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Great Lakes

The Great Lakes are the largest group in a chain of large lakes (including WinnipegAthabascaGreat Slave and Great Bear) that lies along the southern boundary of the Canadian Shield. From west to east the Great Lakes comprise lakes Superior, Michigan (entirely in the US), HuronSt. ClairErie and Ontario. They have a total area of approximately 244,100 km2 and drop from 183 m above sea level at Lake Superior to 74 m at Lake Ontario — the most dramatic drop occurring at Niagara Falls. Lake St Clair, while not properly a “great lake,” is considered part of this Laurentian chain.

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Prud'homme

Prud'homme, Saskatchewan, incorporated as a village in 1922, population 167 (2016 census), 172 (2011 census). The village of Prud'homme is located about 45 km northeast of Saskatoon. Prud'homme is the hometown of Jeanne Sauvé, a former cabinet minister in the Pierre Trudeau government, the first woman to hold the position of Speaker of the House of Commons and the first woman to act as Governor General of Canada.

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Hull

Hull, Quebec, is part of the city of Gatineau. Originally its own municipality, Hull amalgamated with the municipalities of Aylmer, Buckingham, Gatineau and Masson-Angers in 2002. When Hull was incorporated in 1875, it was named after the township in which it was situated. In turn, Hull Township got its name from the city of Hull in Yorkshire, England.

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Lake Huron

Lake Huron, 59,600 km2, elevation 176 m, 332 km long, 295 km wide, max depth 229 m; total shoreline length, including islands, 6,159 km. Lake Huron is the second largest of the Great Lakes and fifth-largest lake in the world (see also Largest Lakes in Canada). In Canada, the Lake Huron is part of the traditional territories of the Tionontati (Petun)NeutralHuron-Wendat and AnishinaabeSamuel de Champlain visited Georgian Bay and Lake Huron with the French scout Étienne Brûlé in 1615.

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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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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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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.

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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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Lévis

Lévis, Quebec, city incorporated in 2002, population 143,414 (2016 census), 138,769 (2011 census). Lévis covers an area of 444 km2. The city is located on the rocky cliffs opposite Quebec City, to which it is linked by ferry. Present-day Lévis is the result of multiple mergers. In 1989, it merged with the industrial city of Lauzon (inc 1957). The following year, Lévis combined with the town of Saint-David-de-l'Auberivière. In 2002, Lévis took in the cities of Charny, Saint-Jean-Chrysostome, Saint-Nicolas, Saint-Rédempteur and Saint-Romuald. The parishes of Saint-Joseph-de-la-Pointe-de-Lévy and Sainte-Hélène-de-Breakeyville were also included in the fusion. The municipalities of Pintendre, Saint-Étienne-de-Lauzon, Desjardins and Chutes-de-la-Chaudière were also merged in.

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Saint-Nicolas

Saint-Nicolas, Quebec, population 23,675 (2019), 16,645 (2001 census). The city of Saint-Nicolas was originally incorporated in 1994 with the amalgamation of the municipalities of Bernières and Saint-Nicolas. Since 2002, Saint-Nicolas is part of the city of Lévis. Saint-Nicolas is located 17 km southwest of Quebec City. Saint-Nicolas is on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River and to the west of Rivière Chaudière. It is a thriving residential suburb of Quebec City. The area is linked to the city of Sainte-Foy, on the opposite shore of the St. Lawrence, by the Pierre-Laporte suspension bridge and the old, cantilever Quebec Bridge. (See also Quebec Bridge Disaster.)

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Beloeil

Beloeil, Quebec, incorporated as a in city 1914, population 22,458 (2016 census), 20,783 (2011 census). Beloeil is located 32 km east from Montreal on the west bank of the Rivière Richelieu, opposite the city of Mont-Saint-Hilaire. Beloeil, which loosely translated means “beautiful eye,” was probably given to the place by Jean-Baptiste Hertel in 1693. Upon looking out at the panoramic view from atop Mont St-Hilaire, he supposedly cried out, "Qu'elle est belle à oeil!" (What a beautiful eyeful!).

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Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia is Canada’s second-smallest province (following Prince Edward Island) and is located on the southeastern coast of the country. The province includes Cape Breton, a large island northeast of the mainland. The name Nova Scotia is Latin for “New Scotland,” reflecting the origins of some of the early settlers. Given its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, Nova Scotia’s economy is largely influenced by the sea, and its harbours have served as military bases during many wars.