Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Vancouver, Calgary, Halifax, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Regina, Edmonton, London, St. John's, Victoria, Windsor
Antigonish, Brampton, Brantford, Charlottetown, Dawson, Fredericton, Gander, Guelph, Kingston, Kitchener, Medicine Hat, Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-lake, North Bay, Oakville, Oshawa, Peterborough, Prince Albert, Prince George, Saint Catherines, Saint John, Saskatoon, Sault Sainte Marie, Stratford, Sudbury, Thetford Mines, Thompson, Thunder Bay, Trois Rivières, Whitehorse, Yellowknife
This chapter was adapted from the Department of State Post Report dated April 1996. Supplemental material has been added to increase coverage of minor cities, facts have been updated, and some material has been condensed. Readers are encouraged to visit the Department of State's web site at http://travel.state.gov/ for the most recent information available on travel to this country.
The vast nation of CANADA , which borders on three oceans and spans seven time zones, abounds in contrasts. It boasts magical coasts, majestic mountains, wild rivers, untrod forests, and untouched lakes. It also boasts sky-scraping cities, sophisticated shopping, and culinary delights. From the Calgary Stampede to the Shakespearean Festival, from ethnic festivals to the changing of the guard in Ottawa, Canada is a fascinating blend of English and French, historic and modern, ceremonial and casual.
Canada has always had close ties with the United States, as evidenced by the fact that the two countries share the longest unguarded border in the world. In spite of its extensive geographical, cultural, financial, and economic ties with the U.S., however, Canada retains a unique distinction from its southern neighbors.
Ottawa (from an Indian word meaning "near the water") is a clean, attractive, modern city at the junction of the Ottawa, Rideau, and Gatineau Rivers, about 60 miles north of the New York State border and 120 miles west of Montreal. City residents total over 400,000, and the total metropolitan population is over one million. The climate is healthful and bracing, and the area abounds with opportunities for outdoor activities and family living.
Samuel de Champlain reached the site of what is now Ottawa in 1613; however, a permanent settlement did not develop until after the Rideau Canal was built in 1827. Originally named Bytown, Ottawa was incorporated as a city under its present name in 1854. It was selected as the national capital by Queen Victoria in 1888.
As Canada's capital, Ottawa's main business is government and, as in Washington, DC, little industry exists. Living conditions are similar to those in comparably sized U.S. cities, although social life is geared to demands of diplomatic and government circles.
Small Oriental, Lebanese, Portuguese, and Italian colonies exist in Ottawa, but the majority of residents are of British or French descent. Most francophones (35% of the population) are also fluent in English. Approximately 15,000 Americans live in the Ottawa district; they have merged into the population and do not constitute a discernible American colony. About 50 U.S. companies have subsidiaries or affiliates in the area, but only a few have American citizens on their local staffs.
During summer, there is a flow of U.S. tourists through the city, and all year government officials and business representatives visit Ottawa in their respective roles.
The diplomatic community is large and growing. Some 146 nations maintain relations with Canada, although only 100 have resident missions in Ottawa. Most are small, with two or three officers and a chief of mission. The only large missions are those of the U.S., U.K., Russia, France, Germany, and the People's Republic of China.
Ottawa's public school system offers instruction from kindergarten through grade 13. There are 55 elementary schools for kindergarten through grade eight, and 15 high schools with English instruction and five with French instruction, both covering grades 9 to 13. Tuition is free for Ottawa residents attending public schools. Children may enter kindergarten at age five, or four if the child will be five before December 31 of that year.
Courses meet the standards established by the Ontario Ministry of Education. The teacher-student ratio in elementary schools is about 1:16, and in secondary schools about 1:12, ratios which have remained constant for several years.
Parents may place their children in one of two language programs: the immersion program consisting of instruction totally in French in the first few years, and a gradual phasing in of English instruction until the program becomes bilingual; or the core program consisting of at least 20 minutes daily of French instruction from kindergarten through eighth grade and making it optional at some level after that. The core program is not a rigid one and may vary from school to school.
While some students coming from U.S. schools have found the Ottawa high schools somewhat less demanding than their own, most students and parents report few differences or problems. Instructional programs and course offerings vary from school to school within a particular area.
Students pursuing a commercial, technical, or vocational curriculum in high school can receive a diploma after grade 12. Those planning to continue their studies beyond high school, especially if applying for admission to colleges and universities in Ontario, have, until recently, been required to complete grade 13, but this proviso is currently being phased out.
The Roman Catholic Church maintains a "separate school" system in Ottawa composed of 42 primary schools (19 with French instruction, 23 with English); six intermediate schools (five with French instruction, one with English); and two junior high schools, all with English instruction. Tuition through grade 10 is free for Ottawa residents. The curriculum of the "separate schools" meets all the requirements of the Ontario Ministry of Education.
The schools located in the suburban areas of Ottawa come under either the Carleton Public or Carleton Roman Catholic School Boards. Tuition for schools in both systems is free for residents of the school district. The Carleton Public School Board has 60 elementary schools (including 28 offering French immersion). There are 16 high schools, grades nine through 13, including several with a French immersion program. In addition to the schools offering French immersion, many schools in the Carleton jurisdiction offer French instruction similar to the Ottawa Board's core program. As with the Ottawa Board, parents are advised to check with the school in their neighborhood for specific details regarding the French program.
The Carleton Roman Catholic School Board has 51 elementary schools (32 with English instruction, 19 with French), all of which provide kindergarten to grade eight, and five high schools, grades nine through 13. However, after grade 10, the schools are considered private and tuition must be paid by parents. Many English-instruction elementary schools have French programs similar to those offered in the public school system. For details, parents should check with the neighborhood school their children will attend. The Carleton Roman Catholic School Board has no high schools where the language of instruction is French.
As in the Ottawa public and separate school boards, the curriculum in both boards in Carleton meets all the requirements of the Ontario Ministry of Education.
While a few American families live in Quebec Province (across the Ottawa River in the greater Hull area), the U.S. Embassy strongly discourages families with school-age children from residing in Quebec. The volatile French-language issue and related educational controversies, plus frequent teachers' strikes, have created considerable turmoil in the schools. Children not already reasonably conversant in French will probably encounter problems, especially at the high school level, even if enrolled in an English-language school.
Quebec Province requires all high school students to take French throughout high school and to pass a standard provincial French-language examination before graduation.
Both public and separate school systems in Ottawa and the suburban areas offer extracurricular activities similar to those found in the U.S., including athletics, drama, music, and student government. The Ottawa school year, longer than that of the U.S., runs from Labor Day to the last week in June. Students have a week-long vacation at Christmas and a spring break of 10 days (usually in March). Grades are released quarterly.
Ottawa has a number of nursery schools which accept children from age three. In addition, there are a number of "play schools" for children 18 months to age four. These are usually two or three half days a week, and these require some type of parent participation.
There are two private preparatory schools in the Ottawa area: Elm-wood School for girls (kindergarten through the fourth grade is coeducational; grades five through 13 are only for girls), and Ashbury College for boys (covering grades five through 13). Ashbury enrolls both day and boarding students.
Two universities, a technical institute, a teachers' college, and a variety of business and professional schools provide ample opportunity for education on a full-or part-time basis. These include Carleton University (English-language and private, founded in 1942); and University of Ottawa (bilingual and government-supported, founded in 1848). These universities offer a multitude of courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels leading to degrees in liberal arts, sciences, engineering, theology, business administration, education, medicine, nursing, law, and applied sciences. Evening courses at both universities provide many opportunities for both degree and non-degree study. Both universities have extensive evening programs for part-time students as well. Unlike most U.S. colleges, courses are generally conducted on a yearly rather than semester basis.
Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology, a community college with four campuses, offers a wide range of day and evening courses, one-year certificate programs, and two-and three-year diploma programs. In general, tuition and fees for colleges and universities in Ottawa are less than those of state colleges and universities in the U.S.
Ottawa has four schools for trainable, mentally handicapped children. They are École Jeanne-Lajoie, the Clifford Bowie School, McHugh School (affiliated with the Royal Ottawa Psychiatric Center), and the Crystal Bay School (Carleton Board of Education). One school, Centennial, is for the physically handicapped, and additionally, the Ottawa Crippled Children's Treatment Center has teaching facilities for physically handicapped and autistic children.
Other educational opportunities include tutoring or group study in languages, music, dance, art, and related activities. These are available for all ages at reasonable cost, usually through the various school systems, Algonquin College, the universities, and the YMCA. Often, however, waiting lists are encountered for those wishing to obtain the most competent instruction available. This is particularly true of French-language courses.
Extensive opportunities for participation in many recreational sports activities exist in and around Ottawa. In winter, cross-country and downhill skiing are very popular. Trails and slopes abound within a 100-mile radius of the city, ranging from those for the beginner or casual skier to expert slopes for the advanced enthusiast.
Main roads are kept open and passable in winter, providing access to a number of ski trails and tows in developed ski complexes. Bus service is available. There is one ski area within the Ottawa city limits—Carlington Park. Within an hour's drive are the ski complexes of Camp Fortune and Edelweiss Valley. Camp Fortune, located in Quebec Province (in Gatineau Park) is one of the country's largest ski complexes, offering downhill and cross-country skiing at all levels of difficulty, day and night skiing, instruction, and rentals. It is a 20-minute drive from Ottawa.
Farther afield, the slopes at Mount St. Marie (Quebec) and Calabogie (Ontario) are 60 miles away. All have a variety of slopes and trails and offer instruction and rentals. Season passes for instruction, rentals, and tows are offered at most ski facilities. The elaborate winter sports resorts of Mount Tremblant, Quebec, can be reached from Ottawa in about three hours.
Ottawa also boasts what is billed as the world's largest outdoor skating rink. During the winter, a five-mile stretch of the Rideau Canal, built by the British after the War of 1812, between Dow's Lake and the National Arts Center is cleared and partially lighted for ice skating. Warming huts and snack bars are located at convenient intervals along the canal. It is not unusual to see business-people, with briefcases in tow, skate to work on the canal.
Ample facilities for all types of sports have been developed in and around Ottawa, including ice skating arenas, curling rinks, bowling alleys, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and tennis and squash courts. One of the largest, and most unique, is the Nepean Sportsplex located in West Ottawa. Under one roof it contains an ice skating rink, hockey arena, curling rink, gymnasium, squash courts, indoor swimming pool, auditorium, sauna, pub, and restaurant. It offers instruction for all age groups in sports activities as well as physical fitness classes, ski fitness clinics, arts and crafts, ballroom dancing, and ballet and tap dancing. The sportsplex publishes an annual bulletin of activities; enrollment in some courses is limited, and first preference is given to Nepean Township residents.
In the summer, ample opportunity for all types of water sports exists on the Ottawa, Rideau, and Gatineau Rivers, and at nearby lakes. There are several yacht clubs with extensive sailing programs. Beaches within Ottawa city limits are limited to one or two spots along the Rideau River, and Britannia Beach on the Ottawa River; facilities at these places are often crowded. On some of the lakes in the area, both in Ontario and Quebec, there are developed-access roads, beaches, and docks for canoes and boats, while other lakes are more isolated and primitive.
Some private golf clubs keep their courses open from May to October; several operate their dining rooms all winter. Ottawa also has public courses.
Tennis and squash facilities are available at a number of private clubs, such as the Ottawa Athletic Club. Municipal tennis courts are scattered about the area as well, offering seasonal membership at reasonable cost, or free use on a space-available basis. Instruction is also provided at the private and public tennis facilities.
Bicycling and jogging are very popular during summer, and there are numerous cycling and jogging trails in Ottawa and across the Ottawa River in Quebec's Gatineau Park. Some roads are closed to auto traffic on Sundays for the exclusive use of hikers, joggers, and cyclists. Additional popular participant sports include archery, badminton, bowling, camping, cricket, flying, judo, riding, rugby, rowing, soccer, snowshoeing, and sailing.
For the spectator in winter, ice hockey, Canada's national sport, is virtually a mania. National Hockey League games are televised several times a week. In 1992 the Ottawa Senators, a new National Hockey League franchise, began play. The Ottawa Rough Riders represent Ottawa in the Canadian professional football league. The season begins in late July and ends in early December with the Grey Cup finals between the champions of the Eastern and Western Conferences.
Canadians are avid baseball fans, too, and root for the American major league teams as well as the Canadian entries in Toronto (Blue Jays) and Montreal (Expos). Tickets for Montreal Expo games are sold in Ottawa, and there are chartered buses from downtown Ottawa to the baseball stadium in Montreal for selected games. Stock car racing is held in Stittsville, about 20 miles from Ottawa, in the summer months.
In the greater Ottawa area, which includes suburban areas in and around Hull, Quebec, there are numerous parks operated by various municipal, provincial, and federal authorities. Much of the land adjacent to the Ottawa River on the Ontario side is part of the National Capital Commission and is maintained as park land, with hiking and bicycle trails which serve as cross-country skiing trails in winter. In nearby Quebec is the largest of the area parks, Gatineau Park, whose 75,000 acres are maintained by the National Capital Commission. It offers opportunities to painters, hikers, photographers, naturalists, skiers, and picnickers.
Ottawa citizens often form private fishing and hunting clubs, which acquire and stock private lakes within driving distance. Public or crown lands, other than in the protected areas of Gatineau Park, are generally open to hunters and fishermen. Ontario hunting licenses are issued for a nominal fee upon presentation of a valid hunting license from another province or from the U.S., or after passing a basic firearms handling test.
In Ottawa there are several museums of interest, including the National Gallery of Art; the Museum of Science and Industry, with unique viewer-participation exhibits especially recommended for school-age children; the Museum of Man; the Bytown Museum (natural history); and Laurier House (former residence of Canadian prime ministers).
Tours of the Parliament buildings are conducted daily throughout the year. During the summer there are sight-seeing tours and moonlight cruises on the Rideau Canal and the Ottawa River. Tours of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police headquarters, the Queen's Printer, the Royal Canadian Mint, and other government agencies can be arranged upon request. Within an easy drive of Ottawa are the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Thousand Islands area, and the restored pioneer settlement of Upper Canada Village.
Toronto and Montreal, Canada's two largest urban centers, are both close to Ottawa—Toronto is 275 miles to the west, and Montreal 120 miles to the east. Toronto, five hours away by road and rail and 55 minutes by air, is the business center of Canada. Here, visitors find a wide variety of reasonable hotel accommodations, extensive shopping facilities, museums, restaurants, and a lively theater district. Montreal is only two hours from Ottawa by road and rail, or 35 minutes by air, and offers a definite French-Canadian atmosphere, which can be enjoyed in a day's visit or for a longer period. There are attractive shopping areas, numerous restaurants, nightclubs, museums, and theaters.
Washington, DC (Dulles) and Baltimore, Maryland (BWI) airports are connected to Ottawa by direct air service. There are daily flights between Ottawa and BWI. Air travelers to other cities in the U.S. must make connections in either Montreal or Toronto. Washington, DC is about 600 miles by road from Ottawa, via excellent interstate highways. New York City can be reached in one day by car and is about 455 miles from Ottawa, also via interstate highways.
Ottawa offers a wide variety of entertainment. The National Arts Center is a cultural center of the first rank, where national and international stars, orchestras, and ballet and theatrical troupes perform regularly. Top-flight soloists and musical groups also are featured at Ottawa and Carleton Universities in programs which are open to the public. The Ottawa Little Theater, with a cast of amateur players, offers a full season of plays.
Ottawa now has some 20 movie houses, and an active National Film Theater whose thrice-weekly showings of classic and foreign films attract crowds of movie buffs to the auditorium in the Public Archives.
The National Gallery of Canada owns and displays a small but excellent collection of European and Canadian paintings, and a small group of contemporary American art. Special exhibits are scheduled throughout the year; the opening ceremonies and receptions are well-attended social events. The gallery also sponsors film shows and art lectures.
The number and quality of Ottawa's restaurants has been rising, and ethnic cuisine is available in a range of prices. Dancing is provided nightly in hotels, in the National Arts Center, and in several of the nightclubs in town and across the Ottawa River in Hull, Quebec. Another attraction in Hull is the abundance of excellent restaurants which may be found in that predominantly French-Canadian city.
Annual events of interest are the Winterlude Festival in February; the Tulip Festival in the latter half of May; and the Central Canada Exhibition, a week-long country fair held each September.
Because of the absence of a language barrier and the openness of Canadian society, Americans blend easily into the local scene. Ottawa has a number of social clubs and public activities which provide opportunities for contact with Canadians. These include an International Women's Club; Boy and Girl Scout groups; and a number of civic organizations, such as Lions, Rotary, Kiwanis, and Optimists.
Toronto, Canada's largest city, occupies the site of an old French trading post, Fort Rouillé founded in the 1790s. The city was founded as a British Army garrison town, Fort York, on the shores of Lake Ontario in 1793. It succeeded Niagara-on-the-Lake as capital of Upper Canada in 1797. Chartered as a city in 1834, its name was then changed to Toronto. Toronto served as the country's capital from 1849 to 1851, and from 1855 to 1859.
The Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto consists of the city of Toronto and five boroughs, with an estimated population of 4.7 million (2000), and covering an area of about 625 square miles. It is a beautiful city of parks and trees with a mixture of old and new buildings, connected by an excellent network of roads. Tall construction has been kept to a minimum, creating a feeling of spaciousness. The city is the capital of the Province of Ontario, the most populous and industrialized province in Canada. Toronto is the commercial, financial, and industrial center of Canada.
With the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, Toronto has become an important shipping center with modern harbor facilities. It is also one of Canada's principal aviation and railway focal points. Well over 1,000 U.S.-controlled companies have plants or representation within the U.S. consular district, and American investment in the area is enormous. This area is said to contain the largest concentration of American-owned or American-controlled plants in any consular district outside the U.S.
Toronto is the headquarters of the Canadian book and magazine publishing industry, three large daily newspapers, and English-language radio and TV broadcasting. It is the center of English-speaking culture in Canada.
An estimated 200,000 U.S. citizens live in the district; many are dual nationals. In addition, tens of thousands of Americans visit the city annually, many of them in connection with conventions, or while en route to and from recreation and vacation areas north of the city.
