Cities and places of interest in Canada
Canada’s capital is Ottawa located in the province of Ontario. Ottawa is “only” the capital of Canada, but it is not the capital of Ontario. That role is played by Toronto, where the world’s tallest structure, Canadian Tower, was built. The largest city in Canada is Montreal and it is also the second largest French-speaking city in the world.
The capitals of a majority of provinces are known as competitors of the National Hockey League (NHL) – Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto and Calgary, which is also famous as the organiser of the winter Olympic Games in 1988.
Toronto is a city of many nationalities. The largest group are the Italians, who create 8% of Toronto’s population. Toronto lies on the coast of Lake Ontario, so it can easily transport anything from and to industrial centres in USA such as Detroit. There are many interesting buildings, not only the Canadian Tower. The new Toronto City Hall is a very interesting building, which is using modern architectonic technologies.
Montreal is situated on an island in the St. Lawrence River. It is one of the oldest cities in Canada, because its history started in 1667. Today, Montreal is one of the largest ports in the world. It is a centre of international events in Canada (1976 Summer Olympic Games). In Montreal there are the most important French-speaking universities in Canada.
Vancouver is the largest city on the west coast of the Pacific Ocean. It is a modern city. All buildings are younger than 100 years, because old wooden Vancouver was burned down in 1886. It is an important transport crossing. There is a harbour and many highways and railroads.
Population and the history of colonisation
The Vikings discovered Canada more than a thousand years ago, but it was rediscovered by the Europeans in the 15th century. The French occupied a large part of the territory in the 16th century. They were followed by the English who captured most of Canada from the French in the wars in the 17th, 18th and 19th century.
Now, the population of Canada is about 28 million people. 45% of Canadians are of British origin, 29% of French origin and 23% have their origins in other European countries. There are also native Canadians – Indians and Eskimos – in Canada, but there are only 319 000 of them (300 000 Indians and 19 000 Eskimos). The name Canada probably came from Indians: one of the tribes used the word “kanata” for settlement.
Most of the inhabitants live near the border with the USA by the St Lawrence River, where the first French colonists settled.
Canada is a bilingual country, but a majority of people speaks English (70%), less French (20%) and the rest are bilingual. Most of the French-speaking population lives in the province of Quebec.
Canada’s population in 1994 was 28,8 million people.