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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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Vaughan

Vaughan, ON, incorporated as a city in 1991, population 323,103 (2021 census), 306,233 (2016 census). The City of Vaughan — which includes the five constituent communities of Maple, Kleinburg, Concord, Woodbridge and part of Thornhill — is located in the York regional municipality, next to the northwest boundary of metropolitan Toronto. Traditionally an agricultural and milling community, Vaughan’s economy diversified over the latter half of the 20th century as immigration increased and the township developed into a city. Today, Vaughan is a multicultural community with a growing metropolitan core.

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Chatham-Kent

Chatham-Kent, ON, incorporated as a municipality in 1998, population 103,988 (2021 census), 101,647 (2016 census). The Municipality of Chatham-Kent is located on the Thames River, 80 km east of Windsor. The City of Chatham (incorporated 1895) and Kent County (created 1792) are just two of the 23 former municipalities that comprise Chatham-Kent. Others include the towns of Wallaceburg, Blenheim, Tilbury, Ridgetown and Dresden. This large municipality is bounded by lakes St. Clair and Erie (to its west and east), with the lower Thames River running down its length.

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Wasaga Beach

Wasaga Beach, ON, incorporated as a town in 1974, population 24,862 (2021 census), 20,675 (2016 census). The Town of Wasaga Beach is located on the shores of Georgian Bay at the mouth of the Nottawasaga River, about 40 km northwest of Barrie. Wasaga Beach is the world's longest freshwater beach. The name was derived from the Nottawasaga River.

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Kamloops

Kamloops, BC, incorporated as a city in 1893, population 97,902 (2021 census), 90,280 (2016 census). The City of Kamloops amalgamated with North Kamloops in 1967 and in 1973 with surrounding residential areas to form the present city of Kamloops. It is located in southern British Columbia 355 km northeast of Vancouver via the Coquihalla highway. The city is situated at the confluence of the North and South Thompson rivers near their entrance into Kamloops Lake. The Kamloops Reserve 1, home to some members of the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, is adjacent to the city, on the northeast corner of the river junction.

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Geraldton

Geraldton, ON, population centre, population 1,761 (2021 census), 1,838 (2016 census). Incorporated as a town in 1937, in 2001 Geraldton was amalgamated with several other communities to create the Municipality of Greenstone. Geraldton is situated in northwestern Ontario on the Canadian National Railway, 282 km northeast of Thunder Bay. Established in the early 1930s as a consequence of the Little Long Lac gold rush, the town derived its name from its two co-founders, mining entrepreneurs J.S. FitzGerald and Joseph Errington.

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Vancouver

Vancouver, British Columbia, incorporated as a city in 1886, population 631,486 (2016c), 603,502 (2011c). Vancouver is the largest city in British Columbia and the third largest census metropolitan area in Canada. The City of Vancouver lies on a peninsula in the southwest corner of the province's mainland. Two surrounding waterways — Burrard Inlet and the Strait of Georgia — provide a sheltered deep-sea port and convenient access to the Pacific Ocean, while the Fraser River offers an easy route to the rich agricultural lands of the Fraser River Lowland and the interior. Railways and highways give easy access to the interior.

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Prince Albert

Prince Albert, SK, incorporated as a city in 1904, population 37,756 (2021 census), 35,926 (2016 census). The City of Prince Albert is located on the south shore of the North Saskatchewan River near the geographical centre of the province. As Saskatchewan's "Gateway to the North," open prairie lies to the south of the city and lakes and forests to the north. Prince Albert is Saskatchewan's third largest city.

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Prince Rupert

Prince Rupert, BC, incorporated as a city in 1910, population 12,300 (2021 census), 12,220 (2016 census). The City of Prince Rupert is located on Kaien Island, at the mouth of the Skeena River in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia. It is Canada's wettest city, with an average of 2,619 mm of precipitation falling each year. Prince Rupert marks western end of the Yellowhead Trans-Canada Highway and, as Canada's deepest ice-free seaport, a link between the lower United States, Vancouver and Alaska (see also Iconic Highways in Canada). For these reasons it is the industrial, commercial and institutional centre for BC's Northwest Coast.

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Ontario Place

Ontario Place is a 155-acre tourist attraction located on the Lake Ontario shoreline in Toronto. Operated by the Province of Ontario, the park opened on 22 May 1971. A highlight of the $29-million project was the Cinesphere, the world’s first permanent IMAX theatre. Aside from Atlantis (an event space), the marina and its music venues, the provincial government closed Ontario Place between 2012 and 2017 to save money. While many of the park’s attractions permanently closed during this period, others, such as the Cinesphere, reopened. The provincial government is working with various developers to further reimagine the space.

