitors from all over the world giving a piece of positive news to report on a generally depressing newsday.

    In 1982, the UK passed the Canada Act, with Canada simultaneously passing the Constitution Act, ending any residual power the British parliament may have had to pass laws for Canada.

    Quebec has twice had a referendum on the question of leaving Canada, the first time in 1980 with an almost 60-40 «no» vote and the second time in 1995 with an extremely narrow «no» vote of 50.58% to 49.42%. Quebec separatism is no longer a pressing issue, but it does come up from time to time, as do grumblings of other provinces — particularly the Maritimes and the Western provinces — about being left out or ignored by federal policy.

    Politics [ edit ]

    Canada has a federal system of government, consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Laws vary slightly from province to province, though they are for the most part fairly uniform.

    At the federal level, the Canadian parliament is based on the British Westminster system, with a lower House of Commons that is popularly elected by the people, and an upper Senate that is appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the Prime Minister. The head of government is the Prime Minister, who is typically the leader of the party with the most seats in the House of Commons. Each province has its own provincial government and legislature, based on the same system but without a senate. The premier serves as the head of the provincial government.

    The executive branch is the Cabinet, which is headed by the Prime Minister, who appoints his Cabinet ministers from among the members of the House of Commons, and occasionally from the Senate. The Supreme Court of Canada heads the judicial branch, and has served as the highest court of appeal since taking over that role from the UK Privy Council in 1949.

    Queen Elizabeth II remains the nominal head of state, with an appointed governor-general as her representative in Canada and a lieutenant-governor in each province. This is a constitutional monarchy; the roles of the Queen and her representatives are largely ceremonial, with the prime minister wielding the most authority in government.

    The Canadian constitution defines certain areas of exclusively provincial jurisdiction. For example, each province sets its own drinking age, minimum wage, sales tax, labour regulations, and administers its own roads, health care and education systems. Two of the three territories’ legislative assemblies (Nunavut and the Northwest Territories) are non-partisan – no political parties are represented and instead, all candidates run as independents in their constituency.

    There are five main parliamentary parties at the federal level consisting of four nationally represented parties and one regionally focused party: the Conservative Party (right of centre), the Liberal Party (left of centre), the New Democratic Party (left), and the Green Party (left) are nationally represented while the Bloc Québécois is a regional party that promotes the independence of Quebec from Canada, running no candidates outside of Quebec. Only the Conservatives and the Liberals have ever formed the national government, though the NDP have governed various provinces. As of 2020, the Green Party has only secured less than 10 seats wherever elected and have formed the government opposition in Prince Edward Island. The Bloc – who have generally drawn criticism from outside of Quebec for their separatist focused agenda – do not participate in provincial-level politics, but another provincial-level sovereignist party, the Parti Québécois, has won provincial elections and formed the government in Quebec on several occasions. While minority governments are somewhat common, coalition governments are almost unheard of and usually elections result in an outright majority of the seats for one party, even if this party only gained somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of the popular vote. For most of its history since Confederation, Canada has been governed by the Liberal Party, which former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien referred to as «Canada’s natural governing party.» After a Conservative Government that served from 2006 to 2015, the Liberals under Justin Trudeau (son of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, another Liberal prime minister) returned to government in 2015.

    While Canada does not have the equivalent of «red states» and «blue states» as the US, there are some marked preferences for particular parties by province that have been relatively stable. However, the first-past-the-post system can cause electoral upsets as happened in 2015 in Alberta when the right-wing parties, the Progressive Conservatives and the Wildrose parties (both defunct), split the vote giving rise to an NDP government in a province that had been governed by the Progressive Conservatives parties for 44 years continuously.

    Culture [ edit ]

    Domestically, Canada has displayed success in negotiating compromises among its own culturally and linguistically varied population, a difficult task considering that language, culture, and even history vary significantly throughout the country. In contrast to the United States’ traditional image of itself as a melting pot (now falling out of use), Canada prefers to consider and define itself as a mosaic of cultures and peoples. Canadians are used to living and interacting with people of different ethnic backgrounds on a daily basis and will usually be quite friendly and understanding if approached in public. The country is largely urban-based and is home to a diverse population (less so in rural areas). As is common with any neighbouring nations, there is some rivalry between Americans and Canadians, which may be more evident in Canada than the United States. Consequently, if you are obviously an American visitor, a minority of Canadians may make comments that could offend you. However, if you aren’t «in your face» about you being American and don’t negatively compare Canada to the US the worst you will probably hear are some good-natured jokes.

    Time zones [ edit ]

    The Canadian Sir Sandford Fleming first proposed time zones for the entire world in 1876, and Canada, being a continental country, is covered coast to coast with several zones.

    Daylight saving time, when clocks are moved forward by one hour, is observed in most of the country (except Saskatchewan) from 2AM on the second Sunday in March until 2AM on the second Sunday in November; during this time, for example, British Columbia uses GMT −7 while Alberta has GMT −6.

    Anglophone Canada mostly uses the 12-hour clock system, but the 24-hour clock is generally used in francophone Canada. The 24-hour notation is also often used in English in such contexts as train and airline schedules.

    Units of measure [ edit ]

    Canada’s official measurement system is metric, but many Anglophone Canadians still use the imperial system for many things in colloquial usage. One of the most common holdovers from the imperial system is the use of feet and inches for measurement of short distances and heights, and especially the use of pounds for masses, even among younger Canadians and Francophones, though these measurements will be recorded in metric units on official documents. In Quebec and other Francophone communities, Imperial units are referred to by their French names. Feet become pieds, inches become pouces and pounds become livres. Older Canadians might still use the term ‘mile’ when referring to informal distances. Fahrenheit temperatures are only used when referring to water in pools and hot tubs, and for oven temperatures. Air temperature, both inside and outside is almost exclusively reported in Celsius. All weather forecasts will be in °C, centimetres of snow and millimetres of rain. Similarly, all road signs will use metric units, meaning that speed limits will be given in km/h and distances will be given in km. «Gallons», «quarts», «pints» and «fluid ounces» in Canada are generally used to refer to the British and not the American versions of those units.

    Climate [ edit ]

    Trying to distill the climate of Canada into an easy-to-understand statement is impossible, given the vast area and diverse geography within the country, but «Frozen North» would be a reasonable first approximation. In most places, winters are harsh, on par with Russia. The most populated region, southern Ontario has a less severe climate, similar to the bordering regions of the mid-western and northeastern United States. Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut, is just south of the Arctic Circle and remains very cold except for the months of July and August, when the July average maximum is only 12°C (54°F). On the other hand, the coastline of British Columbia is very mild for its latitude, remaining above freezing for most of winter, yet it is not far away from some of the largest mountain glaciers on the continent.

    Most of the large Canadian urban areas are within 200 km (125 mi) of Canada’s border with the United States (Edmonton, Calgary, Halifax and St. John’s being notable exceptions). Visitors to most cities will most likely not have to endure the weather that accompanies a trip to more remote northern or mountainous areas often pictured on postcards of Canada. Summers in the most populated parts of Canada are generally short and hot. Summer temperatures over 35°C (95°F) are not unusual in Southern Ontario, the southern Prairies and the southern Interior of BC, with Osoyoos being the hot-spot of Canada for average daily maximums. Toronto’s climate is only slightly cooler than many of the larger cities in the northeastern United States, and summers in the southern parts of Ontario, Quebec (including Montreal) and Manitoba are often hot and humid. In contrast, humidity is often low in the western interior during the summer, even during hot weather, and more cooling occurs at night. In the winter, eastern Canada, particularly Atlantic Canada, is sometimes subject to inclement weather systems entering from the US, bringing snow, high wind, rain, sleet, and temperatures in their wake of under −10°C (14°F).

    Many inland cities, especially those in the Prairies, experience extreme temperature fluctuations, sometimes very rapidly. Owing to a dry climate (more arid west than east on the southern Prairies), bright sunshine hours are plentiful in the 2,300–2,600 annual hours range.