English is the language of instruction in virtually all public schools and in the universities. For those families who may be interested, French has been offered recently as the language of instruction at certain selected public schools throughout the metropolitan area. French is also taught as a required subject in elementary schools.
Toronto's public school system, used by most expatriates, consists of kindergarten, eight years of elementary school, and four or five years of secondary school, depending on the course selected. The fifth year of high school (grade 13), once necessary for admission to most universities in Ontario, is currently being phased out to put Ontario in step with the rest of Canada and the United States. Standards in Toronto secondary schools are comparable to those in the U.S. Course work may be on a yearly basis or semester system, depending on the school attended. Some students entering during the later high school years may have difficulty with subjects that are not taught as a matter of course in American schools. In Canadian schools, many subjects build on a foundation established the year or two before. It does not seem to be an impossible problem, but young people should come prepared to study hard if they wish to enter a collegiate school. It also should be remembered that, in this bilingual country, French is required of all students. All college entrance examinations are offered in Toronto.
A separate school system is maintained for Roman Catholic children. Catholic schools receive financial support from the property taxes assessed on those homes occupied by Roman Catholic families. Education is free through grade 10, but tuition must be paid from grade 11. Uniforms are required beginning in ninth grade, and only a couple of Catholic schools are coeducational.
Several excellent private schools accept both boarding and day pupils. Tuition rates are about the same as in comparable schools in the northeastern U.S. These schools are usually not coeducational, and uniforms are worn.
Toronto offers extensive educational opportunities, ranging from the University of Toronto to night courses available at the local high schools.
The University of Toronto (founded in 1827), an institution of high academic standing, offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in virtually all fields of endeavor, including the arts, sciences, commerce, medicine, applied sciences, and engineering. The Ontario College of Art and the Royal Conservatory of Music are affiliated with the university.
York University is Toronto's second university; founded in 1959, it is much newer, and has faculties of art, administrative studies, environmental studies, fine arts, science, and law.
Admission standards at both universities are high, and completion of grade 13 or an equivalent year is mandatory. Undergraduate courses are offered in the evening, and summer school is also available.
In addition to university-level education, the past few years have seen a rise in the number of community colleges. These schools offer post-secondary education in numerous fields, primarily in technical areas.
The Toronto area offers exceptional facilities for the education of the mentally retarded. Special full-time programs are available through the public schools; counseling, special classes, and parent relief activities by the Provincial Ministry of Community and Social Services' Surrey Place Center; and a very active association for the retarded with its own nursery and training programs and community activities (summer camp, meetings with specialists, etc.). These combine to provide families with retarded children greater opportunities for development. However, as possibilities may depend on the age of the child and the nature of the retardation, advanced contact with the Metropolitan Toronto Association for the Mentally Retarded and with Surrey Place Center is advised.
Toronto and the nearby areas have much to offer the sports enthusiast, both as spectator and participant. For the spectator there are both professional and amateur hockey, football, soccer, lacrosse, tennis, wrestling, boxing, baseball, and horse racing.
Hockey is by far the most popular professional spectator sport, and is followed by all ages with such enthusiasm that it ranks as a national craze. The Toronto Maple Leafs, an entry in the National Hockey League, play to packed houses at Maple Leaf Gardens from October through April.
Close behind hockey in popularity is football. The Toronto Argonauts are members of the Canadian Football League. There are two horse racing tracks within the metropolitan area offering both thoroughbred and harness racing. Pari-mutuel betting is permitted. The Toronto Blue Jays baseball team became a member of the American League in 1977, and has gained an enthusiastic following of fans of all ages; they won the Eastern Division pennant in 1985 and the World Series in 1992.
For the sports participant, there are swimming, tennis, roller and ice skating, curling, golf, bowling, skiing, fishing, and hunting. Swimming is a popular summer sport and there are many public pools, operated by the Toronto Parks Commission. Because these pools are usually overcrowded on weekends, and because the waters of Lake Ontario are generally considered too cold for anything other than wading, many Torontonians head north to the lake regions for swimming.
Tennis can be played on a number of public courts. Artificial ice skating rinks are located throughout the metropolitan area. Curling, a new game to most Americans, is another popular winter sport, played indoors on ice in arenas built expressly for this purpose.
Numerous golf courses are in the Toronto area or within a 30-or 40-mile drive. They range from crowded public courses to the exclusive, well-maintained, and expensive private clubs.
Because of Toronto's proximity to Lake Ontario and the lake regions to the north, boating is a popular summer pastime, and the city has several yacht clubs. Good fishing and hunting can be found by driving about 120 to 150 miles north of the city. Skiing in and around Toronto is possible, but the real skiing enthusiast will go north 60 to 100 miles to the Collingwood and Gravenhurst areas.
The Province of Ontario maintains an excellent system of toll-free expressways and paved secondary roads, making all but the most remote parts of the province accessible by car. However, traffic is heavy, particularly during the summer months. Distance by road (miles) to the following points are: Buffalo, New York, 100; Windsor-Detroit, 235; Ottawa, 286; Montreal, 350; Quebec City, 480; New York City, 478; and Washington, DC, 520.
Toronto's fine park system offers a variety of activities, winter and summer. The pride of the system is Centre Island Park, located on a large island in Lake Ontario off the harbor area, and accessible only by ferry. Ontario Place is also located on a series of man-made islands in Lake Ontario, adjacent to the Canadian National Exhibition grounds, the largest annual exhibition in the world. The Canadian National Exhibition is a popular event. The exhibition features theatrical and musical events, animals, farm and horticultural displays, and an international air show.
Children's playgrounds are located throughout the city and, in summer, playground directors supervise children's activities. During winter, the Parks Department operates numerous ice skating and hockey rinks.
Toronto does not lack cultural or entertainment activities, and offers everything normally found in a cosmopolitan city of comparable size.
Many first-run and neighborhood movie theaters show American, British, and foreign films. Live theater is also very much in evidence in the Toronto area. The 3,200-seat O'Keefe Centre for the Performing Arts and the Royal Alexandra Theatre both present full seasons of opera, ballet, and musical and dramatic productions, featuring not only the top Canadian companies, but also the best American and British companies. Toronto's concert hall, Massey Hall, a venerable old building with near-perfect acoustics, housed the Toronto Symphony Orchestra until the Roy Thomson Hall was opened. Recitals are given here by touring internationally known artists.
In Stratford, Ontario, about 90 miles southwest of Toronto, the Stratford Shakespearean Festival features world famous actors. Niagara-on-the-Lake, about 80 miles south of Toronto, is the home of the Shaw Festival. Both have become very popular spots for the theater lover during the summer season.
Jazz, folk music, chamber music, and numerous smaller professional and amateur theatrical groups can be found throughout Toronto. The city is purported to be the third most important center for theater in the world, after New York and London. There are also many fine restaurants of every cuisine, cocktail lounges, coffee shops, and nightclubs to suit every taste.
The Royal Ontario Museum, the Ontario Art Gallery, the McLaughlin Planetarium, and the Ontario Science Centre provide many hours of interesting viewing.
Montreal, with an estimated metropolitan population of 3.4 million, is the second largest city in Canada and the second-largest French speaking city in the world. When Jacques Cartier visited the area that is presently Montreal in 1535, he found the Indian village of Hochelaga. The island was visited in 1603 by Samuel de Champlain, but was not settled by the French until 1642, when Sieur de Maisonneuve founded the Ville Marie de Montreal. The city became the center of fur trade and a starting point of expeditions into the interior. Montreal was the last Canadian city held by the French; it surrendered to the British in 1760. From 1844 to 1849, Montreal was the seat of Canadian government.
Montreal is a cosmopolitan city of charm and variety, where skyscrapers share space with 200-year-old buildings. More than two-thirds of its people are French-speaking. Most of the rest are English-speaking, primarily of English, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh descent. Italians are the third largest ethnic group. About 60% of all the people in Montreal speak English fluently. Several million Americans visit the Province of Quebec every year, and nearly all visit Montreal.
The visitor soon discovers that Montreal has everything needed for a pleasant stay—an absorbing history, a rich and varied culture, outstanding cultural and recreational facilities, comfortable and attractive apartments and houses, a French cuisine which justifies the title of "Paris of America," and over 3,000 restaurants specializing in the foods of many other nationalities. The general standard of living is high. Montrealers, particularly well-to-do French-Canadians, are more fashion-conscious than most Americans and accept European style trends more readily.
Montreal is located in the southern part of the Province of Quebec, 120 miles east of Ottawa, and about 40 miles from the New York and Vermont borders. By car, it is 400 miles from New York City and 615 miles from Washington, DC. It is situated on an island some 30 miles long, and seven to 10 miles wide, at the junction of the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers. Mount Royal, for which it is named, rises almost in the center of the city to a height of about 765 feet above sea level (the city's average altitude is 63 feet). Most of Mount Royal is a natural park, providing areas for picnics in summer and skating and skiing in winter.
Over the last several years, the school system in Quebec has been in a state of some turmoil because of strikes and linguistic and pedagogical issues. The current provincial language law severely restricts access to English education, although exceptions are granted to children expecting to live in Quebec Province for temporary periods only.
The public school system in Montreal consists of 11 grades (grades one through six is elementary school; grades seven through 11 is high school). Some public schools have kindergartens, but this is not the general rule. The public schools, which are free, are run by two separate school boards: Catholic and Protestant, each administering francophone and anglophone schools. For public school purposes, Protestant generally means non-Catholic. Basic instruction can be in French or English. Moreover, English schools provide French immersion courses in which students may elect to take a portion of their subjects in French.
Students entering the Quebec system in the elementary grades will generally find the education to be on a par with that in the U.S., with the bonus of being able to develop a sound knowledge of French. Students entering at the secondary level may, however, encounter problems as a result of French-language requirements and the 11-grade system.
Provincial regulations require that any student who has been in Quebec for more than two years pass a French equivalency test, given to all 11th-grade students, in order to receive a school leaving certificate, which is the equivalent of a high school diploma. Most students entering in the eighth or ninth grades will therefore require extra tutoring to enable them to attain required proficiency levels in French.
Grading procedures in Quebec are also different than in the U.S. For the upper grades, class marks, which are reflected in transcripts, are heavily based on standardized provincial examinations, given at the end of the year to all Quebec students.
The absence of a 12th grade presents other problems. For the Quebec student, the normal sequence is to graduate from high school at the end of the 11th year, enter the two-year CEGEP system (somewhat like a U.S. junior college), and subsequently go on to a university. Based on recent experience, education authorities will not authorize entry to the CEGEP system for any American student who has not graduated from an American high school. The alternatives for an entering student who would normally enter the 12th grade in the U.S. are to repeat the 11th grade, which Quebec authorities insist is equivalent to the American 12th grade, or to go to school in the U.S.
American students finishing the 11th grade in Quebec have several alternatives. They may elect to go to a boarding school in the U.S. for the 12th grade, although a graduating student could elect to stay in Montreal, since one private boy's school offers a 12th-grade program. However, no 12th-grade programs for girls exist in Montreal. Alternatively, the student could elect to enter the CEGEP system or apply directly to an American college. Some Quebec students enter U.S. colleges after the 11th grade. The willingness of an American college to consider the application of an American student from Quebec would depend, however, on the success of the student in fulfilling course requirements by the end of the 11th grade.
Montreal has a number of private schools. Entrance to these schools is based on competitive examinations, and most of them have waiting lists for entry. The role of private schools in Quebec and the extent to which they should receive government support are under review by the provincial government. Most private schools in Quebec require uniforms.
Montreal has adequate facilities for any type of education from nursery school to the most advanced academic and scientific degrees; private tutoring in any subject; instruction in music, dancing, painting, and the other arts; and special training in crafts, hobbies, sports, gardening, use of power equipment, and other skills.
The Montreal school system has facilities at all grade levels for both physical (including the deaf and blind) and learning handicaps.
The school year runs from just after Labor Day until mid-June. The opening and closing dates for Catholic and Protestant schools differ by a few days, but time in school is the same. All schools have a five-day week. Schools have a two-week holiday at Christmas and a few days at Easter, usually Holy Thursday through Easter Monday.
While extracurricular activities are similar to those in the U.S., they tend to be less extensive, particularly in the area of sports.
Montreal's universities have many American students. The largest of the universities is the French-language Université de Montreal, founded in 1876. The Université du Quebec à Montreal (founded in 1969) is also a French-language institution. Most popular with Americans is the English-language McGill University, founded in 1821. The other large English-language institution is Concordia University, formed by the amalgamation of Sir George Williams University and Loyola College. Concordia has an extensive evening program where it is possible to earn degrees in a variety of fields. All of Montreal's universities offer evening extension programs, but not all lead to degrees.
Canada's national sport is hockey. Canadian children learn to skate almost as soon as they learn to walk, and start playing hockey soon thereafter. In winter, free public skating and hockey rinks are found in every section of the city. During the season, Les Canadiens, Montreal's almost legendary National Hockey League team, play at the Forum. Announcements at Canadiens games are made in both French and English.
Montreal's professional baseball team, the Expos, is part of the National Baseball League. The Expos utilize the 1976 Olympic Stadium for their home games. Bowling and curling also are popular, and there are a number of clubs and leagues.
The city has many public tennis courts, and a number of tennis clubs, some with indoor courts. The Montreal area is dotted with private golf courses. A few public courses exist, but they are usually crowded. Excellent and extensive jogging paths are located on Mount Royal. Joggers also enjoy running along the seven-mile Lachine Canal. The Montreal International Marathon, run in late September, attracts over 10,000 participants annually.
Boating is popular. Several yacht clubs on Lake St. Louis (about a half-hour by car from the city) and on the Lake of Two Mountains offer keen inter-club competition and a limited cruising area. Most sailboats on Lake St. Louis are center-board types because of the large shoal areas, but there are many larger boats, and the International Dragon Class is very active. Two-to three-week cruises to the Thousand Islands, Ottawa, and the Rideau or Lake Champlain are popular with local yachters.
Montreal has an excellent range of readily accessible year-round recreational opportunities in Quebec Province and in northern New York and New England. The Laurentian mountain area, which begins about 45 miles from the city and includes Mont Tremblant Park, is one of the most attractive winter and summer resort areas in Canada. Mont Tremblant, 100 miles from Montreal, and Stowe, Vermont, 120 miles away, provide the best skiing in eastern North America. There is limited skiing in Montreal itself on Mount Royal, but the nearest really good skiing areas begin about 50 miles away. Cross-country skiing is very popular both in and outside of Montreal.
The many lakes in the Laurentians and other nearby areas provide swimming, boating, and water-skiing. There are good camping facilities and accommodations, from luxury hotels to simple lodgings in all areas.
Fishing and hunting are good and are possible close to Montreal. The lakes, rivers, and streams of the province have a variety of fish; speckled trout are the most common. Partridge are found in most woods. The flyways over Lake St. Francis and Lake St. Peter, each about 75 miles from Montreal, offer some of the finest duck shooting in North America. About 150 miles down the St. Lawrence is the only place in the world for hunting the beautiful snow goose. Deer and bear are found within 100 miles of the city.
Montreal has 362 parks. The top of Mount Royal has been preserved as a 500-acre natural forest park. Both the Chalet, at the peak, and Beaver Lake, at the beginning of the park area, are popular in winter and summer. The Chalet has a remarkable view of the city. Beaver Lake, an artificial lagoon, is a favorite place for model-boat enthusiasts. In addition to skiing and tobogganing in winter, the Beaver Lake Pavilion has a large ice skating rink. Mount Royal also has bridle paths for horseback riders.
Another delightful park is located on St. Helen's and Notre Dame Islands in the middle of the St. Lawrence, between the harbor and the seaway. It has an amusement park (the site of Expo '67), swimming pools, picnic areas and playgrounds, and other attractions, including Montreal's Military and Maritime Museum. Its Helene-de-Champlain Restaurant, in a castle-like chalet, provides a picturesque setting and good food.
The Garden of Wonders, better known as the Children's Zoo, is a fascinating feature of Lafontaine Park, which also has two lagoons. Rowboats are for rent, and rides can be taken in a miniature paddle-wheeler "showboat" and in a miniature train.
The extensive greenhouses of Montreal's Botanical Gardens, conveniently located on a principal street, are open all year; its outdoor gardens are open from May or June to October. There are spectacular exhibitions in November and at Easter, and excellent shows at various other times.
Montreal has a number of fine museums. The best historical museum is the Chateau de Ramezay, built in 1705 as the residence for the governor of Montreal. It was the headquarters of the American Army of Occupation in 1775-76, and well-known Americans who stayed there included Benjamin Franklin, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, and Benedict Arnold. Redpath Museum has interesting geological and zoological exhibits and Indian relics. McGill University's McCord Museum, now associated with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, has a unique collection of Canadian historical and North American archaeological exhibits. The Wax Museum has more than 200 life-size figures, depicting scenes from Canada's earliest history to modern times. The Bell Telephone Company of Canada has an industrial science museum with original equipment, replicas, and pictures of communications from ancient sight and sound signals to Telstar. Many of these exhibits can be seen in operation.
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, entering its second century, is located in the city's center, and houses a formidable collection of paintings, decorative arts, and sculptures, as well as ancient glass and textile collections.
Several Catholic churches have museums with collections of paintings and religious and other exhibits. The museum of Notre Dame de Bon Secours Church, also known as the Sailor's Church, has model ships presented by sailors and an excellent collection of fine dolls. There is also the Museum of Contemporary Art, which opened prior to the 1976 World's Fair held in Montreal. A planetarium and an aquarium were established within the city during 1966-67.
In February 1990, the Montreal Insectarium opened to the public. Built to resemble a stylized insect, the building has a total area of approximately 7,000 square feet and includes exhibition areas, open-space laboratories, a multipurpose hall and a 40-seat theater.
Nowhere is Montreal's cosmopolitan nature better reflected than in its entertainment. Plays may be seen throughout the year in both English and French, with occasional productions in other languages. A mobile summer theater for children is operated by the Montreal Parks Department. The Montreal ballet company, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, performs regularly, and there are other ballet performances as well.
