Happy 150th, Canada! This year marks a big anniversary for our great nation, and while not all Canadians will be celebrating, the majority of us will be sticking Canadian flags on every bare surface we can find and admiring the fireworks with our friends and families. I’ve compiled a list of 15 fascinating facts about (I mean, ‘aboot’) Canada – feel free to use these tidbits to impress your fellow Canucks this weekend.
- Our national motto is “A Mari usque ad Mare”, meaning “From Sea to Sea”.
- Canada is the second-largest country in the world, second only to Russia. Many Canadians insist that it’s also the second coldest country in the world, second only to Russia.
- The coldest temperature ever recorded here was -63C (-81.4F) in the Yukon. See what I mean? Brrr!
- We’ve created overpasses for wildlife. In Alberta’s Banff National Park, there are a number of curved highways and tunnels covered in greenery which allow animals such as bears, moose, deer, wolves, and cougars to safely cross highways instead of wandering onto the road and causing collisions. Neat, eh? Read more here.
- The North American beaver is our national animal.
- About 75% of the world’s pure maple syrup supply is produced in Canada. Yum!
- During the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, our athletes set two records: most gold medals won by a country during a Winter Olympics and most golds won by a host country during a Winter Olympics. That’s definitely something to brag about!
- Canada has about 1400 airports, the largest and busiest of which is Toronto Pearson International.
- In Saskatchewan, hoodies are called “bunnyhugs”. Aww.
- About 30% of Canada’s land mass is covered in forests.
- Canada is home to nearly 60% of the world’s polar bear population.
- The name “Canada” is said to come from the Iroquioan word kanata, meaning “village”.
- British author A. A. Milne fashioned the beloved Winnie the Pooh after a black bear cub he frequently visited at the London Zoo, who was named “Winnipeg” by the Canadian soldier who donated her. The soldier’s hometown was, of course, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
- Montreal is the the fourth largest French-speaking city in the world. Ooh la la.
- Residents in Churchill, Manitoba often leave their cars unlocked during the winter to provide shelter for pedestrians who might encounter polar bears.
Happy Canada Day!