Canada Print E-mail

Oh, it’s big all right. Damn big. And we’re not referring to Canada’s size (a whopping 10 million sq km, making it the world’s second-largest country). What we’re talking about here is the handle on a Canadian beer case – big enough to fit your hands, even with mittens on. If you think that’s impressive, consider Canada’s other mondo attributes. Its terrain is filled with them, from mammoth mountains to hulking glaciers to immense polychromatic skies. Then there are the creatures that roam the terrain and its waterways – grizzly bear, moose, polar bear, humpback whales – each one huger than the next.

Canada is impossible to dislike, but go ahead and give it a shot. You don’t like festival-packed cities like Toronto and Montreal that offer the world’s best quality of life? Then take a double dose of history in St John’s, Newfound land, North America’s oldest city. Not enamoured with the prospect of hiking, skiing or snowboarding over the cloud-poking mountains of Banff & Jasper National Parks? Try a slow ride through the wheat-waving prairies of Saskatchewan. You want a nosh lighter than Alberta beef or Nunavut whale blubber? Pick up ripe peaches and cheeses from the Kelowna’s local farmers’ markets.

And it’s a wonder everyone is so nice, given the weather. It’s cold, as in world’s-coldest-country cold (based on average temperatures nationwide), which explains the mitten-sized beer case handles. Snag, a town in the Yukon, recorded North America’s coldest temperature ever: minus 62.8°C.

Voltaire may have written off Canada as ‘a few acres of snow’ back in the mid-18th century, but those ‘few acres’ have yielded vast amounts of oil, timber and other natural resources, that in turn have propelled Canada to a very enviable standard of living.

Of course, the country has a few issues. The most pressing ones are shaping up to be immigration, provincial squabbling, and striking a balance between economic growth and protecting the environment.

Let’s look at immigration first. Canada takes in the world’s largest per capita annual immigration numbers – around 250,000 people a year, of whom 43% go to Toronto. While this is cool in multicultural terms – allowing you to shop for Buddha trinkets in Vancouver’s Chinatown, chow on curry in Toronto’s Little India, or sip a Vietnamese café au lait in Montréal – it also causes growing pains. Mainly, it’s becoming difficult for Canada to maintain its high-caliber social and physical infrastructures in the face of such relentless population growth.

Then there’s the issue of how to reconcile the divergent interests of Canada’s provinces and territories. The only shared sentiment seems to be that the federal government is insensitive to their particular needs. In the past, the tension was greatest in francophone Québec, which periodically has threatened to secede from confederation. But the grumbling is now getting loudest from the western provinces and territories, which desire more control over their crazy-huge amounts of natural resources.



"Fast Book" your Villa

dateinput  Arrival
dateinput  Departure

Search by country

Last Minute Deals

Visit SigmaWeb!