The largest country in North America, second in the world overall (behind only Russia). Renowned worldwide for its vast, untouched landscape, its unique blend of cultures and multifaceted history, Canada is a major tourist destination and one of the world's wealthiest countries. Canada holds landscapes that defy expectations: rainforest and desert lie close together in the southwest corner of the country, while in the east a short drive can take you from fjords to lush orchards. Better still, great tracts of Canada are completely unspoiled: ninety percent of Canadians live within 160km of the US border. The relationship to its powerful neighbour is a defining factor for Canada. The US and Canada have the world's largest trading relationship. Canada weathered the global recession notably well, in large measure because its tightly regulated, conservatively managed banks neither boomed nor busted. However, it has enjoyed less political stability.
Immigration has helped to make Canada one of the world's richest nations. Challenges related to discrimination and integration are gaining increasing attention. Many recent newcomers hail from Asia. Canada is one the world’s richest industrialized nations, with a highly sophisticated economy and a top-tier standard of living. Though obviously not everyone in Canada is equally well-off, most Canadians nevertheless hold reasonably well-paying jobs and access to ample creature comforts that citizens in other countries can only dream of. Like its neighbour to the south, Canada is a spectrum of cultures, a hotchpotch of immigrant groups who supplanted the continent's many native peoples. There's a crucial difference, though, between the two countries. Whereas citizens of the US are encouraged to perceive themselves as Americans above all else, Canada's concertedly multicultural approach has fostered an ethnic mosaic.
Currency The Canadian dollar’s value floats against approximately on par with the USD. Canadian bills or bank notes are commonly available in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 dollar denominations. The $1 and $2 bills have been replaced with coins (the loonie and the toonie). A CAD is made up of 100 cents.
Tipping Generally Canada is a friendly place, but skip the tip and you may set off a riot. Giving gratuities is heavily emphasized in the service culture and servers rely on their tips as a big part of their income. The bill will come with a 13 % Tax, but a tip is still expected, ofcourse the amount is at your discretion.
Canadians Majority of this 34 million live in urban or suburban communities, work in service sector jobs, vote occasionally and have government-backed health insurance. There are White Canadians, English-Canadians, French-Canadians, Asian Canadians, African-Americans, and Multiculturalism.
Communications Canadian phone numbers are 10 digits long, with the first three numbers being the area code, for example: (604) 555-1234, international country code is 1, the same as the United States. A clique of cell phone companies provide 3G coverage to most populated parts of the country. The vast majority of Canadians are now Internet users as well. The Canadian URL suffix is .ca, and is widely used by both government and private websites.
Language Canada is an officially bilingual country, which means it has two official languages: French and English. “Canadian English” is mostly a mix of American-style pronunciations and British-style spelling, with a few uniquely Canadian flourishes that fit into neither tradition Those who speak neither English nor French as their first language are sometimes called Allophones, and the majority of these folks are either immigrants or members of aboriginal tribes.
Entry Requirements Citizens of the EU, Norway, Iceland and most Commonwealth countries, including the UK, Australia and New Zealand, only need a valid passport to enter Canada. US citizens simply need some form of photo identification plus proof of US citizenship. This can be a valid US passport. All visitors to Canada have to complete a Welcome to Canada form, effectively a customs declaration form. At point of entry, the immigration officer decides the length of stay permitted .
Geography Canada is the world's second-largest country, yet much of the land is uninhabited. The main regions of Canada are the mountainous west coast, flat central prairies, eastern forested plains and frozen north. Almost every region in Canada is home to vast forests, rivers and lakes. Canadian weather is often harsh and cold, particularly during the long winter months.
Sports Two most popular professional sports are hockey and football. The 7 teams in the National Hockey League all have loyal fans and strong brand identities. Lacrosse and curling are two highly iconic sports, but have only limited public appeal. Almost every major sport is enjoyed in Canada to some degree, and the country is home to dozens of amateur leagues and athletes.
Climate Hugely varied. Areas near the Great Lakes have milder winters and cooler summers than interiors. July and August are reliably warm throughout the country, even in the far north, making these the busiest months to visit. November to March, by contrast, is an ordeal of sub-zero temperatures almost everywhere except on the west coast, though winter days in many areas are clear and dry.