The Government of Canada maintains
quite a comprehensive site describing Canada's history, government, economy,
geography, national symbols, and lots more. The
are very informative.
Looking for maps? Try the National Atlas of Canada.
Statistics Canada is the best place to
find out statistical information about Canada and Canadians. StatsCan
is far more comprehensive an organization than the US Census Bureau.
Some key differences between Canada and the States:
For more of this kind of information, poke around the StatsCan site and the US Census site.
World Factbook is also a good place to look.
A bit about government and politics
What Americans expect because they're Americans: life, liberty, and the
pursuit of happiness
What Canadians expect because they're Canadians: peace, order, and good
That's the very basics. You can find out more at the "Government at a Glance"
section of the Canadian government's Web site.
- The capital of Canada is Ottawa, Ontario.
- Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth is Canada's Head of State and the Queen
of Canada. Her representative in Canada is the Governor General,
currently Adrienne Clarkson.
- Canada has a Parliament, not a
- Parliament is divided into two chambers, the Senate and the
House of Commons. Everyone in the Senate is appointed. Everyone in
the House of Commons is elected.
- The head of the majority party in Commons is the nation's
prime minister and the Head of Government (currently Paul Martin,
of the Liberal party). The deputy prime minister is Anne McLellan.
- Instead of government bureaus, Canada has ministries.
- There are several major political parties, the biggest of which are
More about these and other parties, national, regional, and provincial,
is available on the
Canadian Political Parties/Partis politiques canadiens Web site.
- Canada has more donut shops per capita than the United States does.
- Canada's national animal is the beaver.
- Canada's two official sports are lacrosse and hockey.
- Canada's national colors are red and white.
- Canadians consume more Kraft Dinner (aka Kraft Macaroni & Cheese) per
capita than any other nationality on Earth.
Provinces and territories
Canada's land is divided into ten provinces and three
territories, in five regions:
These regions aren't official, by the way. They're provided just as a
helpful frame of reference.
- Atlantic Canada
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- The Maritimes
- Central Canada
- The prairies
- The eastern part of Alberta
- Western Canada
- Western Alberta
- British Columbia
- The north
- Northwest Territories
The links above are to pages that are akin to
Coles Notes -- they're not comprehensive, but they provide a bit of
information about each province or territory, along with
pointers to where you can find more information.
Many of Canada's cities and provinces have nicknames:
For pictures of notable things in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Québec,
Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan,
Alberta, and BC, see the pictures page.
- T.O., The Big Smoke, Hogtown, Muddy York
- Vancouver (sometimes all of B.C.)
- Lotusland, Hongcouver (referring to the large number of immigrants from
- Deadmonton, Edmonchuk (referring to the large number of Ukranian families
- Bytown (after Colonel By)
- Sault Ste. Marie
- The Soo
- The Peg, Winnepago, Winterpeg
- The Rock
- St. Catharines
- St. Kits
Last updated September 12, 2005.