Canada Geography

The name Canada comes from the Iroquois root * kanata (ke) which means “village”, “settlement” or “set of huts”, initially referring to Stadaconé, a settlement on the site of present-day Quebec City. [2] The explorer Jacques Cartier was the first to use the word “Canada” to refer not only to Stadacona, but also to the other indigenous settlements around the St. Lawrence River and the region near it, at least since 1534. [3] In 1545, books and maps created by early European explorers began to refer to this region as Canada. After the Confederacy of 1867, the name of Canada it was adopted as the legal name for the new country.


Canada occupies the northern half of North America. It limits to the south with the continental part of the United States, separated by 6,415 km of international border, and towards the northwest with Alaska. The country stretches from the Atlantic Ocean and the Davis Strait in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west (hence the national motto). To the north lie the Beaufort Sea and the Arctic Ocean. Since 1925 Canada claims the portion of the Arctic between 60 degrees west of longitude and 141 degrees west of longitude, so Canada’s territorial claim extends to the North Pole.

It is the second largest country in the world by net area after Russia, covering approximately 41% of North America. In land area it is the fourth largest country in the world after Russia, China and the United States. However, it has an extremely low population density of 3.2 people per square kilometer. 80% of Canadians live within 200 km of the United States along the international border, where the country’s most temperate climates are found. Canada’s vast and rich territories have led to economic dependence on its natural resources.


According to, Canada has a reputation for being a cold country. Winters can be very harsh in many regions of the country, with risks of snowstorms, ice storms and temperatures below -50 ° C in the far north. In the more densely populated regions, summers are mild to hot, reaching peaks above 30 ° C in Montreal and 15 ° C even in Iqaluit, Nunavut.

In Vancouver temperatures generally stable at around 5-25 ° C throughout the year. But in the interior of British Columbia, for example Kamloops and Kelowna, they have a dry climate with temperatures that reach above 40 ° C in the summer, while in the winter, although short, they can have temperatures below. -15 ° C sometimes. There are deserts in these regions. In the Great Lakes region, the most populated area in the country, temperatures range from -35 ° C to 35 ° C.

Flora and fauna

A good part of the Canadian territory is covered by forests of timber trees, where pine and cedar stand out. It also has large meadows.

The fauna is very similar to that of Northern Europe and Asia. You can find bears, wolves, coyotes, American lions and cougars among other carnivorous animals. In the arctic regions there are polar bears. Beavers, porcupines and numerous rodents can be seen in some areas. In flat regions there are moles. Some areas of Canada are also home to antelope, reindeer, and elk, and there are also abundant and diverse varieties of birds, reptiles, and insects.

Given the enormous extension of Canada, which ranges from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific and from the 49th Parallel to beyond the 70th, the country has a varied topography and important climatic differences, which favors a multivariate flora and fauna.


Since World War II, impressive growth in the manufacturing, mining, and service sectors have transformed the nation from a primarily rural economy to a primarily industrial and highly urbanized one. Self-sufficient in energy, Canada has large deposits of natural gas on the east coast and in three western provinces, along with a wide variety of other natural resources.

The Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the United States (FTA) of 1989 and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA or NAFTA that includes the three North American countries: Canada, the United States and Mexico) in 1994have generated a dramatic increase in Canada’s trade and economic integration with the United States. As a consequence of these close cross-border relations, the economic depression in the United States of 2001 had a negative impact on the Canadian economy, although less than expected.


As of 2006, Canada has 32.7 million residents, of which 45% are of British origin and 27% of French origin.

The Canadian population is expected to undergo an aging process, in which the population in the elderly will increase, with the increase in life expectancy and the decrease in the birth rate.

Canada Geography