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Population: 33,76 milion (July 2010 est.)
Capital City: Ottawa
Languages: English, French
Religion: Roman Catholic 42.6%, Protestant 23.3% (including United Church 9.5%, Anglican 6.8%, Baptist 2.4%, Lutheran 2%), other Christian 4.4%, Muslim 1.9%, other and unspecified 11.8%, none 16%
Government: Constitutional Monarchy
Time Zone: GMT/UTC -3.5 (Newfoundland Standard Time), GMT/UTC -4 (Atlantic Standard Time), GMT/UTC -5 (Eastern Standard Time), GMT/UTC -7 (Mountain Standard Time), GMT/UTC -8 (Pacific Standard Time), GMT/UTC -6 (Central Standard Time)
Dialling Code: 1
Electricity: 110-120V, 60Hz
Weights & measures: Metric

Money & Costs:
Currency: Canadian Dollar
Average yearly salary: USD 38,400

Budget: C$7-15
Mid-range: C$15-30
High: C$30-40
Top: C$40+
Budget: C$20-40
Mid-range: C$40-70
High: C$70-100
Top: C$100+

Widely different income levels in Canada mean you can find accommodation, food and entertainment to suit any budget. In general the three northern territories are the costliest, followed by Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Quabec and Atlantic Canada will put the least pressure on your wallet. For most visitors, the largest expense will be accommodation. Food prices are generally much lower than those in Western Europe, but are a little higher than those in the USA. If you stay in budget accommodation and eat in cafes, expect to spend around US$45 a day, not including long-distance transport. If you stay in motels and eat at restaurants occasionally, you're looking at around US$80 a day.

A 7% Goods & Services Tax (GST) is applicable to all transport, accommodation, restaurant meals and just about anything else you're likely to purchase, including newspapers. On top of this, in most of Canada, a provincial sales tax also must be paid. This can, in some provinces, add 15% to the quoted price, so factor it into your expenses so you don't get a nasty surprise at the cash register.

Geography: Canada is second-largest country in world (after Russia) and approximately 90% of the population is concentrated within 160 km of the US border. Ottawa is Canada's capital located on the tip of Ontario. Toronto is Canada's largest city and is extremely multicultural. Here is where the world's tallest freestanding structure, the CN Tower stands. You should visit the Niagra Falls, which is only a 2 hour drive away. Montreal is a charming island city with a strong French flavour. Vancouver is Canada's most beautiful city. It has a hilly terrain and many great bridges that offer stunning views of the ocean, bays and Vancouver itself with it's many attractions, Stanley Park, Wreck Beach and Vancouver Island. Vancouver offers great hiking, rafting and whale watching. You can't visit Canada without going to Quebec City. The entire old section of town is North America's only walled city, and has been named a UN World Heritage site.

Halifax is the capital of Nova Scotia, it sits beside one of the world's largest natural harbours, on the south Atlantic shore. Winnipeg is located in Manitoba and is named Canada's Wild West. Edmonton is the capital of Alberta, and home of the world's largest shopping and entertainment mall. Charlottetown is the capital of Canada's smallest province, Prince Edward Island. It is an old, quiet country town. St John's is Newfoundland & Labrador's island capital and North America's oldest city. The hilly town is magnificently located on a series of terraces rising up from the waterfront.

Culture: The base of Canada's cultural identity is the traditions of its native people. However, English and French are the country's two official languages. The French spoken in Canada is not, however, the language of France. In Quebec, where the majority of the population are of French descent, the local tongue is known as Quebecois. Most Quebeckers, however, will understand formal French. The differences between Quebec and English Canada don't just apply to language. The French influence of Quebec can be seen in architecture, music, food and religion.

Climate: Summer thunderstorms are common throughout Canada. Occasionally, these may become 'severe'. Tornados also occur throughout Canada, with May to September being prime months. The peak season is June and early July in southern Ontario, Alberta, southeastern Qu补c, and a band stretching from southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba, through to Thunder Bay. The interior of British Columbia and western New Brunswick are also tornado zones. Earth tremors occur in the western mountains. Forest fires can occur at any time, regardless of the season, particularly in the grasslands and forests of western Canada.

Recommended clothing:

March: Moderate temperatures. Winter clothing with some mediumweight clothing.

April: Milder days but the evenings are cool. Mediumweight clothing including a topcoat is recommended.

May: Warm days but cool at night. Mediumweight and summer clothing recommended.

June: Warm, summer clothing with some mediumweight clothing for cool evenings. The weather in June is ideal for travel and all outdoor activities.

July/August: The warmest months of the year. Lightweight summer clothing is recommended.

