Canada facts, information, pictures . John's, Victoria, Windsor. Other Cities: Antigonish, Brampton, Brantford, Charlottetown, Dawson, Fredericton, Gander, Guelph, Kingston, Kitchener, Medicine Hat, Niagara Falls, Niagara- on- the- lake, North Bay, Oakville, Oshawa, Peterborough, Prince Albert, Prince George, Saint Catherines, Saint John, Saskatoon, Sault Sainte Marie, Stratford, Sudbury, Thetford Mines, Thompson, Thunder Bay, Trois Rivi. Supplemental material has been added to increase coverage of minor cities, facts have been updated, and some material has been condensed. Readers are encouraged to visit the Department of State's web site at http: //travel. INTRODUCTIONThe vast nation of CANADA , which borders on three oceans and spans seven time zones, abounds in contrasts. It boasts magical coasts, majestic mountains, wild rivers, untrod forests, and untouched lakes.
It also boasts sky- scraping cities, sophisticated shopping, and culinary delights. From the Calgary Stampede to the Shakespearean Festival, from ethnic festivals to the changing of the guard in Ottawa, Canada is a fascinating blend of English and French, historic and modern, ceremonial and casual. Canada has always had close ties with the United States, as evidenced by the fact that the two countries share the longest unguarded border in the world. In spite of its extensive geographical, cultural, financial, and economic ties with the U.
S., however, Canada retains a unique distinction from its southern neighbors. MAJOR CITIESOttawa. Ottawa (from an Indian word meaning . City residents total over 4. The climate is healthful and bracing, and the area abounds with opportunities for outdoor activities and family living.
Samuel de Champlain reached the site of what is now Ottawa in 1. Rideau Canal was built in 1. Originally named Bytown, Ottawa was incorporated as a city under its present name in 1. It was selected as the national capital by Queen Victoria in 1. As Canada's capital, Ottawa's main business is government and, as in Washington, DC, little industry exists.
Living conditions are similar to those in comparably sized U. S. Most francophones (3. English. Approximately 1. Americans live in the Ottawa district; they have merged into the population and do not constitute a discernible American colony. About 5. 0 U. S. Some 1. Canada, although only 1. Ottawa. Most are small, with two or three officers and a chief of mission.
The only large missions are those of the U. S., U. K., Russia. France, Germany, and the People's Republic of China. Education. Ottawa's public school system offers instruction from kindergarten through grade 1. There are 5. 5 elementary schools for kindergarten through grade eight, and 1.
English instruction and five with French instruction, both covering grades 9 to 1. Tuition is free for Ottawa residents attending public schools. Children may enter kindergarten at age five, or four if the child will be five before December 3. Courses meet the standards established by the Ontario Ministry of Education. The teacher- student ratio in elementary schools is about 1: 1.
Parents may place their children in one of two language programs: the immersion program consisting of instruction totally in French in the first few years, and a gradual phasing in of English instruction until the program becomes bilingual; or the core program consisting of at least 2. French instruction from kindergarten through eighth grade and making it optional at some level after that.
The core program is not a rigid one and may vary from school to school. While some students coming from U.
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S. Instructional programs and course offerings vary from school to school within a particular area. Students pursuing a commercial, technical, or vocational curriculum in high school can receive a diploma after grade 1. Those planning to continue their studies beyond high school, especially if applying for admission to colleges and universities in Ontario, have, until recently, been required to complete grade 1. The Roman Catholic Church maintains a . Tuition through grade 1. Ottawa residents. The curriculum of the .
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Tuition for schools in both systems is free for residents of the school district. The Carleton Public School Board has 6.
French immersion). There are 1. 6 high schools, grades nine through 1. French immersion program.
In addition to the schools offering French immersion, many schools in the Carleton jurisdiction offer French instruction similar to the Ottawa Board's core program. As with the Ottawa Board, parents are advised to check with the school in their neighborhood for specific details regarding the French program. The Carleton Roman Catholic School Board has 5. English instruction, 1. French), all of which provide kindergarten to grade eight, and five high schools, grades nine through 1.
