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Halloween in Canada

Happy Halloween everyone!

Halloween in Canada by the numbers

 

 

For more information I recommend Statistics Canada, Mellohawk.com and CBC.ca

 

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101 Facts About Canada

Canada is interesting. I’ve said that many times. Some have asked me “in what way?” So here are a few ways:

 

  1. 10% of the world’s forest is in Canada
  2. 15.9% of the population is 65 or older. 68.5% are between the ages of 15 and 64.
  3. 17% of Canadians are daily smokers.
  4. 280,681 new permanent residents were welcomed to Canada in 2010. That number does not include temporary workers or foreign students.
  5. A 9.3 kg lobster is the largest documented lobster caught. It was caught in Nova Scotia in 1977
  6. About 90% of Canada’s population is concentrated within 160 kilometers (100 miles) of the Canada/U.S. border.
  7. Canada became a country on July 1, 1867
  8. Canada birth rate is 10 births/1,000 population
  9. Canada features the longest coastline in the world, stretching 202,080 kilometers (125,570 miles).
  10. Canada fertility rate is 1.59 children born/woman
  11. Canada has 198 jails.
  12. Canada has hosted the Olympic Games 3 times; 1976 in Montreal, 1988 in Calgary and 2010 in Vancouver.
  13. Canada has over 30,000 lakes.
  14. Canada has six time zones.
  15. Canada has ten provinces and three territories.
  16. Canada has the 9th lowest population density on the planet
  17. Canada highest point: Mount Logan 5,959 m
  18. Canada infant mortality rate is 5 deaths/1,000 live births
  19. Canada is home to 15 million cattle, 9 million of which live on the Prairies.
  20. Canada is home to about 55 000 different species of insects.
  21. Canada is rich in resources such as zinc, nickel, lead and gold.
  22. Canada is the largest producer of uranium in the world.
  23. Canada is the second largest country in the world by total area (Russia is the largest).
  24. Canada officially got its own national flag on February 15, 1965 — almost 100 years after it became a country (in 1867).
  25. Canada population growth rate: 0.77%
  26. Canada shares the longest land border in the world with the United States, totaling 8891 kilometers (5525 miles).
  27. Canada’s literacy rate is over 99%.
  28. Canada’s only desert in British Columbia is only 15 miles long and is the only desert in the world with a long boardwalk for visitors to walk on.
  29. Canadian sports icons include Wayne Gretzky (hockey), Steve Nash (basketball), Mike Weir (golf) and Cassie Campbell (women’s hockey).
  30. Canadians call the one dollar coin the loonie. When in full production, 15 million loonies can be produced per day.
  31. Canadians can deduct a number of things from their tax software, but I bet you didn’t know that dog food is tax-deductible in Canada.
  32. Canadians generate 640 kilograms per person per year of waste.
  33. Churchill, Manitoba sees one of the largest annual polar bear migrations.
  34. Daylight savings time does not occur in Saskatchewan.
  35. Despite being a huge country, Canada has the fourth lowest population density in the world, with only three people living per square kilometer! Almost half of the population in Canada were born in other countries.
  36. Fifty percent of the world’s polar bears live in Nunavut.
  37. Graeme Ferguson co-invented IMAX. There are over 500 IMAX theaters in 45 countries.
  38. Half of the country is covered with forests, which should come as no surprise considering one-tenth of the world’s forests are here.
  39. Ice hockey, football and baseball are Canadians favorite spectator sports.
  40. In 1576, Martin Frobisher discovered the strait that bears his name.
  41. In 1792-94, Captain George Vancouver painstakingly surveyed the west coast of Canada.
  42. It wasn’t until 1610 that Henry Hudson sailed through Hudson Strait into Hudson Bay.
  43. Its population density is 8.6 people per square mile, making Canada the ninth-most sparsely populated nation in the world.
  44. John Cabot was the first explorer to reach Canada in 1497.
  45. Mackenzie River is the Longest River in Canada
  46. Navigation of the north-west passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific was first achieved by the Norwegian explorer, Roald Amundsen in 1906.
  47. Newfoundland didn’t become a province until 1949.
  48. Newfoundland is nicknamed “The Rock.’
  49. Newfoundland was the first part of Canada to be explored by Europeans
