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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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6,500 Canadians Needed New Homes!

English: The Welland Canal's Lock 7 at Thorold...

English: The Welland Canal’s Lock 7 at Thorold, Ontario. The Welland Canal is a ship canal in Canada, that runs 43,4 km (27.0 miles) from Port Colborne, Ontario on Lake Erie to Port Weller, Ontario on Lake Ontario. The canal is part of the St. Lawrence Seaway. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


An outstanding example of co-operation between Canada and the United States is the St. Lawrence Seaway, which was officially opened on June 26, 1959, by Queen Elizabeth for Canada, and President Eisenhower for the United States.

The St. Lawrence Seaway is a canal 191 miles long, enabling large ocean freighters to travel from the Atlantic to Lake Ontario and then continue to Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, using other canals that had already been built.  The Seaway is also an important source of electric power, generated by the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario and the Power Authority of the State of New York.

Canada had done a great deal of work on a seaway before the building of the present canal began in 1954.  The first canal past the Lachine Rapids above Montreal was built in 1700, and was enlarged in 1821.  About that time, Canada and the States began talking about building something bigger and better.  The Americans were never able to co-operate, and Canada kept enlarging the waterway through Lake Ontario.  By 1883, the canal had a depth of 14 feet.  Another integral part of the waterway through to Lake Erie was the Welland Canal, by-passing Niagara Falls.

In 1932, it looked as though the dream of attracting ocean-going ships into the Great Lakes was becoming a reality when Canada and the States signed the St. Lawrence Deep Waterway Treaty.  However, strong railway, shipping and other interests in the States opposed it, and the Senate would not pass the bill.

Finally, in 1952, Canada decided to “go it alone” and build a deep-water seaway entirely in Canadian territory.  This decision led Congress to take swift action and the Seaway was built as a joint venture.  As Canada had already spent millions of dollars on the St. Lawrence and Welland Canal, the States spent a larger share on the cost of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

The control dam required by the power project flooded a large area between Cornwall and Iroquois, and necessitated the removal of entire communities.  New homes had to be provided for 6,500 people; 40 miles of the C.N.R. had to be rerouted, and Highway 2 relocated.  Many improvements were made, including the creation of Upper Canada Village in Crysler’s Farm Battlefield Park, now a popular tourist attraction.

To read more about the St. Lawrence Seaway, a few sites I suggest are the CBC Archives, with two particular subjects: the first is Queen opens St. Lawrence Seaway with U.S. President Eisenhower, and the second is Queen Elizabeth officially opens the St. Lawrence Seaway. I also suggest is Quebec’s There’s a Place for you in Engineering (a new site I found that kids would like), and Yahoo! Voices with an article written by Cherie Bowser. Still want more? I also suggest a great coverage at the Canadian Geographic Magazine, and then the Canadian Encyclopedia, as well as the Minnesota Sea Grant.And finally I would go to Legion Magazine for a great article, “The Lost Villages.”


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That’s it!

1957 version of the Canadian Red Ensign that h...

1957 version of the Canadian Red Ensign that had evolved as the de facto national flag until 1965. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Canadian flag outside the Maritime Museum of t...

Canadian flag (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Old union jack

Old union jack (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Closure was imposed in the House of Commons to end the flag debate on December 14, 1964. One of the longest and most bitter debates in our history was concluded.

Post Confederation, there were two flags used. There was the Royal Union flag, also known as the Union Jack. There was also the Canadian Red Ensign.

Officially, the Great Flag Debate started on June 15 of 1964, though it had been discussed for longer than that.

Lester B. Pearson, as leader of the Opposition, brought the Great Flag Debate to Parliament In January of 1960. John Diefenbaker, heading the Progressive government, refused to make an issue of it.

So during the 1963 election campaign, Pearson promised Canadians that they would have a new flag within two years of his election. The debate went on and on, until finally they did what governments are known to do: they created a committee to solve the problem.

So on September 10, 1964, a committee consisting of 15 members of parliament were appointed the job. To make it fair, it was made up of 7 Liberals, 5 Conservatives, and one each of the New Democratic Party (NDP), the Social Credit Party, and Ralliement crediste. During the next six weeks, the committee held 35 agonizing meetings. Thousands of suggesting also came in from the public. 3,541 entries to be specific. The top entries were:

2,136 contained maple leaves
408 contained the Union Jacks
389 contained beavers and
359 contained the fleur-de-lys.

Queen Elizabeth II approved the Maple Leaf flag by signing a Royal Proclamation on January 28, 1965. Prime Minister Pearson and leader of Opposition Diefenbaker were already there because they were attending the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill.

The flag was inaugurated on February 15, 1965 at an official ceremony at the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, Ontario.

After the bitter debate, the result was our maple leaf as the official Canadian National flag.

Since 1996, February 15 has been commemorated as National Flag of Canada Day.

For more on this, I recommend going to CBC Digital Archives.


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