Geese are waterfowl and are found mainly in North America, Europe and parts of Asia. They range in size from the large Canada Goose to the small Ross’s Goose. Six species of geese (Brant, Cackling Goose, Canada Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Ross’s Goose, Snow Goose) breed in Canada’s boreal forest and tundra regions. Geese adapt to a variety of environments if there are plentiful grasses, grains and berries available. These waterfowl are migratory and normally spend their summer months in northern areas, heading south for the winter. However, being very adaptable birds, many geese stay in parks, golf courses and suburban areas as the weather gets colder.
Moose are the largest members of the deer family.
They are typically very tall, having long legs to help them wade through water or snow. Other characteristic features include a humped shoulder region, dark-coloured fur, an elongated face with prominent snout and lips, large ears, and broad flat antlers on the male. They inhabit the boreal forests across Canada and similar regions over the world. Preferring a colder climate, they seek out habitats with seasonal snow cover and move further north during the summer months.
Yukon, located in the northwestern corner of Canada, is one of the country’s three territories. Alaska is to the west, British Columbia to the south, and the Northwest Territories are to the east.
Early humans are thought to have arrived in Yukon at least 20,000 years ago. They eventually developed into Inuit and First Nations groups of the Na-Dene linguistic family.
Since Yukon is one of the most remote areas of Canada, Europeans in the fur trade did not arrive in the region until the early 19th century. Rumours of gold brought in miners and prospectors starting in 1874. Then, from 1896 to 1899, the discovery of gold in the Klondike region triggered a rush of migrants. To deal with the large increase in population, the Yukon Territory, formerly part of the Northwest Territories, became a separate entity within the Canadian confederation in 1898.
Yukon’s population declined dramatically in the 20th century, but the construction of highways and a brief revival of mining triggered steady population growth in the 1970s. The economy has diversified to compensate for decreasing profits from mining.
Did you know?
- The name “Yukon” is derived from the Gwich’in word “Yu-kun-ah,” which means “Great River” and refers to the Yukon River.
- Yukon is home to the highest mountain in Canada and the second-highest on the North American continent: Mount Logan, 5,959 metres (19,551 feet).
- Yukon has the smallest desert in the world, located near Carcross. This desert is approximately 2.58 square kilometres (1 square mile).
Library and Archives Canada collects and preserves the archives of some of Canada’s most notable architects, architectural firms and organizations. These archives contain many interesting collections, for example, records pertaining to the architects, design and construction of Ottawa’s former Dominion Archives building at 330 Sussex Drive.
Early in the first decade of the 20th century, Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier suggested that the addition of an archives building to the nation’s capital would help “make the City of Ottawa the centre for intellectual development in this country, and the Washington of the North.” The archives building was subsequently constructed between 1904 and 1906, and opened officially in early 1907. This Ottawa landmark housed Canada’s archival heritage until 1967.
Prince Edward Island is the smallest of three Maritime Provinces in Canada, separated from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia by the Northumberland Strait. Mi’kmaq peoples and their ancestors inhabited the Island until 1534, when Jacques Cartier arrived and claimed it as part of Acadia in the French North-American colonies. Throughout the 18th century, its inhabitants were directly affected by the war between Britain and France; they were constantly under threat, and many were deported.
Britain officially took it over by treaty in 1763, naming it St. John’s Island, and there was a large influx of Scottish immigrants. In 1798, its name was changed to Prince Edward Island to honour Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent. Prince Edward Island hesitated to join Confederation in 1867 because of the unfavourable terms presented and, instead, courted options for its future. In an effort to stop American colonial expansion, Canada agreed to better terms, and Prince Edward Island became the country’s seventh province in 1873.
Did you know?
- Prince Edward Island is home to Anne of Green Gables, a famous red-haired Canadian literary character created by Prince Edward Islander and author Lucy Maud Montgomery.
- Agriculture has been the backbone of Prince Edward Island’s economy since colonial times and the province is known for its successful potato crop, producing a third of Canada’s supply.
- Prince Edward Island is seen as the “Birthplace of Confederation,” as it hosted the Charlottetown Conference in 1864, the first in the journey to Canadian Confederation.
Ontario is the most populous and second largest province of Canada. It is bordered by Manitoba to the west and Quebec to the east. The landscape is extremely varied, with three distinct regions defining the province: the Hudson’s Bay Lowlands, the Canadian Shield, and the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Lowlands. Ontario was populated by First Peoples approximately 10,000 years ago and today’s indigenous communities, such as the Algonquin, Huron and Iroquois, can trace their origins to that time. European explorers arrived in the 17th century and initially conducted basic trade and exploration. After the American Revolution the population increased as an influx of British Loyalists moved northwards. After the War of 1812 another wave of immigration came from Europe.