  50. No cows in Canada are given artificial hormones for milk production.
  51. Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province is only 225 kilometers long and 56 kilometers wide.
  52. Second-largest country in world.
  53. Six cities in Canada have a population of over 1 million: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa.
  54. Some of the world’s largest wheat fields are found in Saskatchewan.
  55. The 2 main languages spoken in Canada are English and French.
  56. The Bank of Canada opened its doors in 1935 and issued its first bank notes.
  57. The CN Tower in Toronto was the world’s tallest free-standing structure until 2007.
  58. The Canadian motto, A Mari Usque ad Mare, means “From sea to sea.”
  59. The Northwest Territories is called The Land of the Midnight Sun because the sun barely sets around the summer solstice.
  60. The Royal Montreal Golf Club, founded in 1873, is the oldest golf club in North America.
  61. The S&P/TSX is the fourth largest exchange by market cap in the developed world.
  62. The US buys more oil from Canada than any other country.
  63. The US, the UK and Mexico are the top countries visited by Canadians.
  64. The West Edmonton Mall is the largest in North America
  65. The age at first marriage for men is 29 years, 27.4 years for women.
  66. The average Canadian watches 21 hours of television per week. 128,000 Canadian households have TV’s in the bathroom.
  67. The average household size in Canada is 2.6 people.
  68. The average life expectancy at birth is 81.16 years – the sixth highest in the world.
  69. The baseball glove was invented in Canada in 1883.
  70. The capital city of Canada is Ottawa.
  71. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Canada was -63C (-81.4F) on February 3, 1957 in Snag, Yukon.
  72. The east coast of Canada was settled by Vikings in about 1000 AD. It’s definitely worth a visit to L’Anse aux Meadows.
  73. The first indoor ice hockey game took place on March 3, 1875 at the Victoria Skating Rink in Montreal.
  74. The highest mountain in Canada is Mount Logan, Yukon Territory, 5959 meters (19,551 feet).
  75. The intersection of Portage and Main Street in Winnipeg has been called the windiest place in Canada.
  76. The largest non-polar ice field in the world can be found in the St. Elias Mountains, Yukon Territory. It covers an area of 40,570 square kilometers of which 16,900 square kilometers are in Canada, the rest being in Alaska.
  77. The license plate for cars, motorbikes and snowmobiles in Nunavut is in the shape of a polar bear.
  78. The longest highway in the world is the Trans-Canada Highway which is over 7,604 kilometers (4,725 miles) in length.
  79. The median age is 41 years.
  80. The most popular sport in Canada is ice hockey.
  81. The name Canada comes from the word ‘kanata’ which means ‘settlement’ or ‘village’ in the language of the indigenous St Lawrence Iroquoians.
  82. The official languages of Canada are English and French.
  83. The population in Canada in 2011 was about 34.3 million.
  84. The regent of England, currently Queen Elizabeth II, is the Canadian head of state.
  85. The world’s most northerly sand dunes are in Athabasca Provincial Park in northwest Saskatchewan. They are 30 meters high.
  86. There are 459 cars for every 1000 people.
  87. There are about 200 species of mammals in Canada.
  88. There are diamond mines in the Northwest Territories.
  89. There are nearly 2.5 million caribou in Canada.
  90. There have been 10 Nobel Prize laureates in Canada.
  91. Thirty two percent of Canadians are very happy, 55% are quite happy
  92. Thomas Ahearn invented the electric cooking range in 1882.
  93. Wasaga beach is the longest fresh water beach in the world.
  94. Whistler, British Columbia is consistently ranked as one of the best places in North America for downhill skiing.
  95. Winnie The Pooh Was Based On A Canadian Bear
  96. Winters can be very cold in Canada with temperatures dropping below -40 °C (-40 °F) in some parts of the country.
  97. You can swim with beluga whales in Churchill, Manitoba.
  98. You’ll find about 630 bird species in Canada.
  99. Recognised regional languages include Chipewyan, Cree, Gwich’in, Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, North Slavey, South Slavey and Tłı̨chǫ.
  100.  Currently, the Governor General is David Johnston, and the Prime Minister is Stephen Harper.
  101. The Vikings were the first Europeans known to land in Canada, in what is now Newfoundland, led by the Viking explorer Leif Erikson.
 