    Winnipeg has hot summers with bouts of aggressive humidity, yet experiences very cold winters where temperatures around −40°C (−40°F) are not uncommon. The official hottest temperature in Canada ever recorded was in southern Saskatchewan, at 45°C (113°F), while the coldest was in Snag, Yukon −63°C (−81°F). Summer storms in the Prairies and Ontario can be violent and sometimes unleash strong damaging winds, hail, and rarely, tornadoes. On the west coast of British Columbia, Vancouver and Victoria are far more temperate and get very little snow, average low wind speeds and seldom experience temperatures below 0°C or above 27°C (32–80°F) but receive high rainfall amounts in winter then in turn dry, sunny, pleasant summers.

    The average temperature is typically colder in Canada than in the US and Western Europe as a whole, so bring a warm jacket if visiting between October and April, and earlier and later than this if visiting hilly/mountainous terrain or Northern areas. For most of the country, daytime highs in the summer are generally well above 15 °C (60 °F) and usually into the 20s–30s°C (70s–100s°F) range.

    Holidays [ edit ]

    Canada recognizes and celebrates the following national holidays (some provinces may have minor differences):

    • New Year’s Day — 1 January
    • Family Day — 3rd Monday in February (not observed in all provinces, known as Louis Riel Day in Manitoba, Islander Day in PEI)
    • Good Friday — Friday before Easter (a few institutions also close on Easter Monday)
    • Easter Sunday — late March or early April, first Sunday after first full moon after the spring equinox
    • Victoria Day—Last Monday in May before 25 May (known as Fêtes des Patriotes in Québec; always one week before the US Memorial Day)
    • St. Jean Baptiste Day (Québec) — 24 June (also known as Fête Nationale)
    • Canada Day— 1 July
    • Civic Holiday — first Monday in August (only applies in some provinces, under different names; not in Québec)
    • Labour Day — first Monday in September
    • Thanksgiving—Second Monday in October (the same day as the US holiday of Columbus Day)
    • Remembrance Day —11 November (bank holiday only; the same day as the US Veterans Day)
    • Christmas Day — 25 December
    • Boxing Day—26 December

    Canada’s Labour Day is not celebrated on 1 May, as in much of the world, but on the first Monday in September (the same day as the US celebrates its Labor Day).

    Talk [ edit ]

    Bilingualism and politics

    Although most Canadians are monolingual, one place where you can see Canada’s official bilingualism on display is in Parliament, as MPs have the right to address the House in either English or French. This bilingualism is also on display during election season, as all the major parties’ prime ministerial candidates are expected to debate in both French and English on television, making bilingualism almost essential if one has aspirations for high office.

    English and French are the only two official languages in Canada at the national level, though many other languages are spoken among immigrants or Canada’s native peoples. All communications and services provided by the federal government are required by law to be available in both official languages. However, individual provinces are free to decide which languages they wish to adopt as official languages at the provincial level, meaning that offices of the provincial governments may not necessarily offer services in both languages (e.g. British Columbia only offers services in English, while Quebec only offers services in French). Most Canadians are functionally monolingual, although some parts of the country have both English and French speakers. Over a quarter of Canadians are bilingual or multilingual. A majority of Montrealers and Gatinois, as well as about 40% of Ottawans, are at least conversationally bilingual. New Brunswick is officially bilingual as roughly one third of the province speak French as their first language, mostly in Northern New Brunswick.

    English is the dominant language in all regions except Québec, where French is dominant and actively promoted as the main language. However, there are numerous francophone communities scattered around the country, such as:

    • the national capital region around Ottawa, and various towns between Ottawa and Montréal
    • some parts of eastern and northern Ontario,
    • the city of Winnipeg (particularly St. Boniface) and areas to the south,
    • the Bonnie Doon neighbourhood in Edmonton, and several surrounding communities,
    • a few parts of the Acadian region of Atlantic Canada, scattered across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island).

    Likewise, there are anglophone communities in Québec, such as the on-island western suburbs of Montreal. Most Francophones outside of Québec are bilingual, as are most Anglophones living in Québec.

    Canadian English uses a mixture of British and American spellings, often with US vocabulary («gas» instead of «petrol») and UK spelling (a «meter» is a measuring instrument, a «metre» is a unit of length). Some British terms not usually understood in the United States are widely used in Canada. Certain words, as well as the letter «z», follow British instead of American pronunciations, but the accents of Canadians and Americans are nonetheless quite similar. The standard Canadian accent differs from the standard American (Midwest) accent being smoother, less nasal and faster-paced (common phrases that are normally two words are pronounced as though there is no space between them) and is virtually identical to the West Coast American accent. Canadian English also tends to have a stronger French influence than other varieties of English, and Canadians are also more likely than other English speakers to pronounce loan words from French according to their original French pronunciation.

    Atlantic Canada has the greatest variety of regional accents in English-speaking North America, largely as a result of the isolated nature of the fishing communities along the Atlantic coastline prior to the advent of modern telecommunications and transportation. A visitor to the Atlantic provinces may have some difficulty understanding strong local accents rich in maritime slang and idiom, particularly in rural areas. From Ontario westward, the accent of English Canadians is more or less the same from one region to another and is akin to that spoken in northern US border states.

    English-speaking Canadians are generally not required to take French after their first year of high school, and thus most English-speaking Canadians outside Quebec cannot speak French unless they are closely related to someone who does, or have chosen to continue French studies out of personal or professional interest. Ottawa is an exception as French is needed in many civil service jobs. Education in other languages (such as Spanish, German, and Japanese) is offered, although only a small minority of students take these courses, and those that do rarely progress past the basics. As Canada is a popular destination for migrants from all over the world, you will often hear different languages being spoken in Canada’s major cities, and you will often find neighbourhoods or suburbs whose primary language is that of their respective immigrant communities. Most immigrants learn English or French in addition to speaking their native tongue with family and friends.

    In Quebec, one can usually get by with English in Montreal, Gatineau, on-the-beaten-path areas of Quebec City, and a few traditionally Anglophone rural areas such as the Lower North Shore, Chaleur Bay, and some areas along the U.S. border. However, elsewhere in the province, knowledge of French ranges from very useful to downright essential. Even if you’re just passing through, it pays to know at least enough French to read road signs (this is especially true if you’re planning to venture off the autoroutes onto country roads). It may also be useful to know at least a few basic French phrases in the larger cities, where some attempt by travellers to communicate in French is often appreciated. The varieties of French spoken in Québec and the Acadian regions differ in accent and vocabulary from each other and from European French. Some Franco-Europeans have difficulty understanding Canadian French. Nevertheless, all Francophone Canadians learn standard French in school, so they will generally be able to speak standard French if required.

    Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal are home to large Chinese migrant populations, and Cantonese is widely spoken in the Chinatowns in these cities. Due to migration from mainland China, and the increasing prominence of China’s rising tourism industry, Mandarin is becoming increasingly more widely spoken. Other Chinese dialects are also spoken, but less common.

    There are also dozens of aboriginal languages spoken by many Canadians of aboriginal descent. In Nunavut more than half the population speaks Inuktitut, a traditional language of the Inuit, with a significant minority speaking Inuinnaqtun. Nevertheless, most of these people speak English or French as well, so learning these languages is generally not a necessity to communicate, though it would certainly impress your hosts.

    Two sign languages are predominant in Canada. American Sign Language, or ASL, is used in Anglophone Canada; Quebec Sign Language, or LSQ, is used in Francophone Canada. While the two are distinct languages, they share a degree of mutual intelligibility. Both are part of the French Sign Language family, and LSQ is believed to be a mix of French Sign Language and ASL.

    Get in [ edit ]

    Citizens of the following countries do not need a visa to visit Canada for a stay of (generally) up to six months, provided no work or study is undertaken and the traveller holds a passport valid for six months beyond their intended date of departure:

    A visa exemption also applies to individuals holding nationalities that are not specified above if they are in possession of a US Green Card or can provide other evidence of permanent residence in the United States. Persons who do not require a visa and who are entering for any reason other than tourism must have a letter of invitation from the individual, business, or organization that they are visiting (information about letters of invitation and what information they need to contain).


