Ottawa is the capital city of Canada. It stands on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of southern Ontario. Ottawa borders Gatineau, Quebec; as of 2016, Ottawa had a city population of 964,743 and a metropolitan population of 1,323,783 making it the fourth-largest city and the fifth-largest CMA in Canada. Founded in 1826 as Bytown, incorporated as Ottawa in 1855, the city has evolved into the political centre of Canada, its original boundaries were expanded through numerous annexations and were replaced by a new city incorporation and amalgamation in 2001 which increased its land area. The city name "Ottawa" was chosen in reference to the Ottawa River, the name of, derived from the Algonquin Odawa, meaning "to trade". Ottawa has the most educated population among Canadian cities and is home to a number of post-secondary and cultural institutions, including the National Arts Centre, the National Gallery, numerous national museums. Ottawa has the highest standard of living in low unemployment.
With the draining of the Champlain Sea around ten thousand years ago, the Ottawa Valley became habitable. Local populations used the area for wild edible harvesting, fishing, trade and camps for over 6500 years; the Ottawa river valley has archaeological sites with arrow heads and stone tools. Three major rivers meet within Ottawa, making it an important trade and travel area for thousands of years; the Algonquins called the Ottawa River Kichi Sibi or Kichissippi meaning "Great River" or "Grand River". Étienne Brûlé regarded as the first European to travel up the Ottawa River, passed by Ottawa in 1610 on his way to the Great Lakes. Three years Samuel de Champlain wrote about the waterfalls in the area and about his encounters with the Algonquins, using the Ottawa River for centuries. Many missionaries would follow the early traders; the first maps of the area used the word Ottawa, derived from the Algonquin word adawe, to name the river. Philemon Wright, a New Englander, created the first settlement in the area on 7 March 1800 on the north side of the river, across from the present day city of Ottawa in Hull.
He, with five other families and twenty-five labourers, set about to create an agricultural community called Wrightsville. Wright pioneered the Ottawa Valley timber trade by transporting timber by river from the Ottawa Valley to Quebec City. Bytown, Ottawa's original name, was founded as a community in 1826 when hundreds of land speculators were attracted to the south side of the river when news spread that British authorities were constructing the northerly end of the Rideau Canal military project at that location; the following year, the town was named after British military engineer Colonel John By, responsible for the entire Rideau Waterway construction project. The canal's military purpose was to provide a secure route between Montreal and Kingston on Lake Ontario, bypassing a vulnerable stretch of the St. Lawrence River bordering the state of New York that had left re-supply ships bound for southwestern Ontario exposed to enemy fire during the War of 1812. Colonel By set up military barracks on the site of today's Parliament Hill.
He laid out the streets of the town and created two distinct neighbourhoods named "Upper Town" west of the canal and "Lower Town" east of the canal. Similar to its Upper Canada and Lower Canada namesakes "Upper Town" was predominantly English speaking and Protestant whereas "Lower Town" was predominantly French and Catholic. Bytown's population grew to 1,000 as the Rideau Canal was being completed in 1832. Bytown encountered some impassioned and violent times in her early pioneer period that included Irish labour unrest that attributed to the Shiners' War from 1835 to 1845 and political dissension evident from the 1849 Stony Monday Riot. In 1855 Bytown was incorporated as a city. William Pittman Lett was installed as the first city clerk guiding it through 36 years of development. On New Year's Eve 1857, Queen Victoria, as a symbolic and political gesture, was presented with the responsibility of selecting a location for the permanent capital of the Province of Canada. In reality, Prime Minister John A. Macdonald had assigned this selection process to the Executive Branch of the Government, as previous attempts to arrive at a consensus had ended in deadlock.