Montreal's modern Place des Artes is the city's center for symphonies, ballets, stage productions, and visiting national and international performers. Place des Arts houses three theaters, the largest seating approximately 3,000 people. Throughout the year, there are many vocal and instrumental recitals. The International Music Competition, held in May or June of each year, is one of the most important artistic events held in Montreal. The Montreal International Jazz Festival, held in June or July, features concerts and shows by many of the world's great jazz musicians. The World Film Festival is held annually in August and September.
There are many movie houses, both downtown and in the neighborhoods. New American films are shown at the same time as in the U.S. Films are in English and French. A few theaters show films in their original languages, with English or French subtitles.
The midwinter Carnival festivities in Quebec City are attended by many people from Montreal, Quebec, New England, New York, and elsewhere. The Sherbrooke Festival des Cantons features Quebecois shows, horse-pulling, and gourmet cuisine.
Almost every social group contains a number of the Americans living in Montreal. An American Women's Club meets regularly for lunch and has annual bazaars, fashion shows, dances, and bridge tournaments for the benefit of Canadian charities. The Montreal Post of the American Legion is also active. No other American community organizations exist.
Quebec City is the provincial capital and the center of French Canada. The city takes its name from an Algonquin Indian word meaning where the river narrows, but its many residents, although North American, bear the clear imprint of their French ancestry and culture. The city is located on the site of the old Indian town of Stadacona and was visited by Jacques Cartier in 1535 and 1541. In 1608, Samuel de Champlain established a trading post here which became the first permanent settlement. The area was briefly controlled by the British and was the capital of New France from 1663 to 1763. It also served as capital of Canada from 1851 to 1855, and from 1859 to 1867.
Greater Quebec is a metropolitan area of about 646,000. Quebec, the largest municipality, is divided into two distinct areas. These are Lower Town (which winds around the base of the promontory, along the banks of the St. Lawrence into the St. Charles River Valley), and Upper Town (on heights 200 to 300 feet above the St. Lawrence). When viewed from the sister city of Levis (part of Greater Quebec), Upper Town has a distinctly Old World appearance, including the imposing roof and turrets of the Château Frontenac. Stone walls encircle part of the business and residential section of Upper Town and reach to the ramparts of the Citadelle. The area within the old city walls is recognized as a historic monument. Building restrictions and the tasteful restoration of old houses preserve the Old World flavor of the area. Most buildings in the city have painted tin roofs, dormer windows, colorful shutters, and wooden doors.
The city's population is about 96% French-speaking. Most of the remainder are English Canadians, and only a small minority is of other national and racial origins. In the surrounding countryside, the population is almost totally French-speaking, and is descended from French colonists led by Champlain, who established the first settlement in 1608. Although they are undeniably French in origin, their attitudes and viewpoints reflect the fact that development of their distinctive society has taken place in North America.
Quebec harbor is one of the most important in Canada. It has extensive passenger and freight-handling facilities, including large elevators for the transshipment of grain. Quebec is a regularly scheduled port of call for steamship lines during the ice-free months from April through November and, for several years, has enjoyed an increasing volume of winter freight traffic as well.
The Port City life has been reanimated at the Vieux-Port de Quebec. La Societé du Vieux-Port, commissioned by the Canadian Government, manages this facility which consists of a walkway, outdoor amphitheater, marina, market, and residential units.
In 1977, developers and artists pooled their resources to rescue North America's oldest neighborhood from an undeserved fate. Warmed with color and flowers, the Quartier Petit Champlain is once again a community and a real delight. Its beautifully restored houses shelter more than 50 businesses, outdoor cafes and restaurants ranging from classic French to European fast-food, art galleries, a theater, and charming boutiques. One can meet artists and crafts-people in their studios, or in the street, where pedestrians, musicians, clowns, and jugglers mingle.
Currently 2,000 Americans are registered with the U.S. Consulate and about 7,700 Americans live within the district, many of them French-Canadian descent.
Quebec's public and private schools, from preschool through eighth grade, are generally comparable to American schools. High schools, however, are organized somewhat differently and, in general, are less demanding than their American counterparts.
The final year of high school is the 11th year of studies. Provincial regulations require that every student have two years of high school French and pass both oral and written examinations in French before graduation. The exception to that rule is only for dependents of diplomats, who are exempt from the language law, and who may attend either English-or French-language schools.
Public schools in the province are Catholic or Protestant, but the emphasis on religion has diminished considerably in recent years. Quebec now generally minimizes the importance of religious study much the same as in U.S. public schools.
Quebec has no French-language Protestant schools, public or private. Protestant parents are free to enroll their children in the French-language Catholic schools located throughout the city.
Excellent boarding schools are found throughout the neighboring New England states and in Montreal.
There are a number of specialized schools and organizations in the area for physically and mentally handicapped individuals. Children with learning disabilities attend special classes in the regular school system. For those more severely handicapped, special education, including vocational training, is available through grade nine. Interested individuals should contact the U.S. Consulate in Quebec for further information.
At Laval University (founded in 1852), many faculties, such as medicine and law, accept students only at the graduate level. Other faculties accept students at what would be considered the undergraduate level. Students wishing to enter Laval should discuss the matter with university authorities.
Laval offers evening courses during the academic year in a variety of subjects at the undergraduate level. Instruction in these courses is in French. Laval also offers an intensive summer French-language program which is well known in the U.S. and is attended by several thousand Americans each year. At other times, French-language instruction is offered in the evening at both beginning and advanced levels.
Many opportunities exist for ice skating, skiing, and other winter sports in Quebec City. Good ski slopes are within 30 miles of town. Mount Ste. Anne—the highest—has a vertical drop of over 2,000 feet and is one of the best ski mountains in eastern North America. Cross-country skiing is enjoying a major boom, and cross-country trails are maintained in a great number of federal and provincial parks within easy driving distance. For those who prefer to break trail on their own, the open rolling countryside near the city offers virtually unlimited opportunities.
In winter, two or three professional ice hockey games are played each week by the National Hockey League's Quebec Nordiques. The Coliseum was recently renovated and enlarged. Announcements at Nordiques games are made only in French. Several other ice arenas in the municipal area provide instruction and organized competition in both hockey and figure skating.
Quebec City's premier cold-weather event is the annual 10-day Winter Carnival, held in February. There are ice sculpture contests, a majestic ice castle on Place du Palais, a canoe race on the St. Lawrence, and two parades through city streets.
Several indoor curling clubs admit both men and women to membership. There is great interest in this ancient sport here, and membership in one of these clubs affords an opportunity to meet a large number of business and professional persons.
There is good hunting and fishing close to Quebec. The provincial government runs camps in the Laurentides Park. Summertime can be very pleasant in Quebec, in spite of the overwhelming number of tourists who crowd into the city. Golf, tennis, sailing, and fishing are available near town, as well as swimming, hiking, and camping.
Quebec City is the gateway to the Laurentides Park, which begins about 30 miles north of the city and is easily accessible on one of the newest and most modern highways in the province. The areas north and east of Quebec City abound in wooded hills and mountains, with numerous small lakes perfect for flat-water canoeing and boating. These areas can be reached in a short time on good roads. Fishing and hunting are excellent. There are opportunities for day-hiking and backpacking in the park, particularly in the valley of the Jacques Cartier River. The valley also affords supervised rock-climbing, as well as white-water canoeing and kayaking.
A popular summer resort is located at Murray Bay (La Malbaie), on the north shore 100 miles down-river from Quebec. The principal hotel is the Manor Richelieu, operated by the Quebec Government. There is a fine swimming pool and golf course, both of which are open to the public. Another resort, Tadoussac, is 50 miles farther down-river at the mouth of the Saguenay River, but this resort is primarily popular with older people, and there is little excitement or activity to be found. Murray Bay can be reached by train, car, or the Saguenay excursion boats in half a day. Tadoussac can be reached by car, although the road is not well surfaced. The trip is best made by boat.
Baie St. Paul, on the north shore 89 miles down-river from Quebec, has an art center and several art galleries. This artists' haven is also a favorite among crafts-people.
Chicoutimi, a city of 60,000, located 130 miles north of Quebec City, is a tourist base for exploring the Saguenay area. The Saguenay River itself is a fjord with steep canyon walls which can be viewed from sight-seeing boats from June to September. The city is also surrounded by true "wilderness," offering excellent hunting and fishing as well as numerous other outdoor activities.
The south shore of the St. Lawrence and the Gaspé Peninsula has many small resorts of interest during the warmer months, and the trip around this spectacular peninsula can be made comfortably in four or five days by car. Lake St. Joseph and Lake Beauport, about 30 to 15 miles, respectively, from Quebec, are pleasant places to spend a day or weekend during summer.
An attraction only five miles from Quebec is the thunderous Mont-morency Falls; just beyond that lies the Island of Orleans, accessible by bridge, which retains much of the charm of the early French-Canadian countryside. The island has several good restaurants and numerous artisan stores offering handwoven articles and ceramics. In summer, visitors can buy fresh fruit at farmers' stands, or pick their own in the fields.
A short distance farther along the north shore of the river is Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Refuge, where virtually the entire east coast population of snow geese congregate in a vast honking horde twice a year, in the spring and fall, on their way to breeding or wintering grounds.
Quebec has several good movie theaters showing American, French, French Canadian and, occasionally, English films. One or two theaters show English-language pictures, but most American films are shown with French soundtracks.
Many visiting companies and artists stop in Quebec. The Quebec Symphony Orchestra, the oldest in Canada, has a full season. There are several avant-garde stock theater groups of considerable talent. An opera company performs occasionally during the winter season, and gifted local folk singers offer concerts. The Grand Théâtre, dedicated in January 1971, has a large auditorium for music, plays, and opera, and a small auditorium for experimental theater. The Grand Théâtre is the home of the Quebec Symphony Orchestra. Several societies, such as the Institut Canadien, offer interesting series of lectures and concerts.
The Quebec Winter Carnival is a major event in the area. For three weeks before the beginning of Lent, little else occupies the minds and time of the Quebecois. Among the principal events are the masquerade and regency balls, peewee hockey played by boys 12 and under, boat races over and around the ice floes on the St. Lawrence River, dogsled races, huge parades, and street dancing. A three-story palace is constructed of enormous blocks of ice, and ice snow statues are carved and placed along many city streets.
During July, the city sponsors a 10-day music festival offering jazz, folk, rock, and classical music in several public parks in the old town. The city, in general, is particularly lively during summer as numerous Quebecois stroll through the historic area and frequent outdoor cafes.
The historic area of Quebec City is beautifully preserved and is completely surrounded by ramparts. The city's oldest hotel, the Chateau Frontenac, and the Citadel, a star-shaped military fortress, are two main historical attractions.
Quebec boasts some excellent restaurants offering French cuisine, among them the Continental, Marie Clarisse, Rabelais, and the Serge Broyere; and out of town, the Manoir St. Castin at Lac Beauport. The variety of nightclubs is limited.
The recently-opened Museum of Civilization is a popular attraction in Quebec City. This museum contains an entire hall dedicated to the history of games—board games, cards, gambling, toys, and other recreational activities.
There are few resident Americans in Quebec, and they are well integrated into the community. A group called the American Colony Club meets infrequently, but participates in community activities and organizes an annual Thanksgiving dinner, a children's Christmas party, a summer picnic, and receptions. Rotary Club also has a chapter in the city.
The city's tourism office, located at 60 rue d'Auteuil, has advice and free booklets for tourists.
Vancouver, the third largest city after Toronto and Montreal, is the largest, most cosmopolitan, and most exciting city in western Canada. Strategically located in the extreme southwest corner of mainland British Columbia, it is the gateway to Alaska, to the Pacific Ocean, to the American Northwest, and to the Orient. The provincial capital and seat of government is Victoria, on Vancouver Island.
The first settlement in the area was established by 1865 and called Granville. It was incorporated as a city in 1881 and named for Captain George Vancouver. Vancouver's development was aided by the completion of the trans-Canada railroad in 1887. Fire destroyed Vancouver in 1886, the year it was incorporated. Reconstruction began immediately and an area known as Gastown became the new city center. The Gastown area declined when the commercial district expanded away from the waterfront; in 1969 restoration of Gastown began and it was preserved as a vital link to the city's past.
As of 2000, Vancouver had an estimated population near 2 million. It is by far the largest city in the Province of British Columbia. Vancouver is located on the eastern shore of the Strait of Georgia, between the Fraser River on the south and Burrard Inlet on the north. The city has a beautiful, landlocked, ice-free harbor, with wooded mountains to the north rising to 4,000 feet and snow-capped much of the year. Its glittering skyscrapers are softened by a dazzling array of parks that bring British Columbia's great outdoors to the heart of the urban setting. At its doorstep are 10 beaches and miles of sheltered cruising waters, with the lighted ski runs on Grouse Mountain only a half-hour to the north.
Vancouver's year-round port handles more dry tonnage than all five U.S. West Coast ports combined. The port is a hub for most passenger ships and Alaskan cruises from May to October.
The climate is comparable to that of Seattle, with few extremes of heat or cold. The temperature rarely exceeds 80°F in summer, and winters have relatively few days when the temperature drops below the freezing point. The mean temperature is 63°F in summer and 36°F in winter. Rainfall averages 59 inches annually in Vancouver, but is considerably less in the outlying districts south of the city. There is also very little snowfall. Living conditions are comparable to those of many other large modern cities in North America, with the additional attraction of extensive and readily accessible outdoor recreational facilities.
The U.S. consular district covers both the Province of British Columbia and the Yukon Territory—a total of 573,331 square miles. It is an area greater than California, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, and Montana combined. The population is relatively small in British Columbia (3,105,000 in 1989) and in the Yukon (29,000 in 1990), but British Columbia is Canada's second fastest growing province.
People from the prairie provinces, as well as immigrants to Canada, are moving into British Columbia in large numbers, attracted by the climate and economic opportunities. These include Australians, Indians, Iranians, Germans, Dutch, Italians, Scandinavians, French, Swiss, Filipinos, Chinese, and Japanese. Next to San Francisco and New York City, Vancouver has the third largest Chinatown in North America. As a result, many shops specializing in ethnic goods or foods are found in the city, in addition to a host of Chinese restaurants. Chinese laborers were instrumental in building the Canadian-Pacific Railway in this part of Canada.
Currently, about 60,500 American citizens reside in British Columbia and the Yukon. Tourism plays a major role in the economics of the province. About two million Americans visit "The Evergreen Playground" each year. Vancouver was the site of the world's fair—Expo '86—in 1986. It was opened on May 2 by the Prince and Princess of Wales, Charles and Diana.
Public and private schools are on a par with those in the U.S. The Vancouver public school system consists of roughly 95 elementary schools and 18 secondary schools. Roman Catholic schools are run by the church and charge monthly tuition. One public elementary school offers a French immersion program through sixth grade. French is also offered as an optional subject, along with other foreign languages at the secondary level.
Vancouver has three provincial universities: the University of British Columbia (founded in 1890 at Point Gray), University of Victoria (founded in 1902, elevated to university status in 1963), and Simon Fraser University (founded in 1963 at Burnaby).
In addition to credit and non-credit programs and courses offered by technical institutes, vocational training centers, and community colleges, Vancouver and the surrounding municipalities offer adult education day and evening classes. Subjects range from strictly academic courses to instruction in sewing, golf, and ceramics. Fees are moderate.
Vancouver has about 30 educational facilities for the mentally retarded and physically handicapped. Treatment is available for most age groups in schools specializing in disabilities ranging from autistic and behavior disorders to the multi-handicapped. Schools specifically for the deaf and blind are also available. A complete listing of facilities may be obtained by writing directly to the U.S. Consulate General.
Vancouver is a sportsman's paradise. There are a number of excellent golf courses, both public and private, where the visitor can play most of the year. The city also has many public tennis courts. Horseback riding is available, but expensive. The surrounding mountains offer skiing from December through April. Popular runs are found on Seymour and Grouse Mountains in North Vancouver; Garibaldi Park, 30 miles from Vancouver; Whistler Mountain, some 75 miles away; and Mount Baker, east of Bellingham, Washington, where skiing is possible most of the year. Also available are numerous cross-country trails, some close by on the North Shore. There are several public and private ice skating rinks.
Boating and water-skiing are very popular, and numerous small-boat launching sites and mooring facilities are found in the surrounding salt water. Many of the interior lakes also provide boating facilities. The boating season runs from late May through September. Bowling (both indoor and lawn variety) and curling are popular. The many mountain trails offer good hiking possibilities.
For the spectator-sports fan, Vancouver has three professional teams. The British Columbia Lions play in the Western Conference of the Canadian Football League; the Vancouver Canucks are in the National Hockey League; and the Vancouver Canadians, the top farm club of the Milwaukee Brewers, are members of the Pacific Coast League. Major U.S. sporting events are telecast in Vancouver as well.
British Columbia is famous for its fishing and hunting. Freshwater trout and salmon are the most popular catches of the sport fisherman. For big game, including bear, deer, moose, mountain goat, and wild fowl, the hunter usually has to travel some distance into the interior of the province.
Camping is a popular summer activity, but facilities are often rough in the interior regions.
Numerous points of scenic interest are within easy driving distance of Vancouver. Vancouver Island, the largest island on the west coast of North and South America, features the provincial capital of Victoria, unusual gardens, beaches, and mountain scenery. One of the most scenic attractions in the Province of British Columbia, Victoria is just an hour's drive along the highway overlooking Howe Sound. The spectacular Fraser River Canyon is several hours away via Hope and Cache Creek.
In the interior of the province, east of Quesnel, lies the historic ghost town of Barkerville, a booming gold town a century ago. The Rocky Mountain Resorts of Banff and Lake Louise, about 650 miles east, just across the British Columbia-Alberta border, can be reached by car, rail, or plane almost all year. Alaska can also be reached via weekly sailings from Vancouver.
Metropolitan Vancouver contains many attractive parks, the largest being world-famous Stanley Park on a 1,000-acre forested peninsula adjacent to the downtown area. Governor General Lord Stanley, in whose honor the NHL's championship cup was named, dedicated the peninsula as a park in 1889, a year after its official opening. Stanley's life-size statue graces the park's entrance. It is a prime tourist attraction, with a zoo, gardens, one of North America's finest aquariums, picnic areas, woodland trails, playgrounds, and scenic viewpoints overlooking the entrance to Vancouver harbor. The MacMillan-Bloedel Conservatory is in the park. Queen Elizabeth Park, south of the downtown section, is another picturesque area, noted for its flowers and views of the city and surrounding area.
