Canada is bounded on the N. by the Arctic Ocean, on the W. by the Pacific and Alaska, on the E. by Newfoundland and the Atlantic, and on the S. by the United States. Both the Atlantic and Pacific shores abound in deep indentations forming magnificent harbours and sheltered bays. The most striking physical features of Canada are the Rocky Mountains, the Laurentian Range (which forms the watershed between Hudson Bay and the St Lawrence, and varies in height from 1000 to 3000 feet), and the chain of immense fresh-water lakes. The eastern portions of Canada are generally well timbered, as are also British Columbia and the North-west Territories north of the Saskatchewan. Westward of the Red River, between the 49th and 55th parallels of latitude, there is an immense fertile plain, suitable for general agriculture and grazing (the eastern end being about 800 feet, and the western about 3000 feet, above the level of the sea), extending nearly to the Rocky Mountains. This range consists of triple chains with valleys between; the most easterly has the greatest elevation near the 52d parallel, the highest peaks being Mount Brown (16,000), Mount Mur-chison (15,789), and Mount Hooker (15,700). The average height of the chain is from 7000 to 8000 feet. Canada is well watered, the map presenting a network of lakes and rivers. The system of the St Lawrence alone, with the great lakes Superior, Huron, Michigan, Erie, and Ontario (between the last are the celebrated falls of Niagara), drains an area in Canada of 330,000 sq. m. With their outlet the lakes form the greatest fresh-water way in the world. Other important lakes are Winnipeg, Winnipegosis, Manitoba, Lake of the Woods, Great Slave, Great Bear, and Athabasca. Other rivers are the Saskatchewan and the Winnipeg, flowing into Lake Winnipeg, and the Nelson, flowing from it into Hudson Bay; the Assiniboine and the Red River, which flow into Lake Winnipeg; the Albany and the Churchill, emptying into Hudson Bay; the Athabasca and the Peace rivers, flowing into Lake Athabasca, and the Slave River, from it into Great Slave Lake; the Mackenzie, fed from both the Great Slave and the Great Bear lakes, and emptying into the Arctic Ocean; the Fraser and Thompson, in British Columbia, emptying into the Pacific; the Ottawa and the Saguenay, emptying into the St Lawrence; and the St John, in New Brunswick, which it partly separates from the State of Maine. The principal islands of the Dominion are: on the east, Cape Breton, Prince Edward and Magdalen islands, and Anticosti, in the Gulf of St Lawrence; and on the west coast, Vancouver Island and Queen Charlotte Islands. All the great Arctic islands, except Greenland, belong to Canada.
The cold in winter and the heat in summer are greater than in Great Britain, but the climate is a healthy one. Spring commences two or three weeks later than in England, but the conditions for the rapid growth of produce-warm sunshine and a sufficiency of rain-are so favourable that the crops of the two countries are about equally advanced by the middle of July. The winter may be said to continue from the middle of November to the end of March, or about four and a half months. British Columbia probably possesses the finest climate in North America. In some inland parts of Canada the maximum temperature may be from 90° to 96°, and the minimum from 20° to 26° below zero. But although there are these extremes, the air is always dry, bracing, and exhilarating. All the grain and fruit crops grown in England flourish in Canada; and many species raised in England under glass, such as grapes, peaches, melons, and tomatoes, ripen in southern Canada in the open air. Canada is nearly as large as the whole of Europe, and about 600,000 sq. m. larger than the United States without Alaska. At the census of 1901 the area and population of provinces and districts were:
Area, sq. m.
Prince Edward Island.......
Territories, Islands, etc.........
