Canada facts - National Geographic Kids (2024)

Official Name: Canada
Form of Government: Federal parliamentary state
Capital: Ottawa
Population: 36,307,820
Official Language: English, French
Money: Canadian dollar
Area: 9,970,610 square kilometres
Major Mountain Ranges: Rockies, Coast, Laurentian
Major Rivers: St. Lawrence, Mackenzie

Canada is one seriously huge place! Measuring 4,600km from north to south, the country spans more than half the Northern Hemisphere. And at a whopping 5,500km from east to west, it stretches across six time zones! A vast, rugged land, Canada is the second largest country in the world (Russiabeing the largest)but only 0.5% of the world’s population live there.

Canada has a varied landscape, with majestic mountains, rolling plains, forested valleys, and beautiful blue rivers and lakes. The Canadian Shield, a hilly region of lakes and swamps, stretches across northern Canada and has some of the oldest rocks on Earth.

In Canada’s far north lies the frozen Arctic. Here, ice, snow and glaciers dominate the landscape. Brrrrrr! Despite the cold, harsh climate, Native Canadians, called First Nations people, live in this region, where they hunt and fish for food.

Canada’s remote north and extensive forests are home to lots of wonderful wildlife, from bears, wolves, deer, mountain lions, beavers and bighorn sheep, to smaller animals such as raccoons, otters and rabbits. The country’s lakes and rivers – which contain about 20 percent of all fresh water on Earth – are full of fish such as trout and salmon.

Canada’s prairies (open grasslands) in the south are home to American buffalo and pronghorn antelope. And in the sprawling evergreen forests of northern Canada, moose and black bears are amongst the amazing animals that can be found. Even farther north, herds of reindeer and musk ox roam the cold, bare tundra.

Canadians work hard to protect their native wildlife, and the country has 41 national parks and three marine conservation areas. Nevertheless, species like wolves, lynx and Atlantic fish have faced threats from overhunting and overfishing.

The first people to come to Canada arrived between 15,000 and 30,000 years ago across a land bridge that joined Asia and North America. Around A.D. 1000, the Viking explorer Leif Eriksson reached Newfoundland, Canada. He tried to establish a settlement, but it didn’t last long.

In the 16th century, French and British settlers arrived. Land disputes between farmers and fur traders led to four wars between 1689 and 1763. The final war, called the French and Indian War, left the British in control of Canada, but French influence continued and remains strong even today.

In 1867, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick combined to form a dominion with its own government, parliament and prime minister – and Manitoba joined soon after. In 1931, Canada became an independent nation.

Following numerous territorial changes over the years, today Canada is made up of ten provinces and three territories.

In some ways Canada is many nations in one. Descendants of British and French immigrants make up about half the population. They were followed by other European and Asian immigrants. First Nations peoples make up about four percent of the population.

Inuit people live mostly in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Many Native Canadians live on their traditional lands, but many others have moved to cities across Canada. First Nations artwork is widely recognised and is seen as a symbol of Canadian culture.

The British monarch is the head of state of Canada. The monarch is represented by a governor-general, who has very limited powers. Laws are made by Canada’s elected federal government, which includes a parliament and a prime minister.

Britain’s Quebec Act of 1774 granted Quebec its own legal and religious rights. Despite this concession, many Quebec citizens have long sought independence. In votes held in 1980 and 1995, Quebec decided to stay in Canada. But the second vote was very close, and the debate is still alive.

Canada has provided fish, furs and other natural resources to the world since the 1500s. Today, it is a world leader in agricultural production, telecommunications and energy technologies. The vast majority of Canada’s exports go to the United States.

Image credits
Map of Canada: National Geographic Maps. Picture of Telus World of Science in Vancouver, Canada:Dan Breckwoldt, Dreamstime.Picture of building in Victoria, British Columbia:Chrishowey, Dreamstime. All other pitcures: Getty Images UK.

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Canada facts - National Geographic Kids (9) Likes

Canada facts - National Geographic Kids (2024)


What are 10 interesting facts about Canada for kids? ›

Top 10 Facts About Canada!
  • Canada has the longest coastline in the world. ...
  • Canadian lakes hold a lot of freshwater. ...
  • The maple leaf is Canada's national symbol. ...
  • Ice hockey is Canada's national sport. ...
  • The CN Tower in Toronto is really tall. ...
  • Canada is home to polar bears. ...
  • The Northern Lights dance in Canada's skies.

What is Canada explained to kids? ›

Canada is a vast and rugged land. From north to south it spans more than half the Northern Hemisphere. From east to west it stretches almost 4,700 miles (7,560 kilometers) across six time zones. It is the second largest country in the world, but it has only one-half of one percent of the world's population.

