Life in Canada


Life in Canada

Canada 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. Spanning over 9,900,000 km2 (3,800,000 sq mi), Canada is the world's second-largest country by total area, and its common border with the United States is the longest land border in the world.

The land that is now Canada has been inhabited for millennia by various Aboriginal peoples. Beginning in the late 15th century, British and French colonial expeditions explored, and later settled, along the region's 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; the Canada Act 1982 severed the vestiges of legal dependence on Britain.

Canada is a federal state that is governed as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. The country is officially bilingual at the federal level. Canada's diversified economy is one of the world's largest, and 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, G8, G20, NATO, OECD, WTO, Commonwealth of Nations, Francophonie, OAS, APEC, and United Nations.

In this section you will find detailed information about the climate, it’s not all snow and ice here! Other important things to consider are insurance, the cost of living, transportation information and understanding that Canada is a safe place to study. Learn a little bit more about Canadian culture and the holidays we celebrate.

  • Climate


    There are many climatic variations in Canada, ranging from the permanently frozen ice caps north of the 70th parallel to the lush vegetation of British Columbia's west coast. On the whole, however, Canada has four very distinct seasons, particularly in the more populated regions along the US border.
  • History


    The first inhabitants of Canada were aboriginal peoples, believed to have arrived from Asia thousands of years ago by way of a land bridge between Siberia and Alaska.
  • Insurance


    When students come to Canada to study, they must have health insurance. The following provinces cover international students under their Provincial Health Care Plans
  • Students Accommodations

    Students Accommodations

    The most popular options for accommodation in Canada is residence halls, dormitories and university hostels and the off campus options available are home stays, studio apartments, rent accommodation, share accommodation and private hostels.
  • Costs of Living

    Costs of Living

    Here are some typical costs for items and services in Canada.
  • Money Matters

    Money Matters

    Canada uses the metric system of measurement. The unit of currency is the Canadian dollar, which equals 100 cents. The most common paper currency in Canada comes in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations.
  • Transportation


    Canada is a huge country; it is over 5,000 kilometres (3,000+ miles) from Victoria, British Columbia to St. John's, Newfoundland. That's almost 1,000 kilometres more than the distance between New York, New York to Los Angeles, California
  • Safety


    Canada is a safe place to live and study. Our crime rates are very low and people are able to travel freely about the country without concern. Our police are friendly and professional and have outstanding relationships with the communities they serve. Canada is at peace with all its neighbors and we spend far more on health care than we do on our armed forces.
  • Culture


    Canada's culture is a funny thing. Many people in Canada maintain that Canada doesn't really have a culture at all, but borrows heavily from French, British and American culture to create our own sense of identity. Or that we define ourselves by what we are not, as in we are not Americans.
  • Holidays and Celebrations

    Holidays and Celebrations

    There are two different kinds of holidays in Canada. The first is a statutory holiday, where it is illegal to force people to work on that day. People may still work if they wish, but their employers must pay them a higher-than-normal rate of pay.


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Last Updated: 30 November 2009
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