About Canada



Ontario Fact Sheet and business information:

see Panel II "Business Information Canada"

Toronto Region

Compared to US cities, Toronto is one of the most cost-effective locations in North America, across all industry sectors. Most importantly, the cost gap is significant enough that exchange rates would have to increase substantially to alter Toronto's cost competitive position. Even with a 10% increase in the value of the Canadian dollar relative to U.S. dollar, many Canadian operations in the study would still enjoy a marginal cost advantage over U.S. operations.

Toronto Region or Greater Toronto Area

The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) consists of 29 municipalities and regions - a total area over 2,700 square miles (7,000 square km) with a growing population of over five million. Creativity, opportunity and value define its advantage.

City of Toronto has a population of 2.6 million and the GTA 5.5 million.

The Labour Force 1.4 million in Toronto and GTA has 3.1 million of which 28.5% has university degree in Toronto and 22.6% in GTA.

There are 76,000 businesses in the City of Torontpo and 153,000 businesses in GTA.

Toronto Region Industry Sectors in a North American Context (ranked by employment)

2nd Automotive
3rd      Information and Communication Technologies
3rd     Financial Services
3rd     Film and Media
3rd      Food and Beverage
3rd Business and Professional Services
4th Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals

Source: Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity 2002; E&B Data, 2004

More info about the Toronto region:

The Toronto Region is a lively place with outstanding R&D, advanced cost-competitive economy, excellent labour force and a highly attractive lifestyle.

Have a look at some of the TRRA promotional materials for the Toronto Region, and view some of the documents in the Fast Facts Collection that highlight the Toronto Region at a glance.

Fact Facts

  • Toronto is 2nd in the Top Cities of the Future rankings, according to fDI magazine.
  • Toronto ranks 2nd in the 'Ease of Doing Business' category of the new Mastercard's Wordwide Centres for Commerce Study.
  • Waterloo is proclaimed as the 2007 Most Intelligent Community of the Year.
  • New IBM report ranks Toronto as best digital media location among six of the most successful ICT venues worldwide.
  • University of Waterloo has the only mathematics faculty in North America.
  • Toronto Region has over 2500 ICT companies.
  • Ontario's hospitals are the source of many Major Medical Breakthroughs.


An unknown number of Aboriginal people inhabited Canada before the Europeans arrived. While the Vikings landed in Canada circa 1000 A.D., Canada's modern history didn't begin until the 17th century when a large number of French explorers came ashore in search of the riches the New World had to offer. The French flourished by exploiting the fur trade and establishing new settlements.

The fur trade attracted not only the French, however. It was not long after the French, that the English traders came along and started a rivalry between the two nations that would dominate Canadian history until 1763. This was only a mirrored rivalry of the one between France and England over in Europe.

In 1763 the British forces defeated the French and the northern part of North America (now known as Canada) was controlled by the English. This part of the world was not to be known as Canada until 1867 when Upper and Lower Canada became one. Its independence was formally confirmed by the end of the first quarter of the 20th Century with all aspects of Canada's administration controlled by a popularly elected government.

Despite its independence, however, Canada still remains an active member of the British Commonwealth even though the United States is Canada's strongest trading partner.

Geography and Climate

Canada is the second largest country in the world. It is more than 22 times the size of Sweden and surrounded by oceans on three sides - the Atlantic, Arctic and the Pacific - while bordering the United States to the south.

Canada extends 4,600 kilometres north to south and 5,500 kilometres east to west, stretching over 6 time zones, thus featuring a diverse topography, climate, vegetation and resources. The country shares not only a border with the United States but also the largest freshwater lakes in the world (The Great Lakes).

Canada has ten provinces and three territories. From east to west they are as follows:


Atlantic Canada

Newfoundland & Labrador

Named New Found Land by John Cabot in 1497
First English Crown Colony, proclaimed by Sir Humphrey Gilbert in 1583
Entered confederation 1949
Capital: St. John's
Total Area: 405,720 sq.km (4% of Canada)
Population: 543,800

Canada's most easterly province's surface consists mostly of rocks, swamps and lakes, and it has the most rigorous climate. The provincial economy focuses on extracting and processing natural resources available to them. Their main manufacturing sectors include pulp, paper and food processing. Newfoundland boasts a substantial mining industry, which includes iron ore (most important) and zinc. Hibernia is the first producing off-shore oilfield off the coast of Newfoundland. Other fields are under development.