    Foreigners entering Canada visa-free by plane are required to obtain an eTA (electronic Travel Authorization) in order to be allowed on the plane. The eTA is issued by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and is similar to the US ESTA, but the fee is lower at $7 and is valid for as long as the passport or for a maximum of five years. US citizens (but not permanent residents) and French citizens of Saint Pierre and Miquelon are exempt from this. The eTA is not required if you are entering by land or sea.

    Canada is quite strict about admitting anyone with a criminal record, and even people who would otherwise not need a visa may be denied entry or may need additional paperwork if they have a record, no matter how long ago or minor it may be. Even a drunk driving conviction counts, because that is considered a criminal offence under Canadian law. Anybody with a criminal record, including US citizens, should contact a Canadian diplomatic mission for advice before making travel plans. See Traveling with a criminal history#Canada.

    All others will be required to obtain a Temporary Resident Visa to enter the country. This can be done at the applicants’ nearest Canadian Visa Office. Applicants are required to submit, as part of their application:

    • A valid travel document (such as a passport)
    • Two properly-formatted, passport-sized photos for all applicants
    • The application fee (the fee per person is $75 for a single entry visa, $150 for a multiple entry visa or $400 for a family (multiple or single entry)
    • Reservation confirmation (for tourists) or letter of invitation (for everybody else).
    • Proof that you have enough money for your visit to Canada. The amount of money may vary, depending on the circumstances for your visit, how long you will stay and whether you will stay in a hotel, or with friends or relatives. You can get more information from the visa office.
    • Other documents as required. These documents could be identification cards, proof of employment, or a proposed itinerary. Check the website of the visa office responsible for the country or region where you live for more information.

    If you plan to visit the United States and do not travel outside the borders of the US, you can use your single entry visa to re-enter as long as the visa has not passed its expiry date.

    Working while in the country is forbidden without a work permit, although Canada does have several temporary work permits for youth from specific countries. See «Work» below.

    Quebec has been given limited autonomy in the selection of immigrants by the federal government. While its immigration rules differ slightly from the rest of Canada, these rule differences do not affect short-term visitors (such as tourists and business travellers) who do not plan to work or immigrate.

    United States citizens travelling by land (vehicle, rail, boat or foot) to Canada need only proof of citizenship and identification for short-term visits. In addition to a passport, a number of other documents may also be used to cross the border:

    • United States Passport Card (issued by the Department of State)
    • Enhanced Drivers License or Non-Driver Photo ID card (issued by Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, and Washington State)
    • Enhanced Tribal ID Card
    • Trusted Traveler Cards issued by the US Department of Homeland Security for the Canadian Border (NEXUS and FAST).

    DHS issued cards for the Mexican Border (SENTRI) and for international air travellers (Global Entry) cannot be used to enter Canada, but they are acceptable to re-enter the United States and may be used in the dedicated NEXUS lanes into the US, where available.

    Prior to 2009, it was possible to travel across the US-Canada border with just a birth certificate or a driver’s licence. Birth certificates are still acceptable to enter Canada, but United States Customs and Border Protection stopped accepting birth certificates when the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) went into effect. This is because many (especially older) certificates are little more than a typewritten piece of carbon paper with no security. If you try to re-enter the United States with your birth certificate, you will eventually be let in, but only after significant delays while CBP verifies the information on it with the issuing department. You may also be fined or prosecuted for non-compliance, although anything more than a written warning is unlikely for a first time violator.

    Residents of Greenland, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon and some Caribbean nations are not required to present a passport if they can prove nationality and identity via some other means.

    Residents of Greenland, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, and the United States also benefit from arrangements where applications for work and study permits can be made upon arrival in Canada at the Immigration Office at the port of entry without the need for an advance Temporary Resident Visa or advance application at a consulate. However, all the paperwork normally needed for such a permit has to be submitted at the port of entry as it would at a consulate, including a letter of introduction/invitation, the appropriate paperwork issued by the institution/employer, and the appropriate fees.

    Transit [ edit ]

    Similar to the US, Canada also requires entry formalities even if you are transferring between two international flights at the same airport. The exception to this is if you are connecting from another international flight to a US-bound flight (but not vice versa) at an airport with US border pre-clearance, and if the connection is made in the same terminal. If you are not eligible for a visa waiver to enter Canada, then in general you will need to apply for a free-of-charge transit visa to transit through Canada. While Canada’s visa policy is in general somewhat more relaxed than the US, making it a popular route for people who wish to avoid transiting through the US, Canada’s rules on criminal inadmissibility are even more strict than that of the US. In other words, if you have a criminal record, or even a drunk-driving conviction, it is likely that you will be refused immigration clearance to transit through Canada and should plan alternative routes.

    Customs [ edit ]

    Canada has very strict biosecurity laws. Similar to the United States, Australia and New Zealand, all food items being brought into Canada must be declared to customs on arrival and inspected. Failure to declare any food items could lead to a hefty fine, even if the items are permitted.

    Canadian drug laws are considerably stricter than American ones, and attempting to bring illicit drugs into Canada is a very serious offence which carries a heavy jail term with it. In particular, while medicinal marijuana is legal in much of the US, it is illegal to attempt to bring marijuana into Canada, even if you have a prescription and even though recreational use of cannabis is legal in Canada — see the government’s Cannabis and International Travel page for details.

    It is illegal to bring firearms and explosives across the border into Canada without declaring them, with proper paperwork, to customs. Anyone under 18 years of age cannot legally bring a firearm into Canada at all. For details, see the Canada Border Services Agency’s Import and Export a Firearm or Weapon into Canada page for firearms and the Natural Resources Canada Importing, Exporting and Transporting-in-Transit pages for ammunition.

    Although there is no restriction on the amount of money that can be brought into or out of Canada, customs requires you to declare if you are carrying $10,000 (Canadian) or more, or its equivalent in foreign currency. Failure to declare could lead to prosecution and possible seizure of the cash.

    From the United States [ edit ]

    If you are a US citizen or permanent resident and travel to Canada frequently, consider applying for a NEXUS card. NEXUS allows pre-approved, low risk travellers to use expedited inspection lanes both into Canada and the United States at many land crossings with minimal questioning. You can also utilize kiosks to make your customs declaration and clear the border at major international airports if you opt for an iris scan. The application fee is $50 and requires being legally admissible to both nations, a thorough background investigation, credit check, fingerprinting and an interview with both US Customs and Border Protection and Canada Border Services Agency.

    Participants in other DHS trusted traveller programs such as Global Entry (expedited clearance at airports), SENTRI (expedited US-Mexico border clearance) and FAST (for truck drivers) cannot utilize NEXUS lanes into Canada, although are allowed to use their Global Entry, SENTRI, or FAST card as a travel document denoting identity and citizenship. Additionally, these cards can be used in NEXUS lanes entering the United States.

    If you are travelling to Canada from the United States and you are not a permanent resident of either country you need to be careful to satisfy the US authorities on any subsequent trip that you have not exceeded their limits on stays in North America. Your time in Canada counts towards your maximum allowed United States stay if you are returning to the US prior to your departure from North America.

    • If you are returning to the US in this trip, keep your visa documents. Do not hand over your US visa or visa waiver card (I-94 or I-94W) to border control. You can enter the US multiple times during the time allocated to your visa (for Western tourists, normally 90 days), but you need to have the immigration document as well to validate the visa. If you come back from the US without that document, you will not only have to apply again for a visa or visa waiver but also will also need to satisfy US immigration of the validity of your trip (meaning to show them that you will not intend on immigrating there).
    • If your default US time is going to run out while you are in Canada, and you want to return to the US direct from Canada, you need to apply for a US visa with a longer time period (e.g. B-1/B-2, or a C-1 transit visa) before your first trip through the US. For example, if you are going to stay in Canada for six months, and you transit through the US on a visa waiver, then the US will regard your six months in Canada as not allowing you to return to the US without leaving North America first, as you have stayed more than 90 days in North America in total. In this scenario, you have not done anything wrong by visiting the US and then staying in Canada for a long time, simply that the US will not allow you to return directly from Canada, you have to reset their clock by leaving North America. Visa waiver travellers may be able to avoid this by returning their I-94W (green) form to their airline upon departing the US, or to the Canadian immigration inspector if entering Canada by land; since the US has no outbound immigration check, it’s up to the traveller to remember this.
    • If you are intending to leave North America entirely without returning to the US on this trip, return any visa documents at the time of leaving the US for Canada. This means handing over your I-94 or I-94W card to airline staff at the check-in counter if departing by air, or to the Canadian immigration inspector if departing by land. If you do not, you will need to prove to the US that you didn’t overstay to be admitted on future trips (the US CBP website has information on how to correct this mistake).

