Living in Canada

Canada has been ranked as one of the top ten places to live in the world since 1994 according to the United Nations (UN) and the Economist Intelligence Unit. In the UN survey Canada earned particularly high marks for its access to education, high life expectancy (due to universal health care system); and low crime and violence rates.

Canada is the second largest country in the world with a total land area of 9,984,670 square kilometers. Although Canada has a huge landmass, most of its 31 million people—80 percent—live in towns and cities in the southern areas of the country. Canada is made up of 10 provinces and 3 territories. Most of Canada’s population lives within 250 km of the United States border.

Canada has two official languages which are English and French. All government of Canada services and documents are available in both languages. English is the most common language spoken in all provinces except Quebec. In Quebec, French is the official language.

Canada has traditionally been a country of immigrants and has a policy of encouraging multicultural diversity. In this vibrant setting, different perspectives are respected and learning together is encouraged. Almost all of the world's ethnic groups are represented in Canada. As a result, most ethnic foods and recreational activities associated with specific cultures are available in Canada. Clubs, informal clubs and associations representing a multitude of ethnic backgrounds are also easily accessible. International student advisors at schools can help students get in touch with such groups.

All major urban centres have a variety of shopping malls, restaurants, theatres, art galleries and museums. Canadian cities provide numerous parks, gardens and beaches for public use, as well as excellent sports and recreation facilities.

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