Cities of the Great White North

Canada cityThe cities of Canada are unlike cities anywhere else in the world. Directly above the United States, Canada’s close relationship with its neighbor to the south makes Canada a seat of the Western world, while still having clear ties to its European ancestry. The cities of Canada are like the cities of the U.S. in many ways, but have an identity of their own on many levels. The cold of Canada influences the culture of its cities, as do their proximity to one another and the rugged sturdiness of northern living.

The cold may seem like a geographical factor, but as we know from human history, geographical factors strongly effect the way people live and interact. The cold of Canada is seen in the culture and the representations of every Canadian city. It effects every Canadian’s outlook on life and it is part of Canada’s national identity. Most of what Canada is known for is related to its cold climate. The hockey playing, lumberjacking, flannel wearing, starch eating Canadian stereotype originated from the cold of Canada, and though there is obviously much more to Canada’s culture than these things, they represent a culture that emerged from cold northern living. This can be seen through the cities of Canada.

Secondly, because of the cold conditions and the thick forests of Canada, its population is much smaller than more south lying countries which means its cities are more spread out than they are in the United States. This gives them a unique identity as well. Canadians are thought of as more rugged and durable than many of the people who come from cities in the United States. This comes from a Canadian history of independence and ruggedness. The people of Canada have always had harsher conditions to deal with and it has made them hearty people. The space between their cities is a testament to how self sufficient one needs to be in Canada, even a modernized Canada with all the conveniences of the United States.

Eastern Cities of Canada

major Canadian citiesThe Eastern cities of Canada are known for their history, culture and legislation. The provinces of Eastern Canada, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, are known for their rolling hills, covered in Boreal forest trees. The Eastern cities of Canada were the first to be founded by European settlers, and therefore contain the oldest history of Canada’s formation as a country. Cities such as Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto are Eastern Canadian landmarks that are areas of a great deal of interest and fascination.

Montreal, Quebec is not the capitol city of the province, but it is the largest, as well as being the second largest city in Canada. It is located on a large island. With an official city population of over 1.5 million, and a metropolitan area population of over 3.5 million, Montreal is ranked as the seventh largest city in North America. Unlike the other provinces of Canada, the official language of Quebec is French, and a majority of households in Montreal are French speaking, making it one of the most bilingual cities in Canada. With a very high quality of life and a city center of rich culture and economy, it is not had to see why Montreal is a desirable place to live.

Ottawa, Ontario is more than Canada’s fourth largest city; it is also the country’s capitol. With a population just shy of one million, Ottawa is Canada’s technological and political capitol. Ottawa is also known for its multiculturalism, diversity and high level of education, containing a number of cultural and educational institutions. It is a model city for how it is run, with a high quality of life and very little unemployment.

Toronto, Ontario is the province’s capitol, Canada’s largest city and one of the world’s most diverse cities. It is located in the southern part of the province on the shore of Lake Ontario. Its official population lies at approximately 2.6 million residents, while its greater metropolitan area is home to 5.5 million residents. Toronto is the financial and entrepreneurial capitol of Canada, as well as home to the greatest number of immigrants and ethnicities in Canada.

Central Cities of Canada

major Canadian citiesCentral Canada is a temperate region in the summer months and a frigid region in the winter months. It is comprised of Boreal forest land, which includes coniferous and deciduous trees spread across a much less mountainous terrain than Western Canada. This is the landscape that surrounds the larger cities of central Canada, such as Saskatoon and Regina, Saskatchewan, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. These are some of the largest cities in all of Canada, but their geographic locations, size and primary function make them very unique among Canadian cities.

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan is of course named after the delectable Saskatoon berry that grows in the area. The city was established in 1882 on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River and is a city of 300,000 residents presently, but is one of the fastest growing cities in Central Canada. Saskatoon’s economy is based primarily on agriculture, mining and oil, and is home to two thirds of the world’s potash reserves, which is a potassium rich salt. Saskatoon is the most central city location in all of Canada, making it one of the busiest international airports in Canada.

Regina, Saskatchewan is the capitol of the province, but is the second largest city in the province. Regina is the cultural and commercial center of Saskatchewan as well. Regina is commonly known as one of the best midsize cities to live in within all of Canada. Geographically, Regina is unique among Canadian cities because it is situated on a flat, treeless plain instead of within Boreal Forest territory. The city is home to a number of government buildings, a university, museums, art galleries and theatres. The cities population of nearly 240,000 have overcome cyclones, riots and economic depressions to rise to a prominent economic standing.

Winnipeg, Manitoba is the province’s largest and capitol city, situated at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers. Historically founded as a trading post, Winnipeg is presently one of the most populated cities in all of Canada. The city is known for its multiculturalism and event presentation, which includes the Winnipeg Folk Festival and the Jazz Winnipeg Festival. Winnipeg is also known for its sports enthusiasm.

