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stephen

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    Welcome to Canada! Whether you are considering a move or visit to Canada, or whether you are already starting a new life here, we hope this page will give you a better understanding about Canada and all the wonders it has to offer!

    Canada at a glance:

    • Consists of 10 provinces and 3 territories
    • 9.98 million square kilometres in size, making it the second largest country in the world by area
    • Population of 33 million people
    • Shares the world’s longest common land border, with the United States

     

    History

    • Founded in

    Politics

     

    The land that is now Canada has been inhabited for millennia by various Aboriginal peoples. Beginning in the late 15th century, British and French colonial expeditions explored, and later settled, the region’s Atlantic coast. France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America to the United Kingdom in 1763 after the French and Indian War, which was essentially the North American theatre of the Seven Years’ War. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades, the territory was explored and additional self-governing Crown colonies were established. On July 1, 1867, three colonies federated, forming a federal dominion that established Canada.

    Canada is a federal parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. The country is officially bilingual at the federal level. It is one of the world’s most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many countries, with a population of approximately 35 million as of December 2012. Its advanced economy is one of the largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed trade networks. Canada’s long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture.

    Canada is a developed country and one of the wealthiest in the world, with the eighth highest per capita income globally, and the eleventh highest ranking in the Human Development Index. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of education, government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, and economic freedom. Canada is a recognized middle power and a member of G7, G8, G20, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, NATO, North American Free Trade Agreement, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Trade Organization, Commonwealth of Nations, Francophonie, Organization of American States, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, and the United Nations.

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      Canada has made great contributions to the world in everything from arts and music to astronomy and science. Here are some of Canada’s most famous citizens:

      Architects

      • Étienne Gaboury  (born 1930) – architect of the Embassy of Canada in Mexico and the Royal Canadian Mint building in Winnipeg
      • Frank Gehry   (born 1929) – architect of Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Experience Music Project, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and the Art Gallery of Ontario
      • E.J. Lennox RAIC (1854–1933) – architect of Old City Hall in Toronto, and Casa Loma
      • John M. Lyle FRIBA (1872–1945) RAIC – architect of the New York Public Library, the Royal Alexandra Theatre, and Toronto’s Union Station

       

      Artists

      Actors

      • Pamela Anderson (Scary Movie)
      • Will Arnett
      • Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbuster)
      • Jay Baruchel (How to Train Your Dragon)
      • James Cameron (Avator, Aliens)
      • Neve Campbell (Scream)
      • John Candy
      • Jim Carrey
      • Kim Cattrall (Sex and the City)
      • Hayden Christensen (Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith)
      • James Doohan (Star Trek)
      • Brendan Fraser (The Mummy)
      • Michael J. Fox (Back to the Future)
      • Ryan Gosling (Crazy, Stupid, Love)
      • Tom Green (The Tom Green Show
      • Lorne Greene
      • Graham Greene (The Green Mile)
      • Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek)
      • Corey Haim (The Lost Boys)
      • Phil Hartman
      • Joshua Jackson (Cruel Intentions)
      • Margot Kidder (Superman)
      • Eugene Levy (American Pie)
      • Rachel McAdams (Midnight in Paris)
      • Eric McCormack (Will & Grace)
      • Howie Mandel
      • Rick Moranis (Ghostbusters)
      • Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix)
      • Mike Myers (Austin Powers)
      • Leslie Nielsen (The Naked Gun)
      • Catherine O’Hara (Home Alone)
      • Sandra Oh (ER, Sideways)
      • Ellen Page (Inception)
      • Anna Paquin (The Piano)
      • Barry Pepper (Saving Private Ryan)
      • Matthew Perry (Friends)
      • Mary Pickford (Coquette)
      • Christopher Plummer (The Sound of Music, Up)
      • Sarah Polley (Dawn of the Dead)
      • Jason Priestley (90210)
      • Ryan Reynolds (Green Lantern)
      • Caroline Rhea (The Perfect Man)
      • Seth Rogen (Pineapple Express)
      • William Shatner (Star Trek)
      • Martin Short (Frankenweenie)
      • Donald Sutherland (The Italian Job)
      • Kiefer Sutherland (24)
      • Alan Thicke (Growing Pains)

