Canada is a country in the northern half of North America. It has ten provinces and three territories, extended from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean. It covers 9.98 million sq. km, making it the world’s second-largest country by land area. Canada borders the United States in the south. The majority of the country has a cold winter climate, but the west end remains relatively warmer. Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land territory being dominated by forest and tundra and the Rocky Mountains. About four-fifths of the country’s population of 36 million people is urbanized and live near the southern border. The capital of Canada is Ottawa and the largest city is Toronto. Other major urban areas include Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Quebec City, Winnipeg, and Hamilton.
Average winter and summer temperatures across Canada vary from region to region. Winters can be harsh in many parts of the country, particularly in the interior and Prairie provinces, which experience a continental climate, where daily average temperatures are near −15 °C (5 °F) but can drop below −40 °C (−40 °F) with severe wind chills. In noncoastal regions, snow can cover the ground for almost six months of the year, while in parts of the north, snow can persist year-round. Coastal British Columbia has a temperate climate, with a mild and rainy winter. On the east and west coasts, average high temperatures are generally in the low 20s °C (70s °F), while between the coasts, the average summer high temperature ranges from 25 to 30 °C (77 to 86 °F), with temperatures in some interior locations occasionally exceeding 40 °C (104 °F).
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