Prince Edward Island (P.E.I)

This province received its name in 1798 in honour of the Duke of Kent, who was the commander of the British Troops in North America at that time. Entered confederation in 1867 Capital: Charlottetown Area 5,660 sq.km (0.1% of Canada) Population: 136,500

P.E.I. is an island and the smallest of Canada's provinces. It has a rolling terrain with several bays and inlets, which all run inland. The climate is moderate.

The most important industry is agriculture followed by dairying, livestock, fishing and food processing.

New Brunswick

Named in 1784 in honour of the House of Brunswick, to which the British royal family belonged Entered confederation in 1867
Capital: Fredericton
Area: 73,440 sq.km (0,7% of Canada)
Population: 753,000

New Brunswick has an extensive seacoast of which Saint John (not to be confused with St. John's in Newfoundland) is the principal port and industrial centre. English and French are both spoken here.

New Brunswick is a major energy supplier to New England, USA. Other industries include forestry, food processing, zinc, lead and by-product metals.

Nova Scotia

Named Nova Scotia, which stands for New Scotland, by Sir William Alexander in 1621 when King James I granted him the territory. At that time Nova Scotia included what is now known as New Brunswick and P.E.I.)

Entered confederation in 1867
Capital: Halifax
Area: 55,000 sq.km (0.6% of Canada)
Population: 934,200

Nova Scotia is a peninsular province, which is almost completely surrounded by water. The capital, Halifax, is situated on one of the best landlocked harbors in the world.

The economy is based on fishing and agriculture, focusing on dairy products, livestock and fruit. Off shore gas fields will be developed in the near future. Coal mining is also an important industry here. The manufacturing industry consists mostly of food processing, forestry and transportation equipment.

The Swedish-Canadian Chamber of Commerce is maintaining close ties with the Nova Scotia business community and is honored to count some of Nova Scotia's leading enterprises as members of the Chamber.

Visit: www.innovacorp.ns.ca; InNOVAcorp. helps technology-based firms commercialize their technology and succeed in the global marketplace. Business leaders overcome traditional hurdles to business growth by accessing the resources InNOVAcorp offers: business incubation, investment and mentoring. David McNamara, Director of Incubation is a Director of the SCCC Board.

Visit: www.novascotiabusiness.com; Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSB) is a business-focused, private sector-led approach to growing Nova Scotia's economy. By bringing fresh ideas and new energy to the work, Nova Scotia Business Inc. helps companies grow and, in turn expand economic choices for all Nova Scotians. Stephen Lund, President & CEO.

Central Canada


Named for the fort and trading post founded by Champlain on the site of present day Quebec City, it's name was taken from the Algonkian word Kebec, meaning 'where the river narrows'.

Entered confederation in 1867
Capital: Quebec City
Area: 1,540,680 sq.km (15.5% of Canada)
Population: 7.3 million

Quebec is Canada's largest province and holds the largest percentage of French speaking residents, as Quebec's official language is French. The most important industries include food processing, pulp and paper, primary metals, chemicals, metal fabrication, forest industries and transportation equipment.

Quebec is a major producer of gold, iron ore and coppers as well as being one of the world's leading producers of asbestos. Quebec is also rich in hydroelectric power.

Montreal is Quebec's largest city and the industrial and commercial centre of the province.


Received its name from Lake Ontario, which Iroquoian word means 'sparkling or beautiful water' Entered confederation in 1867
Capital: Toronto
Area: 1,068,580 sq.km (10.7% of Canada)
Population: 11.4 million

Ontario has two major regions: the Canadian Shield (Northern Ontario) and the southern lowlands with the highest population density. This area is also the industrial, commercial and financial centre of Ontario.

The province accounts for about half of all Canadian manufacturing, with automotive production as being the largest single industry. Food processing, primary metals, metal fabricating, electrical products, chemicals, pulp and paper and printing are other major industries that can be found within this province.

Other substantial industries include: Computer software design, trade service industries, engineering and consulting sector. In the mining industry, Ontario focuses on metals such as nickel, gold, copper, zinc and uranium.

Ontario produces some of the finest vegetables and fruits in Canada. Other productive business sectors include livestock and dairy farming, to name a few.

Toronto is Ontario's largest city and the financial, commercial and cultural centre. Toronto prides itself with being a multi-cultural Mecca and you can more often than not find a fair, bazaar, parade or other sort of celebration in honour of the numerous nationalities centered in this city.

The Prairie Provinces


Received its name from Lake Manitoba, which stands for 'Strait of the Spirit (Manitou)' in the Indian Languages. Some believe Indians were referring to a narrows where the sound of waves on a limestone pebble beach was ascribed to spirit voices.