       

      Musicians

      • Alanis Morissette
      • Amanda Marshall
      • April Wine
      • Avril Lavigne
      • Barenaked Ladies
      • Big Sugar
      • Blue Rodeo
      • Bryan Adams
      • Burton Cummings
      • Celine Dion
      • Chantal Kreviazuk
      • Corey Hart
      • Cowboy Junkies
      • Crash Test Dummies
      • David Wilcox
      • Diana Krall
      • Drake
      • Econoline Crush
      • Finger Eleven
      • Gordon Lightfoot
      • Great Big Sea
      • Holly Cole
      • Jann Arden
      • Jeff Healey
      • Justin Bieber
      • Matthew Good
      • Michael Bublé
      • Neil Young
      • Nelly Furtado
      • Nickleback
      • Our Lady Peace
      • Paul Anka
      • Paul Shaffer
      • Sam Roberts
      • Shania Twain
      • Simple Plan
      • Sum 41
      • The Guess Who
      • The Moffatts
      • The Tragically Hip
      • Treble Charger

      Astronauts

      • Roberta Bondar (born 1945) – first Canadian woman in space.
      • Marc Garneau (born 1949) – first Canadian man in space.
      • Chris Hadfield (born 1959) – first Canadian to walk in space. First Canadian to command the International Space Station.
      • Steven MacLean (born 1954)
      • Julie Payette (born 1963)
      • Robert Thirsk (born 1953) Holds record for longest time spent for a Canadian astronaut in space.
      • Bjarni Tryggvason (born 1945)

       

      Fashion

      • Barry, Ben (born 1983) – founder and CEO of the Ben Barry Agency
      • Beker, Jeanne (born 1952) – reporter
      • Caten, Dean and Dan (born 1965) – renowned designers known as Dsquared, honoured on the Canadian Walk of Fame
      • Collison, Meghan (born 1988) – model
      • Chante, Keshia (born 1988) – model and singer
      • Cojocaru, Steven (born 1962) – (known as Cojo) critic and correspondent on Entertainment Tonight
      • Evangelista, Linda (born 1965) – model
      • Harlow, Shalom (born 1973) – model and actress
      • Lazareanu, Irina (born 1982) – model
      • Manuel, Jay (born 1972) – expert on America’s Next Top Model and “Canada’s Next Top Model”
      • Marks, Heather (born 1988) – model
      • Mills, Kenneth G. (1923–2004) – designer
      • Muise, Alana (born 1987) – model
      • Nygård, Peter (born 1943) – designer
      • Ogilvie, Lana – model
      • Rocha, Coco (born 1988) – model
      • Schnarre, Monika (born 1971) – model
      • Stam, Jessica (born 1986) – model
      • Werbowy, Daria (born 1983) – Polish-born Canadian model.
      • Zimmer, Alana (born 1987)- model
      • Taryn Davidson (born 1991) – model

       

      Inventors

      • Bell, Alexander Graham (1847–1922) – invented the telephone
      • Bombardier, Joseph-Armand (1907–1964) – invented the snowmobile
      • Evans, Mathew (unknown) – co-inventor of the first electric light bulb
      • Fessenden, Reginald (1866–1932) – radio inventor who made the first radio-transmitted audio transmission and the first two-way transatlantic radio transmission
      • Sir Fleming, Sandford (1827–1915) – inventor of the system of Standard Time zones
      • Gesner, Abraham Pineo (1797–1864) – inventor of kerosene; known as the “Father of the Petroleum Industry”
      • Gosling, James OC (born 1955) – invented Java computer language
      • Klein, George (1904–1992) – developed: electric wheelchairs, microsurgical staple gun, the ZEEP nuclear reactor, and the Canadarm
      • Le Caine, Hugh (1914–1977) – invented the music synthesizer in 1945
      • MacPherson, Cluny (1879–1966) – invented the first general-issue gas mask used by the British Army in World War I
      • Naismith, James (1861–1939) – invented basketball
      • Ryan, Thomas F. (1872–1971) – invented five-pin bowling
      • Sicard, Arthur (unknown) invented the snowblower in 1925
      • Woodward, Henry (unknown) – co-inventor of the first electric light bulb