    If you leave Canada to briefly visit the United States and wish to re-enter Canada in a short period of time, you generally may do so without getting a new Canadian visa as long as you return within the initial period authorised by the immigration officer or have a valid temporary residence permit authorising you to re-enter, and you do not leave US soil before returning to Canada (i.e. not even during a cruise which begins and ends at a US point but crosses international waters in-between). If you leave US soil for a third country for any reason on a single-entry Canadian visa, you will have to apply for a new visa before re-entering Canada.

    By plane [ edit ]

    Canada’s main international airports are located in Toronto (YYZ IATA ), Vancouver (YVR IATA ) and Montreal (YUL IATA ). Many other cities have international airports as well, with the following being of particular use to visitors: Calgary, Ottawa, Halifax, St. John’s, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Kelowna, Victoria and Quebec City.

    Flag carrier Air Canada and WestJet are the country’s only national air carriers, covering the entire country and international destinations. There are also regional domestic airlines, and charter airlines serving mainly international destinations.

    With rare exceptions, Canadian three-letter IATA airport codes start with a «Y» and the corresponding ICAO codes are «CY»; the last two letters of both codes almost always match.

    Luggage allowance for flights to or from Canada usually operates on a piece-wise in addition to the weight system even for foreign carriers. This means that you are allowed a limited number of bags to check-in where each bag should not exceed certain linear dimensions (computed by adding the length, width and height of the bags). The exact restrictions on weight, linear dimension and number of baggage allowed are determined by the carrier you are flying with and the class of service you are travelling in, usually individual bags may be up to 23 kg (50 lb) if travelling in economy class.

    If you are flying across the border from the United States, Air Canada and all US-based carriers (Alaska, American, Delta, and United) charge checked bag fees. Typically $25 for a single bag of up to 23 kg (50 pounds), and $35–50 for a second bag, unless you have elite status, are travelling in First or Business class, or qualify for a fee waiver (e.g. US military personnel). If you are flying to the US from a major airport, you will typically clear US customs and immigration at the Canadian airport before departure; make sure you give yourself ample time to complete all these procedures

    By car [ edit ]

    Canada has a land border with only one country – the United States. There are two land borders, Canada’s southern border with the 48 contiguous states and another between Western Canada and Alaska. See the from the United States subsection for more information on what to do when leaving the US.

    You might also enter the country by road from the United States through one of many border crossing points. The same rules will apply here, but if your case is not straightforward, expect to be delayed, as the officials here (especially in more rural areas) see fewer non-US travellers than at the airports. Also expect delays during holiday periods, as border crossings can become clogged with traffic.

    After crossing the border into Canada, road signs change into metric units; distances are in kilometres and speed limits in km per hour. One mile is 1.609 km so multiply what you see on the road signs by 5/8 to get its approximate equivalent in miles e.g. 40 km ≈ 25 miles and 100 km/h ≈ 62.5 mph. If you are driving a US-model vehicle into Canada, the speedometer will usually have US units on top or outward while metric units are below or inward. If only US units are displayed, there will usually be a switch allowing you to change the speedometer to metric units; check your owner’s manual to find where it is.

    As of 2013, drivers of US registered vehicles in Canada are no longer required to carry a separate Canadian insurance document. It is your responsibility as the driver to ensure that your US policy will cover you in Canada and meets the minimum coverage level of the provinces you’ll be driving in. C$200,000 liability coverage is the standard requirement in all provinces apart from Nova Scotia which sets the minimum at C$500,000, by contrast, most US states have statutory minimums of US$50,000 or less. Most American insurers will cover you fully in Canada although some require advanced notification and/or payment of an additional premium. Call your agent prior to any cross-border car trips to discuss requirements and procedures.

    By train [ edit ]

    Via Rail is Canada’s national passenger rail service. The US counterpart, Amtrak, provides connecting rail services to Toronto from New York via Niagara Falls; Montreal from New York and Vancouver from Seattle via Bellingham. Their trains are an inexpensive way to get into Canada, as tickets start from as low as US$43 return between Seattle and Vancouver.

    Not many take the train as a regular means of inter-city transportation. Most simply drive to where they want to go if the distance is short (which in Canada can still mean hundreds of kilometres!), or fly if distances are long.

    Important: If you’re travelling cross-border on Amtrak services, you must have your tickets validated prior to boarding. Pick up your tickets from the window (not the Quick-Trak kiosk) and show your passport or travel document to the agent (your travel document information is sent ahead of time on a manifest to border services to facilitate crossing procedures). Some stations, such as New York City, have a dedicated window for international passengers.

    As of 2020, Hostelling International members are eligible at 12.5% discount from Via Rail.

    By bus [ edit ]

    Greyhound Canada serves Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto, with connecting service to regional lines and US Greyhound coaches.

    Many routes connect major Canadian and American cities including Montreal – New York City which is operated by New York Trailways and Vancouver–Seattle operated by Greyhound (USA). The Toronto to New York City route (via Buffalo) is operated by a number of bus companies: Greyhound and Trailways for traditional service, and Megabus (Coach Canada) on the discount side. There are also many local bus companies throughout Canada.

    Effective October 31, 2020, Greyhound Canada terminated all bus service in Northern Ontario (north-west of Sudbury) and all of Western Canada (Prairies and British Columbia). This did not affect the Vancouver-Seattle service operated by Greyhound (USA).

    By boat [ edit ]

    Several cruise lines run cruises between the eastern United States and Halifax. Most freight routes run to Montreal on the east coast and Vancouver on the west coast. International passengers will be required to pass through customs in their port of arrival.

    Ferries enter British Columbia from Alaska and Washington. Alaska Marine Highway serves Prince Rupert, whereas Washington State Ferries serves Sidney (near Victoria) through the San Juan islands. Black Ball runs a car ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles; tourist-oriented passenger-only ferries run from Victoria to points in Washington.

    A car ferry in Sonra, Ontario serves Marine City, Michigan (midway between Windsor-Detroit and Sarnia-Port Huron). A truck ferry joins Windsor-Detroit, primarily to carry dangerous goods prohibited on the Ambassador Bridge. A small car ferry operates from Pelee Island and Kingsville (Ontario) to Sandusky, Ohio when ice and weather allows. A small car ferry operates seasonally between Wolfe Island, Ontario (near Kingston) and Cape Vincent, NY.

    A ferry runs seasonally (May 1-end Oct) between Yarmouth and Portland (Maine).

    A seasonal bird-watching tour from Cutler, Maine visits Machias Seal Island in New Brunswick; capacity is strictly limited.

    A passenger ferry runs from Fortune in Newfoundland to Saint Pierre and Miquelon; it is not possible (as of 2020) to bring a car onto the ferry.

    Cruising on small craft is also an option to reach Canada from Saint Pierre and Miquelon or from US border towns on the Great Lakes, Saint Lawrence Seaway, New Brunswick’s St. Clair River and on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. The master of small craft arriving in Canada must contact Customs at +1-888-CANPASS (226-7277) before passengers disembark from the boat.

    Get around [ edit ]

    Canada is huge – the second largest country in the world by land area after Russia; this means that you will need several days to appreciate even a part of the country. The distances involved will boggle many travellers, though perhaps not those from other large countries.

