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© M. Uhl



Canada covers the northern half of the North American continent and its area of 9,984,670 sq km makes it the second largest country in the world after Russia. It is almost 28 times bigger than Germany. Having the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Arctic Ocean as its natural borders, the mainland of Canada has the world's longest coastline totalling 202,080 km. In the south, the country shares an 8,890 km-long border with the United States of America. The northernmost of Canada’s Arctic islands is located just 800 km from the North Pole. On the other side of the Arctic Ocean is the country’s neighbour, Russia. Due to the extreme climatic conditions in the north, only 12 percent of the total area of Canada is suitable for agricultural use. This is why the majority of the population lives in the milder climatic regions of the south.



Canada boasts extreme climatic variation - temperature and the amount of precipitation vary strongly from region to region and between the different seasons. While it is true that in the extreme north temperatures climb above 0°C for only a few months a year, most Canadians live within 300 kilometres of the country's southern border, where mild springs, warm summers and pleasantly crisp autumns prevail at least seven months of the year. The seasons also define the landscape: depending on whether the natural world is in a state of dormancy or growth, snow-covered mountains may call ski-lovers to the slopes just as summer lake landscapes make waterskiing an inviting activity.



Rivers ...

The St. Lawrence (3 058 kilometres long) is Canada's most important river, providing a seaway for ships from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean.

The longest Canadian river is the Mackenzie, which flows 4 241 kilometres through the Northwest Territories.


Lakes ...

There are some two million lakes in Canada, covering about 7.6 percent of the Canadian landmass.

The main lakes are Huron, Great Bear, Superior, Great Slave, Winnipeg, Erie and Ontario. The largest lake situated entirely in Canada is Great Bear Lake (31 328 km²) in the Northwest Territories.


Mountain Ranges ...

Canada's terrain incorporates a number of mountain ranges: the Torngats, Appalachians and Laurentians in the east;
the Rocky Mountains, Coastal and Mackenzie ranges in the west; and Mount St. Elias and the Pelly Mountains in the north.

At 5 959 metres, Mount Logan in the Yukon is Canada's tallest peak.