As a prosperous nation, Canada has a large domestic and foreign tourism industry. The second largest country in the world, Canada's incredible geographical variety is a significant tourist attractor. Much of the country's tourism is centered around Canada's four largest cities, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Ottawa, well-known for their culture, diversity, as well as the many national parks and historic sites.
Canadian culture is a term that explains the artistic, musical, literary, culinary, political and social elements that are representative of Canada and Canadians, not only to its own population, but people all over the world. Canada's culture has historically been influenced by European culture and traditions, especially British and French. Over time, elements of the cultures of Canada's Aboriginal peoples and immigrant populations have become incorporated into mainstream Canadian culture. It has subsequently been influenced by American culture because of its proximity and migration between the two countries.
Canadian cuisine varies widely from depending on the regions of the nation. The former Canadian prime minister Joe Clark has been paraphrased to have noted: "Canada has a cuisine of cuisines. Not a stew pot, but a smorgasbord. "The three earliest cuisines of Canada have First Nations, English, and French roots, with the traditional cuisine of English Canada closely related to British and American cuisine, while the traditional cuisine of French Canada has evolved from French cuisine and the winter provisions of fur traders. With subsequent waves of immigration in the 18th and 19th century from Central, Southern, and Eastern Europe, and also from China, the regional cuisines were subsequently augmented. A noteworthy fact is that Canada is the world's largest producer of Maple syrup.
Canada's climate is not as cold all year around as some may believe. In winter, temperatures fall below freezing point throughout most of Canada. But the south-western coast has a relatively mild climate. Along the Arctic Circle, mean temperatures are below freezing for seven months a year.
During the summer months the southern provinces often experience high levels of humidity and temperatures that can surpass 30 degrees Celsius regularly.
Western and south-eastern Canada experience high rainfall, but the Prairies are dry with 250 mm to 500 mm of rain every year.
A multitude of languages are used in Canada. According to the 2006 census, English and French are the mother tongues of 58. 8% and 23. 2% of Canadians respectively. New Brunswick is the only Canadian province that has both English and French as its official languages. Quebec's official language is French.  English and French are recognized by the Constitution of Canada as "official languages. " This means that all laws of the federal government are enacted in both English and French and that federal government services must be available in both languages.
Most people from the UK and Europe find the cost of living in Canada is significantly lower than their home country.
Canadian housing is particularly cheap compared with other developed nations - the average house price in Canada is around seven times the average annual wage. Prices are highest in Ontario and Alberta (seven to eight times the average wage) and Vancouver (eleven times the average wage).
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west and northward into the Arctic Ocean. It is the world's second largest country by total area. Canada's common border with the United States to the south and northwest is the longest in the world.
The land that is now Canada was inhabited for millennia by various groups of Aboriginal peoples. Beginning in the late 15th century, British and French expeditions explored, and later settled, along 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. This began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament.
Canada is a federal state that is governed as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. It is a bilingual nation with both English and French as official languages at the federal level. One of the world's highly developed countries, Canada has a diversified economy that is reliant upon its abundant natural resources and upon trade—particularly with the United States, with which Canada has had a long and complex relationship. It is a member of the G7, G8, G20, NATO, OECD, WTO, Commonwealth of Nations, Francophonie, OAS, APEC, and UN. With the eighth-highest Human Development Index globally, it has one of the highest standards of living in the world.
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