    The distance from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Vancouver (over 5,000 km or 3,000 miles as the crow flies) is considerably more than from London to any major European city, including Moscow, and somewhat more than from New Delhi to either Beijing or Istanbul.

    This being said, the span of Canada’s population is actually very small: 90% of Canada’s population resides within 160 km of the American Border (excluding the Yukon-Alaska border), and 57% of Canadians reside south of the parallel on which Seattle resides. As such, getting around in Canada is almost completely restricted to the southern «Canadian Corridor» and any travel to Northern Canada requiring a plane to access.

    By plane [ edit ]

    The best way to get around the country is by air. Air Canada is the main national carrier, and has by far the largest network and most frequent schedules. For travel between major centres, WestJet offers competitive fares. Because of protectionism policies favouring Canadian carriers and high taxes, fares tend to be more expensive than flying similar distances in the United States, Australia or China, and sometimes, transiting in the US could be cheaper than a direct domestic flight. Most major airports are served by public transit. This consists of trains and feeder buses running at peak frequencies ranging from five to fifteen minutes or less (Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, Ottawa). Service may be spotty or non-existent late at night or on weekends if you are outside the major centres. To travel to the city centre/downtown, one or more connections are required in all cities except Vancouver, Montreal, Winnipeg and Ottawa, making a taxi or shuttle a better idea for large groups or those with a lot of luggage.

    Domestic flights in Canada are generally similar to those in the US in terms of service levels; airlines charge economy class passengers for meals and check-in baggage, and these are only included in the ticket price for business class passengers.

    Air hitch-hiking [ edit ]

    Float planes, lake to lake in northern Canada is another way to travel. It’s possible to do this for free. You can Air Hitch above the Arctic Circle by flying out of any of the airports, but the trick is getting access to pilots. This can be easier at the Abbotsford Air Show, near Vancouver, Canada, in the summer.

    When you get further north, above Prince George say, you’ll need to hook up with pilots, often delivering mail lake to lake. Often there are general store and post office type places near the lakes. Many air hitchers catch up with the pilots when they stop for a meal or coffee as one does with truck drivers. In the major and regional airports, one can catch the pilots going in or out of the Environment Canada weather offices.

    Air couriers [ edit ]

    Air courier travel is a dying phenomenon. It was once common to deliver urgent documents and parcels more quickly by using the checked baggage allocation of a passenger ticket on frequently-travelled routes (such as Paris to Montréal); as checked baggage must have a corresponding passenger, the seat would be offered with carry-on luggage only to a traveller at a reduced rate. With rare exception, any time advantage has been eliminated by airlines improving their cargo operations and by major parcel carriers (such as FedEx and UPS) moving the bulk of their cargo on their own aircraft.

    If one accepts work in Canada’s high north, many employers will pay one’s passage. Because it pays so well and there is little work in places like Newfoundland, many Canadians commute from the Atlantic provinces to well- paid jobs in Northern Canada and Alberta.

    By bus [ edit ]

    Travel by intercity coach is available between most major cities in Canada. Service is best in the densely packed Windsor-Quebec corridor between Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa. Service in this corridor is provided by a number of companies:

    • Megabus (Coach Canada): Toronto – Kingston — Montreal
    • Greyhound: Toronto – Ottawa, Montreal – Ottawa, and routes between Toronto and southwestern Ontario
    • Orleans Express: Montreal – Quebec City

    DRL runs a daily Newfoundland service, and Maritime Bus operates in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick.

    Since the discontinuation of Greyhound’s Western Canada service, a cross-Canada bus trip is essentially impossible.

    There are bus services in the most populated parts of eastern Canada, but service through northern Ontario to Winnipeg is provided on daytime runs by Kasper Bus from White River, requiring an overnight layover Thunder Bay. There is no carrier offering westbound service from Winnipeg to Saskatchewan (as of January 2020). Rider Express offers a Regina-Saskatoon-Edmonton service, and a daily Calgary-Vancouver run.

    By car [ edit ]

    Many travellers to Canada rent a car. Although somewhat expensive if you are travelling alone, this can be an economically reasonable alternative if you are sharing the costs with others. However, there are many limitations and drawbacks on car rentals in Canada, including:

    • There can be very high surcharges associated with dropping off the car at a different location than where it was picked up.
    • Unlimited kilometres are usually offered for the province you rent it in only. As soon as you enter another province, even for a few kilometres, your entire trip gets limited (mostly to 200 km a day).
    • Driving is usually permitted on paved roads only.
    • There are no manual transmission rental cars available in Canada.

    In some cases, frugal travellers may be able to «earn» budget automobile travel by delivering a car across Canada. The option is not common. Nor does it offer the opportunity to spend much time stopping along the way. However, it can be a cheap way to cross Canada while seeing the interior. Canada Drive Away and Hit the Road are options.

    Traffic moves on the right in Canada with most cars being left-hand-drive (as in the USA and France).

    Driving within Montreal, Vancouver or Toronto is not always practical; these cities are densely populated and parking can be difficult to find and/or expensive. All three cities provide extensive public transit, so it may be better to park in a central location, or at your hotel or lodging, then use public transit. You can usually obtain maps of the public transit systems at airports, subway kiosks, and train stations. Outside those cities, public transport tends to be unreliable or non-existent, so a car is almost essential just to get around at all.

    Gasoline in 2020 was $1.00-1.40 per litre in most Canadian cities. Debit and credit cards without the «chip and PIN» are not recognized at the pumps, although most companies accept the cards if they are brought inside to the cashier.

    In general, foreign visitors are allowed to drive using their foreign licence for up to 90 days if their licence is in English or French, after which they have to obtain a Canadian licence from the province or territory they are residing in. Foreign licences in other languages must be accompanied by an International Driving Permit (IDP). Most foreigners are required to take a written and practical test before they can get a Canadian licence, though individual provinces may have reciprocal agreements that exempt some foreigners from testing requirements; check with the relevant provincial government to be sure. Licensing laws and road rules vary slightly from province to province.

    Many jurisdictions also have red light and speed cameras that issue fines via mail to the car’s registered owner, again via licence plate when the car is automatically photographed running (disobeying) a red traffic light or going above the speed limit. The above warning regarding rental agency policies applies to these as well. As the ticket is sent to the vehicle owner (not the driver) long after the alleged offence, it is difficult or impossible to obtain due process or a fair trial, making these traps a lucrative source of revenue for local and provincial governments.

    By RV [ edit ]

    If you are set on a road trip, an alternative to car rental is to rent an RV (motorhome or campervan). This gives you the flexibility to explore Canada at your own pace and is ideal if your trip is geared around an appreciation of Canada’s natural environment. Costs can also be lower than combining car rental with hotels.

    By train [ edit ]

    Passenger rail service in Canada, although safe and comfortable, is often an expensive, slow and inconvenient alternative to other types of transport. The corridor between Windsor and Quebec City is an exception to this generalization. The routes outside of this corridor are either the single day trains in Ontario and Quebec or the four multi day trains outside of the Central provinces. The approximately three-day train ride between Toronto and Vancouver called The Canadian is the most famous, and VIA’s flagship train, which passes through the splendour of the Canadian prairies and the Rocky Mountains, with domed observation cars to allow passengers to take in the magnificent views. The Ocean, a two day train trip that passes from Montreal to Halifax, passes through the Canadian Maritimes and provides excellent ocean views in its journey in Northern New Brunswick. The Winnipeg-Churchill route takes two days to travel to the shores of Hudson Bay and is the only passenger train service to Northern Canada. In British Columbia, The Skeena travels from Jasper to Prince Rupert over the course of 2 days and provides some of the best scenery aboard any VIA train. However, this train overnights in Prince George and a ticket does not include accommodation in the town. Additionally, the route travels along a heavily trafficked rail route, so expect multiple delays along the way. Unlike in Europe or East Asia, Canada does not have high-speed rail lines, and the Canadian railway network is primarily used for freight transport. Although passenger trains legally have right of way on the rails, VIA trains are significantly smaller than freight trains and as such will always yield to passing freight trains. VIA travels on Canadian National owned trackage exclusively: As a result, VIA trains do not travel through Regina-Calgary-Banff as this track is owned by Canadian Pacific Rail.

