Canada is weird. I mean, I love my country with all my heart, and never become more patriotic when I’m away from it, but I’ve come to understand that Canada is an odd little duckie in the eyes of the world, and many people seem to think that Canadians are just pants-on-head silly at times.
Maybe all the time.
I didn’t believe that Canada was so odd until I started compiling these interesting facts about my home and native land to share with you all. But I am defiantly, chest-beatingly-proud of my country and I stand by and support all of its quirks and eccentricities!
It would suck so very much to be boring.
So here are some interesting little factoids about Canada that you may not have known…and who knows, if you’re ever called up to be a Jeopardy contestant (hosted by fellow Canuck Alex Trebec, eh…) and this comes up as a topic, you could win some serious lewts! Mind you, it would be in Canadian dollars, so maybe not-so-much with the “serious”… *schmeh*
- Speaking of Polar bears and Nunavut, 15,500 of the world’s 25,000 polar bears live in Canada, and 50% of those (that’s 7,750 for the mathematically challenged), live in Nunavut.
- Churchill, Manitoba, claiming to be the Polar Bear capital of the world, is a witness to one of the largest annual polar bear migrations, too (can you just imagine being there for that!!).
- There are 247 moose-related car accidents annually.
2.4 million Reindeer (aka caribou) live in Canada.
- 77% of the world’s maple syrup is made in Quebec.
- It is apparently illegal to have comics depicting criminal acts in Canada (although it is only sporadically enforced, and usually by customs officials denying shipments of certain comics across our borders….*smh*)
In Saskatchewan, a hoodie is called a bunnyhug.
- Beer is the choice of alcoholic beverage for 80% of Canadians.
- 35-50% of all music broadcast on Canadian radio must have Canadian content (a related question: How many times in a row can I be forced to listen to Bryan Adams or Celine Dion on the radio before I go koo-koo banana-pants mental? Four. Four times is the answer).
- You can write a letter to Santa from Canada, in any language, and post it to “North Pole, H0H 0H0″, and you will get a letter back from SANTA!!!!
- Canada is home to the longest street in the world. Yonge (pronounced “young”) Street in Ontario starts on the Northern shore of Lake Ontario at Queen’s Quay (pronounced “key”) in Toronto *holla!*, and runs north through Ontario to Lake Simcoe, a distance of 1,896 km (1,178 miles for you non-metric users).
- Canada basically was given its name by mistake. When Jaques Cartier, a French explorer, came to the new world, he met with local Iroquois youth who invited them to their ‘kanata’, their word for ‘village’ (believed to be the site of present-day Quebec City). The party mistakenly thought the name of the country was “Kanata”, which was eventually spelled as “Canada”.
- The Hotel de Glace in Quebec is built every year using 400 tons of ice and 12,000 tons of snow. Every summer it melts away and every winter it is rebuilt.
- The coldest temperature ever recorded in Canada was -63C (-81.4F) on February 3, 1957 in Snag, Yukon. Which may explain this next factoid:
- If you visit Dawson City, Yukon, you can join the “Sourtoe Cocktail Club”. All you have to do is visit the Sourtoe Saloon and finish a drink with a real human toe in the bottom. The story behind the toe is here. The club’s motto says, “You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow, but your lips have gotta touch the toe.”
- The Narcisse Snake Dens in Manitoba have more snakes in a concentrated area than anywhere else in the world. Tens of thousands of red-sided garter snakes gather there every year. On the other hand, there are no snakes on the island of Newfoundland. Maybe that’s because MANITOBA has them all….*shudder*….
- Between 1984 and 2008, it was illegal to sell pop in cans in PEI. All carbonated drinks had to be purchased in refillable glass bottles. PEI was the only place in North America to have a “can ban.”
- Never mind the Loch Ness Monster: Canada has its own mysterious lake creature, Ogopogo, who reportedly lives in Lake Okanagan, British Columbia.
- The highest tides in the world occur in the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick.
- The capital of Canada is Ottawa, the second coldest capital in the world. Of this I can attest. And detest. Greatly. *brrrrr* Also, the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, a UNESCO world heritage site, has the world’s longest skating rink in the winter.
- Canada is the second largest country in the world, but about 90% of Canada’s population is concentrated within 160 kilometers (100 miles) of the Canada/US border.
- Montreal is the world’s second largest French speaking city after Paris. And even snootier, if that’s even possible…haha, I kid, I kid (*Disclaimer: not kidding)
- Wasaga beach in Southern Ontario is the longest fresh water beach in the world, and Manitoulin Island (again in Ontario) is the largest freshwater island in the world.
- There are 15 world heritage sites in Canada. The one with the most interesting name is Head Smashed In-Buffalo-Jump.
So, for all of my Canuckistan friends out there (not to mention the wanna-bees!), throw on your touque, raise your Molson Canadian in one hand and your forkful of poutine and tourtiere in the other, and give a lusty and heartfelt cheer for all that is awesome and quirky in the Great White North!
…and if you don’t like it, you can Take Off, eh!