In all, 4,671,815 were natives of Canada, 386,545 of the United Kingdom, 19,338 of other parts of the British empire, 127,899 of the United States, 31,231 of Russia, 27,300 of Germany, and 107,187 of China, Scandinavia, France, and Italy; 1,649,371 were French-speaking. There were 108,112 Indians. Alberta and Saskatchewan (absorbing Assiniboia and Athabasca) were constituted provinces in 1905. The chief towns are Montreal (267,730), Toronto (208,040), Quebec (68,840), Ottawa, capital of the Dominion (59,928), Hamilton (52,634), Winnipeg (42,340), Halifax (40,832), and St John (40,711). Catholics number 2,229,600, Presbyterians 842,442, Anglicans 680,620, Methodists 916,886, and Baptists 316,477. English is generally spoken in the Dominion, but in some parts of the province of Quebec, French is the only language understood. In the Dominion, Quebec, and Manitoba parliaments, members may address the House in either language. The French spoken by the habitants, as the French-Canadians are called, is a patois which in many respects resembles the French of the 17th century more closely than the French of modern Paris. The principal universities are, in the order in which they were founded, as follows: Dalhousie (N.S.), 1820; M'Gill (Que.), 1821; New Brunswick, 1828; Toronto (Ont.), 1828; Queen's, Kingston (Ont.), 1841; Laval (Que.), 1852; Manitoba, 1877. The government also established (1874) the Royal Military College at Kingston (Ont.). Canada has passed beyond the mother-country in many social questions. Thus, as regards the liquor traffic, local option prevails; by an Act of the Dominion Parliament in 1882, marriage with a deceased wife's sister was legalised; religious liberty prevails; there is practically free and unsectarian education, and a free and liberal franchise; members of parliament are paid for their services; the parliaments are quinquennial; and there is no system for legalising pauperism, although orphans and the helpless and aged of both sexes are not neglected.
Between the years 1879 and 1903 the annual value of Canadian imports varied from §81,965,000 (1879) and $241,214,961 (1903); while that of exports rose from $71,491,000 (1879) to $225,849,724 (1903). In 1903 the exports to Great Britain were $131,202,000, and to the United States $71,784,000; while the imports from Britain were $58,894,000, and from the United States $137,605,000. Chief imports are iron manufactures, wool manufactures, coal and coke, sugar, cotton and cotton manufactures, bread-stuffs, silks, chemicals; exports are lumber and other forest-products ($39,536,958, including wood-pulp), cheese ($24,712,943), cattle, wheat and wheat flour ($29,265,840), barley, and other agricultural products, cod and other fish, coal, and minerals. These figures do not give an accurate idea of the total trade of Canada; they only embrace the outside trade, and do not include the large business which takes place between the provinces. Canadian fisheries are, as regards the area available, the largest in the world, embracing nearly 5600 miles of sea-coast, in addition to inland seas, innumerable lakes, and a great number of rivers teeming with fish; and there are twelve fish-breeding establishments in different parts of the Dominion. The total value of the produce of the fisheries varies from $21,000,000 to over $25,000,000 annually. The minerals are chiefly coal, gold, copper, iron, phosphates, salt, antimony, mineral oils, and gypsum. Gold-mines have been and are being worked in Nova Scotia, in Quebec, and Ontario, and largely in British Columbia, where there are yet immense fields to open up. Silver-mines are being worked in Ontario; and that at Silver Islet, Thunder Bay (on Lake Superior), has been the richest yet discovered in Canada. Iron ore is found all over the Dominion. Copper has been mined to a considerable extent both in Quebec and Ontario, and the deposits of the ore are of great extent. There are very large coal-deposits in Nova Scotia. The coast of British Columbia is rich in coal of a good quality. Coal is known to exist over a vast region stretching from 150 to 200 miles east of the Rocky Mountains, and north from the frontier for about 1000 miles. The total value of the mining produce of Canada averages over $65,000,000 annually.
The forest-products of Canada constitute one. of her most important sources of wealth. They find their way to all parts of the world - to the United States, to the United Kingdom, and to the Australian colonies. Canadian cattle are of good quality, many pedigree and highly priced cattle having been imported for the improvement of the flocks and herds. Herds of Shorthorns, Herefords, Galloways, Polled Angus, and Jerseys are to be found in many parts of Canada. Great progress has been made in dairy-farming, and the factory system has been latterly introduced in the older provinces. There are factories for making cheese, and creameries for butter. Agriculture is the leading interest of the country. Mixed farming is generally carried on, the growing of grain and fruit, stock-raising, and dairy-farming being more or less combined. Great progress has recently been made in the development of manufactures. The 'national policy' comprises a high protective system, but since 1901 gives a preference to Britain.
