Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Explained: Canadian geography

Well jabberwockies, I thought it'd be fun to do a mini-series (and by mini-series, I mean two posts because I seem to have a problem with writing a series longer than two posts) about the geography of two awesome (I'm totally not biased) countries. This week, it's Canada. (And by the way, most of my readers are American and I'm pretty sure (I hope, anyways) that my American readers have a pretty good grasp of Canadian geography BUT there's always new things to learn and I also have Australian readers who have stuff to learn too. So yeah.) 

First things first, Canada is in North America and is the second largest country in the world (with Russia being the first) and is part of the Commonwealth. This means we have the Queen on our money, and if England goes to war then we tag along too but we make all our own laws. The Queen is basically a figurehead. 

Source

In Canada, we have ten provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Qu├ębec) and three territories (Yukon, Nunavut and Northwest Territories). (I must admit that I've always been glad to only have twenty-six provinces/territories and capitals to learn, compared to the Americans. You guys have one hundred things to learn!) The capital is Ottawa, in Ontario. 

We are a bilingual country, which means that everything is in two languages, French and English. You've got cereal boxes and airbag warning stickers and official documentation like passports that's all in two languages. Where I was from, all the signs and stuff (like stop signs) were in English because English was the native language, but you could get signs in French and English depending on where you were. If you landed in the Vancouver airport (which is one of my favourite airports ever, by the way) all of the announcements will be in French and English. 

Distributions of native French-speaking people of Canada, 1996. Source

In terms of weather and landscape, we have pretty much everything. Beaches, humid forests, lakes, farms, deserts, frozen tundras and mountains. We can get to -50C (-58F) to 40C (104) with chinooks, blizzards, heat waves and thunderstorms in between.

(And it's a pretty cool place to live, by the way.)

Did you learn anything new about my home country? If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Did you ever struggle to learn the provinces/territories/states and their capitals in school?

13 comments:

  1. Rainbow Magic Fairy5 July 2016 at 07:30

    Wow! Thank you :) I learnt a ton! ha ha ha, I am so bad at geography! Awesome post :)

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  2. Yay! A post about Canada! Even though we only have 26 things to learn, I still can't keep them all straight. I was a terrible geography student, haha.

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    1. *high fives* Ugh, it was awful. Then we had to learn all the Great Lakes, too. That's alright, we can be terrible together.

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  3. I learned that Canada is the second largest country in the world and has ten provinces. (By the way, Ireland has four). I knew about the bilingual part because of this YouTuber I watched (luckyy, the bilingual part, I mean).

    I heard that in Canada, milk comes in bags. WHaaat?

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    1. Ooh, good to know, good to know. I basically know nothing about Ireland, which is lame of me.

      I've actually never had milk in a bag? Whenever someone mentions Canada they always talk about the bagged milk, and I'm just as fascinated as everyone else. I've never even seen it before. It's a mystery, I tell you.

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  4. Very neat! I went to a mission trip to Thunder Bay once and I really loved it! I've always wanted to visit Canada again. I had no idea that it was part of the Commonwealth though.

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    1. I've never been, but I'd love to go! I'm glad you liked it!

      Yep, we still are. As my fifth grade history teacher said, during the American Revolution when they were all throwing tea into the bay, the Canadians were like sure! Tax us! We don't care! Do you want that in cheque or cash? And hence we are still part of the Commonwealth. Sort of. We're independent, but part of the Commonwealth. (It's confusing.)

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  5. I did okay with the states, but once they started throwing in capitals...ugh. And then we had to memorize all the postal abbreviations. :/

    What's the difference between a province and a territory?

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    1. What's the point of doing the postal codes? WHERE IS THE LOGIC? That's ridiculous.

      I actually didn't know this one, I had to look it up. According to Google, a province gets its power/authority from the Constitution while territories get it from the government of Canada.

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    2. Interesting on the Province/Constitution thing.

      Our postal codes are letter abbreviations and you have to put it on any letters that you're going to be sending. So, if I wanted to send something to Michigan (MI) or Missouri (MO) or Montana (MT) Or Mississippi (MS), I would need to know the appropriate abbreviation to put on the letter so that it goes to the correct state (we also have numbered zip codes that are more specific). As evidenced above, some of the abbreviations aren't intuitive.

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  6. I know that at some point I had to memorize Canada's provinces and territories and their capitals (I can't remember if that was because it was one of the units where we had to hand-draw the maps, too... Because I know I had to do that for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East) but that information has faded with the years. Still, it's nice to have a refresher on my neighbors to the north! :)

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    1. That's intense and also awesome. I've never gotten to do any of that, but that may be because of the gaps in my education. I'm glad I could be of service :)

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