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Enjoy & Learn


Canada

Canada is the world's second-largest country. It is diverse in its geography, climate, wildlife, economy and people. The country is full of contrasts and provides mystery, variety and challenges for all who reside in and visit this great land.

Latin “A Mari Usque Ad Mare” (“From Sea to Sea”) is the country’s motto that can be explained literally in that it extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, and northward into the Arctic Ocean with claims extending to the North Pole. It could also be a way of saying that it has everything in between: massive mountains, golden prairies, sculptured ice, dense forest, indomitable wilderness, sophisticated cities, farmland, parkland, valleys, rivers, lakes, oceans, arctic tundra, and sand dunes. All of this and more is Canada. There are two official languages in Canada: English and French. The second is only used in the province of Quebec. This fabulous country is called home by a wide variety of people with their many races and religions. These people create extraordinary customs and character. The name of the country originates from Kanata which means village–a fitting name considering the sense of home Canadians share.

The National Anthem of Canada

The Canadian Anthem ‘O Canada’ is based on Justice Robert Stanley Weir’s lyrics written in 1908. The music is by well-known composer Calixa Lavallée. It was proclaimed Canada’s national anthem on July 1, 1980.

Official English Lyrics:

O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Official French lyrics:

Ô Canada! Terre de nos aïeux,
Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux !
Car ton bras sait porter l’épée,
Il sait porter la croix;
Ton histoire est une épopée
Des plus brillants exploits.
Et ta valeur de foi trempée
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits;
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.

Toronto or Ottawa?

If we ask the man on the street what the capital of Canada is, he will undoubtedly make a common mistake. Eighty percent of people claim that Toronto is the capital instead of Ottawa. The misunderstanding is caused by the fact that Toronto is the largest city in Canada. The second reason for this common mistake is that Toronto is the financial center and ‘economic engine’ of the country. What also makes Toronto a visual experience unrivalled by any other city is the way it combines old-world charm with modern cosmopolitan character.

If we want to start any sightseeing expedition it should begin from Toronto’s CN Tower. It is one of the most spectacular landmarks in the world and it is the world’s tallest freestanding structure (reaching 553 meters into the sky), almost twice as tall as the Eiffel Tower.

Next to the CN Tower you can see another magnificent structure, the Sky Dome (known also as the Rogers Centre), a multi-purpose stadium with a fully retractable motorized roof. Other places in Toronto that are worth seeing are Toronto’s City Hall, the second largest Stock Exchange in North America, Paramount Canada’s Wonderland amusement park, Ontario Science Centre (a cross between a museum and a pinball arcade), and the gorgeous Eaton Centre shopping mall.

World-renowned attractions

Apart from the CN Tower, Sky Dome and other places mentioned above. Canada is the home of:
a) Niagara Falls
If we ask both Americans and Canadians what is the most incredible and fabulous place in their country and where the most film is sold, both nations will probably mention one of the Seven Wonders of the World: Niagara Falls. If you are wondering who really owns the abovementioned place, you will see that no one is lying–

Niagara Falls is located on the border between the United States and Canada. Niagara Falls is a set of tremendous waterfalls. It is a natural wonder of beauty and majesty that has thrilled and inspired aesthetic thrill-seekers and lovers since man first beheld it.

The strange name was given to the waterfall by the Native People because they heard the roar long before they actually saw the Falls. It sounded like continual thunder so they named it Onguiaahra (later Niagara) which means “Great Thunderer of Waters.”

Niagara Falls comprises three separate waterfalls: the Horseshoe Falls (Canadian Falls), the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. If Canadians and Americans were to compete for whose view of Niagara is better–then Canadians would definitely win. Americans cannot see all three Falls.

b) Butchart Gardens
Canada is not only famous for its natural beauty. We can also find places that are beautiful thanks to human intervention. Butchart Gardens are an example of this. Once the site was just an empty quarry. Nowadays it holds gardens which have been rated among the most beautiful in the world. Nearly one million people from around the world visit this site each year to enjoy the exquisite beauty, floral variety and entertainment.

c) Green Gables
We were all brought up on Lucy Maud Montgomery’s book, “Anne of Green Gables.” And it is not only Poland that loves the charming Anne–the book has been translated into 20 languages. People travel all over the world to see the site that inspired the famous tale of their beloved Anne. Touring through the delightful farmhouse is like visiting a place from your childhood. There is no need for a tour guide to explain which room is which–there is Matthew’s room, the pantry and, of course, Anne’s room, where readers learned so much about the heavy-hearted girl.

Canada’s seasons follow the theme of contrast, challenge and beauty that the country portrays through all of its features. If variety is the spice of life, then Canadians are the most alive people on the globe. We could consider seasons as metaphors and I think that it is winter that reminds Canadians that they live in a land of both splendid luxuries and harsh realities. It is this mixture that shapes the personality of Canada and its people.

Justyna Olszewska

 

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