Vancouver has a strong international flavor, with large Italian, Greek, and East Indian communities. The city has the second largest Chinatown in North America. Every possible kind of ethnic cuisine is served somewhere in the city.
Gastown is Vancouver's "heritage" area—a colorful redevelopment of the original settlement. Cobbled streets, a steam clock restored heritage buildings housing shops and restaurants, a town square and a statue of Vancouver pioneer Gassy Jack are all part of the ambience. Handicrafts and local artists flourish here.
Shopping in Vancouver tends to be mall oriented and, because it is a port city, many exotic goods can be found. The corner of Georgia and Grandville is the key to a major downtown shopping area. The city has two underground malls, Pacific Centre and Vancouver Centre. A $100-million extension to the Pacific Centre complex has made it one of the largest retail-office complexes in Canada. It is linked to the rest of the shopping center by overhead walkway and a tunnel. The extension added 100 stores to the existing 127 retail outlets, and features a covered central atrium and a waterfall.
Numerous beaches exist in Vancouver proper and in north and west Vancouver, although the water is usually chilly, even in summer.
Vancouver also has a small but growing art gallery, an excellent maritime museum, and a new planetarium. The Anthropological Museum at the University of British Columbia is excellent.
Entertainment to suit all tastes is available at some time during the year. The excellent Vancouver Symphony Orchestra has a regular concert season extending from fall to spring. This and other orchestras, an opera company, soloists, and first-class theatrical companies, ballets, and choruses from many parts of the world perform at the modern Queen Elizabeth Theater, which has a capacity of 2,800.
Vancouver has a large pool of professional actors from which resident theater companies draw for stage productions of a high order. The Playhouse Theater Company, based in the Queen Elizabeth Theater, and the 450-seat Arts Club Theater, located on Granville Island, each offers seven or more major annual productions, ranging from Shakespeare to Tennessee Williams and modern Canadian playwrights.
The Waterfront Theater, Carousel Theater (for young people), and City Stage add to the variety of what is available on almost a year-round basis. A six-week Festival of Arts each summer features both local and visiting artists of distinction. A Jeunesses Musicales chapter fosters youthful musical activities in Vancouver and throughout the province. The city has many first-run movie theaters and assorted nightclubs.
Many cultural events also take place from October to June at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University.
The Pacific National Exhibition (PNE), held the last two weeks of August, draws exhibitors from across Canada, the U.S., and other countries. Many top entertainers perform here during the exhibition's run. The "midway" section of the PNE also is open during summer and on weekends during good weather. An Oktoberfest is also held in Vancouver.
The excellent main public library has branches in every neighborhood.
Vancouver social life is like that in any large U.S. city. Americans soon find opportunities to make acquaintances among Canadians. People in Vancouver are hospitable and extend numerous invitations to various social or public affairs.
Organized groups include, among many others, the Board of Trade, Rotary, the English-Speaking Union, and the Consular Corps—both a men's and women's group. Vancouver has three downtown men's luncheon clubs; the Vancouver Club, the Terminal City Club, and the University Club. All of these offer comfortable, convenient facilities, pleasant associations, and good food. American men and women are welcome to participate in the charitable organizations that exist in Vancouver.
Calgary is located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, 3,440 feet above sea level. From the city, one can see jagged peaks of the Rockies rising to a height of 12,000 feet only 65 miles to the west. Calgary is 160 miles north of the U.S. border.
Calgary, with an estimated population of 888,000 (2000), is one of Canada's fastest growing cities. It is the center of Canada's oil industry (there are about 400 oil companies producing 90% of Canada's oil in the city) and the heart of an extensive ranching area. Calgary was founded in 1875 when the Royal Northwest Mounted Police established a fort at the junction of the Bow and Elbow Rivers. The Canadian-Pacific railroad reached Calgary in 1883; soon a bustling town had outgrown the fort to become the hub of cattle ranches and meat-packing plants. By 1891, the town had attracted 3,100 people. It was chartered as a city in 1893. By the 1950s, it had grown into a peaceful, prosperous provincial city of nearly 100,000.
A U.S. consular agency was established at Lethbridge in 1891, soon after railway connections were opened to Great Falls, Montana. This later was closed, and a consulate was established in Calgary in 1906, a year after Alberta became a province. In 1963, that Consulate was made a consulate general. The consular district includes the Provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba and the MacKenzie and Keewatin Districts of the Northwest Territories.
Calgary was the host of the XV Winter Olympic Games in 1988. To prepare for this event, downtown office complexes, hotels, and department stores were connected by climate-controlled elevated skyways.
Calgary has a good public school system, which includes elementary, junior high, senior high, and combined junior and senior high schools. Tuition is free for all Calgary residents attending public schools. Instruction is in English, and in some schools, in French.
Physical education is compulsory through grade 10, after which it becomes an extra elective. Inter-school athletic competitions are an integral part of school life. French is, in general, the only language offered through grade 12. Two years of a foreign language are among the requirements for a high school diploma. Music and art instruction is offered in all grades.
Several private nursery schools and kindergartens are available. Nursery schools generally accept children from the age of three.
The Catholic Church maintains a separate system of elementary, junior high, combined elementary and junior high, and high schools. French and Latin are the only languages offered through grade 12. Textbooks are supplied free through grade nine, and no tuition fees are charged for Calgary residents.
The University of Calgary gives complete courses in arts, commerce, education, engineering, music, physical education, and science, premed. The student body totals about 20,000.
The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology provides educational programs in technology, art, business, trades, correspondence, instruction, and adult education. The institute is operated by the Alberta Department of Education and is financed by the provincial and federal governments.
Mount Royal Junior College is a public institution offering several types of programs: vocational training; high school completion at accelerated rate; course make-up while studying at the University of Calgary; and a transfer program geared to enrollment at a degree-granting institution.
The Calgary School Board offers a wide range of evening courses and services, primarily in high schools. Academic subjects for adults as well as general interest courses are also offered at the University of Calgary and Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.
Calgary has programs to aid the mentally and physically handicapped and children with learning disabilities. Special educational services provide alternative educational programs for children unable to cope with or benefit adequately from the regular school programs. Emphasis is placed at the elementary level, but programs for some students are available through grade 12. Schooling for the handicapped is also available at the Children's Hospital.
Football is the main spectator sport in Calgary, and the Stampeders play in the Western Conference of the Canadian Football League. Beginning with the 1980-81 season, Calgary also has a team in the National Hockey League. The Flames moved to the Canadian city from Atlanta, and play during the winter at the Saddledome, which was also used during the 1988 Winter Olympics.
Several good horse shows are held during the year, and pari-mutuel horse racing is held regularly. Good public and private golf clubs are nearby; both the Banff Springs Hotel and Jasper Park Lodge have excellent courses.
The city has several tennis clubs. During the winter many enjoy badminton, curling, and ice skating. Boating and canoeing are also popular. Within the city, many parks and playgrounds have community swimming pools. Bowling, both five-pin and 10-pin, is popular. Downhill and cross-country skiing are available just outside the city limits, as well as on the slopes at Banff and Lake Louise. Several riding academies on nearby ranches offer lessons. Calgary also has an excellent planetarium and zoo.
A spectacular annual event is the Calgary Stampede, held during the first part of July. This event, which began in 1912, has since grown into a 10-day celebration. Rodeo and western enthusiasts are drawn from all over Canada and the U.S. during this time, when the city completely surrenders to the spirit of the Old West. Besides rodeo programs and chuck wagon races, street dancing, chuck wagons selling flapjacks and bacon, and marching bands are popular. More than half-a-million Americans pass through Calgary every year to see the stampede and to enjoy nearby scenic attractions.
Within a few hours of Calgary, in the Canadian Rockies, are some of the most scenic areas of North America: Banff (also known as a center for native arts and crafts), Lake Louise, and Jasper National Park. Banff, about 75 miles to the northwest, may be reached by car in about one-and-a-half hours; another half-hour will take the traveler to Lake Louise. The "Badlands" at Drumheller, and the dinosaur burying ground, some 85 miles north and east, are also of interest, as is the Cypress Hills area in the southeastern corner of the province.
To the south, straddling the Canadian-U.S. border at the junction of Alberta, British Columbia, and Montana, is Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. This rustic recreation area comprises large park sites of both countries. The oil and natural gas fields in Turner Valley, just southwest of Calgary, are points of interest, as are the Pembina and Leduc oil fields to the north. The tourist may drive on the Alaska Highway to Dawson Creek and beyond. Excellent highways extend into British Columbia through beautiful scenery. The nearest U.S. border points from Calgary are the small Montana towns of Babb, 165 miles to the south, and Sweetgrass, 195 miles to the southeast. Other road mileages from Calgary are: Helena, Montana, 395; Great Falls, Montana, 330; Seattle, Washington, 760; Boise, Idaho, 680; and Salt Lake City, Utah, 995.
Edmonton, Alberta's capital, is connected to Calgary by an excellent highway and frequent air service.
Big-game hunting is possible, and antelope, caribou (woodland), bear (black and grizzly), deer, elk, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, and moose are found within easy driving distance of Calgary. On the flyway for millions of migratory water fowl, Alberta offers excellent hunting for several varieties of duck and geese. Pheasant, grouse, partridge, and ptarmigan are hunted in many areas.
The larger northern Alberta lakes are inhabited by huge northern pike and lake trout; pike, perch, and pickerel can be found in most Alberta lakes. In the Rocky Mountain lakes and streams are found Dolly Varden trout, rainbow trout, and grayling. The Bow River, which flows through Calgary, is one of the best rainbow trout streams in North America.
Camping is popular in Alberta, and campsites are available in the three Rocky Mountain National Parks, as well as in 37 provincial parks. The national parks offer superb recreation throughout the year; entry permits, valid for a year, can be bought for a nominal fee.
Calgary has a philharmonic orchestra, a chamber music society, several choral groups, an amateur theater, an opera association, and a large number of movie houses. The permanent home of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra is the splendid new Calgary Centre for the Performing Arts. In addition, traveling orchestras, ballets, and musicals visit the city each year. The Glen-bow Museum houses displays of Eskimo and Indian artifacts, as well as exhibits on ranching, railroads, farming, oil, and the mounted police.
Calgary's Chinatown is small compared to those in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal, but the restaurants on South Centre Street are lively late into the evening. There are very good Italian, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Mexican, and Vietnamese restaurants, and first-class French cuisine.
Calgary has several public libraries. New works of fiction and nonfiction from Canadian, American, and British publishers are regularly added to the stacks. An almost complete array of U.S. magazines and pocketbooks can be found at most newsstands, department stores, and supermarkets.
Social contact between members of the American community is informal. The American Women's Club is a group of mainly longtime Calgary residents, many of whom are Canadian citizens.
Other gatherings include both Canadians and Americans. Many opportunities exist for contributing voluntary time, skill, and effort to Canadian charitable and other activities. Rotary, Kiwanis, and Lions Clubs are active in the city. Several ranking men's clubs are available downtown, including the Calgary Petroleum Club, the Ranchman's Club, and the 400 Club.
Halifax is the center of economic, political, and military activity in the Atlantic provinces. The capital of the province of Nova Scotia and the largest, most important city in the Atlantic region, Halifax is located on the south coast of the Nova Scotia peninsula. The city itself is a tiny peninsula with one of the finest natural harbors in the world.
Halifax was founded in 1749 by Edward Cornwallis as a British stronghold, and became the capital of Nova Scotia in place of Annapolis Royal the following year. It was incorporated as a city in 1842 and has been an important Canadian naval base since 1910.
Beginning life as a fort, its situation was so ideal for trade that, during the early 19th century, Halifax was the wealthiest part of Canada. Today, Halifax is an interesting mix of old and new. Province House where the Nova Scotia legislature meets, is a fine example of Georgian architecture. The residence of the lieutenant governor is also a beautiful building with lovely period furniture. The Old Town Clock on Citadel Hill, ordered by the Duke of Kent, father of Queen Victoria, during his tenure as commander of the Halifax Garrison, has been the symbol of Halifax for many years, but is now challenged by the towers of encroaching high-rise office and apartment buildings.
The Halifax Container port, Halifax Shipyards Ltd., and HMC Dockyard (the largest naval base in Canada) are the most important waterfront industries. Although Halifax spent the first half of the 20th century tearing down its old buildings, it is spending the latter half restoring those which are left. A fine example of this change of heart is the Historic Properties waterfront development, which features warehouses, banks, and other buildings of historic value.
The population of metropolitan Halifax (including its twin city of Dartmouth and other contiguous communities) is estimated at 321,000 (2000). The decline in merchant shipping has adversely affected the local economy, as have the recent severe problems in the fishing industry, an important one in this area. Nova Scotia now bases its hopes for economic prosperity on the gas finds off Sable Island, just as Newfoundland has great expectations founded on offshore oil. Although the oil glut has dimmed these hopes for the moment, exploration is still going on. Dartmouth, until recently best known as the bedroom of Halifax, is doing better with related industry which supplies the drilling rigs. Unlike Halifax which, cramped into its small peninsula, literally has no place to go, Dartmouth is able to provide space for industry in its Burnside Industrial Park. Halifax International Airport is located in Kelly Lake, about a 20-minute drive from Dartmouth.
Halifax is the Atlantic regional headquarters of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC); the federal departments of Manpower and Immigration; Northern and Indian Affairs; Public Works; and Transport. It is also the principal military, rescue, and emergency planning headquarters of eastern Canada. The main office of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council is in Halifax, as are the regional headquarters of many banks and corporations.
The U.S. consular district was originally established in 1827 as the first consular office in British North America. Now, it covers four of Canada's 10 provinces—New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland. The first three are known as the Maritime Provinces; along with Newfoundland, they are known as the Atlantic Provinces.
Educational opportunities are excellent in Halifax, which is the center of the largest concentration of institutions of higher learning in Atlantic Canada, attracting students and teachers from many parts of the world. This contributes to the area's growing cosmopolitan atmosphere.
Within the corporate boundaries of the city are seven degree-granting institutions—Dalhousie University (founded in 1818), St. Mary's University (founded in 1841), King's College, Nova Scotia Technical College (founded in 1907), Mount St. Vincent University (founded in 1873), Atlantic School of Theology, and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Also available is the Nova Scotia Institute of Technology.
School attendance is compulsory for all children ages six to 16. The language of instruction for most of Nova Scotia is English. The Halifax public schools are divided into elementary schools and junior and senior high schools. Vocational and technical training is offered by the provincially operated vocational school.
Tuition is free for Halifax residents. No school bus transportation is provided; students either walk or rely on public transportation. French instruction is available on a voluntary basis at all levels, and one school offers a French immersion program in elementary grades. It is anticipated that the program will expand gradually to include upper grades as well.
The Catholic Church operates one private school in Halifax—the Convent School of the Sacred Heart. Tuition is charged. The school offers classes for girls through grade 12, and for boys in grades primary to six.
Another private school is the Armbrae Academy. It is coeducational and offers classes for grades primary through twelve.
Halifax has a number of nursery schools, one popular school being the Halifax Early Childhood School, on Inglis Street.
Special education opportunities in Halifax include facilities for the mentally handicapped and those with learning disabilities, grades primary through nine, and for the physically handicapped, grades primary through 12. In addition, educational facilities are available for the emotionally disturbed and those with behavioral difficulties in grades one through nine. Transportation, if required, is available, and in very special cases, teaching in the home is possible.
A school for the blind (primary to 11th grade) is also located in Halifax. An effort is made to keep visually handicapped children within the regular school system, particularly at the high school level. A school for the deaf, serving New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia, is located in Amherst, Nova Scotia, about 125 miles from Halifax.
Several beaches are on both the south and east shores within two hours' drive of Halifax. Sea bathing is for the hardy only, since the water temperature is rarely over 65°F. Freshwater swimming is available at Grand Lake outside Halifax and in the Dartmouth Lakes. Indoor pools are located at the YMCA, the YWCA, and Centennial Pool. The Halifax Dalplex and the Dartmouth Sportsplex offer swimming, skating, and gym facilities, as well as exercise classes. Skating and curling clubs are popular. Outdoor skating on the various lakes is limited because of the changeable climate.
Most of the city's leading business and professional people belong to one of two yacht clubs, the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron or the Armdale Club, even if they do not own boats.
The area has four golf clubs: a public club, the Ashburn Golf and Country Club in Halifax (the largest); Brightwood in Dartmouth; and a private club, Oakfield Golf and Country Club, Ltd., outside the city.
A majority of the tennis courts are controlled by the tennis clubs and universities. Among the clubs with tennis courts are the South End Tennis Club, the Waegwoltic Club, St. Mary's Boat Club, and the Northwest Arm Rowing Club. Indoor tennis is available at the Burnside Tennis Club in Dartmouth. Public tennis courts are located on the Halifax Common and at other parks throughout the city. Other court games available (at private clubs) are squash, handball, and badminton.
Persons who have some skill in football, basketball, or hockey can join amateur leagues or club teams. Health-building programs and gym facilities are available at the local YMCA, YWCA, and at various health clubs. Nova Scotians are also interested in skating and curling. Many people join skating clubs. The ancient Scottish game of curling is entirely a club activity, and membership in either of two curling organizations is an easy way to get to know the Haligonians.
Wentworth, about 90 miles north of Halifax, and Mount Martoc near Windsor have limited skiing.
Halifax is far from the larger Canadian and U.S. cities, but is well situated for excursions within the Maritimes. Its coastal scenery is beautiful, and the provinces contain many places of interest, with sailing, sunbathing, hunting, and fishing as the chief attractions. These points are not resort towns in the usual sense, so a car is useful. Bus transportation is available; railway travel is slow, except on the main line.
Two main highway routes connect most points of interest. One leads from Halifax to Yarmouth, on the southwestern end of the province, close to the famous tuna fishing grounds, then northeast along the Bay of Fundy through the apple-growing belt of the Annapolis Valley and Evangeline country. The Evangeline trail covers the country first colonized by the French. The oldest permanent settlement in North America was at Port Royal, and the French Habitation built there in 1605 has been reconstructed.
