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Great Bear Lake

Great Bear Lake is located in the Northwest Territories. With a surface area of 31,328 km2, Great Bear Lake is the largest lake located entirely inside Canadian borders. It is also the fourth largest in North America and the eighth largest in the world. Water flows out of the lake into the Great Bear River, then into the Mackenzie River. Other rivers connected to the lake include the Dease, Camsell and Johnny Hoe. Great Bear Lake is made up of five separate arms, each with their own names: Dease, McTavish, McVicar, Keith and Smith. (See also Largest Lakes in Canada.)

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Lake Erie

Lake Erie, 25,700 km2 (including islands), of which 12,800 km2 lie in Canada, elevation 173.3 m; 388 km long, 92 km wide and 64 m deep. The shallowest of the five major Great Lakes (excluding Lake St. Clair), it receives most of its waters from Lake Huron via the Detroit River. Other major inflowing streams are the Maumee and Cuyahoga rivers in Ohio, and the Grand River in Ontario. The lake outflows through the Niagara River at Fort Erie, falling almost 100 m to Lake Ontario; more than 50 m of this drop occurs at Niagara Falls. It is also joined to Lake Ontario by the Welland Canal. (See also Largest Lakes in Canada.)

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Kinngait

Kinngait (Cape Dorset), Nunavut, incorporated as a hamlet in 1982, population 1,441 (2016 census), 1,363 (2011 census). The hamlet of Kinngait is situated on Dorset Island, off the southeast coast of the Foxe Peninsula of Baffin Island, 395 km southwest of Iqaluit. Known for a period as Cape Dorset, in 2020 the hamlet returned to its original Inuktut name, Kinngait, meaning “mountains.”

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Nunavut

Nunavut, or “Our Land” in Inuktitut, encompasses over 2 million km2 and has a population of 35,944 residents (2016 census), approximately 85 per cent of whom are Inuit. Covering roughly the part of the Canadian mainland and Arctic Archipelago that lies to the north and northeast of the treeline, Nunavut is the largest and northernmost territory of Canada and the fifth largest administrative division in the world. Nunavummiut live in 25 communities spread across this vast territory, with the largest number, 7,740 (2016 census), in the capital, Iqaluit. The creation of Nunavut in 1999 (the region was previously part of the Northwest Territories) represented the first major change to the political map of Canada since the incorporation of Newfoundland into Confederation in 1949. Beyond changing the internal political boundaries of Canada, Nunavut’s formation represented a moment of great political significance; through political activism and long-term negotiations, a small, marginalized Indigenous group overcame many obstacles to peacefully establish a government that they controlled within the Canadian state, thereby gaining control of their land, their resources and their future. As such, the creation of Nunavut represents a landmark moment in the evolution of Canada and a significant development in the history of the world’s Indigenous peoples.

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Elsipogtog First Nation

Elsipogtog (pronounced El-see-buk-tuk) First Nation is a Mi’kmaq community about 91 km northwest of Moncton, New Brunswick. Known for many years as Big Cove, in 2003 the First Nation officially changed its name to Elsipogtog, meaning “river of fire.” However, they are still commonly referred to as Big Cove. Community members largely speak Mi’kmaw and English.

As of 2021, Elsipogtog has 3,491 registered members, 2,689 of whom live on the First Nation’s reserve. The reserve, also known as Elsipogtog, is still referred to as Richibucto 15 in some official documents. It encompasses 19.56 km2.

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Resistance and Residential Schools

Residential schools were government-sponsored religious schools that many Indigenous children were forced to attend. They were established to assimilate Indigenous children into Euro-Canadian culture. Indigenous parents and children did not simply accept the residential-school system. Indigenous peoples fought against – and engaged with – the state, schools and other key players in the system. For the duration of the residential-school era, parents acted in the best interests of their children and communities. The children responded in ways that would allow them to survive.

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Mount Royal

Mount Royal is a short mountain with a wide base covering ten square kilometres. It is close to the geographic centre of the Island of Montreal. Mount Royal is Montreal’s defining physical feature and a protected site; it was designated a Historic and Natural District by the government of Quebec in 2005. By law, new buildings in Montreal may not be taller than Mount Royal. The mountain occupies a central position, not only in the urban landscape of the city of Montreal, but also in its history, culture and society.

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Okanagan Lake

Okanagan Lake is located in the southern interior of British Columbia and is the largest lake in the Okanagan Valley.