       

      Medical

      • Sir, Major Banting, Frederick (1891–1941) – Discoverer of insulin
      • Bigelow, Wilfred OC LLD (hc) FRSC (1913–2005) – inventor of the first artificial pacemaker
      • Callaghan, John OC AOE (1923–2004) – pioneer of open-heart surgery
      • Dick, John FRSC (born 1957) – credited with discovery of cancer stem cell
      • Douglas, Tommy PC CC SOM LLD (1904–1986) – introduced publicly funded health care in Canada; commonly known as the Father of Medicare
      • Mance, Jeanne (1606–1673) – established the first hospital in North America – the Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal – in 1644
      • Osler, Sir William Bt (1849–1919) – physician, called “father of modern medicine”

       

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        The following is a list of Canada’s statutory holidays. Some are celebrated across the country, while some are specific to certain provinces.

        Holiday Date Details
        New Year’s Day January 1 Nationwide
        Islander Day 3rd Monday in February PEI
        Family Day 3rd Monday in February (2nd in B.C.) B.C., AB, SK, ON
        Louis Riel Day  3rd Monday in February Manitoba only
        St. Patrick’s Day  March 17 NL
        Good Friday Varies Nationwide
        Victoria Day Monday before May 25th Nationwide
        Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day
        June 24 Quebec
        Canada Day July 1 Nationwide
        Civic Holiday 1st Monday in August Nationwide (names vary)
        Labour Day 1st Monday of September Nationwide
        Thanksgiving 2nd Monday in October Nationwide
        Remembrance Day November 11 BC, AB, SK, NB, PE, YT, NT, NU
        Christmas Day December 25 Nationwide
        Boxing Day December 26 ON (optional elsewhere)

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          In your journey to becoming a Canadian citizen, the first step is to become a permanent resident of Canada. This section will explain the steps involved and provide links and other resources to help you navigate this process.

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            This page will soon feature all the information you need to know about obtaining a Canadian citizenship.

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              To live in Canada, it will help you immensely if you are able to speak either English or French – Canada’s two national languages. If you can speak both, the opportunities available to you will be even greater.

              This page will soon include information about government programs offered to help you learn English and French, as well as links to other language resources.

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                It’s generally not too difficult to understand most Canadians (with the exception of some Newfoundlanders). But here’s a list of some of the typical terms you could expect to hear a Canadian use.

                Canadian Term

                Definition

                ABM Automated Bank Machine (used instead of ATM)
                Couch Sofa
                Cow Town Calgary
                Double-Double A cup of coffee with two creams and two sugars
                Eh? Used at the end of a sentence, similar to “you know?”
                Fer sure Definitely
                Hog Town Toronto
                Islander A person from Prince Edward Island
                Jesus Murphy An exclamation of surprise
                KD Kraft dinner, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
                Loonie The Canadian one dollar coin
                Toonie The Canadian two dollar coin
                Nanaimo Bar A dessert made of egg custard and graham crackers with a layer of chocolate on top
                Oil Town A nickname for Edmonton which refers to the oil refining industry in the region
                Pop Carbonated soft drink
                Queue A line of people
                Runners Running shoes
                Stagette Bachelorette party
                Two-four A 24-pack of beer
                Zed The letter “Z”

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                Canada’s reputation around the world is that of a big, wide open country with lots of space but a small population. Despite the stereotypes, Canada offers great urban living in hundreds of medium-large cities across the country.

