Celebrating its 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation, Nicola Hancox finds out more about this relatively new country that has been inhabited for millennia.

With the longest coastline and the longest land border (with the USA), Canada is big.


"Every province in Canada features the best opportunities to enjoy clean, fresh air and the lovely outdoors," relates Jenni Danino at Heartland International English School in Winnipeg, Manitoba.


Explore the many secluded beaches and forest trails of Vancouver Island, offers Christina Chant at Shawnigan Lake School in Vancouver Island, British Columbia (BC), as well as charming, temperate provincial capital, Victoria.


"If physically fit, students should do the Grouse Grind," suggests Frances Seaton at St Giles International Vancouver, also in BC, a 2.9 kilometre hike up the face of Grouse Mountain in Vancouver on the North American mainland.



Ontario (ON) is a province to be enjoyed whatever the season, relates Ali Noori at ILSC-Toronto Experience the great outdoors by camping in Muskoka, which offers some of the best camping in the province, he notes.


Winter can be cold in Canada but summer in Toronto, ON, can be awesome, says Gabriela Garcia at International Language Academy of Canada "My favourite place to visit in the summer is the Scarborough Bluffs, a public park...that has a sandy beach and 300-foot-high cliff to give a view of Lake Ontario."


Unfazed by the cold? Attend Igloo Fest, suggests Daniel Lefort at ILSC-Montreal in Quebec. "It takes place in January when it is -25 degrees and is filled with thousands of people dancing all night long outside in their ski suits to the music of famous international DJs."




Kanata is an indigenous Canadian word meaning 'village' or 'settlement'




Pick of the Provinces


Manitoba is home to one of Canada's best beaches, Grand Beach, says Jenni Danino at Heartland International English School. It is also known as the 'land of 100,000 lakes', including Little Limestone Lake, which changes colour with the temperature.



Nova Scotia
The province is famous for three things, according to Mike Rosson at Nova Scotia International Student Program Peggy's Cove and its working lighthouse, the Bluenose fishing and racing schooner - immortalised on the Canadian 10 cent piece - and for hosting the first ever organised ice hockey game!


"My province is most famous for Niagara Falls," relates Ali Noori at ILSC-Toronto. The falls comprise three waterfalls that straddle the USA and Canada.



British Columbia
If Manitoba is the land of 100,000 lakes, then British Columbia is the land of 100,000 mountain ranges. Well, not quite, but it has 10 and that in itself is pretty impressive.




Poutine and perogies

The Canadians do chips and gravy like no other. Poutine, a combination of fries, warm gravy and cheese curds, has its origins in 1950s Quebec but is celebrated today Canada-wide.



There are variations, says Christina Chant at Shawnigan Lake School, ranging from pulled pork to lobster and even a dessert poutine made with caramel sauce and marshmallows.


If poutine isn't your thing try some maple syrup-covered confectionary or bacon, says Daniel Lefort at ILSC-Montreal.


Beaver Tails (fried pastry) and perogies (potato and cheese dumplings) are other popular comfort foods.


"Being right on the ocean, we have some of the best seafood, from farmed oysters to spot prawns to crab," says Carla Vecino at ILSC-Vancouver.


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