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Remembering a Hockey Legend

Earlier this week we lost a hockey legend, Jean Béliveau.  Can I introduce you to him?

He was born on August 31, 1931 in Trois-Rivières, Quebec.  He died on December 2, 2014 at the age of 83, in Longueuil, Quebec.

Photo of Jean Béliveau

Hockey legend Jean Béliveau

He was a professional Canadian ice hockey player who played parts of 20 seasons with the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Montreal Canadiens from 1950 to 1971. He began to play professionally in the Quebec Major Hockey League (QMHL). He made his NHL début with the Canadiens in 1950, but chose to stay in the QMHL full-time until 1953. By his second season in the NHL, Béliveau was among the top three scorers. He was the fourth player to score 500 goals and the second to score 1,000 points. Béliveau won two Hart Memorial Trophies (1956, 1964) and one Art Ross Memorial Trophy (1956), as well as the inaugural Conn Smythe Trophy (1965). As a player, he won the Stanley Cup 10 times, and as an executive he was part of another seven championship teams, the most Stanley Cup victories by an individual to date. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972.

Nicknamed “Le Gros Bill” (The Big Bill), Béliveau ranks among the ten greatest NHL players.

Interestingly, Béliveau can trace his ancestry to Antoine Béliveau, who settled in 1642 in Port Royal, Nova Scotia. The Béliveaus were expelled along with the Acadians in 1755 and the family settled in the Boston area before moving to Québec to the Trois Rivières area in the mid-19th century.

He suffered from many ailments for decades now.  He’s suffered two strokes, and was diagnosed with cancer (he recovered after a punishing course of treatments).

Another defining moment in his life, Prime Minister Jean Chretien offered Béliveau the position of Governor General of Canada in 1994.  However, he declined the offer to be with his daughter, Hélène, and two grandchildren, Mylene and Magalie. Their father, a Quebec police officer, committed suicide when the girls were five and three.

Of many legacies he leaves behind, one of the greatest (I think) is the charitable Jean Béliveau Foundation, established in 1971. In 1993, Béliveau transferred the foundation to the Society for Disabled Children.

We have missed him on the ice and admired him for his steadfast vigour for living life to its fullest.  Thoughts and prayers for his family, friends and fans.

 

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Watch “Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball Parody – “Tennis Ball”” on YouTube

 

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This week in Canadian History – January Week 3

Temple of Zeus at Olympia, Greece

Restored view of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, Greece. Source: Wilhelm Lübke, Max Semrau: Grundriß der Kunstgeschichte. Paul Neff Verlag, Esslingen, 14th edition 1908.

Though not strictly a Canadian post, it does speak of the Olympics, in which Canadian athletes will compete for medals — there is the Canadian tentative link [grin]!

  “Nothing renders a man more renowned in his own lifeetime tthan what he can do with his hands and feet.”  – Homer, The Odyssey

The Olympics of today originated in Greece.  But how did it all start?

Well, I suppose we could go as far back as c. 2000 BC when colonists migrated to an area of Greece that would later be known as Olympia,  This is where an altar to Zeus was created ,  Then a surge in population around c. 900 – 800 BC, led to the spread of independent city-states and a wave of colonization.  Institutions began to rise up, designed to unite these scattered communities and reinforce Panhellenic, or all-Greek, heritage.  One of these institution was the Olympic Games.

