A question that many people ask is ‘how big is Canada’? Most people know Canada is big, but just how big is big? We have the answer! Here are some interesting facts that you might not know about this huge country, leaving you ready to explore its wonders from top hotels in Canada.

SEE ALSO: Canada vs the UK: Which country suits you?

How big is Canada?

Canada is the world’s second-largest country after Russia. According to Canada FAQ, the country stretches across 3.8 million square miles (9.9 million square kilometres), which means the UK could fit into Canada over 40 times.

Canada is so big that it’s surrounded by three oceans; the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic Ocean, and its stunning coastline is 151,473 miles long. The pacific coastline is a popular route for Canada and Alaska cruises.

How many lakes does Canada have?

Lake superior

Canada is known for having the greatest number of lakes in the world. There are an estimated 31,752 lakes in Canada that are larger than three square kilometres.

A massive 9% of Canada’s surface is covered in lakes and more than 50% of the world’s natural lakes are in Canada. Without its lakes, Canada would be smaller than the USA.

The second largest lake in the world (and the largest lake in Canada) is Lake Superior. At 31,700 square miles, it actually crosses over into the US. The largest lake that is entirely in Canada is Great Bear Lake (12,028 square miles).

Canada has the world’s longest undefended border

Canadian and US border

Those heading on a Canadian holiday may also be surprised to learn that the border between the US and Canada is the longest undefended border in the world.

Standing at 5,525 miles long, the border between the two countries is longer than the biggest river in the world— the Nile—which is 4,258 miles long.

How big is British Columbia?

British Columbia on the map

British Columbia is such a vast province that its virtually impossible to see all of its natural beauty.

British Columbia is 364,800 square miles in size, but this means nothing if you don’t have a basis for comparison.

So to help demonstrate just how big British Columbia is, we used OverlapMaps to compare it to other countries.

British Columbia is bigger than New Zealand

BC is larger than New Zealand (103,483 square miles).

BC vs New Zealand size comparison

The UK (93,627.8 m²) and the Republic of Ireland (27,133 mi²) are swallowed up by BC.

BC vs UK size comparison

British Columbia is also much bigger than Thailand (198,117m²).

BC vs Thailand size comparison

British Columbia is not even the biggest province in Canada. It is fifth on the list of largest provinces. Nunavut (808,200 m²), Quebec (595,391 m²), Northwest Territories (519,734  m²) and Ontario (415,598  m²) are all bigger.

To give you an example of the size of Nunavut, it is even bigger than France (248,573 mi²).

Nunavut vs France size comparison

Canada’s biggest province is also larger than:

  • Germany (137,988 mi²)
  • Spain (195,364 mi²)
  • Ukraine (233,062 mi²)
  • Turkey (302,535 mi²)

How big is Niagara Falls?

Canada’s Horseshoe Falls can fill an Olympic swimming pool in seconds

Niagara Falls

According to Niagara Falls Live, a staggering 600,000 US gallons of water tumble over Canada’s Horseshoe Falls— the most recognisable of the falls— every second. That means it can virtually fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool, which usually holds 660,000 US gallons, in one second.

If you add up the amount of water that tumbles over all three waterfalls at Niagara Falls over five minutes, then the volume of water would fill up around 341 Olympic swimming pools.

However, two hydroelectric plants draw water from the American Falls & Bridal Veil Falls at Niagara Falls, meaning that the actual volume of water that flows over these falls varies. It is estimated that 150,000 US gallons of water flow over these falls every second.

What is the tallest building in Canada?

CN Tower

Standing at 553.33m high, the CN Tower in Toronto is Canada’s tallest building and is also one of its most recognisable attractions. It’s almost double the height of the UK’s tallest building, The Shard, and more than five times taller than Big Ben.

Over 2.5 million people visit the attraction every year to get the best views over Toronto. There are a few hardy souls that even take a walk outside at the top of the building on the famous Edge Walk.


What are the tallest buildings in Canada?

  • CN Tower – 553m
  • Inco Superstack – 380m
  • First Canadian Place – 355m
  • Commerce Court – 287m
  • Hebron platform – 278m

Rounding off the top five tallest structures in Canada are the Inco Superstack (380m), First Canadian Place (355m including antenna), Commerce Court West (287m including antenna) and the Hebron platform (278m).

What is the largest national park in Canada?

Wood Buffalo National Park

The Wood Buffalo National Park is Canada’s largest national park and is also the second-largest protected area in the world.

The national park is 44,807 square kilometres in size, making it twice as big as Wales (20,761 square kilometres) and roughly the same size of Denmark (42,925 square kilometres).

Canada has the largest population of wood bison

Largest population of wood bison in Wood Buffalo National Park

As you will have gathered, the Wood Buffalo National Park seems to do everything on a grand scale, and as an article on IUCN reports, it is also home to the world’s largest free-roaming herd of wood bison.

The Parks Canada website says that the herd of wood bison stands at around 5,000—meaning there is a higher population of wood bison in this national park than the entire human population of the Vatican City, which is 451.

The park also boasts the world’s largest beaver dam in the wetlands between the Birch Mountain Wildland and the Peace Athabasca Delta.

SEE ALSO: Could Canada be the best safari location you've never thought of?

What is the largest island in Canada?

Baffin Island in Canada

The largest island in Canada is Baffin Island (195,928 square miles). It is the fifth biggest island on earth—more than twice the size of the UK—and is located in Nunavut.

What are the biggest islands in Canada?

  • Baffin Island (195,928 square miles)
  • Victoria Island (83,897 square miles)
  • Ellesmere Island (75,767 square miles)
  • Newfoundland (42,031 square miles)
  • Banks Island (Banks Island (27,038 square miles)

What is the largest city in Canada?


The largest city in Canada is Toronto, with a population of 2.7 million.  As of 2016, the Greater Toronto Area (including the city of Toronto and other surrounding areas) has a population of 5.9 million.

What are the largest cities in Canada?

  • Toronto (2.7 million)
  • Montreal (1.7 million)
  • Calgary (1.2 million)
  • Ottawa (900,000)
  • Edmonton (900,000)

If you’re interested in visiting Canada and seeing how big it is first-hand, take a look at our Canada holidays:

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Image Credit: Kelvin Thompson (MAPfrappe), Ali Zifan

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