                Canada’s principal metropolitan areas are:

                City

                Province

                Population (2011)

                Toronto (Mississauga) Ontario 5,583,064
                Montreal (Laval) Quebec 3,824,221
                Vancouver (Surrey) British Columbia 2,313,328
                Ottawa – Gatineau Ontario/Quebec 1,236,324
                Calgary Alberta 1,214,839
                Edmonton Alberta 1,159,869

                 

                Other cities include:

                City

                Province

                Population (2011)

                Quebec (Lévis) Quebec 765,706
                Winnipeg Manitoba 730,018
                Hamilton (Burlington) Ontario 721,053
                Kitchener – Cambridge – Waterloo Ontario 477,160
                London Ontario 474,786
                St. Catharines – Niagara (Niagara Falls, Welland) Ontario 392,184
                Halifax Nova Scotia 390,328
                Oshawa (Whitby, Clarington) Ontario 356,177
                Victoria (Saanich) British Columbia 344,615
                Windsor (Lakeshore) Ontario 319,246
                Saskatoon Saskatchewan 260,600
                Regina Saskatchewan 210,556
                Sherbrooke (Magog) Quebec 201,890
                St. John’s (Mount Pearl, Conception Bay South) Newfoundland and Labrador 196,966
                Barrie (Innisfil) Ontario 187,013
                Kelowna (West Kelowna) British Columbia 179,839
                Abbotsford – Mission British Columbia 170,191
                Greater Sudbury Ontario 160,770
                Kingston (South Frontenac, Loyalist) Ontario 159,561
                Saguenay Quebec 157,790
                Trois-Rivières Quebec 151,773
                Guelph Ontario 141,097
                Moncton (Dieppe, Riverview) New Brunswick 138,644
                Brantford (Brant) Ontario 135,501
                Saint John (Quispamsis) New Brunswick 127,761
                Thunder Bay Ontario 121,596
                Peterborough (Selwyn) Ontario 118,975
                Lethbridge Alberta 105,999
                Chatham-Kent Ontario 104,075
                Cape Breton Nova Scotia 101,619
                Kamloops British Columbia 98,754
                Nanaimo British Columbia 98,021
                Fredericton New Brunswick 94,268
                Belleville (Quinte West) Ontario 92,540
                Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu Quebec 92,394
                Chilliwack British Columbia 92,308
                Red Deer Alberta 90,564
                Sarnia (St. Clair) Ontario 89,555
                Drummondville Quebec 88,480
                Prince George British Columbia 84,232
                Sault Ste. Marie Ontario 79,800
                Granby Quebec 77,077
                Kawartha Lakes Ontario 73,214
                Medicine Hat Alberta 72,807
                Wood Buffalo Alberta 66,896
                Charlottetown (Stratford) Prince Edward Island 64,487
                North Bay Ontario 64,043
                Norfolk Ontario 63,175
                Cornwall (South Stormont) Ontario 58,957
                Vernon (Coldstream) British Columbia 58,584
                Saint-Hyacinthe Quebec 56,794
                Courtenay (Comox, Comox Valley A & B) British Columbia 55,213
                Grande Prairie Alberta 55,032
                Shawinigan Quebec 55,009
                Brandon Manitoba 53,229
                Rimouski Quebec 50,912
                Leamington (Kingsville) Ontario 49,765
                Sorel-Tracy (Contrecœur) Quebec 47,772
                Joliette (Notre-Dame-des-Prairies, Saint-Charles-Borromée, Saint-Paul) Quebec 46,932
                Victoriaville Quebec 46,354
                Truro (Colchester, Subd. B & C) Nova Scotia 45,888
                Duncan (North Cowichan) British Columbia 43,252
                Timmins Ontario 43,165
                Prince Albert Saskatchewan 42,673
                Penticton (Okanagan-Similkameen D) British Columbia 42,361
                Rouyn-Noranda Quebec 41,798
                Orillia (Ramara) Ontario 40,731
                Salaberry-de-Valleyfield Quebec 40,077
                Brockville (Elizabethtown-Kitley, Augusta) Ontario 39,024
                Woodstock Ontario 37,754
                Campbell River (Strathcona D) British Columbia 36,096
                New Glasgow (Pictou, Subd. C & B, Stellarton, Westville) Nova Scotia 35,809
                Midland (Tay, Penetanguishene) Ontario 35,419
                Saint-Georges Quebec 34,642
                Moose Jaw Saskatchewan 34,421
                Bathurst (Bathurst Parish, Beresford Parish, Beresford) New Brunswick 33,484
                Val-d’Or Quebec 33,265
                Alma Quebec 33,018
                Owen Sound (Georgian Bluffs) Ontario 32,092
                Stratford Ontario 30,886
                Lloydminster Alberta/Saskatchewan 30,798
                Baie-Comeau Quebec 28,789
                Sept-Îles Quebec 28,487
                Miramichi (North Esk) New Brunswick 28,115
                Thetford Mines Quebec 27,968
                Parksville (Qualicum Beach, Nanaimo G) British Columbia 27,822
                Rivière-du-Loup (Saint-Antonin) Quebec 27,734
                Corner Brook Newfoundland and Labrador 27,202
                Centre Wellington Ontario 26,693
                Fort St. John (Peace River C) British Columbia 26,380
                Kentville (Kings, Subd. B & C) Nova Scotia 26,359
                Whitehorse Yukon 26,028
                Port Alberni (Alberni-Clayoquot E) British Columbia 25,465