Manitoba became a province in 1870
Capital: Winnipeg
Area: 649,950 sq.km (6.4% of Canada)
Population: 1.1 million

Manitoba is the most easterly of the three Prairie Provinces. The north is well forested, while the south hosts an abundance of fertile clay soil. Although the economy is built on agriculture, Manitoba is also well developed in aerospace technology. Other industries include food processing and metal fabrication. Metals found in Manitoba are nickel, copper and zinc.


Named after the Saskatchewan River, the longest in the prairies, known originally by the Cree Indian word Kisiskatchewan, which means 'swiftly flowing water'

Became a province in 1905
Capital: Regina
Area: 652,330 sq. km (6.5 % of Canada)
Population: 1 million

Saskatchewan makes up two-thirds of the prairie lowlands and is the grain-producing region of Canada.


Named in 1883 in honour of Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, daughter of Queen Victoria Became a province in 1905
Capital: Edmonton
Area: 661,190 sq.km (6.6% of Canada)
Population: 2.9 million

Edmonton and Calgary are located in the oil and natural gas producing areas of the province. Thus they are the largest cities in Alberta. The province accounts for about half the value of minerals produced in Canada. Almost all of which derive from fuels - petroleum, natural gas and by-products.

Other industries include grain and livestock as well as a diverse manufacturing sector.

Western Canada

British Columbia

Named as an allusion to Christopher Columbus when the mainland colony was established in 1858 Entered confederation in 1871
Capital: Victoria
Area: 947,800 sq.km (9,5% of Canada)
Population: 4 million

British Columbia (known to Canadians as BC) is Canada's most westerly province. Due to the Rockies this is a highly mountainous area, creating fantastic skiing, which generates large tourism. Due to the height of the mountains, glaciers offer skiing 12 months of the year to the extreme skiers.

Other industries include forestry (lumber, pulp and paper), mining, dairy products and cattle, food processing, fruit, vegetables and specialty crops. It contains Canada's largest fishery source (mainly salmon and herring). The mining sector is dominated by fuels (coal, natural gas and petroleum) and metals (notably copper and molybdenum).

The Territories

Capital: Whitehorse
Area: 483,450 sq.km (4.8% of Canada)
Population: 31,700

Yukon's industry is predominately the mining of gold, lead and silver

Northwest Territories

Capital: Yellowknife
Area: 1,171,918 sq.km (15% of Canada)
Population: 67,300

Northwest Territories industries include mining (dominated by zinc, gold and lead), fur and fisheries. Some oil and gas is also produced here.


Capital: Iqaluit
Area: 1.994 million sq.km (20% of Canada)
Population: 24,730

Nunavut is Canada's newest territory, becoming official on April 1st, 1999. Its vastness encompasses many regional variations of arctic climate, landforms and ecosystems. It stretches over four time zones.

Nunavut has two economies, subsistent (work for food) and the wage economy. Jobs and industries in order of importance: government (39%); mining, construction and the service sectors; tourism ($30 million annually); fur, arts & crafts industries.

Political System

Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy consisting of a federal government, 10 provincial legislatures and three territorial legislatures. Canada is a self-governing federal parliamentary state within the Commonwealth of Nations, with the British monarch recognized as Head of State.

The monarch's representative, the Governor-General, who acts on the advice of the Canadian Prime Minister and its cabinet, can exercise executive Power.

Canada is a federal state and as such is fully responsible for its own constitution and constitutional changes.

The federal legislature, Parliament, consists of a House of Commons and a Senate. The members of the House of Commons are elected by the people in constituencies based on census population counts, for a term not to excess five years.

The Senate has senators appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, who is the effective head of administration and is normally the leader of the majority party in the House of Commons.

A cabinet is appointed by the Prime Minister from members of the majority party who holds seats in the House of Commons or Senate. Parliament must meet once a year, and elections are held at intervals not exceeding five years.

The Cabinet is the unchallenged centre of political power in the Canadian government, even though they are not mentioned in the Canadian Constitution. The Prime Minister presides over the Cabinet and Cabinet Secretariat so that he, in effect controls the agenda and recording of decisions.

Provincial Legislatures are unicameral bodies similar in structure and operation to the Federal House of Commons. In each of the ten provinces, the Sovereign is represented by a Lieutenant-Governor, appointed by the Governor-General in council.