The "Queen's choice" turned out to be the small frontier town of Ottawa for two main reasons: Firstly, Ottawa's isolated location in a back country surrounded by dense forest far from the Canada–US border and situated on a cliff face would make it more defensible from attack. Secondly, Ottawa was midway between Toronto and Kingston and Montreal and Quebec City. Additionally, despite Ottawa's regional isolation it had seasonal water transportation access to Montreal over the Ottawa River and to Kingston via the Rideau Waterway. By 1854 it had a modern all season Bytown and Prescott Railway that carried passengers and supplies the 82-kilometres to Prescott on the Saint Lawrence River and beyond. Ottawa's small size, it was thought, would make it less prone to rampaging politically motivated mobs, as had happened in the previous Canadian capitals; the government owned the land that would become Parliament Hill which they thought would be an ideal location for the Parliament Buildings. Ottawa was th
Canada Flight Supplement
The Canada Flight Supplement is a joint civil/military publication and is a supplement of the Aeronautical Information Publication. It is the nation's official airport directory, it contains information on all registered Canadian and certain Atlantic aerodromes and certified airports. The CFS is published, separately in English and French, as a paper book by Nav Canada and is issued once every 56 days on the ICAO AIRAC schedule; the CFS was published by Natural Resources Canada on behalf of Transport Canada and the Department of National Defence until 15 March 2007 edition, at which time Nav Canada took over production. The CFS presents runway data and departure procedures, air traffic control and other radio frequencies and services such as fuel, hangarage that are available at each listed aerodrome; as well, the CFS contains useful reference pages, including interception instructions for civil aircraft, chart updating data and search and rescue information. Most pilots flying in Canada carry a copy of the CFS in case a weather or mechanical diversion to another airport becomes necessary.
The Canada Flight Supplement is made up of seven sections: Special Notices — list of new or amended procedures. General Section — glossary, airport code listing, list of abandoned aerodromes, other introductory information. Aerodrome/Facility Directory — list all aerodromes alphabetically by the community in which they are located. A sketch of the airport is included showing runway layout, locations of buildings and tower. Included in the sketch is an obstacle clearance circle. Planning — general flight planning information, including flight plans and position reports, lists of significant new towers and other obstructions, chart updating, preferred IFR routes, similar information. Radio Navigation and Communications — listing of radio navigation aids and communication outlets, together with all known commercial AM broadcasters and their locations and frequencies. Military Flight Data and Procedures — military flight and reporting procedures for Canada and the U. S. Emergency — emergency procedures and guidelines for hijacks, fuel dumping and rescue, etc.
Carrying "current aeronautical charts and publications covering the route of the proposed flight and any probable diversionary route" is a requirement under CAR 602.60 for night VFR, VFR Over-The-Top and instrument flight rules flights. This Canadian Aviation Regulation does not require carriage of a copy of the CFS, but, one way to satisfy the regulation; because information in the CFS may be out of date with regard to such issues as runway closures and fuel availability, pilots should check NOTAMs before each flight. NOTAM information in Canada can be obtained from the Nav Canada Aviation Weather Website or by contacting the appropriate regional Nav Canada Flight Information Centre. While Nav Canada's CFS has the monopoly on paper-version airport directories in Canada, there are several competing internet publications, including the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association's Places to Fly user-editable airport directory. Nav Canada publishes the Water Aerodrome Supplement, as a single volume in English and French.
This contains information on all Canadian water aerodromes as shown on visual flight rules charts and other information such as navaids. The WAS is published on an annual basis. Airport/Facility Directory – U. S. publications equivalent to the Aerodrome/Facility and Planning chapters of the CFS, but divided into several volumes covering different regions. Official website
Not to be confused with Canadian Transportation Agency. Transport Canada is the department within the Government of Canada responsible for developing regulations and services of transportation in Canada, it is part of the Transportation and Communities portfolio. The current Minister of Transport is Marc Garneau. Transport Canada is headquartered in Ontario; the Department of Transport was created in 1935 by the government of William Lyon Mackenzie King in recognition of the changing transportation environment in Canada at the time. It merged three departments: the former Department of Railways and Canals, the Department of Marine and Fisheries, the Civil Aviation Branch of the Department of National Defence under C. D. Howe, who would use the portfolio to rationalize the governance and provision of all forms of transportation, he created Trans-Canada Air Lines. The Department of Transport Act came into force November 2, 1936. Prior to a 1994 federal government reorganization, Transport Canada had a wide range of operational responsibilities including the Canadian Coast Guard, the Saint Lawrence Seaway and seaports, as well as Via Rail and CN Rail.
