Capital | Ottawa
Population | 33,759,742 (July 2010 est.)
Area | 9,984,670 SQ KM
Official Language | English, French
Holidays | Canada Day, 1 July (1867)
Currency | Canadian dollars (CAD)
Time Zone | UTC -5
Best Time to Visit | March to November – spring, summer and autumn
Connecting with the Culture | Canoeing in Algonquin Park. Visiting the historic Viking settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows. Spotting Arctic wildlife in Churchill – from polar bears and beluga whales to caribou and arctic foxes. Spending time in Montreal – the streets are filled with musicians, restaurants, shops and a general atmosphere of bonhomie.
Read | Blind Assassin, the Booker prize-winning book by Margaret Atwood, set in 1930’s Canada.
Listen | to Leonard Cohen, Neil Young and the Cowboy Junkies
Eat | Oka cheese from Quebec.
Drink | VO (‘Very Own’) rye whisky, or a cherry cider.
In a Word | Parlez-vouz anglais? (Do you speak English?)
Characteristics | Moose and bears; the Rockies; smoked salmon; maple trees.
Surprises | Halifax was the base of rescue operations for the Titanic tragedy. The game of basketball was created by a Canadian – so was the 1980’s classic Trivial Pursuit, a board game that outsold Monopoly.