Upper Canada was established in 1791 and included what is now known as southern Ontario. In 1837, the Upper Canada Rebellion took place against the British government-appointed administrators and in favour of responsible government. The rebellion was quickly put down, but in 1841 the new Province of Canada was formed. The colony formerly known as Upper Canada became Canada West, while the colony formerly known as Lower Canada became Canada East. In 1848, Canada West was awarded self-government. This power-shift was influenced largely by the continuing population growth of the province, mainly of English-speaking settlers. By the 1850s, Canada West was enjoying considerable economic strength due to the continued influx of immigrants who moved, along with many locally born citizens, to urban centres where industrial jobs were available. During the 1860s, Canada West participated in a series of conferences, along with Canada East, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, to work out the terms of confederation. This led to the establishment of the Dominion of Canada in 1867.
Did you know?
- Ontario has over 200 reported ethnic languages, and 26% of the population identifies as a visible minority.
- In 1857, Queen Victoria chose Ottawa as the permanent location of the nation’s capital.
- Oliver Mowat, Premier of Ontario from 1872 to 1896, fought for provincial rights and greatly decentralized the power of the federal government over provincial affairs.
Nunavut is the easternmost and newest of Canada’s three territories, sharing a border with the Northwest Territories to the west and Manitoba to the south. It is the largest of all the provinces and territories of Canada and includes most of the Arctic Archipelago. The region has been home to a continuous population of First Peoples for roughly 4,000 years. The Inuit are the dominant group in Nunavut, forming the majority of the population in all communities. Europeans first began exploring the area in the late 16th century while searching for the Northwest Passage.
Throughout the Cold War, the Canadian government forced many Inuit from northern Quebec to relocate to the northern reaches of what was then the Northwest Territories, in an effort to assert its sovereignty over the Arctic Archipelago. The Canadian government compensated their descendants for the hardship several decades later in response to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. In the late 1970s, inhabitants of what is now Nunavut began discussions with the federal government about the creation of a separate territory. This came to fruition in 1999 when Nunavut became the third Canadian territory, giving the Inuit greater autonomy.
Did you know?
- The name Nunavut is from the Inuktitut dialect of Eastern Arctic Inuit and translates into “Our Land.”
- Nunavut recognizes four official languages: English, French, Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun.
Nova Scotia is one of three Maritime provinces in Canada, with New Brunswick to the northwest and Prince Edward Island to the north across the Northumberland Strait. The Mi’kmaq are the dominant First Nations group in the area, with ancestral roots tracing back 10,000 years.
Interactions between First Nations groups and French settlers early during the fur trade were positive overall, and Nova Scotia in time became part of the area called Acadia. Yet, over the course of the 18th century, Britain gained control of all of France’s possessions in North America and renamed these colonies. After the American Civil War, the migration of Loyalists northward drove up the British colonial population, as settlers with grants claimed the land and pushed the Mi’kmaq to the margins of their territory.
Nova Scotia was awarded responsible government in 1848, ahead of the other British colonies, and took part in the road to Confederation. It became one of the first Canadian provinces in 1867 under pro-Confederation leader Charles Tupper. However, many Nova Scotians were largely against it, voting for an anti-Confederation government in the following provincial election.
Did you know?
- Nova Scotia is Latin for “New Scotland,” named for its first Scottish settlers during the British colonial period.
- Nova Scotia was home to the largest free Black settlement in North America, inhabited by Black Loyalists who migrated north after the American Revolution.
The Northwest Territories is one of three territories in northern Canada, bordered by Yukon to the west, Nunavut to the east, and Alberta, Saskatchewan and a portion of British Columbia to the south. The northern section of the territory makes up part of the Arctic Archipelago, which is usually covered in ice. Many Inuit and First Nations people lived in the area when explorers and European settlers arrived beginning in the late 16th century. European trade developed in the 18th century, dominated by the Hudson’s Bay Company and the North West Company.
The Northwest Territories entered into confederation in 1870 after Canada purchased the land from the Hudson’s Bay Company. However, Britain did not transfer the Arctic Archipelago to Canada until 1880. The boundaries of the Northwest Territories fluctuated over the next century as different provinces and territories were created or grew in size; it finally settled to its current boundaries in 1999, when Nunavut was formed from the Northwest Territories.
Did you know?
- The name “Northwest Territories” originates from the colonial period, when the British used the term to describe all the land to the northwest of Rupert’s Land.
- The Northwest Territories has eleven official languages, including English, French, Cree, Chipewyan, Gwich’in, Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, North Slavey, South Slavey, and Tłįchǫ.
Land was sighted in June 1497 after just over a month of travel, and John Cabot is credited with the second discovery of North America, and Newfoundland which celebrates the event as Discovery Day.