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Canada (orthographic projection).svg
An enlargeable map of Canada, showing its ten provinces and three territories.

Canada is a sovereign country occupying most of northern North America, extending from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west and northward into the Arctic Ocean.[1] It is the world's second largest country by total area, and shares land borders with the United States to the south and northwest, and marine borders with France and Greenland on the east and northeast, respectively.

The lands have been inhabited for millennia by various groups of aboriginal peoples. Beginning in the late 15th century, British and French expeditions explored and later settled the Atlantic coast. France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763 after the Seven Years War. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces.[2][3][4] This began an accretion of additional provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom, highlighted by the Statute of Westminster in 1931 and culminating in the Canada Act in 1982 which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament.

A federation now comprising ten provinces and three territories, Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. It is a bilingual and multicultural country, with both English and French as official languages at the federal level. Technologically advanced and industrialized, Canada maintains a diversified economy that is heavily reliant upon its abundant natural resources and upon trade—particularly with the United States, with which Canada has a long and complex relationship.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Canada:


General reference

An enlargeable map of Canada

Geography of Canada

An enlargeable topographic map of Canada

Environment of Canada

An enlargeable satellite image of Canada

Geographic features of Canada

Regions of Canada

Main article: Regions of Canada

Other regions

Ecoregions of Canada

Main article: Ecoregions of Canada

Administrative divisions of Canada


Province, with flag Postal abbreviation/
ISO code
Other abbreviations Capital Entered Confederation Population
Area (km²)
Land Water Total
 Ontario1 ON Ont. Toronto July 1, 1867 12,753,702 917,741 158,654 1,076,395
 Quebec1 QC Que., PQ, P.Q. Quebec City 7,687,068 1,356,128 185,928 1,542,056
 Nova Scotia2 NS N.S. Halifax 932,966 53,338 1,946 55,284
 New Brunswick2 NB N.B. Fredericton 748,878 71,450 1,458 72,908
 Manitoba3 MB Man. Winnipeg July 15, 1870 1,182,921 553,556 94,241 647,797
 British Columbia2 BC B.C. Victoria July 20, 1871 4,352,798 925,186 19,549 944,735
 Prince Edward Island2 PE PEI, P.E.I., P.E. Island Charlottetown July 1, 1873 138,800 5,660 5,660
 Saskatchewan4 SK Sask., SK, SKWN Regina September 1, 1905 990,212 591,670 59,366 651,036
 Alberta4 AB Alta. Edmonton 3,455,062 642,317 19,531 661,848
 Newfoundland and Labrador5 NL Nfld., NF, LB St. John's March 31, 1949 506,548 373,872 31,340 405,212


  1. Immediately prior to Confederation, Ontario and Quebec were part of the Province of Canada.
  2. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, British Columbia, and Prince Edward Island were separate colonies at the time of joining Canada.
  3. Manitoba was established simultaneously with Northwest Territories.
  4. Saskatchewan and Alberta were created out of land that had been part of Northwest Territories.
  5. Prior to its entry, Newfoundland was a Dominion within the British Commonwealth.


There are currently three territories in Canada. Unlike the provinces, the territories of Canada have no inherent jurisdiction and only have those powers delegated to them by the federal government.

Territory, with flag Postal abbreviation/
ISO code
Other abbreviations Capital Entered Confederation Population
Area (km²)
Land Water Total
 Northwest Territories NT N.W.T., NWT Yellowknife July 15, 1870 41,795 1,183,085 163,021 1,346,106
 Yukon YT Y.T., YK Whitehorse June 13, 1898 30,883 474,391 8,052 482,443
 Nunavut NU NV Iqaluit April 1, 1999 31,216 1,936,113 157,077 2,093,190

Note: Canada did not acquire any new land to create Yukon, Alberta, Saskatchewan, or Nunavut. All of these originally formed part of Northwest Territories.

Municipalities of Canada

Demography of Canada

Demographics by political division



Government and politics of Canada

Main article: Government of Canada and Politics of Canada

Branches of the government of Canada

Executive branch of the government of Canada

Legislative branch of the government of Canada

Judicial branch of the government of Canada

Foreign relations of Canada

International organization membership

Canada is a member of: [1]

Law and order in Canada

Main article: Law of Canada

Military of Canada

Main article: Military of Canada

Province governments

Territory governments

Politics by political division



History of Canada

Main article: History of Canada, Timeline of Canadian history, and Current events of Canada
When Canada was formed in 1867 its provinces were a relatively narrow strip in the southeast, with vast territories in the interior. It grew by adding British Columbia in 1871, P.E.I. in 1873, the British Arctic Islands in 1880, and Newfoundland in 1949; meanwhile, its provinces grew both in size and number at the expense of its territories.
Evolution of the borders and names of Canada's provinces and territories

History of Canada by period

History of Canada by political division



Culture of Canada

Main article: Culture of Canada

Culture by political division



  • Culture of Northwest Territories
  • Culture of Nunavut
  • Culture of the Yukon

Art in Canada

Music of Canada

Main article: Music of Canada
Music by political division

Sport in Canada

Main article: Sport in Canada

Official Sports

Other sports

Economy of Canada

Economics by political division



Education in Canada

Main article: Education in Canada
Main article: Higher education in Canada

Higher Education by political division



Infrastructure of Canada

See also

English language edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
French language edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


  1. ^ a b "Canada". The World Factbook. United States Central Intelligence Agency. July 8, 2009. Retrieved July 23, 2009.  
  2. ^ "Territorial evolution" (html/pdf). Atlas of Canada. Natural Resources Canada. Retrieved 2007-10-09. "In 1867, the colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are united in a federal state, the Dominion of Canada...."  
  3. ^ "Canada: History" (html/pdf). Country Profiles. Commonwealth Secretariat. Retrieved 2007-10-09. "The British North America Act of 1867 brought together four British colonies ... in one federal Dominion under the name of Canada."  
  4. ^ Hillmer, Norman; W. David MacIntyre. "Commonwealth" (html). Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Project. Retrieved 2007-10-09. "With CONFEDERATION in 1867, Canada became the first federation in the British Empire ..."  
  5. ^ The total length of the land border between Canada and the United States is the longest between any two countries.
  6. ^ The coastline of Canada is the longest in the world. The total length of the coast of Canada is more than five times as long as the circumference of the Earth.
  7. ^ Statistics Canada Population Estimates (April 1, 2007)

External links

Crown corporations

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