    Make arrangements ahead of time to get lower fares. Via Rail is the main Canadian passenger rail company and often has 50% off sales or last minute discounts. Tickets in coach are often reasonably priced and competitive with equivalent plane tickets, however these tickets do not include food and drink on board, requiring coach passengers to pay in the service cars. Sleeper tickets, though significantly more expensive, include food in the prices and allow other privileges exclusive to such passengers.

    Some tourist trains can also get you from A to B but their focus is mostly on sightseeing, not transportation and they are usually much more expensive than a plane, car or bus trip would be. The Rocky Mountaineer is the most well known and travels from Calgary to Vancouver along the historic Canadian Pacific Railway. However, this train is not a viable inter-city train as tickets are very expensive and oriented towards sight seeing tourists exclusively.

    By thumb [ edit ]

    Canada can be a great place for hitchhiking, and is still done by younger travellers strapped for cash, or seeking adventure. It’s most common in the far western provinces, although popularity is decreasing. Hitchhiking in the urban areas of Southern Ontario and Montréal is not a sure thing as many drivers will not pick up hitchhikers in these regions.

    In heavily populated areas such as the Windsor-Quebec corridor, the main route used to be a road that went through every town as the main street. A freeway was built in the 1960s, leaving three options – hitchhike on the old road (slower, and more difficult as most of the remaining traffic is local), stand on the shoulder of the freeway (which is illegal, but not uncommon) or stand at the on-ramp and hope someone getting on at that crossroads is going your way. In less-populated areas (such as the vast stretches of Trans-Canada Highway across northern Ontario), the surface road remains the only highway, giving pedestrians (and hitchhikers) unfettered access at any point.

    The small town of Wawa in Northern Ontario was famous in the 1960s and 70s as a place where westbound hitchhikers became stranded, sometimes for days. It might still be wise not to accept a ride that only goes to Wawa; look for one that goes through to Thunder Bay. More generally, look for lifts going to decent-sized towns rather than ones that will drop you in the middle of nowhere. This makes it easier to find your next lift, or food and lodging, and reduces risks of dangerous animals or being caught without shelter in nasty weather.

    Hitchhiking in winter is best avoided (except as a last resort) as darkness falls early and drivers cannot see you easily in snowstorms or hazardous weather conditions.

    As anywhere in the world, hitch-hiking carries risks.

    By ride sharing [ edit ]

    Ride sharing is increasing in popularity among users of Internet website Craigslist and dedicated ridesharing sites such as Kangaride, LiftSurfer and RideshareOnline. This method of transport works best between major centres, for example, Toronto-Montreal or Vancouver-Calgary. Generally anything along the Trans-Canada Highway corridor (Victoria, Vancouver, Banff, Canmore, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste Marie, Sudbury, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, St Johns, Halifax, PEI) should be no problem if your dates are flexible. Allo-Stop offers intercity carpool service in Québec but is not licensed to operate in other provinces.

    Some tourist destinations, especially those popular with young people, can be accessed via rideshare, for example: Vancouver-Whistler or Calgary-Banff. People sharing a ride will usually be expected to pay for their fair share of the fuel cost, and may also be asked to do some of the driving on long hauls.

    For best results be sure to post a request listing, and start checking for offer listings at least one week prior to your anticipated ride date. Backpacker’s hostel notice boards are also a good resource for ride sharing.

    Like hitchhiking, some common sense and discretion is advisable.

    On foot [ edit ]

    The Trans Canada Trail covers 21,500 km of a planned 34,000 km route stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and to the Arctic Ocean.

    Travel history Канада

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    History

    Follow those caribou!

    Canada’s first inhabitants were most likely hunter-nomads who, in hungry pursuit of caribou, elk and bison, crossed over from Asia on the land bridge that once linked Siberia and Alaska. As the earth warmed and the glaciers retreated, these immigrants began to trickle all across the Americas.

    About 4500 years ago, a second major wave of migration from Siberia brought the ancestors of the Inuit to Canada. The new arrivals took one look at the North, sized it up as a tasty icebox filled with fish-and-seal dinners, and decided to hang around. These early Inuit were members of the Dorset Culture, named after Cape Dorset on Baffin Island, where its remains were first unearthed. Around AD 1000 a separate Inuit culture, the whale-hunting Thule of northern Alaska, began making its way east through the Canadian Arctic. As these people spread, they overtook the Dorset Culture. The Thule are the direct ancestors of the modern Inuit.

    Scattered north, south, east & west

    When the first Europeans arrived in Canada in the late 15th century, Aboriginal peoples had spread into five major geographic locations.

    On the mild Pacific coast, the Haida, Nootka and other tribes lived in independent villages where they built cedar-plank houses and carved elaborate totem poles and canoes.

    To the east, the Plains First Nations, which included the Sioux and the Blackfoot, occupied the prairies from Lake Winnipeg to the Rocky Mountain foothills. Primarily buffalo hunters, they cunningly killed their prey by driving them over cliffs, such as at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump in southern Alberta. The buffalo provided sustenance and the hides were used for tipis and clothes.

    Present-day southern Ontario and the area along the St Lawrence River were home to the Iroquoian-speaking peoples, who were divided into the Five Nations, the Huron, the Erie and the Neutral confederacies. Although often at war with each other, they were a sophisticated lot who lived in large farming communities, built sturdy longhouses and traded with other tribes.

    In the chilly boreal forest stretching across northern Canada, the Northeast Woodlands peoples endured a much harsher life. These tribes include the Algonquin and Mi’kmaq in the Maritimes, the Innu in Québec and Labrador, and the Cree and Ojibwe in northern Ontario and Manitoba. The extinct Beothuk of Newfoundland also belonged to this group. Living in small nomadic bands, the various tribes hunted caribou, moose, hare and other animals, which they caught using snares and traps.

    Survival was even more of a challenge for arctic tribes such as the Inuit and Dene. They migrated seasonally, hunting whales and big-game, and traveling by canoe or dogsled. They spent winters in igloos or simple wooden structures, and basically just tried to stay warm.

    Age of discovery

    Viking celebrity Leif Eriksson was the first European to reach Canada’s shores. In fact, he and his tribe of Scandinavian seafarers were the first Europeans in all of North America. Around AD 1000 they poked around the eastern shores of Canada, establishing winter settlements and way stations for repairing ships and restocking supplies, such as at L’Anse Aux Meadows in Newfoundland. The local tribes didn’t exactly roll out the welcome mat for these intruders, who eventually tired of the hostilities and went home. There would be no more visits from the outside for another 300 to 400 years.

    The action heated up again in the late 15th century. In 1492, backed by the Spanish crown, Christopher Columbus went searching for a western sea route to Asia and instead stumbled upon some small islands in the Bahamas. Other European monarchs, excited by his ‘discovery, ’ quickly sponsored expeditions of their own. In 1497, Giovanni Caboto, better known as John Cabot, sailed under a British flag as far west as Newfoundland and Cape Breton.

    Cabot didn’t find a passage to China, but he did find cod, a much-coveted commodity in Europe at the time. In short order, hundreds of boats were shuttling between Europe and the fertile new fishing grounds. Basques whalers from northern Spain soon followed. Several were based at Red Bay in Labrador, which became the biggest whaling port in the world during the 16th century.

    King François I of France looked over the fence at his neighbors, stroked his beard, then snapped his fingers and ordered Jacques Cartier to appear before him. By this time, the hunt was on not only for the Northwest Passage but also for gold, given the findings by Spanish conquistadors among the Aztec and Inca civilizations. François hoped for similar riches in the frosty North.

