Memorize Canada's ten provinces and three territories

Americans, if you know the states, try memorizing the map of our friends to the north as well as some things to know about the provinces.

Canada only has 10 provinces in the south and three territories in the north. They make up six geographic regions. I will list each one with their geographic region, the date they entered the confederation, its capital city, and some other things you should know about a few of them.

Map for reference: https://www.thebeaverton.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/aj.jpg

The ten provinces from west to east are:

British Columbia (BC), its own region. Entered confederation on July 20, 1871. Capital: Victoria (although Vancouver is the largest city in BC and is very well known, it is not the capital of the province).

Alberta (AB), the first of the three prairie provinces. Entered confederation on Sept. 1, 1905. Capital: Edmonton.

Saskatchewan (SK), the second of the three prairie provinces. Entered confederation on Sept. 1, 1905 (although in order of joining, Saskatchewan is listed before Alberta). Capital: Regina (reh-JIGH-nuh).

Manitoba (MB), the third of the three prairie provinces. Entered confederation on July 15, 1870. Capital: Winnipeg.

Ontario (ON), its own region. Entered confederation on July 1, 1867 as one of the four original provinces of Canada. Capital: Toronto. Ontario also contains the national capital of Ottawa.

Québec (QC), its own region. Entered confederation on July 1, 1867 as one of the four original provinces of Canada. Capital: Québec City. Québec is the only predominantly Francophone province in Canada.

New Brunswick (NB), one of the Maritime provinces. Entered confederation on July 1, 1867 as one of the four original provinces of Canada. Capital: Fredericton. New Brunswick is the only province that is officially bilingual.

Prince Edward Island (PE), one of the Maritime provinces. Entered confederation on July 1, 1873. Capital: Charlottetown. Of all the provinces, this one is the smallest in both area and population.

Nova Scotia (NS), one of the Maritime provinces. Entered confederation on July 1, 1867 as one of the four original provinces of Canada. Capital: Halifax.

Newfoundland (pronounced like “New Finland”) and Labrador (NL), the easternmost Maritime province. Entered confederation on March 31, 1949. Capital: St. John’s. Newfoundland and Labrador is the newest province of Canada, and is often abbreviated to “Newfoundland”, which was its official name until 2001. The Labrador part was added later, although most of the population lives on the island of Newfoundland.

The three territories of Canada from their own geographic region. Territories have less population and less autonomy than provinces and are controlled more by the federal government of Canada. When listing the provinces in order of the date they entered confederation, the territories are listed after the provinces. From west to east, they are:

Yukon (YT), or the Yukon (unofficially). Entered confederation on June 13, 1898. Capital: Whitehorse. Yukon is still often called “the Yukon Territory” and might be shown on maps as such, despite this no longer being the official name, having been changed in 2003. It’s officially just “Yukon” now. Some people think YK is the postal abbreviation for Yukon. Although it’s common, YT is still the official abbreviation.

The Northwest Territories (NT), usually just “Northwest Territories” on maps. Entered confederation on July 15, 1870. Capital: Yellowknife. Don’t get confused: although the name is plural, it is one territory and is singular in grammar. The Northwest Territories is in the fact that it has eleven official languages: English, French, and nine indigenous languages.

Nunavut (pronounced “NOO-nah-voot”) (NU). Entered confederation on April 1, 1999. Capital: Iqaluit (“ih-KAL-oo-it” or “ee-KAH-loo-it”). Nunavut is the largest of the three territories in area, but the smallest in population. (Although the 2016 census recorded 70 more people in Nunavut than Yukon, Yukon’s population is growing a bit faster than Nunavut’s, so Nunavut is now in last place.) Nunavut means “our land” in the Inuktitut language of the Inuit, who make up most of the population of Nunavut.

And now you know more about Canada. You should have no excuse for confusing the provinces and territories with each other. Memorize the map well.

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