The other route leads northeast from Halifax, across the Strait of Canso and around the scenically magnificent Cabot Trail to Sydney, a city of about 35,000 and Cape Breton's steel center. Cape Breton Island, with its Cabot Trail, Louisbourg Fortress, and the Alexander Graham Bell Museum at Baddeck, is a very popular tourist attraction.
Hubbards, Chester, Mahone Bay, and Lunenburg, all with less than 5,000 population, lie along the Atlantic Coast, some 20 to 100 miles southwest of Halifax. These towns have comfortable accommodations for visitors in the tourist season, as do most Nova Scotian towns. Peggy's Cove and colorful fishing villages lie along the bays of the south coast.
Nova Scotia's 4,500 lakes, 50 rivers, and numerous streams offer fantastic fishing—shad, brook trout and, especially, Atlantic salmon. Some of the best smoked salmon can be found in the small Nova Scotian town of Tangier.
In New Brunswick, Fundy National Park, maintained by the federal government, features camping facilities, hiking, boating, horseback riding, nature trails, and many other worthwhile recreational activities. New Brunswick also has a number of festivals related to the area's fishing industry, including the Shediac Lobster Festival and the Campbellton Salmon Festival. Not far away is the former summer home of President Franklin D. Roosevelt at Campobello Island, now maintained jointly by the U.S. and Canada. The picturesque resort town of St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, with its white frame houses, reminds the visitor of the U.S. New England states.
Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.), the garden province, is alive with activity in the summertime, with its many museums, beaches, parks, and theaters. Music camps and the Atlantic Canada Institute Summer School are held in July at the University of P.E.I. Country Days and Old Home Week feature music, agricultural displays, handicrafts, and parades. The Anne of Green Gables Festival, along with lobster, strawberry, and potato blossom festivals and craft fairs, are also part of its summer attractions. P.E.I. is a favorite vacation spot for young families.
Newfoundland offers many opportunities for camping, hunting, fishing, and sight-seeing. Its capital, St. John's, is a good base from which to explore the province's scenic and historic Avalon Peninsula.
Year-round ferry service to Port Aux Basques on Newfoundland's southwest coast is offered from North Sydney, Nova Scotia. Many summertime visitors to Newfoundland, however, prefer to take the ferry which operates during summer months from North Sydney to Argentia, Newfoundland, an Avalon Peninsula port (in Placentia Bay near the site where Roosevelt and Churchill drafted the Atlantic Charter), only 85 miles from St. John's. Newfoundland's annual regatta is one of the oldest sporting events in North America.
Air service is provided by Air Canada and Eastern Provincial Airways to numerous cities in the Atlantic Provinces. Two ferry services connect Nova Scotia with Prince Edward Island at two points: one, operating throughout the year, crosses from Cape Tormentine in New Brunswick to Port Borden, about 35 miles to the west of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; the other, which operates only when there is no ice, crosses from Pictou, Nova Scotia, to Woods Island, about 35 miles southeast of Charlottetown.
Halifax has a professional repertory theater, The Neptune, and is the home of Symphony Nova Scotia, a professional orchestra, recently formed under the musical direction of Boris Brott, a well-known and talented Canadian conductor. The orchestra performs chamber music as well as symphonic programs. Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, located at Dalhousie University, is the locale for various kinds of entertainment, including concerts by such well-known Canadians as André Gagnon and Liona Boyd. An ensemble called Nova Music performs classical music by contemporary composers. Distinguished films are shown in the auditorium on Sunday nights.
Dalhousie University, St. Mary's University, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) sponsor concert series throughout the season which feature international and national artists. Local amateur groups also present plays and operettas. Spectator sports include football, basketball, hockey, boxing, and wrestling. The various university and service teams compete in amateur football, basketball, and baseball.
Several movie theaters in Halifax and Dartmouth show current American and British films. Nova Scotia is also the home of the Annapolis Apple Blossom Festival and the Highland Games.
Two Canadian television stations have studios in Halifax, and there are several radio stations in the metro area, both AM and FM. Halifax Cablevision Limited provides a cable service which picks up the U.S. public broadcasting channel, NBC, and ABC from Maine transmitters. French-language broadcasts are presented on radio and TV.
The Halifax Memorial Library, established in 1951, offers free library service from its collection of about 130,000 volumes. It has a good selection of late and current fiction and nonfiction and an excellent reference section. A mobile service for the city and the county has been operating for several years. Books are available at local bookstores, but cost 20% more than in the U.S.
Art exhibits are held at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and at various universities.
Some excellent restaurants are located in Halifax, specializing in seafood delicacies and French cuisine.
Metropolitan Winnipeg is the fifth largest city in Canada, ranking after Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary. It is known worldwide for its seemingly endless wheat fields, its blizzards, and its hockey team, the Jets.
A fur trading post was established on the site of modern-day Winnipeg in 1738, and later a colony was founded by the Scots. The village of Winnipeg was settled in the late 1860s, and incorporated as a city in 1873.
Winnipeg resembles cities of comparable size in the middle western plains in the U.S. Situated on the eastern edge of an 800-mile stretch of prairie-land, it is the home of the Canadian Wheat Board and the Board of Grain Commissioners. Winnipeg is also located almost midway between the two oceans, near the geographical center of North America. Its people are friendly and hospitable. Their interests, habits, and mode of life are similar to those of the American Westerner.
The capital of the Province of Manitoba, Winnipeg is situated at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, about 70 miles north of the international boundary. It is 485 miles, by car, from Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is 760 feet above sea level, and the surrounding area within a 100-mile perimeter is flat, broken by occasional wooded areas and streams. The area has a healthy climate, comparable to that of Minneapolis, although colder. Winter temperatures drop to as low as 40°F or more below zero. Winters are fairly dry and summers are cool and pleasant.
Greater Winnipeg's population was about 652,400 in 2000. English is the principal language spoken in the city. However, in St. Boniface, a part of metropolitan Winnipeg, more than 40% of the present population is of French or Belgian ancestry, and most people speak French as well as English.
Although about 40% of Winnipeg's population is British in origin, with a strong Scottish strain, there are a number of other nationalities, including Ukrainians, Germans, French, Italians, Dutch, Philippines, Vietnamese, and Chinese. There is no American colony as such in Winnipeg. In fact, the social, economic, and cultural background of the city is practically the same as in the contiguous areas of the U.S. There is a constant shift of population in both directions across the border, and estimates place the number of persons in the district with claim to U.S. citizenship above 10,000. Upwards of one-and-a-half million American tourists have annually visited the Province of Manitoba.
Winnipeg's good, free education for kindergarten through grade 12 is comparable to American standards. Two nondenominational private schools and two Roman Catholic schools are also of good reputation. The nondenominational school for girls, Balmoral High School, has classes from kindergarten through grade 12. The Roman Catholic school, St. Mary's Academy for Girls, provides facilities for grades seven through 12. St. John's Raven-scourt School for Boys (and girls from grades nine through 12) provides excellent education from grades one through 12. St. Paul's College (Roman Catholic) provides education for boys and young men (grades nine through 11 and through university). Tuition and annual fees at private schools are slightly lower than those in the U.S.
Special educational opportunities are available in each school division in Winnipeg for children who have learning disabilities or who are mentally or physically handicapped. Special educational institutions are also available for severely physically handicapped or mentally retarded children.
Winnipeg has two universities. The University of Manitoba, is the oldest university in Western Canada. Founded in 1877, it is a first-class provincially operated institution and offers a large number of undergraduate and graduate programs. The University of Winnipeg, located in the center of the city, is a relatively new institution (founded in 1967), with undergraduate courses in the liberal arts and pre-professional education.
Red River Community College specializes in practical courses for both degree and nondegree students. All three institutions have evening and summer sessions.
Various levels of instruction are offered at the Winnipeg School of Ballet. Students taking private lessons in music may take examinations leading to the certificate of Associate of the Toronto Conservatory of Music. The University of Manitoba gives a bachelor's degree (AMM) in music. The Winnipeg Art Gallery also offers art classes.
Winnipeg offers numerous and varied year-round recreational facilities for adults as well as children. Nearly every residential neighborhood has school playgrounds and local community clubs where instruction is given to children in handicrafts, dancing, skating, hockey, football, tennis, and other sports. Four large and some small parks, the largest of which is Assiniboine Park (which has a fine zoo, formal gardens, and conservatory), provide pleasant surroundings for picnicking, sports, and walking. All parks are conveniently served by local transportation.
Golf, tennis, swimming, and boating are the most popular summer sports in Winnipeg. Golf may be played at several very good municipal courses or at a number of semiprivate clubs where reasonable greens fees are charged. Winnipeg has a number of neighborhood wading pools, one large municipal outdoor pool, and several indoor pools. An Olympic-size indoor pool, one of the largest in the world and the site of the 1967 Pan American Games' swimming events, is located in the city.
Several local skiing clubs teach the fundamentals of skiing and jumping on the banks of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, but it is necessary to travel some distance from the city for really good downhill skiing conditions. Cross-country skiing is popular in and around Winnipeg. Indoor sports such as badminton, squash, bowling, curling, and roller skating may also be enjoyed.
Excellent hunting abounds in Manitoba. Deer, moose, and even polar bear are found in the north. Duck, geese, prairie chicken, and grouse are found only a few hours' drive from Winnipeg in some of the best hunting regions in Canada. Good fishing can be found throughout the district, and both open water and ice fishing are very popular.
The Precambrian Shield, 50 miles east of the city, is an area of woods, rocks, and lakes. The nearest resort area is the district on the southern shores of Lake Winnipeg, about 35 miles to the north by road, where many people have small cottages. There are limited bathing facilities in several of the beach towns.
The western section of the very attractive Lake of the Woods area is about 120 miles east of Winnipeg and easily accessible by car, bus, or train. Among the pleasant resorts closest to Winnipeg are Kenora, Whiteshell Forest Reserve and, to the west, Riding Mountain National Park. Many attractive summer homes are found throughout the area. Hotel accommodations are good; motels are satisfactory. Most resort spots offer special camping facilities.
To the north, places such as Flin Flon, a copper-zinc-gold mining center, and Fort Churchill on Hudson Bay are interesting places to visit. There is a good paved road to Flin Flon (560 miles) and to Thompson (a nickel mining town), but Fort Churchill is reached only by rail or air. Each year a few rail excursions of several days' duration are run to Churchill, with the tourists living on the train. The Selkirk Navigation Company operates a five-day cruise on Lake Winnipeg during June, July, August, and September. Accommodations on the modern Lord Selkirk are comfortable.
Northwest of Winnipeg, at the south end of Lake Dauphin, is the town of Dauphin (population 9,000). Known for barley, timber, and fisheries, Dauphin is also host to Canada's National Ukrainian Festival, held annually in August.
Winnipeg prides itself as being "The Convention City" and, as might be expected, it offers a wide variety of entertainment opportunities. These include the internationally renowned Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Manitoba Theater Center, the Contemporary Dancers, and the Opera. Performances are usually held in the Concert Hall and the Manitoba Theater Center, both located at the Centennial Center adjacent to City Hall. There is also an open-air theater—Rainbow Stage—where plays, musicals, and other attractions are held during the summer.
Also in the Centennial Center is the Museum of Man and Nature, which offers a wide variety of exhibits on the general theme of man in relation to the environment. There are several other museums in the city, the most impressive of which is the new and strikingly handsome Winnipeg Art Gallery.
The city's ethnic diversity is reflected in the variety of festivals held throughout the year, including Festival du Voyageur (a winter festival in St. Boniface), Ukrainian Week, and Folklorama, a major event each summer, during which pavilions representing various ethnic groups provide entertainment in the form of traditional songs, dancing, and food.
Probably the most popular attraction in the city is hockey, with its National Hockey League franchise, the Jets. The Winnipeg Arena is located on Maroons Road, named after a senior hockey team which brought honor to the city 20 years ago. When the Jets joined the NHL, the roof of Winnipeg Arena was raised and 5,400 additional seats were installed. This brought the arena up to NHL standards of at least 15,000 seats.
Other spectator sports include football and curling games, as well as thoroughbred racing at Assiniboine Downs.
There are about 15 motion picture theaters in the city. Several of these are first class and feature the latest American and, on occasion, European films. Winnipeg also has a 200,000-volume, Carnegie-endowed public library located in a new, attractive building.
Weather dictates the nature of much of the activity: concerts, theater, ballet, bridge, and winter sports when it is cold; and fishing, touring tennis, golf, cycling, and walking when the glorious spring and summer weather arrives.
Hamilton, on the western tip of Lake Ontario, is about 40 miles southwest of Toronto. Explored by Robert LaSalle in 1669 and first settled in 1813, it is Canada's most important steel-producing center, and also is a transportation hub with a harbor, an airport, and a rail terminus. Other industries include the manufacture of automobiles, tires, railroad equipment, clothing, chemicals, and farm implements. The metropolitan population is approximately 599,800 (2000 est.).
Hamilton has many attractions for the visitor. Its 1,900-acre Royal Botanical Gardens are among the most beautiful on the North American continent. There are also gardens in Gage Park, and formal gardens close to the Art Gallery of Hamilton. The city is home to Canada's largest open-air market, which teems with residents and visitors during the growing season. Hamilton Beach on Lake Ontario is a summer playground.
One of the major tourist sites in the city is the 72-room Dundurn Castle, which houses a museum and a children's theater. It was built by Sir Allan Napier MacNab from 1832 to 1835 and bought by the city in 1900. MacNab was prime minister of the United Province of Upper and Lower Canada from 1854-1856.
The Hamilton Visitors and Convention Bureau is located at 155 James Street South.
Regina is the capital city of Saskatchewan, Canada's fifth largest province. Founded in 1822, it was the capital of the Northwest Territories from its inception until 1905 and, that year, when Saskatchewan was designated as a separate province, it became the seat of provincial government. It is called by Canadians the "Queen City of the Plains."
Regina is a transportation and commercial center in the midst of a large farming region. It is the site of Campion College (founded in 1917), the Canadian Bible College (founded in 1941), the Regina branch of the University of Saskatchewan, and Luther College (founded in 1921). Among its points of interest are the Museum of Natural History, the Regina Plains Museum, the Telecommunications Historical Museum, the Saskatchewan Archives, and MacKenzie Art Gallery, with its extensive collection of Canadian and European art and antiquities from the ancient world. Sports enthusiasts can spend a day amidst memorabilia and artifacts at the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame and Sport Museum. Its population is approximately 192,800.
Regina was named by Princess Louise of Great Britain in honor of her mother, Queen Victoria. It was the headquarters of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police until 1920. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Centennial Museum contains buffalo coats, guns, saddles, uniforms, and photographs illustrating the legendary police force's intriguing past.
Regina hosts a number of major events each year: the Western Canada Farm Progress Show in June, Buffalo Days in July, the International Arabian Horse Show in August, and the Canadian Western Agribition each November.
The city has a rich cultural tradition as evidenced by its many theater, dance, music and ethnic performing groups and by the Saskatchewan Center of the Arts, one of the finest concert halls in North America. The Regina Symphony is the oldest continuously operating symphony orchestra in Canada.
The city operates a number of excellent parks and complexes, the Regina Sportplex, five outdoor swimming pools and several excellent golf courses. Wascana Centre, located in the heart of the city, has a man-made lake, bicycle paths, paddle-boat rentals, a waterfowl park, double-decker bus tours, and several historic points of interest.
Just north of Regina, in the small town of Craven, the largest outdoor country music extravaganza in Canada is held annually in July. The Big Valley Jamboree features many U.S. country music performers.
Saskatchewan's rich Indian heritage can be explored at the summer powwows held on most Indian reserves. Major ceremonies include the Poundmaker Powwow near Cut-knife, and the Standing Buffalo Indian Powwow at Sioux Bridge near Fort Qu'Appelle.
Edmonton, Alberta's capital, is Canada's "Gateway to the North," known for its excellent quality of life. It boasts a population of 940,000 and is the oil capital of the country. In addition to oil, Edmonton's major industries include flour milling, meat-packing, plastics, tanning, dairying, lumbering, and petrochemical production. Established in 1795 as a Hudson's Bay trading post, it expanded and developed during the gold rush to the Klondike in 1898. The quiet town of 1,500 settlers became the supply center for miners drawn by the promise of gold. It is now a modern city with a new international airport. The city's numerous rail lines have contributed to Edmonton's reputation as the transportation hub of northwestern Canada.
Located 350 miles north of the U.S. border, Edmonton is the northern-most major city in Canada. Just 185 miles from the center of Alberta, Edmonton is surrounded by a rare natural setting. Verdant foothills banked with wood and the mighty North Saskatchewan River soften the effect of all the city's new concrete. Along the river runs an impressive 35 miles of greenbelt.
The University of Alberta (founded in 1906) is located in the city, as are St. Joseph's College (founded in 1927), the Christian Training Institute, and other specialized schools.
Football and curling are popular spectator and participant recreational activities, but of greatest interest is Edmonton's National Hockey League team, the two-time Stanley Cup champion (1984 and 1985) Oilers.
Attractions in Edmonton range from various types of theater, particularly at the Citadel, to galleries and the domed Provincial Legislature buildings. Several rodeos are held during the summer months. In July, when the sun hardly sets, Edmonton hosts Klondike Days. The city's frontier past and gold rush days are celebrated at that time with sourdough raft races, beard growing contests, and other events. In August, the city hosts a Folk Music Festival. This festival features traditional and bluegrass music, country, blues, and Celtic music, arts and crafts displays, and a food fair.
Perhaps the biggest attraction in Edmonton is West Edmonton Mall, located seven miles from downtown. It is the world's largest shopping mall and the world's largest indoor amusement park—all under one roof. Covering 110 acres and housing 836 stores on two levels, the mall also includes a reproduction of the Versailles fountains; a recreation of New Orleans' Bourbon Street; a miniature golf course; an indoor amusement park called Canada Fantasyland; a water park that offers water-skiing and body surfing on artificial waves; an NHL regulation-size ice rink (the Oilers practice here often); and a hotel, with fantasy-style rooms.