List

Largest National Parks in Canada

Canada has 38 national parks (and 10 national park reserves; see also National Parks of Canada). They protect important land and marine habitats, geographical features and sites of cultural significance. National parks also benefit local economies and the tourism industry in Canada. In total, the parks cover more than 340,000 km2, which is over 3 per cent of Canada’s landmass. Nearly all of Canada’s largest national parks are located in the north, and five of them in Nunavut.

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New France (Plain-Language summary)

New France was a French colony in North America. By the early 1740s, France controlled what is known today as the Maritime provinces, much of modern-day Ontario and Quebec, and the Hudson Bay region. The territory also stretched from today’s Northeastern United States to the Gulf of Mexico. Quebec City was the center of culture, society and economics. The French living in New France created a distinct culture. The French population of New France were known as habitants. Many habitants had a better life in New France than peasants in France. That said, not many people from France wanted to emigrate to New France. Most people in France thought New France was too cold and very dangerous. Because there was little immigration, New France had a very small population. In 1763, approximately 70,000 French colonists lived in New France. (See Population Settlement of New France.) This small population made New France weak. It was one of the most important reasons why New France was taken over by Britain in 1763.

(This article is a plain-language summary of New France. If you are interested in reading about this topic in more depth, please see our full-length entry, New France.)

List

10 Places in Canada Named After Royalty

In 2002, Queen Elizabeth II toured Canada in honour of her Golden Jubilee, the 50th anniversary of her accession to the throne. To mark the occasion, the Ontario government promised to rename a provincial park in the Queen’s honour. On 9 October 2002, Dalton-Digby Wildlands Provincial Park in south-central Ontario — one of the largest in the province — was officially renamed Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park. In Manitoba, each of Queen Elizabeth II’s eight grandchildren has a lake named in his or her honour. For as long as Europeans have been establishing permanent settlements in what is now Canada, they have named or renamed places after royalty. Here are 10 examples.

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Hochelaga Archipelago

The Hochelaga Archipelago, also known as the Montreal Islands, is a cluster of islands at the confluence of the Ottawa and St. Lawrence rivers in southwestern Quebec. It is estimated that the archipelago comprises about 300 islands and islets, of which the Island of Montreal is the largest. Like the Island of Montreal, the other three largest islands — Île Jésus (most of the City of Laval), Île Bizard and Île Perrot — are inhabited, while most of the smallest ones are not. Several of the islands that comprise the archipelago are protected by the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Though not originally part of the island chain, Île-Notre-Dame is a man-made island within the archipelago, and today is home to Montreal’s Parc Jean-Drapeau.

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Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory

The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte are part of the Kanyen’kehá:ka or Mohawk Nation. Kanyen’kehá:ka means “People of the Land of Flint.” The Mohawk Nation is in turn part of the Rotinonhsyón:ni (Haudenosaunee or Six Nations Confederacy), which translates in English to “People of the Longhouse.”

There are over 10,000 members of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte living on Turtle Island and beyond. About 2,200 of these members live on Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. The Territory is located on the northeastern shore of the Bay of Quinte, just east of Belleville, Ontario.

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Victoria Chinatown

Located on the northern edge of downtown Victoria, Victoria’s Chinatown is the oldest Chinatown in Canada. (See also Toronto Chinatown; Vancouver Chinatown; Montreal Chinatown) Chinese merchants from San Francisco founded it during the Fraser River Gold Rush of 1858. Revitalized in the 1980s by the city and its residents, Chinatown is a popular tourist and cultural destination in Victoria. With gentrification and rising rents, Victoria’s Chinatown is now host to a diverse party of businesses and residents. It remains a historically significant space for people of Chinese descent in Canada.

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Lac-Mégantic (town)

Lac-Mégantic, Quebec was incorporated as a town in 1907, population 5,747 (2021 census), 5,654 (2016 census). Located in Estrie in the Regional County Municipality of Le Granit, the town of Lac-Mégantic is situated approximately 95 km east of Sherbrooke on the northeast shore of Lac Mégantic (see Eastern Townships). The town is Le Granit’s centre of industry (lumber and granite), administration and commerce. On 6 July 2013, a devastating train derailment occurred in Lac-Mégantic (see Lac-Mégantic Rail DisasterRailway Disasters).

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Toronto

Toronto, Ontario, incorporated as a city in 1834, population 2,794,356 (2021 census), 2,731,571 (2016 census). Toronto is Ontario’s capital city, Canada’s largest municipality and the fourth largest city in North America (see also Largest Cities in Canada by Population). It is made up of the former cities of Toronto, North York, Scarborough, York and Etobicoke, and the former borough of East York. The city is home to a large immigrant population, and is a national and international hub for finance, communications and cultural life.