Municipal Governments operate under provincial jurisdiction and usually consists of an elected Mayor and a council. Their bases of organization and the extent of their authority vary depending on the province, but they usually have extensive powers of local self-government.

The Federal Government generally has jurisdiction over national defense; navigation and shipping; banking and currency; criminal law and human rights and freedoms. The provinces govern education, Municipal Government, property and certain civil rights and other matters of local concern. They also have jurisdiction over areas of labour relations, except in certain enterprises, which fall under federal jurisdiction, such as banking, shipping and other transportation enterprises.

Businesses may be incorporated under either Federal or Provincial Legislation, but the provinces have enacted most legislation covering the sale of transfer of corporate securities and stock exchange regulation.

Competition laws, however, are the sole responsibility of the Federal Government.

Legal System

Canadian law consists of statues and judicial decisions. There is a large body of case law that derives mainly from the English Common Law and consists of legal principles evolved through the decisions of the superior courts over a period of centuries.

English Common Law came to Canada with the early English settlers and is the basis of much of the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Law. The Province of Quebec, however, was originally settled by the French, and as such adopted the French (or Napoleonic) civil law. Civil law prevails in Quebec as private law.


Canada is officially a bilingual country, with English and French as the two official languages. 83.6% of the population speaks English whereas less than one-third of the population speak French. These figures include all bilingual Canadians.

Seeing as Canada is such a multi-cultural country, however, there are several other languages spoken across the country as well, although none as prevalent as English and French.

Transportation and Communications

Two intercontinental railways provide 88% of all rail transportation in Canada, which are further supplemented by approximately 30 regional railways.

The Trans-Canada highway is one of the main features of a network of over 800,000 kilometres of roads and highways extending from St. John's, Newfoundland to Victoria, BC.

Air travel is big business in Canada and the international airports are located in the following cities: Gander, Ottawa, Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. From these airports travelers are then able to catch domestic flights to most cities within the country.

The St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes provide Canada (as well as the United States) with a system of inland waterways extending from the Atlantic Ocean to the western end of Lake Superior in the centre of the continent. This stretch measures at a distance of 3,769 kilometres.

National and Provincial Holidays in Canada

New Year's day (1 January)

Alberta- Family Day (Third Monday in February)

Newfoundland- St. Patrick's day (Monday nearest 17 march), St. George's Day ( Monday nearest 23 April)

April- May
Easter (Good Friday, also Easter Monday for government and schools)

Quebec- Fête National or Saint Jean Baptiste Day (24 June) Newfoundland- Discovery Day (Monday nearest 24 June)

Canada Day (1 July) Newfoundland – Orangeman's day (Monday nearest 13 July

Yukon- Discovery Day (Third Monday in August) All other provinces Civic Holiday (1 August or first Monday in August)

September- October
Labour Day (First Monday in September) Thanksgiving (second Monday in October)

November- December
Remembrance Day (11 November- banks and government)
Christmas Day (25 December)
Boxing Day (26 December)

You will find all the facts you are looking for on this website.

Travel in Canada

Canada is the second largest country in the world. It is more than 22 times the size of Sweden. In Canada you find a large variety of culture, historical places, beautiful nature and vivid cities.

The country is made up of ten provinces and three northern territories.

The four eastern coastal provinces are known as the Atlantic Provinces or the Maritime Provinces, The three mid- western provinces are generally flat and are referred to as The Prairies. Ontario and Quebec are termed Central Canada and British Colombia is the Western Canada. The territories are Yukon, Northwest territories and Nunavut. Nearly 90% of Canadians live along the southern border with the USA.




"The story of how Erik Lindblom found the lonely spot that would make the "Three Lucky Swedes" millionaires in the first place, is worth re-telling.

The short and skinny 42-year old tailor had emigrated to San Francisco from Sweden. There he caught the gold fever and could not talk or think of anything else, until his wife got fed up and told him to go and check it out. With his limited English, he by mistake signed on as a whaler for two years in the Arctic Ocean, thinking he was buying an inexpensive passage to the Klondike. When the whaler stopped at Port Clarence for fresh water supplies, Lindblom took his chance and ran away. A native found the bare-headed white man without any equipment wandering around on the tundra three days later and showed him the way to a settler's cottage. Here Lindblom asked for the way to the Klondike but they had not even heard about the gold rush. Eventually Erik Lindblom found an English prospector named Blake who promised to show him the way to the Swedish mission station. On the way Blake stopped at a creek someone had told him to investigate, and panned for gold. He understood right away that he made a find but did not want to share his discovery with the "dumb Swede". Lindblom insisted that he had seen gold glitter in the pan, but Blake told him this was nothing."