Significant cuts to Transport Canada at that time resulted in CN Rail being privatized, the coast guard being transferred to Fisheries and Oceans, the seaway and various ports and airports being transferred to local operating authorities. Transport Canada emerged from this process as a department focused on policy and regulation rather than transportation operations. In 2004, Transport Canada introduced non-passenger screening to enhance both airport and civil aviation security. Transport Canada's headquarters are located in Ottawa at Place de Ville, Tower C. Transport Canada has regional headquarters in: Vancouver – Government of Canada Building on Burrard Street and Robson Street Edmonton – Canada Place, 9700 Jasper Avenue NW Winnipeg – Macdonald Building, 344 Edmonton Street Toronto – Government of Canada Building, 4900 Yonge Street Dorval – Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport, 700 Place Leigh-Capreol Moncton – Heritage Building, 95 Foundry Street Minister of Transport Marc GarneauDeputy Minister, Transport Canada Michael KeenanAssociate Deputy Minister, Thao Pham Assistant Deputy Minister and Security, Kevin Brousseau Associate Assistant Deputy Minister and Security, Aaron McCrombie Assistant Deputy Minister, Pierre-Marc Mongeau Associate Assistant Deputy Minister and Lead, Navigation Protection Act Review, Catherine Higgens Assistant Deputy Minister, Lawrence Hanson Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Services, André Lapointe Assistant Deputy Minister, Natasha Rascanin Director General, Corporate Secretariat, Tom Oommen Director General and Marketing, Dan Dugas Regional Director General, Atlantic Region, Ann Mowatt Regional Director General, Quebec Region, Albert Deschamps Regional Director General, Ontario Region, Tamara Rudge Regional Director General and Northern Region, Michele Taylor Regional Director General, Pacific Region, Robert Dick Departmental General Counsel, Henry K. Schultz Chief Audit and Evaluation Executive, Martin Rubenstein Transport Canada is responsible for enforcing several Canadian legislation, including the Aeronautics Act, Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, Motor Vehicle Safety Act, Canada Transportation Act, Railway Safety Act, Canada Shipping Act, 2001, Marine Transportation Security Act amongst others.
Each inspector with delegated power from the Minister of Transport receives official credentials to exercise their power, as shown on the right. These inspectors are public officers identified within the Criminal Code of Canada; the Motor Vehicle Safety Act was established in 1971 in order to create safety standards for cars in Canada. The department acts as the federal government's funding partner with provincial transport ministries on jointly-funded provincial transportation infrastructure projects for new highways. TC manage a database of traffic collisions in Canada. Transport Canada's role in railways include: railway safety surface and intermodal security strategies for rail travel accessibility safety of federally regulated railway bridges safety and security of international bridges and tunnels Inspecting and testing traffic control signals, grade crossing warning systems rail operating rules regulations and services for safe transport of dangerous goods Canadian Transport Emergency Centre to assist emergency response and handling dangerous goods emergenciesFollowing allegations by shippers of service level deterioration, on April 7, 2008, the federal government of Canada launched a review of railway freight service within the country.
