“O Canada! Our home and native land!” Those first two lines of our national anthem are very much part of my psyche. I’m one of those unabashed Canadians passionate about the country. Very early in my career I decided to focus my lens on Canada as it made sense to me to get to know one’s own country before exploring another.
In this year of 2017 Canada celebrates its 150th year as a country. For thousands of years, before Europeans set foot on this land, various aboriginal peoples inhabited this same territory. Starting in the 16th century, first the French and then the British claimed various parts of the country until the land was officially called the Dominion of Canada on July 1, 1867 when the British North America Act was invoked. The Dominion of Canada included the colonies of Canada (Ontario and Quebec), New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. In the ensuing years, the country grew to include the current ten provinces and three territories. So, on July 1st, 2017, Canadians will be celebrating in earnest and it is expected that many people will take this opportunity to travel and get acquainted with our country.
Canada is bordered to the south by the United States of America and it stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the East to the Pacific Ocean in the West. Northwards, the country extends to the Arctic Ocean. Canada is the second largest country in the world by total area (covering 9.98 million square kilometres), second only to Russia. When considering land area, however, it ranks 4th in the world because it contains the largest proportion of freshwater in the world. With over 2,000,000 lakes, it has more lakes than any other country in the world. Generally speaking, the south of the country supports a modest amount of grassland and farmland while much of the central and northern parts are covered by deciduous (hardwoods) and evergreen (coniferous) forests respectively. In the far north, forests give way to treeless tundra.
Canada is sparsely populated with more than 80% of its 35.85 million inhabitants living in urban centers, a large portion of which are located in the...