In celebration of its 80th anniversary, the Swedish Press magazine has taken off on a virtual trip through Swedish America. The journey started on New Year's Day on the West Coast of Canada, in the little town of Lund, that was founded in 1889 by Karl and Fredrik Thulin from the university town of Lund in southern Sweden. For the rest of January you can follow this interesting trip primarily through Alaska and find out, among other things, how Charlie Anderson, the Three Lucky Swedes and John Nordström of the Nordstrom stores, made their fortunes.

The 365 current and historic points of Swedish interest will pop up on a Google map at the www.NordicWay.com web site. Each day a new dispatch will be posted from places like Ann-Margret's handprints outside the Mann Chinese theatre in West Hollywood to L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland where the Vikings established their first base camp. When completed the "travel blog" will form the most complete and fun documentation of the most important Swedish points of interest in the U.S.A. and Canada. Best of all, "Around Swedish America in 365 Days" is free and will remain at NordicWay.com long after the trip is completed. The popular site also contains a lot of other information about the Nordic countries, a calendar with Swedish American events and lots of material from Swedish Press and its sister publication Scandinavian Press.

This trip of a lifetime was the dream of editor (and Honorary Consul of Sweden in Vancouver) Anders Neumuller. He had planned to complete it in 80 days, but realized that he would not have time this year when Swedish Press celebrates its anniversary. Through the years there have been more than 2 000 Swedish papers in North America, only two of them have survived to this day. Swedish Press is the only monthly in English (with certain sections in Swedish) with both an electronic and a paper edition. "Svenska Pressen" started as a weekly in Vancouver in 1929 and now has subscribers in every US state and Canadian province, not to speak of subscribers in Sweden and around the world.

Media contact: Anders Neumuller (anders@nordicway.com and 604-731-6381)


Canada Tourism

For accommodation across Canada

Canada Map Office produces topographic maps from anywhere in the country

World of Maps and Travel books.

Weather forecast

By Air

WestJet Airlines Ltd
Air Transat

Jazz Air LP

By Bus

Greyhound bus network connects the major cities in Canada.

By Train

There are trains going between Canada and the USA for those who are interested in travel around. For information about fares, schedules and routes:


The Provinces and Territories

Each province or territory has a governmental ministry, which is responsible for tourism. The following is visitor and business information divided by the different provinces and territories.


Population: 2.9 million
Capital: Edmonton

Alberta has two of the largest cities in Canada- Edmonton and Calgary. Both cities are located in the oil and gas producing areas. The province accounts for about half the value minerals produced in Canada.

Alberta offers a lot for visitors. The main attractions are the wildlife, historic sites and a wide range of recreational pursuits. Banff and Jasper national parks in the Rocky Mountain attract visitors from all over the world.

The Government of Alberta:

Alberta Tourist Visit Guides:


Population: 4 million
Capital: Victoria

British Colombia contains some of the most varied and spectacular scenery in the world. Tourism is the second largest moneymaker in the province.

Some of the industries in British Colombia are forestry (lumber, pulp and paper) and mining. The mineral sector is dominated by fuels (coal, natural gas and petroleum) and metals.

The Government of British Columbia:

British Columbia Tourist Visit Guides:


Population: 1.1 million
Capital: Winnipeg

The economy in Manitoba is built on agriculture. The manufacturing industry is varied but the most important are food processing and metal fabrication. The most significant metals are nickel, copper and zinc. The aerospace technology is well developed.

For visitors there are many national parks with multitude of forests, lakes and meadows. Winnipeg has some fascinating history that can be explored in the various museums.

The Government of Manitoba:

Manitoba Tourist Visit Guides:


Population: 753,000
Capital: Fredricton

New Brunswick is a sea coast province. Both English and French are spoken in the province. Lumber, pulp and paper operations are the two of the main industries. Food processing principal manufacturing industries are also important, as are mixed farming and fishing. Zinc, lead and by- product metals are the primary metals in the mining industry.

Visitors can view the world´s highest tides in the southern part of the province, along the Bay of Fundy or hike through huge Mt. Carleton Provincial Park. The eastern shores offer warm, sandy beaches. Saint John is the biggest city in the province and known as the "Loyalist City". Saint John is the oldest city in Canada´s and the town museum, from 1842, is the oldest museum in the country.