Transport Canada, managing the review, plans to investigate the relationships between Canadian shippers and the rail industry with regards to the two largest railroad companies in the country, Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National Railway. On June 26, 2013, the Fair Rail Freight Service Act became law, a response to the Rail Freight Service Review’s Final Report. Transport Canada is responsible for the waterways inside and surrounding Canada; these responsibilities include: responding and investigating marine accidents within Canadian waters enforcing marine acts and regulations establishing and enforcing marine personnel standards and pilotage Marine Safety Marine Security regulating the operation of marine vessels in Canadian watersAs of 2003 the Office of Boating Safety and the Navigable Waters Protection Program were transferred back to Transport Canada. As was certain regulatory aspects of Emergen
According to the International Civil Aviation Organization, a runway is a "defined rectangular area on a land aerodrome prepared for the landing and takeoff of aircraft". Runways may be a natural surface. In January 1919, aviation pioneer Orville Wright underlined the need for "distinctly marked and prepared landing places, the preparing of the surface of reasonably flat ground an expensive undertaking there would be a continuous expense for the upkeep." Runways are named by a number between 01 and 36, the magnetic azimuth of the runway's heading in decadegrees. This heading differs from true north by the local magnetic declination. A runway numbered 09 points east, runway 18 is south, runway 27 points west and runway 36 points to the north; when taking off from or landing on runway 09, a plane is heading around 90°. A runway can be used in both directions, is named for each direction separately: e.g. "runway 15" in one direction is "runway 33" when used in the other. The two numbers differ by 18.
For clarity in radio communications, each digit in the runway name is pronounced individually: runway one-five, runway three-three, etc.. A leading zero, for example in "runway zero-six" or "runway zero-one-left", is included for all ICAO and some U. S. military airports. However, most U. S. civil aviation airports drop the leading zero. This includes some military airfields such as Cairns Army Airfield; this American anomaly may lead to inconsistencies in conversations between American pilots and controllers in other countries. It is common in a country such as Canada for a controller to clear an incoming American aircraft to, for example, runway 04, the pilot read back the clearance as runway 4. In flight simulation programs those of American origin might apply U. S. usage to airports around the world. For example, runway 05 at Halifax will appear on the program as the single digit 5 rather than 05. If there is more than one runway pointing in the same direction, each runway is identified by appending left and right to the number to identify its position — for example, runways one-five-left, one-five-center, one-five-right.
Runway zero-three-left becomes runway two-one-right. In some countries, regulations mandate that where parallel runways are too close to each other, only one may be used at a time under certain conditions. At large airports with four or more parallel runways some runway identifiers are shifted by 1 to avoid the ambiguity that would result with more than three parallel runways. For example, in Los Angeles, this system results in runways 6L, 6R, 7L, 7R though all four runways are parallel at 69°. At Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, there are five parallel runways, named 17L, 17C, 17R, 18L, 18R, all oriented at a heading of 175.4°. An airport with only three parallel runways may use different runway identifiers, such as when a third parallel runway was opened at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in 2000 to the south of existing 8R/26L — rather than confusingly becoming the "new" 8R/26L it was instead designated 7R/25L, with the former 8R/26L becoming 7L/25R and 8L/26R becoming 8/26.
Runway designations may change over time because Earth's magnetic lines drift on the surface and the magnetic direction changes. Depending on the airport location and how much drift occurs, it may be necessary to change the runway designation; as runways are designated with headings rounded to the nearest 10°, this affects some runways sooner than others. For example, if the magnetic heading of a runway is 233°, it is designated Runway 23. If the magnetic heading changes downwards by 5 degrees to 228°, the runway remains Runway 23. If on the other hand the original magnetic heading was 226°, the heading decreased by only 2 degrees to 224°, the runway becomes Runway 22; because magnetic drift itself is slow, runway designation changes are uncommon, not welcomed, as they require an accompanying change in aeronautical charts and descriptive documents. When runway designations do change at major airports, it is changed at night as taxiway signs need to be changed and the huge numbers at each end of the runway need to be repainted to the new runway designators.
