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Symbols of Canada

The Flag

The maple leaf flag of Canada was first raised on 15 February, 1965. Early in 1964, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson informed the House of Commons that the government wished to adopt a distinctive national flag. The 1967 centennial celebration of Confederation was approaching. As a result, a Senate and House of Commons Committee were formed and submissions were called for. The committee eventually decided to recommend the single-leaf design, which was approved by resolution of the House of Commons on December 15, 1964, followed by the Senate on December 17, 1964, and proclaimed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, to take effect on February 15, 1965. 100 years after the Dominion was created in 1867 The National Flag of Canada came into being.

Canadian Colors

On 21 November, 1921, King George V designated Red and White as the official colors of Canada in the proclamation of the Royal Arms of Canada.

The Coat of Arms

The Canadian coat of arms was given to Canada by His Majesty King George V on 21 November, 1921. The arms reflect the royal symbols of Britain and France. On the shield there are the three royal lions of England, The royal lion of Scotland, the royal harp of Ireland, and the royal fleurs-de-lis of France. On the bottom of the shield there is a sprig of three maple leaves representative of Canadians of all origins. The ribbon around the shield has the motto of the Order of Canada: "Desiderantes Meliorem Patriam". (They desire a better country). The arms of Canada show a royal helmet, which is a barred helmet of gold looking outward and draped in a mantle of white and red. On the royal helmet is the crest. This symbol consists of a wreath of twisted white and red silk on which stands a crowned gold lion holding in its right paw a red maple leaf. The lion is a symbol of valor and courage. The crest is used to mark the sovereignty of Canada. The supporters on either side of the arms are a lion and a unicorn holding the British and French flags. Under the supporters is Canada's Motto: "A Mari usque ad Mare" (From sea to sea). At the bottom of the arms are the English rose, the Scottish thistle, the Irish shamrock, and the French fleurs-de-Lis. At the top of the arms is the imperial crown.

The Maple Leaf and Tree

The maple leaf is Canada's most prominent symbol and recognized as Canadian all around the world. According to many historians, the maple leaf began to serve as a Canadian symbol as early as 1700. The maple leaf appears on the penny, on the arms of Canada and on the flag of Canada.
The aboriginal people of Canada discovered the uses of the maple tree and they syrup and sugar from the sap of the maple tree. The maple tree was officially proclaimed the national arboreal emblem of Canada on 25 April, 1996.

The Beaver

Another symbol of Canada is the beaver. The early European explorers realized that Canada had a beaver population numbering in the millions. In those days fur hats were very popular. This created a demand for beaver pelts. The English and French fur traders were soon doing good business in selling beaver pelts. The Hudson's Bay Company put the beaver on the shield of its coat of arms in 1678. It can be seen on the five-cent coin, on the coats of arms of Saskatchewan and Alberta, and of cities such as Montreal and Toronto. The beaver was made an official emblem of Canada on 24 March, 1975 when royal assent was given to "an act to provide for the recognition of the beaver as a symbol of the sovereignty of Canada".

Canadian Horse

Canadian horses were indispensable to the settlers in New France. They were used to cultivate the fields, for transportation for goods and people and for riding. They were the foundation of the economy. The horse signifies strength and courage, qualities that Canadians value. It was adopted as a national symbol on April 30, 2002

The Great Seal of Canada

The Great Seal of Canada is used on all state documents such as proclamations and commissions of cabinet ministers, senators, judges and senior government officials. It's made of specially tempered steel, weighs 3.75 kilograms and is 12.7 centimetres in diameter. The seal dates back to the beginning of the reign of Elizabeth the Second. The seal bears the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, in her robes, holding the orb and sceptre, and shows her sitting on the coronation chair. A new seal will be struck for her successor. The present seal was made by the Royal Canadian Mint. The inscriptions on it are in French and English. Previous Great Seals of Canada were inscribed in Latin. The seal is kept by the Office of the Registrar General of Canada. The Registrar General is also Minister of Industry.