The first Olympic Festival was held to woo the gods in 776 BC in Elis, Greece.  It was very simple – they only had a single sport:  a foot race.  The winner was a cook from Elis by the name of Coroebus.  Then in 476 BC, a big stadium was built at Olympia.  The first Olympic Games, under the Roman auspices, were held in 144 BC.  Unfortunately, there were several Roman civil wars, and the sanctuary were ransacked.

Caesar Augustus, the first Roman emperor, announced a peace throughout his empire in 27 BC; and so the Olympic Games thrived for the next three hundred years!

In AD 312, Constantine the Great proclaimed that Christianity was to be the official religion of the entire Roman Empire.  This marked the end of the Games.  As a matter of fact, all pagan festivals were banned by Emperor Theodosius I and the Games are officially banned in AD 394.  Between AD 426 and AD 522, Theodosius II destroyed Olympia;  then further damaged was done by first an earthquake, and later by floods that buried the area where the stadium once stood.

My next Olympic history post will concentrate on what is called “Modern Olympics.”  It’s more interesting, I’m sure you will agree … than you would have guessed!

 

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Do You Remember Wayne and Shuster?

Publicity photo of the compedy team of Wayne a...

Publicity photo of the compedy team of Wayne and Shuster with MC Ed Sullivan on The Ed Sullivan Show. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Joe Shuster is the co-creator of Superman.  But today’s post is about his cousin, Frank Shuster.

Shuster, OC (Officer of the Order of Canada in 1996), was born on  September 5, 1916, in Toronto, Ontario.  He grew up in Niagara Falls.

He is best known as part of the comedy duo Wayne and Shuster – with Johnny Wayne as the other half.

He and his wife, Ruth, had two children, Rosie and Steve. Rosie is a comedy writer, who worked for Saturday Night Live.  Steve is also a comedian, as a stand-up.

Frank Shuster died on January 13, 2002, in Toronto, Ontario at the age of 85.

What a talented family!

 

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You’re Having My Baby!

1961 | Paul Anka

1961 | Paul Anka (Photo credit: e r j k p r u n c z y k)

I’m not sure how many of you would know who Paul Anka is.  He’s my second post for today.

Ottawa (Ontario) native, Anka’s pop hit “(You’re) Having my Baby” was a #1 hit on Billboard on August 20, 1974.  His earlier #1 hit had been in 1959 with “Lonely Boy” — most probably the longest recorded gap between top singles.

Paul Albert Anka is 72 years old now, born on July 30, 1941.  Anka is a Canadian singer, songwriter and actor. He really only became famous in the late 1950s and 1960s with songs like “Diana“, “Lonely Boy“, and “Put Your Head on My Shoulder“. He went on to write many well-known music as the theme for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, one of Tom Jones‘ biggest hits, “She’s a Lady“, as well as the English lyrics for Frank Sinatra’s signature song, “My Way” which was originally the French song “Comme d’habitude“.

Paul Anka at the 2007 North Sea Jazz Festival

Paul Anka at the 2007 North Sea Jazz Festival (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1983, he (even) co-wrote, with Michael Jackson, the song “I Never Heard“; it was released in 2009 under the name “This Is It“.

He toured Australia with Buddy Holly. Anka also wrote “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” – a song he wrote for Buddy Holly which he recorded just before he died in 1959. Anka stated shortly afterward:“ “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” has a tragic irony about it now, but at least it will help look after Buddy Holly’s family. I’m giving my composer’s royalty to his widow – it’s the least I can do. ”

A street in Ottawa was named the Paul Anka Drive in 1974. In 1981, the Ottawa City Council named August 26 as “Paul Anka Day,” to celebrate his quarter century in show business.

To learn more about Paul Anka, I suggest his Official Website, and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.  Oh, and if you don’t know who Paul Anka is, I suggest looking for sound-bytes of his songs – I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

 

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