Home to hockey, Canada is a country of beautiful cities and wide open spaces. If you are considering taking a trip to the country, here is an overview of some things you might want to know. An Overview of Canada for Travelers The official name of the country is simply Canada. It covers an area of landmass over 3.8 million square miles in size and is the second largest country by square mileage in the world. The capital is Ottawa with a population of over 1.1 million people. Other major cities include Toronto with 4.8 million residents, Montreal with just fewer than 3.5 million people and the beautiful city of Vancouver with a population of roughly 2 million people. With its far northern location, Canada is a country with a cool climate. The farther north one goes, the colder it becomes until artic conditions apply. Citizens of Canada are known as Canadians. The most recent study put the total population at more than 32.4 million Canadians. Of this figure, ethnicity breaks down into a wide variety of groups with no group forming a majority. Specifically, Canadians are comprised of 28 percent British-Irish heritage, 23 percent French, 15 percent general European and a whopping 26 percent are classified as mixed. Following the transfer of Hong Kong from British rule to Chinese, many citizens of Hong Kong immigrated to Canada, particularly the Vancouver area. Religious preferences share the break down found in ethnicity. 44 percent of Canadians claim the Roman Catholic faith as their own, while 29 percent are Protestant. Other Christian and Muslim denominations are claimed by roughly 8 percent of the population. English and French are the languages spoken in Canada. Literacy rates are 99 percent. Average life expectancy for a Canadian man is 77 years while a Canadian woman will live to 82 years of age on average. Canada is a country with an odd segmentation. Whereas most countries tend to be divided towards eastern and western population centers, Canada can be said to be more of a north and south designation. Specifically, most of the population lives along the border with the United States and practically nobody lives in the far north given the cold. Canada tends to be overshadowed by its neighbor to the south. This is unfortunate as the country is beautiful, the people are friendly and life is lived at a comfortable pace.