                 

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                Canada is known for have extreme weather – both in summer and in winter. Temperatures and conditions vary widely depending on where you are in Canada (it’s a big country after all!).

                Here are some extreme record temperature the country has experienced in the past:

                 

                Climate data for Canada
                Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
                Record high °C 22.2 26.5 31.1 37.2 42.2 43.5 45.0 43.3 40.6 38.3 29.4 25.0 45.0)
                Record low °C −61.2 −62.8 −55.6 −48.9 −35.0 −20.6 −7.2 −16.7 −31.7 −41.7 −54.0 −61.7 −62.8
                Source: Climate.weatheroffice.gc.ca

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                  The decorations are out, the lights are up and Christmas music can now be heard in stores across the country – sure signs that Christmas is just around the corner!

                  Will this be your first Christmas in Canada?

                  While this time of the year can be difficult and sad for those without family here, it is also a chance to create new traditions as part of your new life in Canada.

                  Here is what you need to know about Christmas in Canada:

                  When is it celebrated?

                  Quebec-christmas

                  Christmas in Quebec City

                  Christmas Day is December 25. This day is a statutory holiday, meaning most people have this day off. Most retail stores, grocery stores, banks and government offices are closed. If Christmas Eve (December 24) falls on a weekday, many people who have to work will leave work early to begin preparations for their family celebrations.

                  What do people do?

                  In many Latino countries, it is common to celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve with a gathering of family and friends, and perhaps a party that lasts well into the night.

                  In Canada, many people attend special Christmas Eve church services. It is customary for many Canadians to exchange gifts on Christmas morning, followed by a large meal (typically a turkey) later in the day. Many people do, however, exchange gifts on Christmas Eve to carry on the tradition of their home countries.

                  It is common to erect a Christmas tree (either real or artificial) inside the house. The tree is then decorated and gifts are typically placed underneath it until Christmas morning when it is time to exchange and open them.

                  Santa Claus is one of the principal figures in the celebration of Christmas. He is a heavy-set, bearded man dressed in red and who is said to travel the world delivering presents to the children of the world. He travels in a flying sleigh pulled by eight reindeer, and enters the homes by sliding down the chimney.

                  Food

                  Food is a key component of the Christmas celebration, and it is generally a time when diets are put on hold in order to enjoy the many delicious treats that are eaten at this time of year.

                  For some families, Christmas day may start with a cooked breakfast, such as ham and eggs or pancakes. Lunch/dinner is often a very large meal consisting of a stuffed roast turkey (or cooked ham), potatoes, a variety of vegetables as well as cranberry sauce and gravy.

                  Traditional desserts include plum or Christmas pudding, or possible an assortment of Christmas cookies. During the day, many types of sweet and savory snacks are served, including candy, oranges or mandarins, nuts and butter tarts or shortbread.

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