In July 2009 for example, London Stansted Airport in the United Kingdom changed its runway designations from 05/23 to 04/22 during the night. For fixed-wing aircraft it is advantageous to perform takeoffs and landings into the wind to reduce takeoff or landing roll and reduce the ground speed needed to attain flying speed. Larger airports have several runways in different directions, so that one can be selected, most nearly aligned with the wind. Airports with one runway are constructed to be aligned with the prevailing wind. Compiling a wind rose is in fact one of the preliminary steps taken in constructing airport runways. Note that wind direction is given as the direction the wind is coming from: a plane taking off from runway 09 faces east, into an "east wind" blowing from 090°. Runway dimensions vary from as small as 245 m long and 8 m wide in s
Hawkesbury is a town in Eastern Ontario, Canada, on the Ottawa River, near the Quebec-Ontario border. It lies on the south shore of the Ottawa River about halfway between Downtown Ottawa and Downtown Montreal in United Counties of Prescott and Russell; the Long-Sault Bridge links it to Quebec, to the north. It is located 25 km west of Quebec. Hawkesbury is touted as the third most bilingual town in Ontario, with about 70% of its inhabitants being fluent in English and French, the two official languages of Canada. 89% of the population is made up of French speaking Franco-Ontarians. Founded in 1798, Hawkesbury was named after Baron Hawkesbury. Thomas Mears and David Pattee, two Americans, entered into a partnership in 1805 to harness the power of the lower Ottawa River and built the first sawmill on the Upper Canada side of the river; the town of Hawkesbury developed around this mill. Mears built the Union, the Ottawa River's first steamer. Demand for timber during the Napoleonic Wars created a boom.
The mill complex continued to grow for at least the next half century, by 1870 it included 145 different saws and created over 35 million board feet of lumber per year. Timber and pulp-and-paper industries have been supplanted by textiles, synthetic fibres, metal extrusions, steel and plastics. Hawkesbury has become the business and service centre of the county of Prescott-Russell, although Rockland has become the largest community; the Grenville Canal on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River opposite Hawkesbury is an important link in the river's transportation system. The only interprovincial bridge between Ontario and Quebec east of Ottawa is located here. Part of Hawkesbury was submerged by a Hydro-Québec dam built between 1950 and 1962. New developments today are happening due to baby boomers from Ottawa and area purchasing some of the many new condos in town. Hawkesbury and area are served by local media, media from Montreal and by media from Ottawa; the town does, have two radio stations which broadcast at least from local studios in Hawkesbury.
Le Carillon is a French-language newspaper that covers Hawkesbury and the Prescott-Russell region and is published by the Edition André Paquette Group. La/The Tribune Express is a bilingual French/English language newspaper that covers Hawkesbury and the Prescott-Russell region and is published by the Edition André Paquette Group; the Review is an English-language weekly newspaper that covers the Glengarry-Prescott-Russell area, which includes Hawkesbury. FM 88.9 - CIMF-1 FM 102.1 - CHPR FM 107.7 - CKHK Channel 39: CHLF-TV-2, TFO Channel 48: CICO-TV-96, TVOntario Cogeco cable 11: TVCogeco Hawkesbury is located along Prescott and Russell County Road 17, a former routing of Highway 17 and the Trans-Canada Highway with connects with Highway 417 eastwards to Montreal. Hawkesbury connects to Highway 417 westward to Ottawa through a 17-kilometer spur of Highway 34; the Long Sault Interprovincial Bridge between Hawkesbury and Grenville, Quebec means that Hawkesbury is within minutes of Highway 50 and Route 148.
The town is served by two small airports: Hawkesbury Airport Hawkesbury Airport The 2006 census found that French was the mother tongue of 77% of the population, while English was the mother tongue of 16%. A high percentage claim both French and English as their mother tongues. In 2006, this was the highest proportion in Canada. According to the 2011 census, the percentage of the population declaring French as a mother tongue grew to 78.6% while the proportion of the population declaring English as a mother tongue declined to 15.3%. The percentage claiming both French and English as their mother tongues declined below 2.00% by 2011 In parallel to the responses to the census question about ethnocultural ancestries, which are shown below, 1.0% of the population reported having an Aboriginal identity, while 3.1% reported having a visible minority status. Single responses: 42.4% of respondents gave a single response of'Canadian', while a further 25.3% identified with both'Canadian', one or more other ancestries.