Official Sports of Canada

 National Winter Sport – hockey
 National Summer Sport – lacrosse
Hockey or Ice hockey is the most popular sport in Canada. Millions watch it and it is the most successful sport in international competition. At the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympic Games both the women and men's hockey teams won the gold medal.
Canadian football, or lacrosse, is Canada's second most popular spectator sport. The Canadian Football League's annual championship, the Grey Cup, is the country's largest annual sports event. Lacrosse has its origins in Native Americans, but it is still enjoyed by Canadians and has gained popularity in the United States, England, Ireland, and Scotland.
In 1994, Bill C-212 was introduced to officially declare hockey as Canada's national sport. Opposition came from supporters of lacrosse who wanted to recognize the traditional and cultural significance of this sport. Consequently, Bill C-212 was amended to recognize both sports. Thus, on May 12, 1994, Canada's National Sport Act (Bill C-212) became law, reading: "To recognize hockey as Canada's National Winter Sport and lacrosse as Canada's National Summer Sport".

Canada's Motto

"A Mari usque ad Mare" – which means from sea to sea.

National Anthem: O Canada

Official Lyrics of O Canada!

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee

Public Holidays

Banks in Canada

Canada has one of the most efficient and safest banking systems in the world. The major domestic banks in Canada have a wide network all over the country and offer a full range of banking, investment and financial services. Many large international banks also have a subsidiary, representative office or branch of the parent bank in Canada.

The top five banks of Canada:

1. Toronto Dominion- TD Canada Trust-:
TD Canada Trust is the personal, small business and commercial banking operation of the Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) in Canada. Toronto Dominion Bank is the sixth largest banking institution on the North American continent. Banking and financial services: personal banking services, online banking, wealth management, investment advisory, travel, health, and life insurance packages, capital market analyses, interest rate monitoring. The bank shares are traded under the ticker TD on the stock exchanges in Toronto and New York.
2. Bank of Nova Scotia:
Scotiabank is headquartered in Toronto. Banking and financial services: checking and savings accounts, telephone and online banking, financial planning options, personal loans, lines of credit, retirement savings plans, mutual funds, and guaranteed investment certificates. The shares of the third largest Canadian bank are publicly traded on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges under the ticker BNS.
Kotak Mahindra Bank and Scotiabank - MyIndia Program:
Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. and Scotiabank have tied up to offer Canada-bound Indian residents with access to the Scotiabank StartRight Program for newcomers which allow you to open an international account before coming to Canada.
3. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce:
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce - CIBC is the fifth largest bank in Canada. Banking and financial services: credit and debit cards, checking/ savings accounts, student loans, consumer loans, various mortgage plans, lines of credit, retirement savings plans, guaranteed investment certificates, etc.
The shares of Canadian Imperial Bank are traded on the New York Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker TM.
4. Bank of Montreal:
Bank of Montreal - BMO is the oldest bank and the sixth largest banking institution in Canada.
Banking and financial services: checking/ savings accounts, fixed rate and variable mortgages, mortgage insurances, personal loans, loan consolidation, lines of credit, corporate banking services, investment advisory, etc.
Its shares are traded on the NYSE and TSX under the ticker BMO.
5. Royal Bank of Canada:
The Royal Bank of Canada is headquartered in Toronto.
Banking and financial services: debit and credit cards, banking accounts, online banking, guaranteed investment certificates, investment advisory services, consumer loans, and mortgage plans. The commercial banking of RBC offers banking services, lines, of credit, business loans, international trade assistance, asset-based lending, etc.
Its shares are traded on the NYSE and TSX under the ticker RY.

There are other banks which offer a wide range of services.
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Major Supermarket Chains

Canada Time Zones & Daylight Saving Time

Canada has six time zones:

Daylight saving time is the practice of advancing clocks so that evenings have more daylight and mornings have less. Clocks are adjusted one hour earlier in spring and are adjusted backward in autumn. In most of Canada clocks are forward by one hour at 2.00 a.m. local time on the second Sunday of March and turned back on the first Sunday of November.
Daylight saving time was first enacted in Germany during the First World War to save energy. This is done to take advantage of daylight hours by pushing the clocks ahead in the spring. It saves energy and gives people more daylight hours in the evening to pursue outdoor activities and business.
The time zones are regulated by its provincial and territorial governments. Provincial and territorial governments are also responsible for DST (daylight saving time).