PhotoCredit: William Orsua – Photographer in Canada
July 1, 2016 is Canada’s 149th birthday. In honor of Canada’s birthday and to recognize another milestone in Canada’s history and its achievements, I thought of putting interesting, fun and random facts about Canada:
- Canada’s name came from a misunderstanding between Jacques Cartier and some Iroquois youth who were pointing out a village (for which they used the word “Kanata”). They were actually trying to identify the small area which is present day Quebec City, but Cartier used the similar-sounding word “Canada” to refer to the whole area
- July 1st is Canada Day. On July 1, 1867 Canada became a new federation with its own constitution by signing the Constitution Act – formerly known as the British North America Act. Canada Day is a national statutory holiday celebrated in all provinces and territories.
- Canada did not have a national flag until February 15, 1965, when its maple leaf flag was adopted by its parliament.
- At 3,855,103 square miles, Canada is the second largest country in the world, next to Russia.
- Canada has ten provinces and three territories. Canada provinces include Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador and its territories are Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut.
- Canada is a bilingual country with English and French being official languages.
- Queen Elizabeth II is the Canadian Head of State.
- Canada has the fourth lowest population density in the world and almost half of the population in Canada were born in other countries.
- Canada uses six time zones covering four and a half hours. From west to east the time zones are: Pacific, Mountain, Central, Eastern, Atlantic and Newfoundland.
- Canada has the world’s longest coastline in the world at 151,600 miles, it is bordered on three sides by three different oceans: the Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific. If you walk and will not stop walking even for a second, it will take you 4 ½ years to walk the length of Canada’s coastline.
- Yonge Street in Ontario is the longest street in the world, it starts at Lake Ontario, and runs north through Ontario to the Minnesota border, a distance of almost 2,000 km.
- The border between Canada and the United States is officially known as the International Boundary. At 5,525 miles, including 1,538 miles between Canada and Alaska, it is the world’s longest border between two nations.
- Canada have more lake area than any other country in the world. Canada has 563 lakes larger than 100 square kilometres, it contains about 18 per cent of the world’s fresh lake water.
- Canada has 30% of the world’s boreal forest and 10% of the world’s total forest cover, it has 396.9 million hectares of forest and other wooded land can be found across the country.
- Canada is known as the home of large animals like the moose and grizzly bear, but it is also home to about 55,000 species of insects and about 11,000 species of mites and spiders. In fact, whistler bear viewing and bear viewing in other areas of Canada is one of the most popular activities to do, due to the fact that most people have never seen a bear in it’s natural habitat before.
- The moose and caribou are Canada’s most recognized national symbols.
- Some of Canada’s parks are bigger than other countries. The Nahanni National Park Reserve in the Northwest Territories which is 30,050 square kilometres is bigger than Albania and Israel. Wood Buffalo National Park in Alberta and the Northwest Territories which measures 44,807 square kilometres makes it bigger than Denmark and Switzerland.
- The Canadian motto, A Mari Usque ad Mare, means “From sea to sea.”
- While ice hockey is Canada’s most prevalent sport, lacrosse is the country’s official sport.
- Canada is the world’s most educated country, over half of its residents have college degrees.
- Medical and recreational marijuana is legal in many parts of Canada. Check out these marijuana laws by province.
- Montreal is home to many beautiful churches and is often called The City of Saints or City of a Hundred Bell Towers.
- Calgary is famous for its’ Chinooks – a weather phenomenon that can raise the temperature by 10 degrees in a matter of minutes.
- The West Edmonton Mall, is the largest shopping mall in North America and was the largest in the world until 2004.
- The CN Tower in Toronto was the world’s tallest free standing structure until 2007.
- Famous Canadian food include peameal back bacon, poutine, maple syrup and Timbits (small donuts from Tim Hortons).
- 80% of the world’s maple syrup is made in Canada and 91% of that is made in the province of Quebec alone.
- The Royal Canadian Mint located in Manitoba, produces Canada‘s circulation coins and collector coins and in addition to making coins for Canada, it also produces currency for other countries. There are 89 other countries get their coins from Canada.
- The Hudson’s Bay Company or “The Bay” is the oldest commercial corporation in North America and one of the oldest in the world. The company was incorporated by English royal charter in 1670.
- Famous Canadians include Pamela Anderson, Leonard Cohen, Avril Lavigne, Keanu Reeves, Carrey, Justin Bieber, Michael Buble, James Cameron, Celine Dion, Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, Mike Myers, Ryan Reynolds and William Shatner.
- Basketball, while invented by a Canadian, was actually invented in the United States.
- Winter can be very cold in Canada with temperatures dropping below ?40 °C (?40 °F) in some parts of the country.
- Studies shows that Canadians are among the happiest people in the world.
- People in Churchill leave their car doors unlocked in case their neighbours need to make a quick escape from polar bears.
For sure there are more interesting facts that I failed to put in this post, so if you have other facts about Canada, please feel free to leave a comment.
10 Mind-Boggling Facts About Canada, retrieved June 27, 2016.
20 Interesting facts about Canada, retrieved June 28, 2016
Time Zones and Legal Time, retrieved June 28, 2016.
43 Interesting Facts About . . . Canada, retrieved June 28, 2016.