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Provinces and Territories

Canada is one of the largest countries in the world. It is located in the northern half of the
continent of North America, above the United States. Canada is divided into ten
provinces and three territories, each of which is different from the others.
The province of British Columbia is located at the far western end of Canada. British
Columbia stretches from the Pacific Ocean, at the west, to the Rocky Mountains, at the
east. British Columbia contains the city of Vancouver, where two million people live. Most
of the land of British Columbia is very mountainous, with vast forests covering the
mountains. In British Columbia, forestry is an important industry, providing wood for
people around the world.
Moving east from British Columbia, the next provinces are Alberta, Saskatchewan, and
Manitoba. These are known as the prairie provinces, because they are mostly made of
flat, grassy land called “prairie.” Alberta is the province where the flat prairie meets the
tall and beautiful Rocky Mountains. In Alberta, there are many fields where oil and gas
are found, and there are also many farms where cattle are raised. Saskatchewan is the
Canadian province that grows the most wheat. Wheat from Saskatchewan is sent around
the world to make bread and pasta for many people. Manitoba is the other prairie
province. Its largest city, Winnipeg, is about halfway between the Pacific and Atlantic
oceans. Winnipeg has the coldest winters of any large city in the world, with
temperatures sometimes reaching -40 degrees Celsius!
Moving east, the next province is Ontario. The land in the northern part of Ontario is very
rocky and contains many thousands and thousands of lakes. Many mines are found in
northern Ontario. In the southern part of Ontario, there is good farmland, and there are
also many cities where factories produce cars and steel. Ontario contains Canada’s
largest city, Toronto, as well as the capital city of Canada–Ottawa. In the southern part of
Ontario are four of the largest lakes in the world, known as the Great Lakes.
Next to Ontario is the province of Quebec. Unlike the other provinces, where most people
speak English, most of the people in Quebec speak French. The capital of Quebec is
called Quebec City, and this is one of the oldest cities in North America. Quebec City
contains many buildings that are hundreds of years old. Also in the province of Quebec
is the city of Montreal. Of all the French-speaking cities in the world, only Paris is larger
than Montreal!
In the eastern part of Canada are the Atlantic provinces, which are next to the Atlantic
Ocean. These provinces are New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and
Newfoundland. In the Atlantic provinces, fishing is an important industry. Tourism is also
important as many people come to see the beauty of these provinces. The people in
these provinces are said to be the friendliest in Canada.
In the far north of Canada are the three territories that lie beside the Arctic Ocean: Yukon,
Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. Many of the people in these territories are the Native
people of Canada, known as the Indians and the Inuit. The northern areas have very cold,
dark winters. The summer is short, but the days are very long and bright.