Built in phases (the first was opened in 1980) by four Iranian-immigrant brothers at a cost of $750 million, the mall attracts 400,000 visitors a week, two-thirds of them from out of town.
London, a city of 381,500, is the chief municipality of southwestern Ontario. It is an industrial and railroad center, first settled in 1826, on the Thames River, about 20 miles north of Lake Erie. Much of its architecture and atmosphere is suggestive of the more famous city on another Thames, and visitors find that the Ontario London has many characteristics reminiscent of England's capital. London is surrounded by a rich agricultural area. Vegetables, fruits, grain, and dairy products are produced in this region. Several products are manufactured in London, including brass and steel products, textiles, diesel locomotives, food products, clothing, and electrical appliances.
London is well known for its art museum and for its Museum of Indian Archaeology and Pioneer Life, housed at the University of Western Ontario. Other popular tourist spots include the Storybook Gardens for children and the Royal Canadian Regiment Museum. There is also a unique Guy Lombardo Museum.
The city offers theaters and cultural activities (many connected with the several private colleges and the university) and other opportunities for sports and entertainment.
St. John's, the capital of Newfoundland, is the oldest city in North America north of Mexico. Located on the southeast coast of the province, on the Atlantic Ocean, St. John's is the commercial center and principal port of Newfoundland. With a metropolitan population of about 173,000 the city has an excellent natural harbor and is the terminus of the railroad which crosses the island.
The area was colonized by Sir Humphrey Gilbert in 1593, and Water Street bustled in 1600, making it the continent's oldest business district, but a permanent settlement was not established until early in the 17th century. Twice destroyed by the French and Indians, St. John's was permanently controlled by the British beginning in 1762. It served as a naval base during the American Revolution and the War of 1812. On Signal Hill in 1901, Marconi received the first trans-Atlantic wireless message. The first nonstop, trans-Atlantic flight was made from St. John's in 1919.
As a base for the province's fishing fleet, St. John's industries are mainly related to fishing, and include shipbuilding, manufacturing fishing equipment and marine engines, and the storing, preserving, and processing of fish. St. John's has Roman Catholic and Anglican cathedrals, and is the site of the Newfoundland Museum, Memorial University (founded in 1949), and Queen's College (founded in 1841).
St. John's has many fine parks throughout the city. One of the largest is C.A. Pippy Park. This park offers opportunities for recreation and relaxation that include hiking and cross-country skiing. It has picnic areas, a campground, golf course, and row-boat rentals. Bow-ring Park is located in the western part of the city. The park is noted for several very attractive and interesting pieces of statuary. It has been customary for various heads of state and members of the British Royal Family who have visited St. John's to follow the tradition of planting a tree in Bowring Park as a living reminder of their visit.
Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, is located on the southeastern portion of Vancouver Island, at the east end of Juan de Fuca Strait. The 2000 population of the metropolitan area was estimated at 287,900.
Victoria is the largest city on the island, as well as its major port and business center. Industries in the city include sawmills, woodworking plants, grain elevators, and fish processing factories. Victoria is also the base for a deep-sea fishing fleet and the Pacific headquarters of the Canadian Navy.
The city was founded in 1843 as Fort Camosun, a Hudson's Bay Company post. It was later named Fort Victoria. When Vancouver Island became a crown colony in 1849, its new town (built in l851-52) was called Victoria and named the capital of the colony. In the late 1850s, gold was discovered in British Columbia and Victoria became an important base for miners on their way to the Cariboo gold fields. The island was united with the mainland in 1866, and Victoria remained the capital. In 1871, it became the capital of the province.
Victoria, with its mild climate, beautiful gardens, and many parks is a popular center for American and Canadian tourists. The city's most famous garden is Butchard Gardens, which dates back to 1904. Other beautiful gardens worth visiting include those at Government House and Beacon Hill Park. Beacon Hill Park features ponds, gardens, forests, and one of the tallest totem poles in the world. The Dominion Astrophysical Observatory and the University of Victoria (founded in 1902 and elevated to university status in 1963) are located here. During the annual Victorian Days festival, inhabitants dress in Victorian clothing.
The downtown core of Victoria is small and packed with stores. Handmade chocolates, imported bone china, Irish linens, antiques, and English woolens are some of the items sold.
Nightlife includes the brilliantly lit parliament building, a small Chinatown, and an old section of town full of boutiques and restaurants. The city's provincial museum contains Indian, gold rush, early settler art and artifacts, and many superb old totem poles. A sawmill and logging museum is located in the nearby town of Duncan.
For the sports enthusiast, golf is available year-round at such courses as Royal Colwood, Olympic View, Glen Meadows, Cordova Bay, and Cedar Hill. To see harbor seals, porpoises, marine birds and killer whales, one cant take a three-hour, 50-mile boat trip into the Gulf Islands. For those interested in salt-water fishing, charters for both sail and power boats are available at Victoria's marinas.
Windsor, Ontario, known as the "City of Roses," on the Detroit River, is a major border crossing between Canada and the United States. The Ambassador Bridge and the busy Detroit-Windsor river tunnel, which connect the two countries, carry countless commuters to their jobs in both cities, and serve the thousands of tourists who casually shop and dine and attend theaters and recreational activities in Detroit and Windsor.
A two-week-long International Freedom Festival is held jointly with Detroit in late June and early July, celebrating both the Canadian and the U.S. independence. The highlight of the festival is a huge fireworks display over the Detroit River. Windsor's riverfront is lined with parks. Jackson Park and Dieppe Gardens are the pride of the city.
With an estimated 2000 population of 262,000, Windsor has grown into a modern business and industrial center in the years since its incorporation as a village in 1854, then as a city in 1892.
Windsor was settled by the French at about the turn of the 18th century, just after the foundation of Detroit in 1701. It was headquarters for U.S. Gen. William Hull in the War of 1812.
Among the many products manufactured in Windsor are automobiles, pharmaceuticals, machine tools, and chemicals. Brewing and distilling facilities are major businesses here also. The city's educational institutions include the University of Windsor (founded in 1963), Assumption University (founded in 1857), and Holy Name (1934), and Canterbury Colleges (1957).
The town of Amherstburg, just a few miles south of Windsor, is one of the oldest settlements in the area, with an eventful history reflected in the numerous historic sites and buildings. When the British left Detroit, they established a fort and a navy yard here. Fort Malden National Historic Park contains part of the 1796 British earthworks. The Boblo Island amusement park can be reached by the Amherstburg ferry. Several intimate restaurants have recently given the town a reputation for fine cuisine. The population of Amherstburg is 5,700.
ANTIGONISH is a city of 5,000 in northeast Nova Scotia, off St. George's Bay. The French first settled the region in 1762, followed by the British some 25 years later. Antigonish exports lumber and fish and has nearby quarries. With its 117-year-old St. Ninian's Cathedral, the city is the seat of a Catholic diocese. The Antigonish Movement (a pioneering, self-help, cooperative program) was founded at local St. Francis Xavier University in 1930. Tourists visit the Highland Games which the city holds every summer; these have their origin in the Brae-mar Games of Scotland.
BRAMPTON , known as the "Flower City" because of its many nurseries, is located in southeastern Ontario, 20 miles west of Toronto. Founded in the 1820s, Brampton pleasantly blends old and new, and has preserved much of the architecture from its early days. Recently, the city has become industrialized, manufacturing metal products, automobiles, shoes, furniture, stationery, optical lenses, and communications equipment. Visitors to Brampton enjoy the Great War Flying Museum, which displays World War I aircraft, as well as the five-story-high White Star Slide, located in the Shopper's World mall. Brampton's population is approximately 268.000.
BRANTFORD is located in southeastern Ontario, about 22 miles southwest of Hamilton. It was founded in 1830 and named for the famous Indian chief, Joseph Brant, who led the Six Nations Indians from their homeland in upstate New York to this site on the Grand River. Today, Brantford retains many of its associations with the heritage and culture of the Six Nations Indians; there are exhibits in the Brant County Museum and the Woodland Indian Cultural Education Centre and Museum. Indian heritage is celebrated every August during the Six Nations Indian Pageant and at the Indian John Memorial Shoot, an archery contest held each June. Her Majesty's Chapel of the Mohawks, located in Brantford, is the world's only royal Indian chapel and the oldest Protestant church in Ontario. Brantford is also the place where Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone and made the first long-distance call from his home to Paris, Ontario, in 1876. Bell's home in Brantford is open to visitors; it is furnished just as it was when he lived here and many of his inventions are on display. Brantford has a population of approximately 76,070. Truck bodies refrigeration equipment, textiles, and agricultural implements are manufactured here. The city is also the birthplace of hockey's Wayne Gretzky.
CHARLOTTETOWN , capital and only city of Prince Edward Island, has a population of 15,300. It was named for Queen Charlotte, consort of George III. It is on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, near Prince Edward Island National Park.
Historic DAWSON (formerly called Dawson City) lies at the confluence of the Yukon and Klondike Rivers in western Yukon Territory. A town of only 1,790, Dawson in its heyday of the Klondike Gold Rush (late 1890s) boasted over 30,000 residents. The rapid exhaustion of accessible mines in the early 20th century dealt the community a serious blow. The town's status as administrative center of the territory was lost in 1953. Now a major tourist and distribution area, Dawson celebrates its past with annual Discovery Day celebrations in August. The cabins of writers Jack London and Robert W. Service have been restored. Other attractions include the restored turn of the century Palace Grande Theater, Post Office, gold dredge No. 4, the Steamer Kero, and the cabin of the famous Canadian author, Robert Service.
FREDERICTON is the capital of New Brunswick, located 60 miles northwest of St. John's in the south-central region. The city has military, political, and literary traditions dating to the post-Revolutionary War period. A stronghold of Empire Loyalists (Tories), Fredericton is named after Frederick, King George III's son. Canada's first university, the University of New Brunswick, is in this Georgian-style city. Riverside mansions recall earlier days of grace and charm. Loyalist traditions live on at Kings Landing Historical Settlement. Fredericton is located alongside the Saint John River. The river is a focal point of city life. Each summer, the River Jubilee Festival pays tribute to the river. Tours and dinner cruises are available aboard the Pioneer Princess, a replica of the original paddle-wheelers that once plied the river. Fredericton is also the home of the internationally renowned Beaver-brook Art Gallery. The gallery displays a permanent collection of 2,000 works of art. It is distinguished as being one of the most comprehensive British collections in Canada and the most complete representation of Canadian painting, historical and contemporary, east of Montreal. The population of Fredericton is approximately 44,000.
GANDER is a modern city of 10,000, 210 miles northwest of St. John's, Newfoundland. It is best known for its airport, one of North America's largest. Transatlantic flights have been handled in Gander since 1939. During World War II it was a critical connection for air ferries and Atlantic patrols. The area's many wild geese and the Gander River were the origin of the city's name. It was incorporated in 1954.
The manufacturing city of GUELPH is located in southeastern Ontario, about 15 miles northeast of Kitchener. Founded in 1827 on several hills, Guelph produces rubber goods; electrical apparatus; paint; carpets; clothing, cigarettes, woolen, cotton, and linen goods; and iron and steel products. Foundries and tobacco warehouses are located in the city. Guelph is characterized by maple trees, wide avenues, and fine old homes constructed of local limestone in early Canadian architecture. The city is the birthplace of Col. John McCrae (1872-1918), the poet and physician best known for his nostalgic poem, "In Flanders Fields," written in 1915; his birthplace is open to the public. The University of Guelph, founded in 1964, covers 1,110 acres and includes a 350-acre arboretum. Guelph boasts one of the largest mechanical floral clocks in the province; it contains six to seven thousand flowers. A Spring Festival, featuring classical music, recitals, concerts, and song and dance programs, is held annually in late April and mid-May. Guelph's population is approximately 88,000.
KINGSTON , with a population of roughly 57,380, is strategically located in southeastern Ontario at the southern end of the Rideau Canal at the point where Lake Ontario flows into the St. Lawrence River. Fort Frontenac was built here by the French in 1673 and was destroyed by the Iroquois Indians shortly thereafter. Restored in 1695, the fort became a key point in reaching the Upper St. Lawrence River. The present city of Kingston, or "king's town," was settled by Loyalist refugees in 1793. In the early 1800s, the city seemed a likely target for an American invasion, so Fort Henry was built to guard the royal dockyards; it was used as a base for the British naval forces on Lake Ontario during the War of 1812. Fort Henry is currently a military museum. Kingston served as the capital of Canada from 1841 through 1844. Today, the city is an important transshipment point for the Welland Ship Canal and an outlet for traffic on the Rideau Canal. Aluminum sheeting, synthetic fibers, ceramics, mining equipment, ships, leather, and diesel engines are manufactured here. Kingston is the home of Queen's University (founded in 1841) and the Royal Military College of Canada (equivalent of West Point; founded in 1876). The city has an impressive concentration of 19th-century buildings that give it a unique appearance. Many of these buildings have been converted into pubs, restaurants, art galleries, and museums. The city is a departure point for boat tours along the Rideau Canal to Ottawa and around the scenic Thousand Islands. Kingston was the birthplace of organized hockey and the first league game was played here in 1885. The International Hockey Hall of Fame museum depicts the development of the sport through displays of equipment, photographs, and mementos.
KITCHENER , an industrial city in southeastern Ontario, is about 60 miles southwest of Toronto. Largely settled by the Pennsylvania Dutch in 1806, the area was then settled by Germans in 1825. The Germans named the city Berlin, but it was renamed in honor of Lord Horatio Kitchener, a British statesman. Kitchener honors its German heritage with an Oktoberfest, North America's largest. The city has a population of 178,000 (1996 est.); its metropolitan area, which includes the adjoining city of Waterloo, has a population of 346,000 (1990 est.). Manufactured items include furniture, textiles, shoes, appliances, and rubber products; industries include distilling, brewing, tanning, and meat packing. Kitchener is the site of St. Jerome's College, founded in 1864, and of Woodside National Historic Park, which commemorates the birthplace of William Lyon Mackenzie King, a Canadian statesman and former prime minister.
MEDICINE HAT , Alberta, lies on the South Saskatchewan River, 180 miles southeast of Calgary. This city of 40,000 is located in the heart of one of the biggest natural gas fields in the world. It is also on the Trans-Canada Highway and Canadian Pacific Railway. Medicine Hat is the home of several industries, among them pottery manufacturing, glassblowing, and flour milling. The mostly agricultural economy is dominated by ranching and vegetable growing. According to Indian legend, Medicine Hat acquired its name from a frightened Cree medicine man who lost his hat escaping from warriors. The city hosts an annual stampede and exhibition and has a highly regarded historical museum.
NIAGARA FALLS , with an estimated population of 70,500, is the site of one of the world's great natural wonders, drawing tourists from all over the world. The city itself is a manufacturing center located just below the falls in southeastern Ontario, opposite Niagara Falls, New York, to which it is connected by two bridges. Founded in 1853, the city was known as Clifton from 1856-1881, and was incorporated in 1904. The center of a large hydro-electric power complex, Niagara Falls also produces fertilizer, chemicals, abrasives, cereal, paper goods, silverware, and sporting goods. It is best known, however, as a bustling tourist town with several man-made attractions. A 25-mile park system stretches from above the falls downriver to Niagara-on-the-Lake. The falls are equally spectacular in the summer and in the winter when frozen; an illumination system also makes them a spectacular nighttime attraction.
Situated in a beautiful setting on Lake Ontario at the mouth of the Niagara River, NIAGARAON-THE-LAKE is one of the prettiest and best-preserved 19th-century towns in North America. Founded in 1780 and originally named Newark, Niagara-on-the-Lake was the first capital of Upper Canada from 1791-1796. Although the town was burned in 1813, parts of Fort Massassauga are still visible. Today, the city is best known for the Shaw Festival, a major annual theater event featuring the plays of George Bernard Shaw and his contemporaries. Performed in the Royal George Theatre, the Court House Theatre, and the modern Festival Theatre, the festival runs from early May through September. Located opposite Fort Niagara, New York, Niagara-on-the-Lake has a current population of 12,200.
Situated on the northeast shore of Lake Nipissing in northern Ontario, NORTH BAY is a busy year-round tourist city, well known to fishermen and hunters. It has a "golden mile" sandy beach with picnic facilities and shore-land parks, as well as numerous hiking trails. A transportation hub, North Bay produces lumber, dairy products, fur products, mining machinery and brass fittings; there are dairy farms in the area. The city is also home of the Quints Museum; the original Dionne family log farmhouse has been restored and now houses memorabilia from the world's first recorded surviving quintuplets. The annual Festival of the Arts, a series of cultural, musical, and social activities, is held in late September and early October. The local French community organizes sports and social events in early February for the Bon Homme Winter Carnival. North Bay's current population is 51,300.
OAKVILLE , located on Lake Ontario 22 miles southwest of Toronto, is a wealthy community of approximately 128,400 with an attractive harbor and an enduring, 19th-century charm. Automobiles, plastics, aluminum ware, and paper are produced in Oakville. The city is also a summer resort and has a golf course—Glen Abbey—designed by American pro golfer, Jack Nicklaus.
OSHAWA , situated on Lake Ontario 33 miles northeast of Toronto, is one of the main centers of Canada's automobile industry. Founded in 1795 as a lake port, Oshawa was incorporated as a town in 1879 and as a city in 1924. There are several old buildings near the lake-front that are preserved as part of the city's past. As an industrial city, Oshawa produces motor vehicles and parts, foundry products, electrical appliances, metal stampings, glass, plastics, textiles, pharmaceuticals, and furniture. The Canadian headquarters of General Motors is located here. The Canadian Automotive Museum, which displays collections from Canada's early car industry, is also located in Oshawa. The city's population is roughly 134,000.