Is Canada the second largest country in the world? ›

Geography. By total area (including its waters), Canada is the second-largest country in the world, after Russia. By land area alone, Canada ranks fourth, due to having the world's largest area of fresh water lakes.

What is Canada geography facts for students? ›

Lesson Summary

Canada is the second-largest country in the world and makes up most of the North American continent. It shares one border with the United States at the south, and one with Alaska in the north. Canada has the second-largest land mass, yet is sparsely populated due to the cold, Arctic climate.

What are 20 interesting facts about Canada? ›

30 interesting and fun facts about Canada
  • Canada has the largest moose population in the world. ...
  • Canada is hockey obsessed. ...
  • The Canadian Rockies showcase a range of habitats. ...
  • Poutine is a must-try dish. ...
  • The population is highly educated. ...
  • The Magnetic Hill looks like it defies gravity. ...
  • Canada is the second-largest country.

What is Canada 3 facts for kids? ›

Canada is the largest country in the world after Russia. It spans six time zones and borders three oceans. The country is divided into 10 provinces and three territories. The capital is Ottawa.

How did Canada get its name? ›

The name “Canada” likely comes from the Huron-Iroquois word “kanata,” meaning “village” or “settlement.” In 1535, two Aboriginal youths told French explorer Jacques Cartier about the route to kanata; they were actually referring to the village of Stadacona, the site of the present-day City of Québec.

What is Canada's official name? ›

Dominion of Canada is the country's formal title, though it is rarely used. It was first applied to Canada at Confederation in 1867. It was also used in the formal titles of other countries in the British Commonwealth.

What is Canada's national animal? ›

A beaver in its natural environment. The beaver is a herbivorous mammal that makes its home in semi-aquatic environments throughout every region in Canada, especially near waterways, lakes, and ponds. It became an official symbol of Canada on March 24, 1975, when the National Symbol of Canada Act received royal assent.

How old is Canada in 2024? ›

In 2024, Canada is 157. Its age is counted since confederation in 1867, when it officially became a country.

Is Canada bigger than Russia? ›

Covering an expanse of over 6.6 million square miles, Russia is the world's largest country by landmass, beating out runner-up Canada by around 2.8 million square miles. It includes nine different time zones and shares land borders with 14 neighboring countries.

Is Canada or China more bigger? ›

Russia is the largest country among the top 5 having an area of 9,985,000 square kilometers, ahead of Canada. China (9.597 million square kilometers) and Brazil (8.515 million square kilometers) are the top two countries, with the United States coming in third (9.827 million square kilometers).

How do Canadians say "merry Christmas"? ›

Here's the preferred salutation breakdown by province:
  1. Alberta: Merry Christmas.
  2. British Columbia: Happy Holidays.
  3. Manitoba: Merry Christmas.
  4. New Brunswick: Merry Christmas.
  5. Newfoundland and Labrador: Merry Christmas.
  6. Northwest Territories: Merry Christmas.
  7. Nova Scotia: Happy Holidays.
  8. Nunavut: Merry Christmas.

Is Santa a Canadian citizen? ›


Santa's home at the North Pole lies in an area between Russia, Norway, Canada, the United States, and Denmark. However, a couple years ago, Canada declared (for a bunch of reasons) that St. Nick is legally considered to be Canadian.

What is a fun fact about Canada? ›

Canada has the longest coastline in the world

She recently learnt about the length of Canada's coastline, commenting: “One of the most surprising facts I learnt about Canada before moving there for a few years was that it has the longest coastline in the world at a whopping 151,000 miles.

What are 7 interesting facts about Canada? ›

10 Surprisingly Fun Facts About Canada
  • Canada is the Second Biggest Country in the World. ...
  • Canada Has 10% of the World's Forests. ...
  • Canada is the World's Most Educated Country. ...
  • The Hawaiian Pizza was invented in Canada. ...
  • Canada's Lowest Recorded Temperature is as Cold as Mars.

What are 8 fun facts about Canada? ›

Fun Facts About Canada
  • 1.) Canada is a monarchy. ...
  • 2.) There are two official languages in Canada. ...
  • 3.) Canada is the world's second largest country. ...
  • 6.) The word Canada is derived from an indigenous word. ...
  • 9.) There was a war in Canada called the “Beaver Wars.” ...
  • 10.) Canada's national animal is actually a beaver. ...
  • 12.) ...
  • 13.)
Jan 24, 2024

What are 6 interesting facts about Canada? ›

30 Fun Facts About Canada
  • The Most Famous Canadians Live in the US. ...
  • The beaver is the national animal of Canada. ...
  • There was a war in Canada called the "Beaver Wars." ...
  • Kanata was the original name of Canada. ...
  • Canada's Coastline is the longest in the world. ...
  • Canada also has the longest international border.
Apr 5, 2024

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