September: Warm days and cool evenings. Light- to mediumweight clothing recommended.

October: Cool, with the first frost in the air.

November: Cool to frosty. Medium- to heavyweight clothing is recommended. First signs of snow. Motorists should have cars prepared for winter and snow tyres are recommended.

December/January/February: Winter temperatures. Winter clothing is necessary (eg overcoat, hat, boots and gloves). Heavy snowfall in most provinces.

Social conventions: Handshaking predominates as the normal mode of greeting. Close friends often exchange kisses on the cheeks, particularly in French-speaking areas. Codes of practice for visiting homes are the same as in other Western countries: flowers, chocolates or a bottle of wine are common gifts for hosts, and dress is generally informal and practical according to climate. It is common for black tie and other required dress to be indicated on invitations. Exclusive clubs and restaurants often require more formal dress. Smoking has been banned in most public areas. Most restaurants, theaters and cinemas, if they permit smoking, have large 'no smoking' areas.

Health: By far the most common complaint while travelling is diarrhea, or 'turista'. This is usually caused by the differences in water purity. Canada's municipal water supplies are treated to remove most waterborne organisms, but some less developed countries may not do this. Travellers may have diarrhea while travelling abroad if they drink the local water or food prepared with local water in these countries.

Food & Drink: Canadians eat a lot of beef and chicken, less pork then and some lamb. Canadians love to barbeque their meat. You will find barbeques in almost every yard (garden) and on many decks and balconies. The food cooks very quickly at high temperature. Canadians barbeque their food even when there is snow on the ground and the temperature is as low as -30C!
Fresh fruit and vegetables are available all the year, they are imported when needed during the colder parts of the year. Quality depends of what you expect. The appearance is generally excellent, that being the measure that the supermarkets use to judge quality.
Canadians drink a lot of carbonated (fizzy) soft drinks, referred to in Canada as 'pop' or 'soda', such as cola and orange. These are sold in cans and bottles up to about 2 litres. Generally these are cheap, especially the larger sizes. Small sizes are available from vending machines in many locations although these are expensive when compared to buying the same item in a supermarket.
Bottled water is readily available, but the majority is still water. Carbonated water is not drunk to the same extent as in europe. Much of the bottled water sold in Canada is simply town water that has been treated by passing it through a filtration plant, it is not spring water or from a natural source. You need to read the label carefully to find this information. Supermarkets and filling stations (garages) sell large packs of small bottles of water at what look like economical prices, however, the prices shown are highly misleading because bottle deposits and taxes are added to the price.

Public Holidays:
Jan 1 New Year's Day
Varies between March 22 and April 25 Good Friday
1st Monday after Easter Easter Monday
1 Jul Canada Day
1st Mon in Aug Civic Holiday
1st Mon in Sep Labour Day
2nd Mon in Oct Thanksgiving
11 Nov Remembrance Day
25 Dec Christmas Day
26 Dec Boxing Day

Note: Some public holidays are only celebrated regionally. They are: 3rd Monday in February - Family Day (Alberta); Monday nearest March 17 - St Patrick's Day (Newfoundland); Monday nearest April 23 - St George's Day (Newfoundland); Monday before May 24 - Victoria Day (except in the Atlantic Provinces); June 24 - Fzte Nationale (Quebec); Monday nearest June 24 - Discovery Day (Newfoundland); Monday nearest July 13 - Orangeman's Day (Newfoundland), and 3rd Monday in August - Discovery Day (Yukon).

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only. The content of this page is not intended to substitute for advice given by the user's own government travel departments or a licensed travel health advisor. The viewer/user of this web page should always contact the user's own government representatives in that area for the most up-to-date information at that time, before making a final decision to travel to that country or destination.

Study in Canada: Below are the latest English language schools, art schools, business schools & colleges to join our directory.

Schools & colleges listing on Learn4Good:Location
Focus Education Centre of CanadaMississauga, Ontario, Canada
Business French Summer School - HEC MontréalMontreal, Quebec, Canada
International Career Institute, Online TEFL Diploma CourseToronto, Ontario, Canada
NSL Mondial, Public High School Program in Eastern OntarioOttawa, Ontario, Canada
GLOW Academy - Toronto, Mississauga & KitchenerToronto, Ontario, Canada
Nimbus School of Recording Arts Ltd, Vancouver BCVancouver, BC, Canada
NSL Camps - National School Language Camps, OttawaOttawa, Ontario, Canada
Kaplan International VancouverVancouver, BC, Canada
Edu-inter Summer Language School in QuebecQuébec City, Quebec, Canada
Aviva Spray Tanning AcademyToronto, Ontario, Canada

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