There are nearly 19,000 miles of railway in Canada. The Canadian Pacific Railway (4319 miles) was completed in 1885; by it the distance from Liverpool to Japan and China is shorter by 1000 miles than via New York and San Francisco. In 1905 the Grand Trunk system was planning extension to the Pacific, and the Dominion government proposed another line to the north of the Canadian Pacific. The railway is not only of importance locally to Canada, as connecting the various provinces and opening up the vast North-west Territories for settlement, but it is of imperial importance as providing a new route to Australasia and the East, available for commerce, and for military and naval purposes. The canals of Canada are works of great utility and importance. The channel of the St Lawrence has been deepened, and vessels of 5000 and 6000 tons now reach Montreal, 700 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. There is a system of canals to overcome the St Lawrence rapids, and the difference in the levels of the great lakes (600 feet) which affords uninterrupted navigation from the Strait of Belleisle to the head of Lake Superior, a distance of 2384 miles, of which 71 3/4 miles are canals. A scheme has been proposed for a new route between Britain and North-west Canada through Hudson Bay, with a railway from Port Nelson to Manitoba. There are regular lines of steamers between Canada and Britain, and from Vancouver to Australia and China and Japan. The postal and telegraph systems are very complete, and the Pacific cable from Vancouver to Australia was completed in 1902.
The revenue of the Dominion in the years 1887 to 1905 varied from $35,754,000 (1887) to over $66,000,000; the expenditure from $35,65S,000 to $52,000,000. The constitution of Canada is contained in the British North America Act of 1867. The government of Canada is federal. The provinces have local legislatures, and they also elect the Federal Parliament which sits at Ottawa.
The Executive Government and authority of and over Canada is vested in the crown of Great Britain. The governor-general for the time being, whose emoluments are paid out of the Canadian revenue, carries on the government in the name of the sovereign, with the assistance of a council, known as the cabinet, consisting of the heads of the various departments, which is responsible to the House of Commons. The Dominion Parliament consists of an upper house, styled the Senate (81 members), and the House of Commons (214 members). The senators are nominated for life by the governor in council. The commons are elected every five years, unless the House be dissolved before its course has run; and there is a special franchise distinct from that in force for the provincial assemblies. At the head of each of the provinces is a lieutenant-governor, appointed by the governor in council, and paid by the Dominion, who is the link between the provinces and the Federal Government. Quebec and Nova Scotia have each a two-chamber legislature; New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia, and Prince Edward Island only single-chamber assemblies. The executive in each province is responsible to the local legislature. The North-west Territories are administered by a lieutenant-governor and a council, partly elected and partly nominated. Legislation upon local matters is delegated, as a general rule, to the provinces. There is also a very perfect system of municipal government throughout the Dominion. Both the counties and townships have their local councils, which regulate the taxation for roads, schools, and other purposes, so that every man directly votes for the taxes he is called upon to pay. Local taxation is very light.
In 1534 Jacques Cartier landed near Gaspe and took possession of Canada for the king of France; but little was done by way of settlement till 1608, when Champlain founded Quebec. From this time till 1763 Canada, from Acadia (Nova Scotia) to Lake Superior and down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico, was held to be French territory. The struggle between Great Britain and France for supremacy was long and bitter, but ended in 1763 with the Treaty of Paris, by which all the French dominions in Canada were ceded to Britain, save the small islands of St Pierre and Miquelon, retained as fishing stations. Hudson Bay territory, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland, had passed to England by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. Through the American War of Independence, what is now Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, was lost in 1783 to the United States, no longer British colonies. Quebec was in 1791 divided into Lower and Upper Canada. A rebellion took place in 1837-38, and the provinces were reunited in 1840. Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick were separated from Nova Scotia in 1770 and 1784. British Columbia was made a crown colony in 1858, and Vancouver Island joined to it in 1866. The confederation of all the British North American provinces - except Newfoundland - took place in 1867-71, and the prosperity of the Dominion was only temporarily disturbed by the Red River rebellion of 1869. The fishery rights have repeatedly been a source of difficulty between Canada and the mother-country on the one hand and the United States on the other, and the dispute about sealing in Behring Sea and off the Alaskan coasts was only settled by arbitration in 1893. The long-existing dispute as to the boundary between Canada and the United States territory of Alaska was finally settled by a joint commission in 1903.
There are French histories of Canada by Faillon, Garneau, and Revilland; in English by Tuttle (1878), G. Bryce (1887), Kingsford (8 vols. 1888-98), and Roberts (1898). See also works by Fream (1889), Mimro (1890), Goldwin Smith (1891), Lucas (1901), Bradley (1904).