Photograph by Robert Postma, My Shot
Canada's northern latitude makes it an ideal place to catch the aurora borealis. Created when charged particles from the sun collide with Earth's upper atmosphere, auroras vary in color from red to green to blue and vary in shape from drapes to arcs to bands.
Photograph by Richard Olsenius
Canada's province of Newfoundland boasts the easternmost point in North America. Just a tick west of that point is Trinity Bay, where towns with names like Heart's Delight and Heart's Content dot the rugged, wave-battered coast.
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto
Photograph by Ken Straiton/Getty Images
The glassy, angular addition to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Ontario, is one of architect Daniel Libeskind's most controversial creations—a building critics love to hate. Nicknamed "the Crystal," it added some 100,000 square feet (9,300 square meters) of exhibit space to the museum.
Canola Flowers, St. Lawrence Valley
Photograph by Jacques Pelletier, My Shot
Many Canadian farmers are rapidly shifting to cultivating canola, or rapeseed, seen here in Quebec’s lower St. Lawrence Valley. Exploding worldwide demand for canola oil, seed, and meal has made the crop the top source of farm income in Canada.
Photograph by Richard Gunn/Getty Images
Niagara Falls is as popular in Canada as it is in the United States—in both countries it’s on the list of most visited tourist sites. The famed cross-border cataract comprises three separate waterfalls: American and Bridal Veil on the U.S. side and Horseshoe on the Canadian. Here, rainbows arc across the Niagara River's churning water as the Maid of the Mist offers visitors a closer look at the falls.
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
Photograph by Nathan Denette/Associated Press
This dramatic, curving wooden staircase was one element in a six-year, multimillion-dollar redesign of the Art Gallery of Ontario, finished in late 2008. Founded in 1900, the museum has become one of the largest art museums in North America, with 583,000 square feet (54,000 square meters) and more than 79,000 works.
Photograph by Sebastien Lefebvre, My Shot
Much of Canada's vast interior is too dry for heavy snow accumulation, but just inland from the coasts, moisture frequently mixes with bitter cold and wind to produce blinding storms, like this one in eastern Canada.
Old Town Quebec
Photograph by Glen Allison/Getty Images
The streets, shops, and cafés along the St. Lawrence River in Quebec City have the romance of Paris and the charm of a provincial village. Established in 1608 as a fur-trading settlement, this immaculately restored port is Canada's oldest city.
Photograph by Bill Houghton, My Shot
Noisy and ubiquitous, the Canada goose was once considered in danger of extinction. A protection program begun in the early 20th century revived the species, and now so many of these birds live in some areas of Canada and the United States that farmers consider them pests.
Photograph by Michael Melford
In Canada, aboriginal groups are respectfully referred to as First Nations. The original migrants to Canada are thought to have crossed a now submerged land bridge during the most recent ice age, some 12,000 years ago. Many of the First Nations work hard to maintain their ancient customs; the T'sasala Cultural Group regularly holds traditional dance exhibitions at its Big House, the setting here, on Cormorant Island in British Columbia.
Victoria Inner Harbour
Photograph by Taylor Kennedy
The heart of Victoria, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, is its vibrant Inner Harbour, a charming place to spend an afternoon among seagulls, visual artists, and musicians. Started as a trading post for the Hudson Bay Company in 1843, Victoria is western Canada's oldest city.
Muskwa-Kechika Management Area
Photograph by Michael Christopher Brown
A guide leads horses across a nameless stream during a trek through the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area. The M-K, as locals call it, is Canada's largest wilderness area, encompassing 25,000 square miles (65,000 square kilometers) as it stretches southeastward from the Yukon-British Columbia border.
Photograph by David Schultz, My Shot
Wapusk National Park, where these two male polar bears playfully tussle, spreads over the icy northernmost reaches of Manitoba. The park, whose name means “white bear” in the Cree language, protects one of the world's largest known polar bear denning areas.
Photograph by Dave Reede/Getty Images
The precise roots of the game of ice hockey are unclear, but some theorize that it was invented in Canada as a local, cold-weather adaptation of Irish hurling or French field hockey. Whatever its origins, the Canadian obsession with the sport is undisputed. From an early age, children like these in Winnipeg become as comfortable on blades as in boots.
Banff National Park
Photograph by Boris Golubov, My Shot
The peaks of Banff National Park in Alberta dominate the sky, rising sharply above glassy meltwater lakes and breathtaking expanses of evergreen forest. Banff is Canada's oldest national park, established in 1885.
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