The Government of New Brunswick:

New Brunswick Tourist Visit Guides:


Population: 531,000
Capital: St. John´s

Newfoundland & Labrador is the most easterly province in Canada. The provincial economy focuses mainly on extracting and processing natural resources. Pulp, paper and food processing are the main manufacturing sectors. Iron ore is most important in the substantial mining industry also zinc and asbestos are of some importance.

The majority of the population lives in Newfoundland and it is this part most of the visitors see. Lánse aux Meadows at the tip of Newfoundland´s northern peninsula is a 1000- year-old Viking settlement. This is the oldest European habitation site in North America.

Government of Newfoundland

Tourist Visit Guides:


Population: 31,700
Capital: Yellowknife

The main industry in the Northwest Territories is mining, dominated by zinc, gold and lead. Some oil and gas is also produced. Other industries are fur and fisheries. NWT is relying increasingly each year on tourism as a money earner. Increased accessibility to the beautiful wilderness in the NWT means a continuing rise of tourism.

Government of North West Territories:

Tourist Visit Guides:


Population: 944,800
Capital: Halifax

Nova Scotia is a peninsular province almost surrounded by water. The economy of Nova Scotia is based on fishing, agriculture, livestock, fruit and coal mining. The manufacturing sector is mainly based on food processing, forest products and transportation equipment.

Halifax is a city with well preserved history, fine dining and a lively music scene.

Nova Scotia Government:

Tourism and travel guides:


Population: 24,730
Capital: Iqaluit

Nunavut became Canada's newest territory on April 1st 1999. 83% of the population is Inuit, a people with maritime tradition; whale and seal hunting. There are two economies in Nunavut; subsistent (work for food) and the wage economy. Source of income for the territory is the tourism sector, fur and arts & craft industries.

The major part of visitors to Nunavut travel with an organized tour, since the Arctic conditions can be very harsh.

Government of Nunavut:

Tourism and travel guides:


Population: 12 million
Capital: Toronto

Ontario accounts for about half of Canadian manufacturing, with transportation being the largest single industry. Large industries are food processing, primary metals, metal fabricating, electrical products, chemicals, pulp and paper and printing. Computer software design, traded services industry, engineering and consulting sectors. Mineral production focused on metals: nickel, gold, copper, zinc and uranium. Livestock and dairy farming, tobacco and vegetables.

Visit Ottawa, the capital of Canada, and the Parliament buildings. The city offers numerous cultural activities; museums, art galleries and markets. Toronto is the largest city in Canada and the fourth largest city in North America. Toronto is well entrenched as the country´s financial, communication and business capital as well as a great city for arts and culture. The Niagara falls and the Niagara wine districts attract a lot of visitors.

The Government of Ontario

Tourism and travel guides:
www.tourism.gov.on.ca Ministry of tourism and recreation www.travelinx.com


Population: 140,000
Capital: Charlottetown

PEI is an island and the smallest province in Canada. The main industry is agriculture and other important industries are fishing, food processing, dairying and livestock raising. For visitors there are some small museums, historic sites, many beaches to visit. Charlottetown, the capital of the province, is the birthplace of Canadian federation.

Government of Prince Edward Island:

Tourism and travel guides: www.peiplay.com Visitors guide front page


Population: 7.5 million
Capital: Quebec City

Quebec is the country´s largest province and French is the official language. Food processing, pulp and paper, primary metals, chemicals, metal fabrication, forest industries and transportation equipment are the most important sectors in the province. The province is the world's leading producer of asbestos and is also a major producer of gold, iron ore and copper.

The province offers beautiful nature. For instance you can go and explore the Saguenay fjord, whale watching or skiing in the winter. Montreal is the largest city in the province and is the industrial and commercial center of the province. The city has a unique, appealing mix of English and French culture. Quebec City, with its European atmosphere, is the heart of French Canada. The city is very rich in culture and history and attracts a lot of tourists every year.

Government of Quebec:

Tourism and travel guides:


Population: 1 million
Capital: Regina

Saskatchewan is one of the prairie provinces, with two thirds prairie lowland. The province is the great grain producing region of Canada. Tourism is not a major industry in the province but a lot of people pass through. The southern region of the province offers some fascinating landscapes and desert like topography.


Tourism and travel guides:


Population: 31,700
Capital: Whitehorse

The main industry in Yukon is mining and zinc, gold, lead and silver predominate.

For the visitor, Yukon offers many outdoor activities- camping, hiking, canoeing and fishing. Every year more and more visitors come to discover the beauty of Yukon.

