Canada is a nation of more than 35 million and is bordered only by the
United States. Canada's early European history involved the fur
trade. The Dominion of Canada was formed in 1867, at which time
Canada became politically independent from Britain. It's political
independence from the United States was protected by the completion of a
transcontinental railway in the late 1880s and most of the population is
clustered along the railway route just north of the border with the
United States. Today there is a strong respect for Canada's
British Heritage and Canada is part of the Commonwealth of
Nations. The country is comprised of 10 provinces and three
northern territories. The official languages are French and
English, with most of the French being spoken in the province of
Quebec. Over the years there has been significant political strife
between the French and the English in Canada.
In the most western province, British Columbia, there are a number of
areas that are popular for tourism, including Victoria on Vancouver
Island and Vancouver on the mainland. Whistler
has world class skiing in the winter and the runs are busy in the summer with mountain
bikers. The Peak 2 Peak chair has now joined Whistler to Blackcomb.
just over the border into the province of Alberta, draws summer tourists from around the world to
see Lake Louise, the Columbia Ice-fields and the inspiring Canadian Rockies.
Canada has a long list of countries that require a visa and a long
list of countries that are exempt. Visit the
Goverment of Canada web site for more information or check your specific country at
For a list of exempt countries, visit Project Visa. Visitors
from the United States do not require a visa.
The Canadian dollar is the official currency of Canada. The US
dollar is often accepted near ports of entry for air or cruise
ship. The Canadian one dollar coin is called the
"loonie" as a loon is shown on one of the faces. When
the two dollar coin came out, the name "twonie" then caught