However, after grade 1. Many English- instruction elementary schools have French programs similar to those offered in the public school system. For details, parents should check with the neighborhood school their children will attend.
The Carleton Roman Catholic School Board has no high schools where the language of instruction is French. As in the Ottawa public and separate school boards, the curriculum in both boards in Carleton meets all the requirements of the Ontario Ministry of Education.
While a few American families live in Quebec Province (across the Ottawa River in the greater Hull area), the U. S. Embassy strongly discourages families with school- age children from residing in Quebec. The volatile French- language.
Children not already reasonably conversant in French will probably encounter problems, especially at the high school level, even if enrolled in an English- language school. Quebec Province requires all high school students to take French throughout high school and to pass a standard provincial French- language examination before graduation. Both public and separate school systems in Ottawa and the suburban areas offer extracurricular activities similar to those found in the U. S., including athletics, drama, music, and student government.
The Ottawa school year, longer than that of the U. S., runs from Labor Day to the last week in June.
Students have a week- long vacation at Christmas and a spring break of 1. March). Grades are released quarterly. Ottawa has a number of nursery schools which accept children from age three. In addition, there are a number of . These are usually two or three half days a week, and these require some type of parent participation. There are two private preparatory schools in the Ottawa area: Elm- wood School for girls (kindergarten through the fourth grade is coeducational; grades five through 1.
Ashbury College for boys (covering grades five through 1. Ashbury enrolls both day and boarding students. Two universities, a technical institute, a teachers' college, and a variety of business and professional schools provide ample opportunity for education on a full- or part- time basis. These include Carleton University (English- language and private, founded in 1. University of Ottawa (bilingual and government- supported, founded in 1. These universities offer a multitude of courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels leading to degrees in liberal arts, sciences, engineering, theology, business administration, education, medicine, nursing, law, and applied sciences. Evening courses at both universities provide many opportunities for both degree and non- degree study.
Both universities have extensive evening programs for part- time students as well. Unlike most U. S. In general, tuition and fees for colleges and universities in Ottawa are less than those of state colleges and universities in the U. S. Ottawa has four schools for trainable, mentally handicapped children. One school, Centennial, is for the physically handicapped, and additionally, the Ottawa Crippled Children's Treatment Center has teaching facilities for physically handicapped and autistic children. Other educational opportunities include tutoring or group study in languages, music, dance, art, and related activities.
These are available for all ages at reasonable cost, usually through the various school systems, Algonquin College, the universities, and the YMCA. Often, however, waiting lists are encountered for those wishing to obtain the most competent instruction available. This is particularly true of French- language courses.
Recreation. Extensive opportunities for participation in many recreational sports activities exist in and around Ottawa. In winter, cross- country and downhill skiing are very popular. Trails and slopes abound within a 1. Main roads are kept open and passable in winter, providing access to a number of ski trails and tows in developed ski complexes.
Bus service is available. There is one ski area within the Ottawa city limits—Carlington Park.
Within an hour's drive are the ski complexes of Camp Fortune and Edelweiss Valley. Camp Fortune, located in Quebec Province (in Gatineau Park) is one of the country's largest ski complexes, offering downhill and cross- country skiing at all levels of difficulty, day and night skiing, instruction, and rentals. It is a 2. 0- minute drive from Ottawa. Farther afield, the slopes at Mount St. Marie (Quebec) and Calabogie (Ontario) are 6. All have a variety of slopes and trails and offer instruction and rentals.
Season passes for instruction, rentals, and tows are offered at most ski facilities. The elaborate winter sports resorts of Mount Tremblant, Quebec, can be reached from Ottawa in about three hours.
Ottawa also boasts what is billed as the world's largest outdoor skating rink. During the winter, a five- mile stretch of the Rideau Canal, built by the British after the War of 1.
Dow's Lake and the National Arts Center is cleared and partially lighted for ice skating. Warming huts and snack bars are located at convenient intervals along the canal. It is not unusual to see business- people, with briefcases in tow, skate to work on the canal.