    Upon arrival in Labrador, Cartier found only ‘stones and horrible rugged rocks, ’ as he wrote in his journal in 1534. He dutifully kept exploring and soon went ashore on Québec’s Gaspé Peninsula to claim the land for France. The local Iroquois thought he was a good neighbor at first, until he kidnapped two of the chief’s sons and took them back to Europe. To his credit, Cartier returned them a year later when sailing up the St Lawrence River to Stadacona (present-day Québec City) and Hochelaga (today’s Montréal). Here he got wind of a land called Saguenay that was full of gold and silver. The rumor prompted Cartier’s third voyage, in 1541, but alas, the mythical riches remained elusive.

    The beaver hat craze

    King François I got bored with his distant colony, since it wasn’t producing the bling. But his interest perked back up a few decades later when felt hats became all the rage. Everyone who was anyone was wearing a furry hat and, as the fashion mavens knew, there was no finer chapeau than one made from beaver pelts. With beavers pretty much extinct in the Old World, the demand for a fresh supply was strong.

    In 1588, the French crown granted the first trading monopoly in Canada, only to have other merchants promptly challenge the claim. And so the race for control of the fur trade was officially on. The economic value of this enterprise and, by extension, its role in shaping Canadian history, cannot be underestimated. It was the main reason behind the country’s European settlement, at the root of the struggle for dominance between the French and the British, and the source of strife and division between Aboriginal groups. All because of a silly hat!

    In order to gain control of the distant lands, the first order of business was to put European bodies on the ground. In the summer of 1604, a group of French pioneers established a tentative foothold on Île Ste-Croix (a tiny islet in the river on the present US border with Maine). They moved to Port Royal (today’s Annapolis Royal) in Nova Scotia the following spring. Exposed and difficult to defend, neither site made a good base for controlling the inland fur trade. As the would-be colonists moved up the St Lawrence River, they finally came upon a spot their leader, Samuel de Champlain, considered prime real estate – where today’s Québec City stands. It was 1608 and ‘New France’ had become a reality.

    French vs English

    The French enjoyed their plush fur monopoly for several decades, but in 1670 the British mounted a formidable challenge. They caught a lucky break when a pair of disillusioned French explorers, Radisson and Des Groseilliers, confided that the best fur country actually lay to the north and west of Lake Superior, which was easily accessible via Hudson Bay. King Charles II quickly formed the Hudson’s Bay Company and granted it a trade monopoly over all the lands whose rivers and streams drained into the bay. This vast territory, called Rupert’s Land, encompassed about 40% of present-day Canada, including Labrador, western Québec, northwestern Ontario, Manitoba, most of Saskatchewan and Alberta, and part of the Northwest Territories.

    The English infuriated the French with such moves, and so the French kept right on galling the English by settling further inland. Both countries had claims to the land, but each wanted regional dominance. They skirmished back and forth in hostilities that mirrored those in Europe, where wars raged throughout the first half of the 18th century.

    Things came to a head with the Treaty of Utrecht, which ended Queen Anne’s War (1701–13) overseas. Under its provisions, the French had to officially recognize British claims to Hudson Bay and Newfoundland, and give up all of Nova Scotia (then called Acadia) except for Cape Breton Island.

    The conflict simmered for a few decades, then ramped up to a new level in 1754 when the two countries battled each other in the French and Indian Wars (also known as the Seven Years’ War). The tide soon turned in the Brit’s favor with the capture of the Louisbourg fortress, giving them control of a strategically important entrance to the St Lawrence River.

    In 1759 they besieged Québec, scaling the cliffs in a surprise attack and quickly defeating the stunned French; it was one of Canada’s bloodiest and most famous battles, and left both commanding generals dead. At the Treaty of Paris (1763), France handed Canada over to Britain.

    Pass the aspirin

    Managing the newly acquired territory presented quite a challenge for the British. First, they had to quell uprisings by the Aboriginal tribes, such as the attack on Detroit by Ottawa Chief Pontiac. So the British government issued the Royal Proclamation of 1763, which prevented colonists from settling west of the Appalachian Mountains and regulated purchases of aboriginal land. Though well-intentioned, the proclamation was largely ignored.

    The French Canadians caused the next headache. Tensions rose when the new rulers imposed British law that heavily restricted the rights of Roman Catholics (the religion of the French), including the rights to vote and hold office. The British hoped their discriminatory policy would launch a mass exodus and make it easier to anglicize the remaining settlers. The plan didn’t work – the French just crossed their arms and dug in their heels further.

    As if the tribes and French weren’t problems enough, the American colonies started making revolutionary rumbles to the south. The British governor, Guy Carleton, wisely reasoned that winning the French settlers’ political allegiance was more valuable than turning them into tea drinkers. This led to the passage of the Québec Act of 1774. The Act confirmed French Canadians’ right to their religion, allowed them to assume political office and restored the use of French civil law. Indeed, during the American Revolution (1775–83) most French Canadians refused to take up arms for the American cause, although not many willingly defended the British either.

    After the Revolution, the English-speaking population exploded when some 50,000 settlers from the newly independent America migrated northward. Called United Empire Loyalists due to their presumed allegiance to Britain, many settlers were motivated more by cheap land than by actual love of king and crown. The majority ended up in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, while a smaller group settled along the northern shore of Lake Ontario and in the Ottawa River Valley (forming the nucleus of what became Ontario). About 8000 people moved to QuГ©bec, creating the first sizeable anglophone community in the French-speaking bastion.

    Cronies take power

    Partly in order to accommodate the interests of Loyalist settlers, the British government passed the Constitutional Act of 1791, which divided the colony into Upper Canada (today’s southern Ontario) and Lower Canada (now southern Québec). Lower Canada retained French civil laws, but both provinces were governed by the British criminal code.

    The British crown installed a governor to direct each colony. The governor in turn appointed the members of his ‘cabinet, ’ then called the Executive Council. The legislative branch consisted of an appointed Legislative Council and an elected Assembly, which ostensibly represented the interests of the colonists. In reality, though, the Assembly held very little power, since the governor could veto its decisions. Not surprisingly, this was a recipe for friction and resentment. This was especially the case in Lower Canada, where an English governor and an English-dominated Council held sway over a French-dominated Assembly.

    Rampant cronyism made matters even worse. Members of the conservative British merchant elite dominated the Executive and Legislative Councils and showed little interest in French-Canadian matters. Called the Family Compact in Upper Canada and the Château Clique in Lower Canada, their ranks included brewer John Molson and university founder James McGill. The groups’ influence grew especially strong after the War of 1812, an ultimately futile attempt by the USA to take over its northern neighbor.

    In 1837, frustration over these entrenched elites reached boiling point. Parti Canadien leader Louis-Joseph Papineau and his Upper Canadian counterpart, Reform Party leader William Lyon Mackenzie, launched open rebellions against the government. Although both uprisings were quickly crushed, the incident signaled to the British that the status quo wasn’t going to cut it any longer.

    Resentment issues

    The British dispatched John Lambton, the Earl of Durham, to investigate the rebellions’ causes. He correctly identified ethnic tensions as the root of the problem, calling the French and British ‘two nations warring in the bosom of a single state.’ He then earned the nickname ‘Radical Jack’ by asserting that French culture and society were inferior and obstacles to expansion and greatness – only assimilation of British laws, language and institutions would quash French nationalism and bring long-lasting peace to the colonies. These ideas were adopted into the Union Act of 1840.

    Upper and Lower Canada soon merged into the Province of Canada and became governed by a single legislature, the new Parliament of Canada. Each ex-colony had the same number of representatives, which wasn’t exactly fair to Lower Canada (ie Québec), where the population was much larger. On the plus side, the new system brought responsible government that restricted the governor’s powers and eliminated nepotism.

    While most British Canadians welcomed the new system, the French were less than thrilled. If anything, the union’s underlying objective of destroying French culture, language and identity made Francophones cling together even more tenaciously. The provisions of the Act left deep wounds that still haven’t fully healed today.

    Thus the united province was built on slippery ground. The decade or so following unification was marked by political instability as one government replaced another in fairly rapid succession. Meanwhile, the USA had grown into a self-confident economic powerhouse, while British North America was still a loose patchwork of independent colonies. The American Civil War (1861–65) and the USA’s purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867 raised fears of annexation. It became clear that only a less volatile political system would stave off these challenges, and the movement toward federal union gained momentum.

