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Get to know Canada

Canada may be very different from your home country, which means there is a great deal to learn about and explore before you arrive here. Our in-depth information on Canadian culture, weather, language, health care, education and more will help you prepare for life in Canada. We invite you to explore our page and start learning about this great country.

Land & Climate

Canada is the second largest country on earth and has three ocean borders:

  • the Pacific Ocean in the west;

  • the Atlantic Ocean in the east; and

  • the Arctic Ocean to the north.

Canada also borders the United States in the south and in the northwest.


Canada has many different types of landscape. There are areas with high mountains, different types of forests, prairie grasslands and arctic tundra where the ground is permanently frozen. Canada is also home to many rivers and lakes.

Cities, Provinces & Regions

Ottawa is the capital city of Canada and is located on the Ottawa River between Ontario and Quebec.

Canada has 10 provinces and three territories, each with its own capital city. These provinces and territories are grouped into five regions:

  • Atlantic Provinces: Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick

  • Central Canada: Quebec and Ontario

  • Prairie Provinces: Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta

  • West Coast: British Columbia

  • North: Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon Territory

Most people live in southern Ontario and Quebec, southwest British Columbia and Alberta. Much of the north has a very low population because of the cold climate.


Canada has three levels of government:

  • Federal: The federal government is based in Ottawa. The Prime Minister heads the federal government. It deals with national and international matters.

  • Provincial or territorial: The provincial and territorial governments have the power to change their laws and manage their own public lands. Their responsibilities include: education, health care and road regulations.

  • Municipal: This is the level of government that governs a city, town or district (a municipality).


Canada’s economy has three main types of industries.

Service: which includes jobs in

  • Transportation

  • Education

  • Health care

  • Construction

  • Banking

  • Communications

  • Retail services

  • Tourism

  • Government

Manufacturing: which makes products, such as:

  • Paper

  • High technology equipment

  • Aerospace technology

  • Automobiles

  • Machinery

  • Food

  • Clothing

  • Many other goods

Natural resources: which includes jobs in:

  • Forestry

  • Fishing

  • Agriculture

  • Mining

  • Energy

Human Rights

Canadian citizens and residents have rights

It is important for you to learn about your rights and duties in Canada. You should also know how important the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is to what we believe and how we live in this country.

The Charter protects your rights

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is part of Canada’s Constitution and protects you from the moment you arrive in Canada. It sets out the values that Canadians live by and describes the kinds of personal human rights and freedoms we can expect in this country. Some of those rights and freedoms include:

  • The right to life, liberty and personal security

  • Freedom of conscience and religion

  • Freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media

  • Freedom to hold peaceful meetings

  • Freedom to join groups

  • The right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty

  • Protection from unreasonable search or seizure and unjustified detainment and imprisonment

  • The right to retain and instruct counsel (a lawyer) without delay

  • The right to a fair trial, through due process of law

  • The right to equal protection and benefit under the law, without discrimination

Rights come with responsibilities

People who live in Canada are expected to understand and obey Canadian laws, allow other Canadians to enjoy their rights and freedoms and help preserve Canada’s multicultural heritage.

It is also important for Canadians to become informed about politics and help to improve their communities and the country.


Citizens of Canada have other rights and freedoms, such as the right to vote in elections. To learn about these rights, see the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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