What are the largest Canadian urban areas?

Toronto (5.1 million people), Montréal (3.6 million), and Vancouver (2.1 million) are Canada's largest urban areas.

When did Canada have a transcontinental railway?

After nearly a decade of setbacks, Canada completed its first transcontinental railroad in 1885. The Canadian Pacific Railway opened western Canada to settlement and greatly helped the city of Vancouver to grow.

How is northern Canada gaining elevation?

During the ice ages, thick ice sheets covered northern Canada, including Hudson Bay, pushing the continent down by the sheer force of the extreme weight of the ice. Ever since the melting of the ice sheets at the end of the ice age, the ground has been rising a few inches each year.

Why do they speak French in Québec?

Most of Québec speaks French because the French founded the city of Québec, one of the oldest cities in North America, in the seventeenth century. Québec served as the capital of the surrounding New France until the British took control of the territory in 1763. Even though it was ruled by the British from the eighteenth century onward, the region that was once held by France has remained a center of French culture and language in North America.

The differences in culture between the province of Québec and the rest of Canada have been so extreme that there are strong secessionist forces within Québec that want Québec to become its own country. Though two referendums for Québec's independence have been voted upon in Canada-wide elections, both the 1980 and 1995 referendums failed to pass. But these failures have not quieted Québec's secessionist forces, and it is likely that future referendums will be held. If passed, many believe that the secession of Québec would dissolve the loose Canadian federation.

What did the phrase "fifty-four forty or fight" mean?

In the mid-nineteenth century, many Americans wanted to see the United States' territory expand northward into the area now known as Canada. The phrase "fifty-four forty or fight" referred to the desire to move the boundary northward to 54°40' North, which would have encompassed much of southern Canada. Ultimately, the boundary was fixed at 49° North, where it sits today.

What is the deepest lake in North America?

The Canadian Rockies , off of Icefields Parkway, inside Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. The Rockies stretch from the Yukon in Canada all the way down to the American Southwest (photo by Paul A. Tucci).

The Canadian Rockies , off of Icefields Parkway, inside Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. The Rockies stretch from the Yukon in Canada all the way down to the American Southwest (photo by Paul A. Tucci).

Northwestern Canada's Great Slave Lake is the continent's deepest, at 2,015 feet (614 meters). The lake is named after the indigenous people who live near the lake, the Slave.

How long are the Rockies?

The Rocky Mountains (Rockies) extend over 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers), from the Yukon Territory in Canada to Arizona and New Mexico in the southern United States.

How was Niagara Falls stopped?

The water from the Niagara River falls over two waterfalls, divided by Goat Island. Only six percent of the water from the Niagara River falls over American Falls, while Horseshoe Falls (or Canadian Falls) carries the majority of the water. In 1969, a temporary dam was built to divert the water from American Falls to Horseshoe Falls for several months in order to study the erosion endemic to both waterfalls.

What was the Klondike Gold Rush?

In 1896, gold was discovered in an area of western Canada known as the Klondike, located in the Yukon Territory where the Klondike and Yukon Rivers meet. Once the news of the discovery spread, tens of thousands of people headed west, creating the Klondike Gold Rush.

What is the world's largest gulf?

The Gulf of Mexico, which is approximately 600,000 square miles (1.5 million square kilometers), is the world's largest gulf. The Gulf of Mexico is surrounded by Mexico, the southern coast of the United States, and Cuba, and is connected to the Caribbean Sea in the east.

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