Western Canadian Cities

Kelowna attractions

Canadian cities of the West are characterized by places such as Calgary and Vancouver. Calgary is at the base of the Canadian Rocky Mountains and is the business center of Alberta’s oil industry. Vancouver is on the coast of British Columbia and is widely considered the most livable city in Canada. However, neither of these places have the current tourist draw that Kelowna, British Columbia has.

Kelowna is a city in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia that has recently become a very noteworthy city in Kelowna. As many as two decades ago, Kelowna was a small, generally unknown agricultural and lake town. For many years, the Okanagan Valley has been used as Canada’s premiere winery and vineyard land, but in the last several decades, it has received international attention and acclaim from the wine community. Recently, it was named the most desirable winery destination in North America. Because of this attention and because of Kelowna’s mild climate, the city began attracting the wealthiest retirees in Canada, as well as a slew of Canadian millionaires and billionaires, who wanted to own land in Kelowna.

The wineries and vineyards are the primary draw to Kelowna, and it is easy to see why. The hillsides of Kelowna are covered with spectacular vineyards that overlook the expansive Lake Okanagan. Summer days boast gorgeous warm temperatures, award-winning chilled wine and world class restaurants. Wine tours are an incredibly popular excursion during Kelowna summers. Other than wine destinations, Kelowna offers a number of intriguing vacation destination items, both within the city and in the natural wilderness areas just outside the city. The world-famous Kettle Valley railway trestles are a favorite destination for bicyclists and outdoor enthusiasts, Lake Okanagan is home to a number of sports events and musical festivals and the Kelowna Auction World is the largest auction in the interior of British Columbia.

Kelowna obviously has a bright future as a star among Canadian cities. It has all the amenities of a major city while still maintaining a small town feel, although it is one of the bigger cities in British Columbia. It is currently the retirement destination of choice for many people who spent their lives working in the oil sands of Alberta, which is a primary reason for how wealthy the city is.

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Canadian Cities

Canadian citiesThe cities of Canada and the United States are often compared to one another on many levels. From an outside perspective, Vancouver may seem to be identical to Seattle, and Toronto may seem to have a lot in common with Chicago. Montreal is sometimes compared to New York City and oil boomtowns in North Dakota are likened to Fort McMurray today. However,  Canadian cities actually have a number of differences that make them unique to North America.

The most obvious difference is the population of Canadian cities verses U.S. cities. Canada on the whole has 35-million residents while the U.S. has 318-million, making the cities of Canada considerably less crowded. As a result, the infrastructure of Canadian cities is also smaller, with less extensive sprawl than the major cities of the U.S.

The healthiness of the citizens of Canadian cities can be seen at a glance. The socialized medicine of Canada creates an atmosphere of security within the population. Those with medical conditions know they will be treated. Even those who have mental disorders or struggle with addiction in Canada live in the assurance that they will not be denied treatment for any reason. This knowledge is unifying and comforting, and can be felt within the cities of Canada.

The way that people behave in Canadian cities is also noticeably different from that of the United States. Canadians living in close proximity to one another have a stronger social consciousness than Americans do. For example, Canadians are more likely to fall into unison while driving and keep with a group speed rather than weave  through traffic or set their own speed. Capitalism is not as present in Canada as it is in the U.S., so Canadian goods and services are not as saturated with choices. The more socialistic government in Canada tends to make the populations of its cities more collectively cooperative.

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How Canadian Cities are Different from U.S. Cities

canada and united statesCanada and the United States have a great deal in common, including the appearance, customs and practices of their cities. People from other foreign countries would likely have a hard time telling a number of Canadian and United States cities apart, but those who have experienced both for a certain duration of time can tell the difference. A majority of the cities in Canada have better infrastructure, less over crowding and smaller populations than that of the United States.

First of all, the infrastructure of most large Canadian cities is superior to that of the United States because it is newer and supports  a more stable population. Many major Canadian cities appeared on the map after comparable United States cities, so their infrastructure is less aged. With the population in Canadian cities smaller and increasing at a slower rate, expansions to the infrastructure of Canadian cities are not demanded as heavily as in the United States. Canada was not hit as hard by the recession of 2007 as the United States was, so it has had more funding to maintain city infrastructure. The cities of Canada also have smaller populations and less over crowding, which gives them a calmer, more controlled feel. A census taken of a Canadian city is considerably more predictable than that of a United States city.

For these reasons, and many others, tourists from the United States and from all over the globe travel to the cities of Canada for a uniquely Canadian experience. Medical tourism is a form of tourism that is steadily on the rise for many of Canada’s cities, with world travelers eager to take advantage of the affordable healthcare in Alberta, the well respected medical practices of Ontario and Canadas best drug rehab. The benefits that the cities of Canada can offer travelers are numerous.

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