Facts and Figures

"It is quite possible that the Vikings touched on the east coast of Canada in the year 1000, but the first recorded landing is that of John Cabot in 1497, at which time he claimed the new found land for English King Henry VII. Subsequently in 1534 a French navigator, Jacques Cartier, planted a cross on Gaspé Peninsula and took possession for France. Thus began a French-English rivalry that continued for 250 years.

"Canada is the world's second largest country with an area of 9,970,610 km² (3,851,809 sq. mi.). Russia is the largest with an area of 17,075,272 km² (6,591,055 sq. mi.). Continental United states has an area of 9,428,692 km² (3,639,475 sq. mi.), but with Hawaii, Alaska and its territories it has a combined area of 10,828,548 km² (4,179,819 sq. mi.). Brazil has an area of 8,544,822 km² (3,298,301 sq. mi.). China has a continental area of 9,634,014 km² (3,718,729 sq. mi.), but with outlying territories added it has a combined area of 13,679,699 km² (5,280,384 sq. mi.).

"The most easterly point of Canada is Cape Spear in Newfoundland 52° west longitude, and its most westerly point is Mt. St. Elias in the Yukon Territory 141° west longitude. The extreme width of Canada is 9,306 km (5,780 miles). The most northerly point of Canada is Cape Columbia on Ellesmere Island in Northwest Territory 83° north latitude; and the most southerly point in Canada is Middle Island, Ontario, in Lake Erie, which is 42° north latitude. The extreme north-south distance is 4,634 km (2873 miles). Canada's most northerly point is 725 km (450 miles) south of the North Pole.

"The Canadian-United States border is 6,422 km (3,989 miles) in length not including Alaska. Including Alaska the boundary is 8,763 km (5,443 miles) long.

"Parliament adopted what is now Canada's National Flag on October 22, 1964. Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed it so on February 15, 1965. The red and white colors of the Flag had been Canada's official colors since November 21, 1921, when King George V declared them so. The maple leaf emblem has been considered the country's emblem since the early 18th century.

"The capital of Canada is Ottawa, located in Ontario. The total population of Canada according to the official 1981 census was 24,343,181. The official 1986 census showed a population of 25,354,000. And the 1991 census 26,835,500.

"The language breakdown is appoximately 66.8% English, 15.8% French, 16.2% other languages.

"The distribution of the population is 76.6% urban and 23.4% rural.

"The highest elevation in Canada is 5,951 metres (19,850 feet) and the lowest is sea level. The area of Quebec is twice the size of the United States' State of Texas."

From the 'Canadian Farm & Home Almanac'