The Government of Yukon

Tourism and travel guides:

Tourism and travel guides:

Canadian Customs and Traditions

Canadian Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the second Monday in October, and is a statutory holiday in all jurisdictions except New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island

As a liturgical festival, Thanksgiving corresponds to the English and continental European Harvest festival, with churches decorated with cornucopias, pumpkins, corn, wheat sheaves, and other harvest bounty, English and European harvest hymns sung on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend and scriptural lections drawn from the biblical stories relating to the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot.

While the actual Thanksgiving holiday is on a Monday, Canadians might eat their Thanksgiving meal on any day of the three day weekend. Thanksgiving is often celebrated with family, it is also often a time for weekend getaways for couples to observe the autumn leaves, spend one last weekend at the cottage, or participate in various outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and hunting.

History of Thanksgiving in Canada

The history of Thanksgiving in Canada goes back to an explorer, Martin Frobisher, who had been trying to find a northern passage to the Orient. In the year 1578, he held a formal ceremony, in what is now the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, to give thanks for surviving the long journey.

This feast is considered by many to be the first Thanksgiving celebration in North America, although celebrating the harvest and giving thanks for a successful bounty of crops had been a long-standing tradition throughout North America by various First Nations and Native American groups.

First Nations and Native Americans throughout the Americas, including the Pueblo, Cherokee, Creek and many others organized harvest festivals, ceremonial dances, and other celebrations of thanks for centuries before the arrival of Europeans in North America. Frobisher was later knighted and had an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean in northern Canada named after him — Frobisher Bay.

At the same time, French settlers, having crossed the ocean and arrived in Canada with explorer Samuel de Champlain, also held huge feasts of thanks. They even formed 'The Order of Good Cheer' and gladly shared their food with their First Nations neighbours.

After the Seven Years' War ended in 1763 handing over New France to the British, the citizens of Halifax held a special day of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving days were observed beginning in 1799 but did not occur every year. After the American Revolution, American refugees who remained loyal to Great Britain moved from the United States and came to Canada. They brought the customs and practices of the American Thanksgiving to Canada. The first Thanksgiving Day after Canadian Confederation was observed as a civic holiday on April 5, 1872 to celebrate the recovery of the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) from a serious illness.

Starting in 1879 Thanksgiving Day was observed every year but the date was proclaimed annually and changed year to year. The theme of the Thanksgiving holiday also changed year to year to reflect an important event to be thankful for. In the early years it was for an abundant harvest and occasionally for a special anniversary.

After World War I, both Armistice Day and Thanksgiving were celebrated on the Monday of the week in which November 11 occurred. Ten years later, in 1931, the two days became separate holidays, and Armistice Day was renamed Remembrance Day.

On January 31, 1957, the Canadian Parliament proclaimed:

"A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed … to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October."

The farmers in Europe would hold celebrations at harvest to give thanks for their good fortune and the abundance of food. The farm workers filled a curved goat's horn with fruit and grain. This symbol was called a cornucopia or "horn of plenty". When the European farmers came to Canada they brought this tradition with them.

In the early 1600s, Samuel de Champlain, a French explorer, arrived with French settlers and also held feasts of thanksgiving called the "Order of Good Cheer." This feast they shared with their Indian neighbours as a token of goodwill. During the Revolutionary War, the Americans who were Loyalists (loyal to England and the Crown) moved to Canada and thus American Thanksgiving celebrations and traditions spread throughout Canada.

Thanksgiving Day in Canada after Confederation was observed on April 15, 1872, to celebrate the recovery of The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) from a serious illness. In 1879, Parliament declared November 6th a national holiday of Thanksgiving. Over the years many dates were used for Thanksgiving, the most popular was the 3rd Monday in October.

After World War I, both Armistice Day and Thanksgiving were celebrated on the Monday of the week in which November 11th occurred. Ten years later, in 1931, the two days became separate holidays and Armistice Day was renamed Remembrance Day. Finally, on January 31st, 1957, Parliament declared the second Monday in October of each year to be "A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed".

Most families in Canada celebrate Thanksgiving with a special dinner for family and friends. The dinner usually includes a roasted turkey and pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving provides an opportunity to look at pioneer life, and it is an ideal time to celebrate the importance of Canadian farmers for all Canadians and at the heart of the celebration is the idea of giving thanks for the goodness of the season past.

