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World Travels: Canada

August 4, 2012

Beautiful Canada

Today I thought I would share some little facts about Canada with you. I visit Canada a few times a year and call it my home while I am there. So let’s see what we can find out about this friendly northern neighbor to the United States. Well first of did you know that Canada is the world’s second-largest country by total area at 3,855,103 square miles (including its waters) which ranks it just behind Russia? Well it is. Also its common border with the U.S. is the world’s longest land border at 5,525 miles long.

The Canadian Flag

Canada is officially a bilingual country with English and French being the languages there. Canadians of Asian ancestry comprise the largest visible minority group in Canada at 11% of the population. It is also the fastest growing minority group in Canada. You can see this most visibly in cities like southern Ontario, the greater Vancouver area, Montreal, and most large Canadian cities. Many of the larger cities will also have a China Town as well and the influence of Asia is seen just about everywhere in Canada. For instance, in Victoria, B.C. they have the oldest surviving China Town in Canada.  It is only second in age to North America’s San Francisco China Town and has it’s beginnings from the influx of miners  from California that came to what is now Victoria, B.C. in 1858.

Victoria’s Chinatown is the oldest surviving Chinatown in Canada!

Canada is also one of the world’s largest economies (ranked 11th) and is reliant on its natural resources and trade (mostly with the U.S.). Canada’s population density is 8.6 people per square mile, making Canada the ninth-most sparsely populated nation in the world. It also has the longest coastline of any country in the world at 151,600 miles. The capital of Canada is Ottawa which is also the second coldest capital in the world! And one last interesting fact, 90% of Canada’s population resides within 100 miles of the Canadian/U.S. border!

Parliament Hill in the nation’s capital of Ottawa

So what can you do in Canada? Well the real questions is what can’t you do in Canada? Everything from shopping to nature hikes to kayaking to salmon fishing and more. One of the great ways to see a huge portion of Canada is to take the train from Toronto all the way to Vancouver on ‘The Canadian’. The whole trip from point to point takes 4 nights and 3 days to complete and you’ll see parts of Canada that you can’t see any other way.

Here’s a great little video that shows you a bit of what you’ll see on this great train ride:

If you love wild life Canada is your place to see it all from polar bears and grizzly bears to whales and salmon too. There are also plenty of wineries to check out as well as natural wonders like Niagara Falls. The main wine regions of Canada are the Niagara Peninsula of Ontario and Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. Icewine is a major export product for Canadian wineries but they also commonly produce Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon for the red varieties and Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, and Gewürztraminer for the white varieties.

There are many vineyards like this in Lake Okanagan, B.C.

So the next time you’re looking for some place beautiful and new to go why not plan a trip to Canada? You won’t be sorry.

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