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Montreal Metro

The Montreal metro opened on 14 October 1966. The second Canadian subway system after Toronto’s, which opened in 1954, the Montreal metro was the first subway in North America to run on rubber tires instead of metal wheels. Extensions to the Montreal metro were built on Montreal Island over the two decades after it opened, and then to the city of Laval, on the island of Île Jésus, during the 2000s. The system runs entirely underground, and each station has a distinct architecture and design. The Montreal metro consists of four lines running a total of 71 km and serving 68 stations. In 2018, its passengers made more than 383 million trips.

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Red Bay Archaeological Site

Red Bay, located on the north shore of the Strait of Belle Isle, Labrador, is an archaeological reference for the 16th-century transatlantic fishery, particularly for Basque whaling activities. After research into Spanish documents and archaeological finds on Saddle Island and under water, Red Bay was designated a historical site in 1978-79. In 2013, the whaling station at Red Bay was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Red Bay

Red Bay, NL, incorporated as a town in 1997, population 169 (2016 census), 194 (2011 census). The town of Red Bay is located on the Strait of Belle Isle, off Labrador’s south coast. Named for its prominent red cliffs, it was one of two major Basque whaling stations established in the 1540s. After research into Spanish documents and archaeological finds on Saddle Island and under water, Red Bay was designated a historical site in 1978-79 (see Red Bay Archaeological Site). In 2013, the whaling station at Red Bay was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Anne of Green Gables

Lucy Maud Montgomery’s first novel, Anne of Green Gables (1908), became an instant bestseller and has remained in print for more than a century, making the character of Anne Shirley a mythic icon of Canadian culture. The book has sold an estimated 50 million copies worldwide, been translated into at least 36 languages, as well as braille, and been adapted more than two dozen times in various mediums. A musical version first produced by the Charlottetown Festival in 1965 is the longest running annual musical theatre production in the world, while the award-winning 1985 CBC miniseries starring Megan Follows is the most-watched television program in Canadian history. Thousands of tourists visit Prince Edward Island each year to see the “sacred sites” related to the book, and the sale of Anne-related commodities such as souvenirs and dolls has come to constitute a cottage industry.

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Largest Cities in Canada With an Indigenous Name

When naming a village, Canadian settlers looked to a variety of sources. Sometimes they’d name it for a resident or a famous person. Sometimes they’d name it for their hometown. The names of many of Canada’s largest cities, however, are derived from an Indigenous word.

Most of the names are descriptive of the land or animals in the area, such as Oshawa and Coquitlam. Others, like Mississauga, are named for the First Nation whose land the city was founded on. In the case of Kelowna, the name began as an offhand joke among Salish friends. Here are the ten most populous cities in Canada with names of Indigenous origin.

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Wauzhushk Onigum Nation

Wauzhushk Onigum Nation (pronounced Waa-JUSHK oh-KNEE-gum), commonly referred to as Rat Portage, is an Anishinaabe community based on the north shore of Lake of the Woods in northwestern Ontario. Wauzhushk Onigum’s primary reserve, Kenora 38B, is 22.3 km2. As of 2021, the First Nation has 802 registered members, 383 of whom live on this reserve. Wauzhushk Onigum is a member of Treaty 3, signed in 1873. The City of Kenora is 3 km northwest and is the closest service hub for the First Nation.

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Smallest Cities in Canada

If you look at a map of Canada, the number of place names can be overwhelming. Whether or not these places are considered municipalities depends on legislation specific to the province or territory in which they are located. Depending on the number of people who live there, municipalities may be called a number of names, including city, town, village or hamlet.

Most Canadian municipalities have thousands of residents. There are 11, however, that have 10 or fewer people.

This list is largely based on Statistics Canada’s 2016 census, as well as reliable information from other sources. It does not include “unorganized” communities, “designated places,” or reserves, as these are governed by larger municipalities, or in the case of reserves, the federal government.

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Cartography in Canada: 1500s

Most maps created in the 1500s that relate to Canada are manuscript compilations, often undated and anonymous. They were prepared by European cartographers rather than by explorers. Since cartographers had to work with available material, these maps are at times a perplexing mixture of new information and old, copied from unspecified sources. Any review of the sequence in which Canada was first mapped is therefore somewhat conjectural. (See also History of Cartography in Canada.)

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Trans Canada Trail

The Trans Canada Trail is over 27,000 km of land and waterways connecting every Canadian province and territory. Construction began in 1992 as part of Canada's 125th birthday celebrations. It was completed 25 years later, in 2017, when Canada turned 150. In 2016, the trail’s name changed to “The Great Trail.” However, in June 2021, the name reverted back to the original.