Destination Canada, a Nations Online country profile of the second-largest country in the world.
Canada occupies most of the northern part of North America. The country is bounded by the North Atlantic Ocean on the east, the North Pacific Ocean on the west, and the Arctic Ocean on the north.
It borders Alaska (USA) in the west, and twelve US states of the continental part of the United States in the south. Its border with its southern neighbor runs mainly along the 45th parallel (north). It is the world’s longest international border between two countries (8,891 km (5,525 mi)).
Canada shares maritime borders with Greenland (an autonomous territory of Denmark) and Saint Pierre and Miquelon, a small island territory that belongs to France.
The country occupies an area of 9,984,670 km², making it the largest country in the Western Hemisphere. Compared, it is slightly larger than the US, or 18 times the size of France.
Map of Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay, the large shallow inland sea indenting east-central Canada.
Canada has 13 sub-national divisions, ten provinces, and three territories. Each province has its system of local government. The region of what is today Canada was a long time part of colonial North America. The area became a self-governing colony in the mid 19th century while retaining ties to the British crown. On 1 July 1867, the British North America Act (today known as the Constitution Act, 1867) created Canada with its initial four provinces of Ontario, Québec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.
Canada is divided into multiple geographical regions, and its landscape offers a wide range of natural sceneries. The Canadian Shield, the largest geographical area, encompasses half the country and centers on Hudson Bay. Canada’s southeastern region is dominated by lowlands, bordered by the Great Lakes: Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario.
Canada has a population of 38 million people (in 2020), which is only about 10% of the number of inhabitants of the neighboring USA. The national capital is Ottawa, the largest city is Toronto. Spoken languages are English and French.