13.4% of respondents gave a single response of French, 1.9% gave a single response of Irish, 1.9% gave a single response of English and 1.1% gave a single response of North American Indian. Multiple responses: Counting both single and multiple responses, the most identified ethnocultural ancestries were: Percentages are calculated as a proportion of the total number of respondents and may total more than 100% due to dual responses. All ethnocultural ancestries of more than 1% are listed in the table above according to the exact terminology used by Statistics Canada. Hawkesbury hosts many establishments in the field of education, from elementary schools to colleges and an adult campus. Elementary Schools: Paul VI Nouvel Horizon Secondary Schools:ESCRH Le Sommet Post-secondary Establishments:La Cité collégialeelearnnetwork.ca And other educational-based establishments: Adult Campus of Hawkesbury Dominique Demers, writer Brian Greenway, guitarist for Canadian rock bands Mashmakhan and April Wine.
Judith Guichon, Lieutenant-governor of British Columbia Bob Hartley, head coach of the Calgary Flames. The municipal arena bears his name. Yvan Joly, former NHL player Richard Nadeau, Former federal MP of the Bloc québécois Stephen Warren, member of the Wisconsin State Assembly List of francophone communities in Ontario Town of Hawkesbury Hawkesbury Citizens' Association
An airport is an aerodrome with extended facilities for commercial air transport. Airports have facilities to store and maintain aircraft, a control tower. An airport consists of a landing area, which comprises an aerially accessible open space including at least one operationally active surface such as a runway for a plane to take off or a helipad, includes adjacent utility buildings such as control towers and terminals. Larger airports may have airport aprons, taxiway bridges, air traffic control centres, passenger facilities such as restaurants and lounges, emergency services. In some countries, the US in particular, they typically have one or more fixed-base operators, serving general aviation. An airport serving helicopters is called a heliport. An airport for use by seaplanes and amphibious aircraft is called a seaplane base; such a base includes a stretch of open water for takeoffs and landings, seaplane docks for tying-up. An international airport has additional facilities for customs and passport control as well as incorporating all of the aforementioned elements.
Such airports rank among the most complex and largest of all built typologies with 15 of the top 50 buildings by floor area being airport terminals. The terms aerodrome and airstrip may be used to refer to airports, the terms heliport, seaplane base, STOLport refer to airports dedicated to helicopters, seaplanes, or short take-off and landing aircraft. In colloquial use in certain environments, the terms airport and aerodrome are interchanged. However, in general, the term airport may imply or confer a certain stature upon the aviation facility that other aerodromes may not have achieved. In some jurisdictions, airport is a legal term of art reserved for those aerodromes certified or licensed as airports by the relevant national aviation authority after meeting specified certification criteria or regulatory requirements; that is to say, all airports are aerodromes, but not all aerodromes are airports. In jurisdictions where there is no legal distinction between aerodrome and airport, which term to use in the name of an aerodrome may be a commercial decision.
In United States technical/legal usage, landing area is used instead of aerodrome, airport means "a landing area used by aircraft for receiving or discharging passengers or cargo". Smaller or less-developed airfields, which represent the vast majority have a single runway shorter than 1,000 m. Larger airports for airline flights have paved runways of 2,000 m or longer. Skyline Airport in Inkom, Idaho has a runway, only 122 m long. In the United States, the minimum dimensions for dry, hard landing fields are defined by the FAR Landing And Takeoff Field Lengths; these include considerations for safety margins during takeoff. The longest public-use runway in the world is at Qamdo Bamda Airport in China, it has a length of 5,500 m. The world's widest paved runway is 105 m wide; as of 2009, the CIA stated that there were 44,000 "... airports or airfields recognizable from the air" around the world, including 15,095 in the US, the US having the most in the world. Most of the world's large airports are owned by local, regional, or national government bodies who lease the airport to private corporations who oversee the airport's operation.