Traditional Thanksgiving dinner:

The centerpiece of contemporary Thanksgiving dinner is a large meal, generally centered around a large roasted turkey and the following:

Pickles, green olives, celery, roast turkey, oyster stew, cranberry sauce, giblet gravy, dressing, creamed asparagus tips, snowflake potatoes, baked carrots, hot rolls, fruit salad, mince meat pie, fruit cake, candies, grapes, apples, French drip coffee.

A very similar dinner is often served on Christmas and New Year's Day.


Halloween traditions derive from many countries and have been adjusted by different cultures over time. Some favorite Halloween traditions include children who go trick-or-treating. Young children dress-up in costumes as ghosts, witches and other imaginative things and go door-to-door saying "Trick or Treat", which means either you give me a treat or I play a trick on you. Adults hand out a treat to the children and treats are usually little pieces of candy.

Halloween celebrations in Canada began with the arrival of Scottish and Irish immigrants in the 1800s. The Irish have a story about the origin of Jack O'Lanterns who was a man who could not enter heaven because he was a miser, and he was unable to enter hell because he had played practical jokes on the devil. Therefore, he was left to saunter the earth until Judgment Day. Jack walked around with a lantern in his hand, which was a hot coal placed in a hollowed-out turnip, which today is symbolized in form of a pumpkin.

The use of witches, ghosts, and cats in Halloween celebrations originates with the Druids. Halloween is thought to have originated among the ancient Celtic Druids. The Druids were an order of priests in ancient Britain who believed that spirits, fairies, witches, and ghosts came out on Halloween to harm people.

The name "Halloween" means "hallowed evening" since it takes place before All Saints' Day. The Druids believed that on that evening, October 31 - the day preceding the Christian feat of All Saints Day, the wall between the world of the living and the world of the dead was thinner. Therefore the use of ghosts in Halloween celebrations originates with the Druids.

In modern times, Halloween has become a holiday, which focuses on haunted things like skeletons, cemeteries, warlocks and so on. There are many superstitions and symbols connected with the festival of Halloween, celebrated on October 31. The Druids also took part in an autumn festival called "Samhain" or "summers end". The tradition of decorating with pumpkins, leaves, and cornstalks originates with the Druid festival. It was a celebration of the food, which had been grown during the summer.

In Sweden, Halloween is known as "Alla Helgons Dag" (All Saints' Day) and is celebrated from October 31 until November 6. As with many other holidays, "Alla Helgons Dag" has an eve, which is either celebrated or becomes a shortened working day. The Friday prior to All Saint's Day is a short day for universities while school-age children are given a day of vacation.

Canadian Innovations

On this site you can find interesting Canadian inventions. http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa090100a.htm

The telephone

Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1874. The first words ever spoken on the telephone were by Bell to his assistant Watson?

He said "Watson! Come here, I need you."


Dr. Frederick G. Banting and Dr. Charles H. Best, working together at the University of Toronto, isolated insulin in 1921. The drug revolutionized the treatment of diabetes.

F. Henroteau received the first patent for the modern television camera in 1934.

Prof. E. F. Burton, heading a team of physicists at the University of Toronto, made the electron microscope a practical, commercial device in the late 1930s.

J. G. Wright invented an aerial homing device. As he was a Wing Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force, the patent rights to his invention are owned by the Canadian Government.

Patent 539407 was awarded for 17-alpha-ethynyl-17-hydroxy-5(10)-estren-3-one, which is known today simply as "The Pill".

Dr. W.R. Franks and his colleagues (University of Toronto) invented the anti-gravity flying suit in 1939. No, it couldn't make you fly, but it did let jet pilots withstand higher centrifugal forces without passing out. Dr. Franks' suit was a forerunner of the space suits worn by astronauts today.

Patent 864154 was granted in 1971 for an implantable artificial heart that ran on a steam-powered engine. This invention used the patient's own blood to cool the engine.

George Albert Lyons received over 900 patents, mostly in the field of automobile wheels. He is the most prolific patentee in Canada.

Our first patent was granted in 1791 by the Governor General in Council to Angus MacDonnel, a Scottish soldier garrisoned at Quebec City, and to Samuel Hopkins, a Vermonter, for processes to make potash and soap from wood ash.

J.W. Elliot of Toronto invented the first revolving snow shovel in 1869. It was further developed by O. Jull and the Leslie Brothers of Orangeville, Ontario. This invention was the forerunner of the rotary snow plow that is used in many parts of the world today.

A Calgary woman invented a mechanical skirt lifter designed to raise her hem ever so discreetly so she could cross the muddy and dusty streets of 1890 Calgary without soiling her frock.