Portal:Canada

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Panorama view of Pangnirtung Fiord.

View of the far side of Pangnirtung, Nunavut
Credit: Slp1

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Introduction


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Canada /ˈkænədə/ is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west and northward into the Arctic Ocean. It is the world's second largest country by total area. Canada's common border with the United States to the south and northwest is the longest in the world.

The land that is now Canada was inhabited for millennia by various groups of Aboriginal peoples. Beginning in the late 15th century, British and French expeditions explored, and later settled, along the Atlantic coast. France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763 after the Seven Years' War. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces. This began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament.

Canada is a federation that is governed as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. It is a bilingual nation with both English and French as official languages at the federal level. One of the world's highly developed countries, Canada has a diversified economy that is reliant upon its abundant natural resources and upon trade—particularly with the United States, with which Canada has had a long and complex relationship. It is a member of the G7, G-20, NATO, OECD, WTO, Commonwealth, Francophonie, OAS, APEC, and UN.

Coat of Arms of Canada (1957).jpg More about...Canada, its history and inhabitants

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Niagara Falls The Horseshoe Falls, one of the three Niagara Falls
The Niagara Falls are massive waterfalls on the Niagara River, straddling the international border separating the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of New York. The falls are 17 miles (27 km) north-northwest of Buffalo, New York, 75 miles (120 km) south-southeast of Toronto, Ontario, between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York.

Niagara Falls is composed of two major sections separated by Goat Island: Horseshoe Falls, on the Canadian side of the border and American Falls on the United States side. The smaller Bridal Veil Falls also is located on the American side, separated from the main falls by Luna Island. Niagara Falls were formed when glaciers receded at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation (the last ice age), and water from the newly-formed Great Lakes carved a path through the Niagara Escarpment en route to the Atlantic Ocean. While not exceptionally high, the Niagara Falls are very wide. More than six million cubic feet (168,000 m³) of water falls over the crest line every minute in high flow, and almost 4 million cubic feet (110,000 m³) on average. It is the most powerful waterfall in North America.

Niagara Falls is divided into the Horseshoe Falls and the American Falls. The Horseshoe Falls drop about 173 feet (53 m), the height of the American Falls varies between 70-100 feet (21 m) because of the presence of giant boulders at its base. The larger Horseshoe Falls are about 2,600 feet (792 m) wide, while the American Falls are 1,060 feet (323 m) wide.

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Portrait of Brock by John Wycliffe Lowes Forster
Isaac Brock(October 6, 1769 – October 13, 1812) was a British Army officer and administrator. His actions while stationed in the Canadian colonies earned him a knighthood, accolades, and the epithet: The Hero of Upper Canada.

Brock was assigned to Canada in 1802, and became responsible for defending the Canadian borders from the United States during the War of 1812. While many in Canada and Britain believed war could be averted, he began readying the army and militia for what was to come. When war broke out, the populace was prepared; quick victories at Fort Mackinac and Detroit crippled American invasion efforts.

During Brock's time in Canada he faced desertions and near mutinies, but his actions earned him membership in the Order of the Bath, and fought in concert with "celebrated" American Indian leader Tecumseh. He died in the Battle of Queenston Heights.

Brock was born in St Peter Port on the Channel Island of Guernsey, the eighth son of a middle class family. He earned a reputation during his early education on Guernsey as an assiduous student, as well as an exceptional swimmer and boxer. At age ten, he was sent to school in Southampton but spent one year in Rotterdam learning French.

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John A. Macdonald


John A. Macdonald, first Prime Minister of Canada
Credit: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Brady-Handy Photograph Collection.

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Flag of Alberta


The Flag of Alberta, officially adopeted on 1 June 1968 displays the provincial shield of arms in the centre of a royal ultramarine blue background. The provincial colours, adopted in 1984, are blue and gold (deep yellow); they are also referred to as "Alberta blue" and "Alberta gold", appearing on the flag/shield in the sky/background and wheat background, respectively...

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