PETERBOROUGH , a bustling city with many reminders of the past, is located in southeastern Ontario on the Otonabee River and Trent Canal, 13 miles north of the west end of Rice Lake and 70 miles northeast of Toronto. Sawmills were established on this site in 1821; the city was founded four years later and incorporated in 1905. Today, Peterborough is an industrial city whose products include electrical machinery, marine hardware, boats, plastics, lumber, carpets, and watches. Dairy farms are also located in the area. In addition, Peterborough is the southeastern gateway to the Kawartha Lakes and is the major link in the Trent-Severn Waterway. The Hydraulic Lift Lock is the world's highest hydraulic lift and the symbol of the city. It literally lifts pleasure craft, along with the water in which they float, 65 feet straight up. There is constant traffic, especially on summer weekends; during winter, there is skating on the canal beneath the lift lock. Peterborough also boasts the highest jet fountain in Canada. The Centennial Fountain shoots water 250 feet up from Little Lake, just south of the city. Trent University was founded here in 1963. The population is roughly 62,500. Southeast of Peterborough is the industrial town of Belleville, located on the Bay of Quinte. With a population of 35,300, Belleville is the gateway to two great recreation regions—the Highlands of Hastings, with its clear lakes (Bancroft is a tourist center there), and the sandy beaches of Quinte's Isle to the south (Picton attracts tourists there). A popular vacation spot, Belleville has one of Ontario's finest yacht harbors, along with facilities for golf, fishing, and swimming. Southwest of Belleville, on the eastern terminus of the Trent Canal system, is Trenton, whose population is 15,100. A popular water-oriented city, Trenton offers sailing, swimming, and fishing in summer, and ice boating and ice fishing in winter.
Situated in south-central Saskatchewan, PRINCE ALBERT is an important distribution point for the northern reaches of the province. Its varied economic base includes oil refining, woodworking, paper milling, tanning, and food packaging. Tourism here centers on nearby Prince Albert National Park and the unique Lund Wildlife Exhibit. Visitors are often attracted to Prince Albert's numerous museums and art galleries. Outdoor enthusiasts also enjoy the area's excellent hiking and skiing trails, and beautiful lakes where fishing is abundant. The metropolitan area is the site of a federal penitentiary, a school for the retarded, and several Indian reservations. Prince Albert has a population of about 34,000.
Situated in central British Columbia, 485 miles north of Vancouver, PRINCE GEORGE serves as an important provincial administrative and transportation hub. Explorer Simon Fraser founded the city in the early 1800s as a trading post on the river that now bears his name. The city grew with the opening of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway in 1913. The community's approximately 66,000 residents rely heavily on the lumber industry, as well as on minerals, oil, and hydropower, for their livelihoods. Tourists and sportsmen know Prince George as a base for expeditions into the Cariboo district.
SAINT CATHERINES , "the Garden City," is an industrial city situated on the Welland Ship Canal, just south of Lake Ontario. Settled by the Loyalists in 1790, Saint Catherines was incorporated as a town in 1845 and as a city in 1876. It was once a depot of the Underground Railroad; was the site of the first Welland Canal, built in 1829; and had the first electric streetcar system in North America. Today, Saint Catherines produces automobile parts, machinery, electrical equipment, hardware, textiles, and hosiery. Fruit is packed and shipped from its harbor. Brock University, founded in 1962, was named for (Gen.) Sir Isaac Brock, who commanded the Canadian and British forces at the battle of Queenston Heights in 1812. The Niagara Grape and Wine Festival, marking the ripening of the grapes in the Saint Catherines area, is held annually in late September. The 10-day festival, begun in 1952 as a one-day observance, now includes more than 200 events. The population of Saint Catherines is approximately 124,000.
SAINT JOHN , New Brunswick's largest city, boasts an excellent harbor, large dry docks, and terminal facilities. It is a year-round port with shipping connections to Europe, North and South America, and the West Indies. The city is the commercial, manufacturing, and transportation center of the province. The city's major industries include brewing, tanning, fish processing, shipbuilding, and oil refining. Visited in 1604 by French explorer Samuel de Champlain, Saint John eventually became a French fort and trading post (1631), and in the ensuing years was captured and recaptured as England and France struggled for possession. Saint John is famed for its museums; its buildings dating to colonial times; and for the Reversing Falls, which are actually rapids caused by the famous high tides. Not far away is the former summer home of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt at Campobello Island, now maintained jointly by Canada and the U.S. Historical attractions include the Carleton Martello Tower, a stone fortification surviving from the War of 1812; the Fort Howe Blockhouse, a replica of a 1777 blockhouse. Visitors are afforded a panoramic view of the city from the fort. Many of St. John's homes and buildings are worthy examples of historic architecture. The population of Saint John is about 102,000.
SARNIA is the center of Ontario's oil refining and petrochemical industries. Located on the Saint Clair River in southeastern Ontario, at the south end of Lake Huron, Sarnia is connected to Port Huron, Michigan, via the Bluewater Bridge, as well as by a railway tunnel. An important lake port, Sarnia produces lumber, plastics, sailboats, and automobile parts. Settled by the French in 1807 and by the English in 1813, Sarnia's waterfront offers a variety of recreational activities, including swimming, boating, and golfing. There are more than a dozen fully equipped marinas along 42 miles of white, sandy beaches. One of Sarnia's main attractions is fishing—trout, perch, whitefish, pickerel, walleye, chinook, and coho salmon may be caught from shore or boat. Water pollution problems have, occasionally, been serious. Those concerned about swimming in this region or eating locally caught fish are advised to contact appropriate provincial agencies. Known as the "Salmon Capital of Ontario," the city is host to the annual Sarnia Salmon Derby in May. Thousands of sailors and spectators descend upon the city for the Port Huron-to-Mackinac Race each summer. The population is estimated at about 80,000.
SASKATOON , in Saskatchewan, is the potash capital of the world. Half of the world's potash reserve is located in this area. Industries located in Saskatoon include food and dairy processing, flour milling, brewing, tanning, oil refining, and meat-packing. The city also manufactures electronic equipment fertilizers, clothing, and chemicals. Saskatoon is the home of the Mendel Art Gallery, which houses a collection of works by Canadian artists. Other museums in Saskatoon include the Ukrainian Museum of Canada, which has contemporary and historical exhibits dealing with the early settlement of Saskatchewan and culture on the Ukrainian people, and the Western Development Museum, which features a "Boom Town" that recreates a 1910 village. Saskatoon also hosts several annual fairs, and festivals which attract tourists and natives alike. The city offers numerous opportunities for fine dining. The population is about 194,000; the city is the birthplace of hockey great Gordie Howe.
SAULT SAINTE MARIE was established on the site of a mission founded by Pere Jacques Marquette in 1668. It is situated at the falls on the St. Mary's River (the link between Lakes Huron and Superior), just opposite Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan. This is the site of one of the most active canals in the St. Lawrence Seaway system; lake freighters traveling to and from the upper Great Lakes use the locks to bypass the rapids. Tours of the locks are available. Two-hour cruises through both the American and Canadian locks, the world's busiest, are offered from late May until Thanksgiving. The Canadian lock, located at the edge of the St. Mary's River rapids, was completed in 1895 and is the oldest in the system. A pretty city with many old stone and brick buildings, Sault Sainte Marie's economy depends upon the Algoma steel plant, lumber, agriculture, and tourism. Although the city is considered part of the summer resort system, it also has many wintertime events. World class cross-country skiing trails are numerous and the downhill skiing is excellent. Groomed trails for snowmobiling are available. The Ontario Winter Carnival Bon Soo, featuring dog sled races, speed skating, polar bear swimming, and more is held here in late January/early February. To the east of Sault Sainte Marie, on the North Channel of Lake Huron, are several resort and vacation centers. Bruce Mines was named for Canada's first successful copper mines. Thessalon, a lumber town situated at the river mouth, has a large government wharf and marina. Iron Bridge, on the historic Mississagi River, is known for its sturgeon fishing. Blind River is a mining and lumbering center. A short distance inland is Elliot Lake, founded in 1954 when uranium deposits were discovered nearby. A modern town of 20,000 on the shore of one of the 170 lakes in the area, Elliot Lake offers winter and summer sports activities.
STRATFORD , Ontario, is located just north of London on the Avon River. Founded in 1832, the city produces furniture, brass, and leather and rubber goods. It is best known, however, for its deliberate resemblance to Stratford-upon-Avon, England, the home of William Shakespeare. The Stratford Shakespearean Festival in Ontario began modestly in 1953 and has since become a major world theatrical event, utilizing three theaters. While still based on a Shakespearean season, the festival now incorporates diverse forms of music and theater, from folk-singing to opera. The season runs from June through October. Stratford's population is over 27,000.
"The nickel capital of the world," SUDBURY is 40 miles north of Georgian Bay in south-central Ontario. The city has a population of roughly over 90,000, and is in the middle of the country's most important mining region. Minerals were first discovered here in 1883; today, in addition to nickel, copper, gold, cobalt, sulfur, iron ore, silver, and platinum are mined. Industries include lumber milling, woodworking, brickworking, and machine shops. Sudbury is linked to other cities by the Trans-Canada Highway, as well as by two transcontinental railways. It acts as the area's main commercial and educational center.
THE FORD MINES is a mining community of 20,000, 50 miles south of Quebec City in southern Quebec province. It is known as one of the world's major asbestos-producing regions, but also mines chromium and feldspar (a crystalline mineral). Dairying, chromium and feldspar mining, saw milling, and fiberglass manufacturing are other commercial activities in Thetford Mines. It was founded in 1876 and became a city in 1912.
THOMPSON lies on the Burntwood River, 400 miles north of Winnipeg, in north-central Manitoba. This planned community was built in the late 1950s and has an estimated population of 14,700. The International Nickel Company is the principal employer. Its chairman, John Thompson, gave his name for the city when it was completed in 1961. The company's combination nickel mining-smelting-refining plant was the first of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. Thompson is linked to Winnipeg by air.
THUNDER BAY is Canada's third largest port, and the western terminus of the St. Lawrence Seaway. The twin cities of Port Arthur and Fort William joined to form Thunder Bay on January 1, 1970. The city is located in the midst of a rich mining and fishing region. Several industries in Thunder Bay are involved in brewing, flour milling, paper milling, truck and aircraft manufacturing, and shipbuilding. The city is easily accessible by boat, highway, and rail. It has an estimated population of 114,000.
TROIS RIVIÈRES (Three Rivers), in Quebec, is the second oldest city in the province. Founded in 1634, it is predated only by Quebec City, which was established in 1608. The city has a strong manufacturing base. Factories in Trois Rivières produce clothing, electrical appliances, paper, textiles, shoes, and wood pulp. Abundant woodlands, combined with a large hydroelectric plant make the city one of the world's largest producers of news-print. It has a beautiful 17th-century Anglican church, and a Gothic-style cathedral whose stained-glass windows are among the most exquisite on this continent. Approximately 51,800 people live in the city.
WHITEHORSE , the capital of the Yukon, is headquarters for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Its population is roughly 20,700. The Yukon was the site of the Klondike Gold Rush in 1898. The Gay Nineties days are relived every summer. Dramond Tooth Gerties in Dawson is a gambling casino, with blackjack and roulette tables. Other points of interest in Whitehorse include the McBride Museum, which features an in depth look at Yukon heritage and wildlife, a tour aboard the restored steamboat S.S. Klondike and a guided tour of the city.
YELLOWKNIFE , capital of the Northwest Territories, is one of Canada's youngest cities (1935). It is only 275 miles south of the Arctic Circle. From May through July, this is the land of the midnight sun. In late June, Yellowknife hosts the Pacific Western Midnight Sun Golf Tournament. The Northwest Territories covers one-third of Canada's land area, but the total population is only about 14,000. Coppermine, Cambridge Bay, Bathurst Inlet, and Bay Chimo are small communities north of Yellowknife.
The world's second largest country in land area (3,851,809 square miles), Canada is bordered on the north by the Arctic Ocean, on the northeast by the Atlantic Ocean, on the south by the United States, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean and Alaska.
Much of Canada's industry is concentrated in the southeast near the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River, in an environment similar to adjacent areas of the U.S. To the northeast are the rolling Appalachian country of southern Quebec, the Maritime Provinces, and the Island of Newfoundland. The most outstanding physical feature is the Shield, a rugged area of Precambrian rock which surrounds Hudson Bay and covers most of eastern and central Canada—almost half of the country. This semi-barren area, and the Arctic Archipelago to the north, are sparsely populated and as yet largely undeveloped.
Another major region is the Canadian prairies, an extension of the mid-continent Great Plains. This area lies between the western border of the Shield and the Canadian Rockies. It is the Canadian bread-basket, and an area that is also rich in petroleum, gas, and other mineral resources.
Far-western Canada, comprised mostly of British Columbia, is laced with towering mountain ranges. Most people here live on the temperate southwest coast and Vancouver Island.
The climate varies greatly in the many diversified regions—ranging from frigid to mild—but Canada generally may be described as lying in the cool temperate zone, with long, cold winters.
More than two-thirds of Canada's 31.3 million people live within 100 miles of the U.S. border. Canadians and Americans are not "just alike," however, as many observers often assume. The Canadian character and outlook have been forged from a distinctive historical and social background which has produced a "Canadian way of life" that flourishes in a sovereign nation.
About 28% of the population is of British stock, about 23% of French, 15% is other European, and about 2% is indigenous Indian and Inuits (Eskimos). Canada's more than six million French-speaking citizens are mainly descendants of colonists who settled the country three centuries ago. They are concentrated in the Province of Quebec, although about 20% live in other parts of the country, mainly Ontario and New Brunswick. There is a sizeable French community in Manitoba as well.
The English-speaking population has been built up by immigration from the British Isles. The largest influx from the U.S. occurred during the American Revolution, when thousands of "Empire Loyalists" fled to Canada. Most settled in "Upper Canada," in southern and southeastern Ontario. Those Canadians who are of neither British nor French origin are mainly Germans, Ukrainians, Scandinavians, Italians, Dutch, Poles, Chinese, Indians, and Pakistanis.
Religion plays an important, though diminishing, role in the life of the Canadian. About 42% are Roman Catholics. The largest Protestant denomination, about 17% of the population, is the United Church of Canada—a union of Methodists, Congregationalists, and Presbyterians. Almost 10% are Anglicans, with Presbyterians, Lutherans, Baptists, and Jews next in number.
Canada's parliamentary system of government reflects both its Old World heritage and its North American experience. The British North America Act of 1867 provided a written constitution, similar to that of the British. The lack of specific guarantees of rights, combined with profound regional disputes, led to serious consideration of a truly Canadian constitution in the late 1970s. After years of discussions, then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau "brought home the constitution" in 1982. Following British Parliament approval, Queen Elizabeth II and Trudeau signed the Constitution Act on Ottawa's Parliament Hill in April 1982. Included in the new constitution is a Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Many of the country's legal and parliamentary practices are derived from ancient custom, as in Great Britain. On the other hand, the 10 provinces are united in a federal system resembling that in the U.S., though provinces have greater responsibilities and powers than have American states.
Queen Elizabeth II is the head of the Canadian state, and is a symbol of Canada's Commonwealth status. Her personal representative in Canada is the Governor-General.
Parliament consists of the Crown, the Senate, and the House of Commons, the latter clearly having the dominant voice in legislation. Its 282 members are elected for nominal five-year terms. The Senate's 104 members are appointed by the governor-general on the advice of the prime minister, and hold office until mandatory retirement at age 75.
Executive power is vested in the Cabinet, headed by the prime minister, who is the leader of the political party in power. The Cabinet remains in power as long as it retains majority support in the House on major issues.
Provincial government is patterned much along the lines of the central government. Each province is governed by a premier and a single, elected legislative chamber. A lieutenant governor, appointed by the governor-general, represents the Crown.
Criminal law, a parliamentary prerogative, is uniform throughout the nation, and is largely based on British law. Civil law is based on English common law, except in Quebec. Here, civil law is derived from the Napoleonic Code. Justice is administered by federal, provincial, and municipal courts.
During the past century, national politics has been dominated by two major parties, the Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives. While these parties have adopted many traditions from their British counterparts, there are substantial differences. The Liberals correspond, in very general terms, to the Democratic Party in the U.S., while the Progressive Conservatives would be the rough equivalent of the Republican Party. Distinctions between the two parties, however, are increasingly blurred since both take a pragmatic approach to Canada's problems.
Also represented in parliament and active in provincial politics is the New Democratic Party (NDP). The NDP corresponds roughly to the social democratic parties of Europe. The Communist Party is almost insignificant, and holds no seat in either the federal or provincial legislatures.
Canada is a member of the British Commonwealth, the United Nations, United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Health Organization (WHO), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the following international associations: Inter-American Development Bank, International Energy Agency, International Sugar Organization, International Wool Study Group, and the International Wheat Council.
The Canadian flag consists of a red maple leaf on a white background, flanked by vertical bands of red.
The development of the arts in Canada reflects not only the country's culture and geography, but also bears the imprint of a rapidly growing nation. The existence of two dominant cultural traditions—French and English—has led to a diversity in the arts. Focal points of artistic activity have grown up in several metropolitan centers scattered about the country. Since World War II, economic growth has given Canadians greater means to practice and enjoy the arts, and the influx of immigrants has increased the pool of available talent.
All provincial governments, through various departments, agencies, or educational institutions, provide some assistance for professional and amateur artists within their borders. The federally funded, as well as privately funded, Canada Council administers a similar program on a national scale.
Well-known artistic groups include the Stratford Festival Company, the Montreal Symphony, Toronto's Canadian Opera Company, and the Winnipeg Ballet. All of these groups make extensive tours throughout North America, and occasionally tour abroad.
A technologically advanced nation, Canada needs and produces much scientific activity. Most major research projects reflect the increasingly interdependent industrial, university, and government laboratories. In addition, considerable scientific cooperation is undertaken with other nations—especially with the U.S. and the U.K.
All of Canada's activities in the field of atomic energy are the responsibility of the federal government. The most diversified program of scientific research is carried out by the National Research Council—a federal agency. On the other hand, most basic medical research is conducted by universities.
Education at the elementary and secondary level is the responsibility of provincial governments; curricula and teacher qualifications vary a great deal. In all provinces, public education is free. Ages of mandatory attendance vary from province to province, but are generally from seven to 15. In Halifax, Vancouver, and Winnipeg, free public education is controlled and funded by public school boards, as in the U.S. Private schools, primarily Roman Catholic, exist as well, and charge tuition. The literacy rate is estimated to be 99%.
