Canada is the second largest country in the world and the largest in North America. Renowned worldwide for its vast, untouched landscape, its unique blend of cultures and multifaceted history, Canada is a major tourist destination and one of the world's wealthiest countries.
Canada is a land of vast distances and rich natural beauty. Economically and technologically, it resembles its neighbour to the south, the United States, although there are significant differences between the two countries.
Canada became a self-governing dominion in 1867 by an act of the British parliament, and is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. By 1931 it was more or less fully independent of the UK.
Though a medium sized country by its population, Canada has earned respect on the international stage for its strong diplomatic skills as a kind of "Switzerland of North America", while certainly not as neutral in its international alignment.
Domestically, the country has displayed success in negotiating compromises amongst its own culturally and linguistically varied population, a difficult task considering that language, culture, and even history can vary significantly throughout the country.
In contrast to the United States' traditional image of itself as a melting pot, (now also falling out of use), Canada prefers to consider and define itself a mosaic of cultures and peoples. Canadians are used to living and interacting with people of different ethnic backgrounds on a daily basis and will usually be quite friendly and understanding if approached in public. You will never look out of place or feel like an unusual sight while traveling Canada, although this will be less so in rural areas such as the Saskatchewan countryside.
Canada is very much a multi-cultural nation and Toronto may very well be the most multi-cultural city on the planet! The information below will get you started, but be sure to check the specifics for given regions and cities.