Canada is diverse. It offers sophisticated cities and urban living but also unlimited nature and wildlife. Canada offers a safe place to raise a family supported by a strong social network but also offers adventure and growth. It offers both a cutting-edge tech sector and an economy strong with natural resources.
Canada consists of 10 Provinces and 3 Territories. The Western Provinces are known for the Rocky Mountains, the Canadian oil and gas industry and its major cities Vancouver and Calgary.
The Prairies, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, are slightly quieter and have a smaller population. The main industry is agriculture.
The Province of Ontario is known as the banking and financial center of the country – also manufacturing plays a major role in the Province. This is the Province where Toronto and Ottawa (the nation’s capital) are located.
Next door is Quebec which is predominately French-speaking (the other Provinces are mostly English-speaking). Montreal and Quebec-City are the major cities and also known for their European feel.
You then enter the East Coast Provinces – the maritime region with fisheries, lobster and wonderful maritime cities and towns.
Most of the population in Canada lives along the southern border that is adjacent to the USA.
Personal Note from Julie:
I grew up in a small town in Ontario – it is one of those towns where everyone knows their neighbours and we rarely lock the front door to our house. It was a wonderful place to grow up – we could ride our bicycles freely and play with our friends outside until it was time for dinner. We always felt safe and far from the problems in the world. I wish all kids could have this experience growing up.
Canada is divided into 10 Provinces and 3 Territories:
GDP: $217.749 billion CDN
- Moderate climate
- Relaxed, environmental-friendly
- Home of the Rocky Mountains
Major Cities: Vancouver and Victoria
Interesting Fact: Birth place of celebrity Ryan Reynolds
Outdoorsy, laid back and clean – Vancouver is arguable the most beautiful city in Canada. The backdrop to Vancouver is the Rocky Mountains and the foreground is the Pacific Ocean. The temperature in Vancouver rarely dips below freezing in the winter and the summers rarely get warmer that 30 degrees Celsius – which means you can be out doors all year long. People love their healthy eating, great coffee and active lifestyles.
GDP: $295.276 billion CDN
- Strong agriculture and oil & gas market
- Home of the Rocky Mountains
Major Cities: Calgary and Edmonton
Interesting Fact: During the winter months Calgary experiences “chinooks” which is a warm wind from the Rocky Mountains that can significantly increase winter temperatures. In Pincher Creek, Alberta, the temperature rose by 41 °C, from −19 to 22 °C (−2 to 72 °F) in one hour in 1962.
GDP: $74.738 billion CDN
- Farming communities mostly wheat and some corn
- Called the “Breadbasket” of Canada
Major Cities: Regina and Saskatoon
Interesting Fact: The Athabasca sand dunes, found in the northwest corner of the province near the Northwest Territories, is the most northerly active sand dune formation in the world.
GDP: $55.894 billion CDN
- Strong economy based largely on natural resources
- Subject to harsh winters due to being landlocked
Major Cities: Winnipeg
Interesting Fact: Polar bear spotting is common in northern Manitoba.
GDP: $695.705 billion CDN
- The most popular destination for people immigrating to Canada
- Financial and industrial center of the country
- Home of the 1000 Islands and also the Great Lakes
Major Cities: Toronto and Ottawa (Canada’s capital city)
Interesting Fact: Canada is known for it’s comedians and many got their start at the Second City Comedy Club in Toronto before becoming famous in the United States: Martin Short, Dan Aykroyd, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, John Candy and Mike Myers to name a few.
Toronto is a hip urban city. There are festivals and events going on in the city year-round: outdoor skating at City Hall, ice hockey and baseball games, music and food festivals, art shows, the International Film Festival etc. There are restaurants for every taste whether it is fine dining on Bay Street, family run Italian restaurants in Little Italy, sandwiches from St. Lawrence market or small hole-in-the-wall local places. All this, and it is also ethnically and culturally diverse.
GDP: $362.846 billion CDN
- Canada’s only French-speaking province
- Economy mostly in the services sector but also abundant natural resources
Major Cities: Montreal and Quebec City
Interesting Fact: Jacques Cartier, a French explorer landed here in 1535. It wasn’t until 1608 when Samuel de Champlain arrived that a permanent wooden fort and fur trading post were set up.
Montreal feels like a European city. It has old-world charm with its historic buildings and French heritage. There are little pockets of culture all over the city, however unlike the fast-paced feel of New York City, Montreal is laid back. The people in Quebec have a “joie de vivre” which maintains a wonderful balance between work and relaxation. The arts are important in Montreal and evenings often involve enjoying the cultural offerings, late dinners and long discussions over coffee.
GDP: $39.145 billion CDN
- Canada’s second-smallest province
- The heart of Canada’s fishing industry
- Home to Peggy’s Cove
Major Cities: Halifax
Interesting Fact: Did you know about Nova Scotia’s Titanic Museum? Canada has many of the remains of the great vessel that sunk in 1912.
GDP: $32.180 billion CDN
- Urban areas have modern, service-based economies dominated by the health care, educational, retail, finance, and insurance sectors
- New Brunswick is Canada’s only officially bilingual province
- First Nations in New Brunswick include the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet
Major Cities: Fredericton, Saint John and Moncton
Interesting Fact: The world’s largest lobster is in Shediac, New Brunswick. The sculpture is 35 feet long by 16 feet high and weighs 90 tonnes.
Prince Edward Island
GDP: $5.353 billion CDN
- Canada’s only island that is an island
- Canada’s smallest province
- The provincial economy is dominated by the seasonal industries of agriculture, tourism, and the fishery.
Major Cities: Charlottetown
Interesting Fact: Home of Anne of Green Gables.
GDP: $33.624 billion CDN
- Due to a major energy and resources boom, the provincial economy has had a major turnaround
- St. John’s is the oldest city in North America
Major Cities: St. John’s
Interesting Fact: The accents between Waterford, Ireland and St. John’s, Newfoundland are nearly identical.
There are three territories: Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon
Northwest Territories (41,462), Nunavut (31,906) and Yukon (33,897)
Northwest Territories ($4.791 billion CDN), Nunavut ($1.964 billion CDN) and Yukon ($2.660 billion CND)
- Rich in gold, diamonds, natural gas and petroleum
- Home of Canada’s Inuit population
Major Cities: Yellow Knife, Iqaluit and Whitehorse
Interesting Fact: This is a great place to see the Northern Lights!