    Canada confederates

    In 1864, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (PEI), served as the birthing room for modern Canada. At the town’s Province House, the ‘Fathers of Confederation’ – a group of representatives from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI, Ontario and Québec – got together and hammered out the framework for a new nation. It took two more meetings before Parliament passed the British North America Act in 1867. And so began the modern, self-governing state of Canada, originally known as the Dominion of Canada. The day the act became official, July 1, is celebrated as Canada’s national holiday; it was called Dominion Day until it was renamed Canada Day in 1982.

    How the West was won

    Task one on the infant dominion’s to-do list was to bring the remaining land and colonies into the confederation. Under its first prime minister, John A Macdonald, the government acquired vast Rupert’s Land in 1869 for the paltry sum of £300, 000 (about $11.5 million in today’s money) from the Hudson’s Bay Company. Now called the Northwest Territories (NWT), the land was only sparsely populated, mostly by Plains First Nations and several thousand Métis (may-tee), a racial blend of Cree, Ojibwe or Saulteaux and French-Canadian or Scottish fur traders, who spoke French as their main language. Their biggest settlement was the Red River Colony around Fort Garry (today’s Winnipeg).

    The Canadian government immediately clashed with the Métis people over land-use rights, causing the latter to form a provisional government led by the charismatic Louis Riel. He sent the Ottawa-appointed governor packing and, in November 1869, seized control of Upper Fort Garry, thereby forcing Ottawa to the negotiating table. However, with his delegation already en route, Riel impulsively and for no good reason executed a Canadian prisoner he was holding at the fort. Although the murder caused widespread uproar in Canada, the government was so keen to bring the west into the fold it agreed to most of Riel’s demands, including special language and religious protections for the Métis. As a result, the then-pint-sized province of Manitoba was carved out of the NWT and entered the dominion in July 1870. Macdonald sent troops after Riel but he narrowly managed to escape to the USA. He was formally exiled for five years in 1875.

    British Columbia (BC), created in 1866 by merging the colonies of New Caledonia and Vancouver Island, was the next frontier. The discovery of gold along the Fraser River in 1858 and in the Cariboo region in 1862 had brought an enormous influx of settlers to such goldmine boomtowns as Williams Lake and Barkerville. Once the gold mines petered out, though, BC was plunged into poverty. In 1871 it joined the dominion in exchange for the Canadian government assuming all its debt and promising to link it with the east within 10 years via a transcontinental railroad.

    The construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway is one of the most impressive chapters in Canadian history. Macdonald rightly regarded the railroad as crucial in unifying the country, spurring immigration and stimulating business and manufacturing. It was a costly proposition, made even more challenging by the rough and rugged terrain the tracks had to traverse. To entice investors, the government offered major benefits, including vast land grants in western Canada. Workers drove the final spike into the track at Craigellachie, BC, on November 7, 1885.

    To bring law and order to the ‘wild west, ’ the government created the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) in 1873, which later became the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Nicknamed ‘Mounties, ’ they still serve as Canada’s national police force today. Although they were effective, the NWMP couldn’t prevent trouble from brewing on the prairies, where the Plains First Nations had been forced to sign various treaties relegating them to reserves. It wasn’t long before these groups began to challenge their status.

    Meanwhile, many MГ©tis had moved to Saskatchewan and settled around Batoche. As in Manitoba, they quickly clashed with government surveyors over land issues. In 1884, after their repeated appeals to Ottawa had been ignored, they coaxed Louis Riel out of exile to represent their cause. Rebuffed, Riel responded the only way he knew: by forming a provisional government and leading the MГ©tis in revolt. Riel had the backing of the Cree, but times had changed: with the railroad nearly complete, government troops arrived within days. Riel surrendered in May and was hanged for treason later that year.

    Cutting the apron strings

    Canada rang in the 20th century on a high note. Industrialization was in full swing, prospectors had discovered gold in the Yukon, and Canadian resources – from wheat to lumber – were increasingly in demand. In addition, the new railroad opened the floodgates to immigration.

    Between 1885 and 1914 about 4.5 million people arrived in Canada. This included large groups of Americans and Eastern Europeans, especially Ukrainians, who went to work cultivating the prairies. Optimism reigned: a buoyant Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier said ‘The 19th century was the century of the United States. I think we can claim that it is Canada that shall fill the 20th century.’ It was only natural that this new-found self-confidence would put the country on track to autonomy from Britain. The issue took on even greater urgency when WWI broke out in 1914.

    Canada – as a member of the British Empire – found itself automatically drawn into the conflict. In the war’s first years, more than 300,000 volunteers went off to European battlefields. As the war dragged on and thousands of soldiers returned in coffins, recruitment ground to a halt. The government, intent on replenishing its depleted forces, introduced the draft in 1917. It proved to be a very unpopular move, to say the least, especially among French Canadians. Animosity toward Ottawa was already at an all-time high since the government had recently abolished bilingual schools in Manitoba and restricted the use of French in Ontario’s schools. The conscription issue fanned the flames of nationalism even more. Thousands of Québecois took to the streets in protest, and the issue left Canada divided and Canadians distrustful of their government.

    By the time the guns of WWI fell silent in 1918, most Canadians were fed up with sending their sons and husbands to fight in distant wars for Britain. Under the government of William Lyon Mackenzie King, an eccentric fellow who communicated with spirits and worshipped his dead mother, Canada began asserting its independence. Mackenzie King made it clear that Britain could no longer automatically draw upon the Canadian military, started signing treaties without British approval, and sent a Canadian ambassador to Washington. This forcefulness led to the Statute of Westminster, passed by the British Parliament in 1931. The statute formalized the independence of Canada and other Commonwealth nations, although Britain retained the right to pass amendments to those countries’ constitutions.

    Oddly, that right remained on the books for another half century. It was removed only with the 1982 Canada Act, which Queen Elizabeth II signed into law on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on April 17. Today, Canada is a constitutional monarchy with a parliament consisting of an appointed upper house, or Senate, and an elected lower house, the House of Commons. The British monarch remains Canada’s head of state, although this is predominantly a ceremonial role and does not diminish the country’s sovereignty. Within Canada, the appointed governor general is the monarch’s representative.

    Lil’ Canada all grown up

    The period after WWII brought another wave of economic expansion and immigration, especially from Europe.

    Newfoundland finally joined Canada in 1949. Joey Smallwood, the politician who persuaded the island to sign up, claimed it would bring economic prosperity. Once he became Newfoundland’s premier, he helped this prosperity along by forcing a resettlement program upon citizens. People living in small, isolated fishing communities (aka outports) were strongly ‘encouraged’ to pack it up and move inland where the government could deliver schools, health care and other services more economically. One method for ‘encouraging’ villagers was to cut ferry services to their communities, thus making them inaccessible since there were no roads.

    The only province truly left behind during the 1950s boom years was Québec. For a quarter century, it remained in the grip of ultra-conservative Maurice Duplessis and his Union Nationale party, with support from the Catholic Church and various business interests. Only after Duplessis’ death did the province finally start getting up to speed during the ‘Quiet Revolution’ of the 1960s. Advances included expanding the public sector, investing in public education and nationalizing the provincial hydroelectric companies. Still, progress wasn’t swift enough for radical nationalists who claimed independence was the only way to ensure Francophone rights. Québec has spent the ensuing years flirting with separatism.

    In 1960, Canada’s Aboriginal peoples were finally granted Canadian citizenship. In 1985, Canada became the first country in the world to pass a national multicultural act and establish a federal department of multiculturalism. Today 40% of Canadians claim their origins are in places other than Britain or France.

    The new millennium has been kind to Canada. The loonie took off around 2003, thanks to the oil, diamonds and other natural resources fueling the economy. Tolerance marches onward, with medical marijuana and gay marriage both legalized recently. Expect the country to continue getting all glammed up before the world spotlight shines on it for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

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