Learn About Canada
Take a virtual trip to Canada with Activity Village and learn a little about this big and beautiful country, finding out some interesting facts about Canada to share with the kids. You will find fun printable activities to back up this page here.
The beautiful Moraine Lake in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, Canada - one of the country's most photographed views!
A Little Geography
- Canada is the second largest country in the world (after Russia), but only 0.5% of the world’s population lives there, and over 80% of the land is uninhabited.
- Measuring 5,500km from east to west, it stretches across six time zones.
- The distance from north to south is a huge 4,600km, and Canada spans more than half the Northern Hemisphere.
- Canada only borders one country, the United States – to the south, and also to the north-east (the isolated state of Alaska).
- Canada has a beautiful and varied landscape, with mountain ranges including the majestic Canadian Rockies, rolling plains and stunning blue rivers and lakes. The extreme north of Canada is an archipelago of large islands covered by snowy tundra and frozen glaciers. Few humans live there, but this extreme environment is home to polar bears, seals, and narwhals.
- The capital of Canada is Ottawa, the second coldest capital in the world.
- Canada has over 30,000 lakes!
A young black bear in the wild - the most common and widespread bear species found in Canada.
A Little History
- The first known settlers in Canada were the aboriginal inhabitants (also known as native or indigenous peoples) who are thought to have migrated from Asia 70,000 to 12,000 years ago. Many experts believe they arrived via an exposed stretch of sea floor that joined Asia and America at the time, which is now covered by the Bering Sea.
- The indigenous peoples, including the First Nations and the Inuits, lived in Canada for thousands of years before the first Europeans arrived.
- Around A.D. 1000, a Viking explorer named Leif Eriksson reached Newfoundland and tried to establish a settlement, but left soon after.
- King Henry VII of England sent an Italian, John Cabot, on an expedition to Newfoundland to claim Canada for England in 1497. Then in 1534, Jacques Cartier, a Frenchman, explored the St. Lawrence River, claiming the territory for France. Parts of Canada were settled by France, and parts by Great Britain.
- On 1st July 1867, Canada was united under a federal government. Sir John A Macdonald was the first prime minister.
- Canada has twice been invaded by the USA, first in 1775 and again in 1812.
- Canada is a member of the Commonwealth and Head of State is Queen Elizabeth II.
Some Interesting Facts
- Canada holds the record for the most gold medals ever won at the Winter Olympics, taking an impressive 14 Golds at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010.
- There are more than 2,800 ice hockey rinks in Canada, and it’s one of the most popular sports in the country along with soccer and baseball.
- A bear cub named Winnipeg was exported from Canada to London Zoo in 1915. A little boy named Christopher Robin Milne used to love visiting Winnipeg, or Winnie for short, and he named his toy teddy bear after him which then inspired his father A.A. Milne to write the Winnie-the-Pooh stories.
- Canada's lowest recorded temperature was -81.4 degrees Fahrenheit (-63 C) in 1947 – brrrrr!
- Canada is the world's most educated country and over half its residents have college degrees.
- The Trans-Canada Highway is the longest highway in the world and is over 7,604 kilometres (4,725 miles) in length.
- The world’s largest totem pole was raised in Victoria in 1994 and stands 54.94 metres tall (180.2 feet).
- There are 15 world heritage sites in Canada, including the interestingly named Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump!
- Canada produces 71% of the world's pure maple syrup, and there are more than 8,600 maple syrup businesses in Canada.
- National icons are the beaver and the maple leaf, which features on the Canadian flag.
Toronto city skyline taken from Toronto Islands - Toronto is the largest city in Canada by population.