For example, in the United Kingdom the state-owned British Airports Authority operated eight of the nation's major commercial airports – it was subsequently privatized in the late 1980s, following its takeover by the Spanish Ferrovial consortium in 2006, has been further divested and downsized to operating just Heathrow now. Germany's Frankfurt Airport is managed by the quasi-private firm Fraport. While in India GMR Group operates, through joint ventures, Indira Gandhi International Airport and Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. Bengaluru International Airport and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport are controlled by GVK Group; the rest of India's airports are managed by the Airports Authority of India. In Pakistan nearly all civilian airports are owned and operated by the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority except for Sialkot International Airport which has the distinction of being the first owned public airport in Pakistan and South Asia. In the United States, commercial airports are operated directly by government entities or government-created airport authorities, such as the Los Angeles World Airports authority that oversees several airports in the Greater Los Angeles area, including Los Angeles International Airport.
In Canada, the federal authority, Transport Canada, divested itself of all but the remotest airports in 1999/2000. Now most airports in Canada are owned and operated by individual legal authorities or are municipally owned. Many U. S. airports still lease part or all of their facilities to outside firms, who operate functions such as retail management and parking. In the U. S. all commercial airport runways are certified by the FAA under the Code of Federal Regulations Title 14 Part 139, "Certification of Commercial Service Airports" but maintained by the local airport under the regulatory authority of the FAA. Despite the reluctance to privatize airports in the US, the government-owned, contractor-operated arrangement is the standard for the operation of commercial airports in the rest of the world. Airports are divided into airside areas; the landside area is open to the public, while access to the airside area is controlled. The airside area includes all parts of the airpo
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border, its capital is Ottawa, its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra, its population is urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons. Various indigenous peoples have inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years prior to European colonization. Beginning in the 16th century and French expeditions explored, settled, along the Atlantic coast.
As a consequence of various armed conflicts, France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces; this began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament. Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with Elizabeth II as its queen and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the federal cabinet and head of government; the country is a realm within the Commonwealth of Nations, a member of the Francophonie and bilingual at the federal level. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, education.
It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many other countries. Canada's long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture. A developed country, Canada has the sixteenth-highest nominal per capita income globally as well as the twelfth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index, its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada is part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the G7, the Group of Ten, the G20, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. While a variety of theories have been postulated for the etymological origins of Canada, the name is now accepted as coming from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement".
In 1535, indigenous inhabitants of the present-day Quebec City region used the word to direct French explorer Jacques Cartier to the village of Stadacona. Cartier used the word Canada to refer not only to that particular village but to the entire area subject to Donnacona. From the 16th to the early 18th century "Canada" referred to the part of New France that lay along the Saint Lawrence River. In 1791, the area became two British colonies called Upper Canada and Lower Canada collectively named the Canadas. Upon Confederation in 1867, Canada was adopted as the legal name for the new country at the London Conference, the word Dominion was conferred as the country's title. By the 1950s, the term Dominion of Canada was no longer used by the United Kingdom, which considered Canada a "Realm of the Commonwealth"; the government of Louis St. Laurent ended the practice of using'Dominion' in the Statutes of Canada in 1951. In 1982, the passage of the Canada Act, bringing the Constitution of Canada under Canadian control, referred only to Canada, that year the name of the national holiday was changed from Dominion Day to Canada Day.
The term Dominion was used to distinguish the federal government from the provinces, though after the Second World War the term federal had replaced dominion. Indigenous peoples in present-day Canada include the First Nations, Métis, the last being a mixed-blood people who originated in the mid-17th century when First Nations and Inuit people married European settlers; the term "Aboriginal" as a collective noun is a specific term of art used in some legal documents, including the Constitution Act 1982. The first inhabitants of North America are hypothesized to have migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 14,000 years ago; the Paleo-Indian archeological sites at Old Crow Flats and Bluefish Caves are two of the oldest sites of human habitation in Canada. The characteristics of Canadian indigenous societies included permanent settlements, complex societal hierarchies, trading networks; some of these cultures had collapsed by the time European explorers arrived in the late 15th and early 16th centuries and have only been discovered through archeological investigations.
The indigenous population at the time of the first European settlements is estimated to have been between 200,000