In other Canadian cities, free public education is funded and controlled locally by two types of boards—either "public" or "separate." Except in Quebec, the public boards are nondenominational, reflecting a Protestant and English historical development; the separate boards are Roman Catholic. In Quebec, the public boards are Roman Catholic—further divided into boards for French-and English-speaking children; the separate boards are nondenominational, also with French and English subdivisions. Both types of boards fund public education from property taxes. Parents usually cannot elect to send children in the same family to schools controlled by different boards.
Education at the elementary level in Canada is considered to be on a par with schools in the U.S. At the secondary level, schools in Ontario and the western provinces are also considered to be at par, but in Montreal, Quebec City, and Halifax, schools at the secondary level do not always meet these standards.
In the non-French-speaking areas of Ottawa, Toronto, and Winnipeg, local school districts offer French-language instruction at all levels. In elementary schools, there are generally two tracks of instruction—a required French course, or an optional immersion program, which begins in kindergarten and offers instruction totally in French, with English being phased in gradually in the third or fourth grade. At the secondary level, French is usually optional and is offered along with other languages, such as German and Spanish. At other places (outside Quebec), French is offered on an optional basis, primarily at the secondary level. In English-speaking schools in Quebec Province, French is also a required subject at all levels.
Canada's 60 universities range from small liberal arts colleges with as few as 1,000 students to multiversities (made up of colleges, faculties, and research institutes) with enrollments as high as 20,000. Most instruction is in English—although some institutions use French only—whereas both English and French are used at the University of Ottawa and two other institutions. There are numerous community colleges, usually called technical schools.
The Canadian economy is highly developed, giving Canadians one of the highest standards of living in the world. Manufacturing is concentrated in transportation and communications equipment, engineering, and steel and consumer goods. Especially notable is the production of motor vehicles and parts, encouraged by the auto pact between the U.S. and Canada. Most manufacturing is concentrated in Ontario and Quebec.
Alberta is growing fast in industries related to oil and natural gas. Primary industries built on Canada's rich natural resources remain an important part of the economy and a major source of exports. Leading resource industries are: forest products; oil, natural gas, and hydroelectric power; grains and other agricultural products; mining of asbestos, potash, and nonferrous metals; and fishing. As in other developed countries, the service sector is growing rapidly.
The economy is closely linked by trade and investment with other countries, especially the U.S. Foreign trade, two-thirds of which is with the U.S., represents more than one-fifth of total output. There is considerable two-way direct investment between the U.S. and Canada, although the level of U.S. investment in Canada is higher, as is its relative importance in the economy.
Americans find that most products and services available in the U.S. are also available in Canada. Local prices are often higher, but this may be offset by a favorable exchange rate for the Canadian dollar.
The main office of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is located at 55 Metcalf St., Ste. 1160, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 6N4. There are regional offices in all of the provinces.
Except in the remote northern areas, Canada possesses an advanced transportation system in all modes comparable to that in the U.S. An extensive air network links all major and many minor traffic points with adequate connections to the rest of the world. Domestic air fares per mile are higher than in the U.S., and distances between population centers are considerably greater. A good highway system (with somewhat less emphasis on interstate-type roads) exists, and supports extensive truck, bus, and automobile traffic.
The Canadian railroad system, while vast, has many problems similar to those affecting the U.S. Although passenger service continues to exist, it is poor except in the Quebec-Windsor corridor.
Water transportation is important largely from the foreign trade viewpoint. Major ports exist at Vancouver, Montreal, other St. Lawrence River points, Halifax, and St. John (New Brunswick). The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway and River System is an important domestic and binational transport route, which permits the movement of smaller-sized oceangoing vessels as far west as Duluth, Minnesota and Thunder Bay, Ontario.
All larger cities have public transit systems, generally buses. There are subways in Montreal and Toronto, and streetcars in Toronto and Calgary; plans are being formulated to develop rail systems in Edmonton and elsewhere. By and large, Canadian cities have public transportation arrangements at least as good as in American cities of similar size. They are better developed closer to the city's downtown center. Low population densities have inhibited the development of equivalent service in distant suburbs. The operation of public transport is frequently subsidized by provincial and local governments, making most fares reasonable.
In spite of extensive public transportation arrangements, Canada is as much an automobile society as the U.S. All American automobile manufacturers have plants in Canada, producing standard North American vehicles, and the greater portion of the automobile market in Canada is shared by these manufacturers. Most European and Japanese models found in the U.S. are also sold in Canada. Spare parts are available for all these vehicles. Repair facilities in the major cities compare to those in the U.S. There may be service problems with some European and Japanese cars outside the major cities, but most cars can be serviced readily except, perhaps, in remote areas.
U.S. grades of gasoline (leaded and unleaded) are widely available, and are sold in liters. Safety standards for cars are similar in the U.S. and Canada. Left-hand-drive vehicles are standard; traffic moves on the right. International highway symbols are used in Canada, and distances have been converted to the metric system. Seat belts and infant/child seat restraints are mandatory in the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia. Fines are imposed for non-use of seat belts and child restraints.
Telephone service, provided by the Bell Telephone Company of Canada in Ontario and Quebec, and by provincial companies in other provinces, is excellent. Canada (except for the Northwest Territories) is integrated with the U.S. direct distance dialing system. Telegraph services are operated by the two transcontinental railway companies, and by the federal government to outlying districts.
Mail service within and from Canada to other countries is satisfactory. All first-class mail is airmail within Canada at no extra cost, and letters to the U.S. require only a regular first-class stamp. There is no censorship, and customs formalities are minimal.
Broadcasting is well developed in Canada. Radio and TV stations operate in all major cities and carry extensive amounts of U.S. programming. There are two national TV networks (CBC and CTV), and independent TV stations also exist in many large cities. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) operates an extensive radio network, with domestic (AM and FM), northern, and international short-wave service. It operates dual networks for English and French programming; there are even French outlets in the western cities where the francophone population is limited. The Province of Quebec also has its own French-language broadcasting system. The Province of Ontario operates an impressive educational TV system which, at night, features nonacademic programs.
Direct reception of nearby U.S. radio and TV stations is possible in many parts of Canada. In most Canadian cities there is a well-developed cable TV system which relays most of the U.S. networks (including PBS), some distant Canadian stations for an additional charge, and distant FM radio as well.
About 109 daily newspapers are published in Canada—89% are in English, the rest in French. Most major cities have at least two local papers, usually morning and evening. Ottawa has only one daily, The Citizen. About six Canadian newspapers publish a Sunday edition. Most cities receive major U.S. newspapers within a few days of publication. (The New York Times is available daily, including Sundays, in Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal.)
Most American magazines and books are available, but usually at slightly higher prices. Maclean's, a biweekly, is the only national Canadian news magazine. Reader's Digest publishes a Canadian edition.
Medical care in Canada is excellent. Competent doctors, dentists, and specialists in all fields are available, and most, except in some areas of Quebec, speak English. Canadian medical educational standards are equivalent to those in the U.S., particularly in dentistry and ophthalmology. There is a shortage of trained personnel and facilities in the physical rehabilitation field, although availability of these services has improved in recent years.
Laboratories and hospitals maintain high standards and are well equipped. Professional fees and hospital and prescription drug costs are comparable to those in the U.S. Pharmaceutical facilities are excellent.
There are no special health risks. Standards of community health and sanitation are very good, and no diseases are endemic to large cities; however, several possible health problems should be noted. Winnipeg's climate might affect visitors seriously afflicted with asthma, sinusitis, or Raynaud's disease, a circulatory vascular condition. Hay fever sufferers should remember that Toronto has the highest pollen count of any large North American city. While the hay fever season is short—about six weeks—persons with hay fever experience great discomfort unless they take medication or remain in air-conditioned areas.
Americans find that tastes and standards in clothing are basically the same as in the U.S. The climate in winter makes warm clothes essential. For the most part, summers are somewhat cooler in Canada, but hot periods occur, and lightweight clothing is necessary. Wraps are usually needed for evenings, even in summer. Children dress casually, as in the U.S., but those who attend private schools ordinarily wear uniforms.
Ready-made clothes of all kinds are available at every price level. Items manufactured in the U.S. are expensive—often one-third higher than the American retail price.
Practically all services and supplies are available in the cities throughout Canada. The prices are often higher, but the current favorable exchange rate offsets the expense. Domestic help is difficult to find (as in the U.S.), and if the level of competence and experience is favorable, wages also are high. Professional catering and cleaning services are available.
When entering from the United States, U.S. citizens must show either a U.S. passport or proof of U.S. citizenship and photo ID. U.S. citizens entering Canada from a third country must have a valid passport. A visa is not required for U.S. citizens for a stay up to 180 days. Anyone with a criminal record (including a DWI charge) should contact the Canadian Embassy or nearest Canadian consulate before travel. For further information on entry requirements, travelers may contact the Embassy of Canada at 501 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001, telephone (202) 682-1740, Internet address:http://www.cdnemb-washdc.org; or the Canadian consulates in Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, San Juan or Seattle.
U.S. citizens living in or visiting Canada may register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy or at a U.S. Consulate General in Canada, and may obtain updated information on travel and security within Canada.
The U.S. Embassy is in Ottawa, Ontario, at 490 Sussex Drive, K1N 1G8, telephone (613) 238-5335, fax (613) 688-3082. The Embassy web site is http://www.usembassycanada.gov. The Embassy's consular district includes Baffin Island, the following counties in eastern Ontario: Lanark, Leeds, Prescott, Renfrew, Russell and Stormont; and the following counties in western Quebec: Gatineau, Hull, Labelle, Papineau, Pontiac and Tamiscamingue.
U.S. Consulates General are located at:
Calgary, Alberta, at Suite 1050, 615 Macleod Trail SE, telephone (403) 266-8962; emergency-after hours (403) 228-8900; fax (403) 264-6630. The consular district includes Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and the Northwest Territories, excluding Nunavut.
Halifax, Nova Scotia, at Suite 904, Purdy's Tower II, 1969 Upper Water Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3R7, telephone (902) 429-2480; emergency-after hours (902) 429-2485; fax (902) 423-6861. The consular district includes New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon.
Montreal, Quebec, at 1155 St. Alexander Street, telephone (514) 398-9695; emergency-after hours (514) 981-5059; fax (514) 398-0702. The consular district includes southwestern Quebec with the exception of the six counties served by the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa.
Quebec City, Quebec, at 2 Place Terrasse Dufferin, telephone (418) 692-2095; emergency-after hours (418) 692-2096; fax (418) 692-4640. The consular district includes the counties of Abitibi-West, Abitibi-East, St. Maurice, Trois-Rivieres, Nicolet, Wolfe, Frontenac and all other counties to the north or east within the province of Quebec. The new arctic territory of Nunavut is also in this district.
Toronto, Ontario, at 360 University Avenue, telephone (416) 595-1700; emergency-after hours (416) 201-4100; fax (416) 595-5466. The consular district includes the province of Ontario except the six counties served by the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa.
Vancouver, British Columbia, at 1095 West Pender Street, telephone (604) 685-4311; fax (604) 685-7175. The consular district includes British Columbia and the Yukon Territory.
Dogs and cats imported from the U.S. must be accompanied by a veterinarian's certificate showing that the dog or cat has been vaccinated against rabies during the three years preceding entry. From countries recognized by Canada to be free of rabies, a certificate issued by a veterinarian of the National Veterinary Service of the country of origin is required, certifying that the animal has been in that country for a continuous six-month period preceding shipment. From all other countries, a certificate issued by a veterinarian of the National Veterinary Service should certify that the animal was vaccinated against rabies not less than 30 days nor more than one year preceding shipment. Dogs and cats from countries other than the U.S. arriving without a certificate will be placed in quarantine for a 30-day period and vaccinated for rabies.
Firearms are strictly controlled. As of January 1, 2001, visitors bringing firearms into Canada, or planning to borrow and use firearms while in Canada, are required to declare the firearms in writing using a Non-Resident Firearm Declaration form. Multiple firearms can be declared on the same form. At the border, three copies of the unsigned declaration must be presented to a Canadian Customs officer. The declaration will serve as a temporary license and registration certificate for up to 60 days. The Non-Resident Firearm Declaration costs $50 (Canadian). Visitors planning to borrow a firearm in Canada must obtain in advance a Temporary Firearms Borrowing License, which costs $30 (Canadian). The form must be signed before a Canadian Customs officer and the fee paid at the border. In order to save time at the border, Canadian authorities recommend that visitors complete the declaration form, but not sign it, and make two copies of the completed form before arriving at the port-of-entry. Requests made at the border for photocopies of the form may be denied. Full details on this new policy are available at the Canadian Firearms Centre web site,http://www.cfc-ccaf.gc.ca, under the heading "Visitors to Canada." The Non-Resident Firearm Declaration and the Temporary Firearms Borrowing License applications may also be obtained from this web site.
Canada has three classes of firearms: non-restricted, restricted, and prohibited. Non-restricted firearms include most ordinary hunting rifles and shotguns. These may be brought temporarily into Canada for sporting or hunting use during hunting season, for use in competitions, for in-transit movement through Canada, or for personal protection against wildlife in remote areas of Canada. Anyone wishing to bring hunting rifles into Canada must be at least 18 years old, and the firearm must be properly stored for transport. Restricted firearms are primarily handguns; however, pepper spray and mace are also included in this category. A restricted firearm may be brought into Canada, but an Authorization to Transport permit must be obtained in advance from a Provincial or Territorial Chief Firearms Officer. Prohibited firearms include fully automatic, converted automatics, and assault-type weapons. Prohibited firearms are not allowed into Canada.
In advance of any travel, please contact a Canadian embassy or consulate, or the Canadian Firearms Centre (http://www.cfc.ccaf.gc.ca) for detailed information and instructions on temporarily importing firearms. In all cases, travelers must declare to Canadian Customs authorities any firearms and weapons in their possession when entering Canada. If a traveler is denied permission to bring in the firearm, there are often facilities near border crossings where firearms may be stored, pending the traveler's return to the United States. Canadian law requires that officials confiscate firearms and weapons from those crossing the border who deny having them in their possession. Confiscated firearms and weapons are never returned.
Canada covers seven time zones. The time in Newfoundland is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) minus three-and-a-half. The time in Halifax is GMT minus four. The time in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Hamilton, London, and Windsor is GMT minus five (Eastern Time in the U.S.). The time in Winnipeg and Regina is GMT minus six (Central Time in the U.S.). The time in Calgary and Edmonton is GMT minus seven (Mountain Time in the U.S.). The time in Vancouver is GMT minus eight (Pacific Time in the U.S.).
The unit of currency is the Canadian dollar, divided into half-dollar, quarter, dime, nickel, and penny coins, all similar in size and shape to U.S. currency. Canadian and U.S. dollars are fully convertible at banks. The conversion rate fluctuates.
Canada officially adopted the metric system in September 1977. Most road signs are now showing distances in kilometers and speed limits in kilometers/hour. Containers show contents and weights in both pounds and ounces, quarts and kilograms, and grams and liters.
Jan. 1… New Year's Day
Feb. 2… Groundhog Day
Feb. 14… St. Valentine's Day
Mar. 17 … St. Patrick's Day
Mar/Apr. … Good Friday*
Mar/Apr. … Easter*
Mar/Apr. … Easter Monday*
Apr. 1… April Fool's Day
Apr. 22… Earth Day
Apr. 28… National Day of Mourning
May … Victoria Day*
May (2nd Sun)… Mother's Day*
June(3rd Sun) … Father's Day
July 1… Canada Day
Aug. (first Mon) … Civic Holiday (Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, and Vancouver. Called Natal Day in Nova Scotia)*
Sept. 3 … Labor Day
Oct. … Columbus Day*
Oct. (second Mon)… Thanksgiving* Day*
Oct. 31 … Halloween
Nov. 11 … Remembrance Day
Dec. 25… Christmas Day
Dec. 26 … Boxing Day
Dec. 31 … New Year's Eve
The following titles are provided as a general indication of the material published on this country:
Berlitz Editors. Canada 1992 Travellers Guide. New York: Berlitz, 1992.
Bothwell, Robert. Canada & The United States: The Politics of Partnership. New York: Macmillan, 1992.
Canada 1991. New York: Bantam, 1991.
Eagles, et al. The Almanac of Canadian Politics. Concord, MA: Paul & Company Publishers, 1992.
Fodor's Canada 1991. New York:McKay, 1991.
Halsey, David. Magnetic North: Take Across Canada. San Francisco, CA: Sierra Club, 1990.
Harris, Bill. Canada: Photo Journey. Avenal, NJ: Outlet Book Co., 1991.
Harvey, David D. Americans in Canada: Migration & Settlement Since 1840. Lewiston, NY: Edward Mellen Press, 1991.
Hobbs, Pam. The Adventure Guide to Canada. Edison, NJ: Hunter Publishing, 1991.
LeVert, Suzanne. Canada: Facts & Figures. Let's Discover Canada Series. New York: Chelsea House, 1992.
LeVert, Suzanne. Dominion of Canada. Let's Discover Canada Series. New York: Chelsea House, 1992.
Lipset, Seymour M. North American Culture: Values & Institutions in Canada and the United States. Edited by Mary Williams. Orono, ME: Canadian-American Centre, 1990.
Malcolm, Andrew H. The Canadians. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1991.
Marchant, Garry. Canada. Edited by Kathleen Griffin and Martin Gamon. Oakland, CA: Compass America, 1991.
Marsh, James H., ed. The Canadian Encyclopedia. 4 vols. 2nd ed. Detroit: Gale Research, 1988.
Morris, Jan. O. Canada: Travels in an Unknown Country. New York: Harper Collins, 1992.
Pratson, Frederick. Guide to Eastern Canada. 4th ed. Old Say-brook, CT: Globe Peguot Press, 1992.
Pratson, Frederick. Guide to Western Canada. 2nd ed. Old Say-brook, CT: Globe Peguot Press, 1992.
The Penguin History of Canada. New York: Viking Penguin, 1988.
Watkins, Mel, and James Warren, eds. Canada. New York: Facts on File, 1992.
Weaver, P. Kent, ed. The Collapse of Canada? Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 1992.
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