The Geography of Canada

General facts about Canada

Canada is located in North America, surrounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the United States of America to the south. With a total area of almost ten million square kilometres, it is geographically the second largest country in the world. Canada covers the six time zones from Newfoundland Time to Pacific Time. Canada and the United States share the longest land border in the world, and Canada has the world’s longest coastline.

Canadian topography

Canada is one of the most naturally diverse countries in the world, with over seventy thousand kilometres of mainland coastline, vast plains and prairies, majestic mountains and ten percent of the world’s forested land. Canada also has more than two million lakes that contain over seven percent of the world’s fresh water. The beauty and diversity of Canada makes it an attractive destination for visitors as well as people who are looking for a new country to call home.

Population density

Although Canada is big, it only has a population of about 36 million people. Only about ten percent of the country is habitable. Ninety percent of people in Canada live within 160 kilometres of the US border, not only because most of the habitable land is in the southern part of the country, but because of Canada’s close economic ties with the United States.

Canada has ten provinces and three territories, as follows:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
  • Northwest Territories (territory)
  • Nova Scotia
  • Nunavut (territory)
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Saskatchewan
  • Quebec
  • Yukon (territory)

Canada’s climate

Because Canada is so large, its climate varies from one region to the next. Most parts of Canada experience four distinct seasons that come with temperature and weather extremes. Daily temperatures in the winter are several degrees below zero Celsius, while during the summer, temperatures can climb to thirty degrees Celsius and higher.

The snowfall across Canada also varies, ranging from occasional snowfalls in the low-lying areas in British Columbia to frequent snow and ice storms in other parts of the country. Plentiful rains during the spring make for ideal farming conditions in the Prairies.

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