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43 Interesting Facts About . . .

Canada

  1. Kanata is the St. Lawrence-Iroquoian word for "village" or "settlement."n
  2. “O Canada,” originally named “Chant national,” was written by Adolphe-Basile Routhier (French lyrics) and Calixa Lavallée (music) and first performed in Quebec City in 1880. The song was approved by the Parliament of Canada in 1967 as the unofficial national anthem and adopted officially on July 1, 1980.c
  3. 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.n
  4. The Canadian motto, A Mari Usque ad Mare, means "From sea to sea."n
  5. flag of Canada
    The Canadian flag is known as The Maple Leaf or l'Unifolié
  6. Although Nova Scotia was granted the British Empire's first flag by King Charles I in 1625, Canada did not have a national flag until February 15, 1965, when its maple leaf flag was adopted by its parliament. Before that, the red ensign, a British maritime flag, was in general use.n
  7. At 3,855,103 square miles, Canada is the second largest country in the world, behind Russia.f
  8. Its population density is 8.6 people per square mile, making Canada the ninth-most sparsely populated nation in the world.f
  9. The average life expectancy at birth for a Canadian is 81.16 years, the eighth highest in the world. The United States ranks 46th, at 78.14 years.f
  10. The east coast of Canada was settled by Vikings around the year A.D. 1000. Archaeological evidence of a settlement has been found at L'anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland.l
  11. Snorri, the first North American child to be born of European parents (Thorfin and Gudrid), was born in Vinland around A.D. 1000.n
  12. Newfoundland was the first part of Canada to be explored by Europeans. Ironically, it was the last area to become a province, in 1949.m
  13. In 1642, a group of religious mystics from France were inspired by a vision to build a missionary city in the Canadian wilderness. Led by Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve and an Ursuline nun name Jeanne Mance, they founded Montreal.b
  14. According to the 2001 census, 42.6% of Canadians are Roman Catholic, 23.3% are Protestant, and 16% claim to have no religion.c
  15. Alert, in Nunavut territory, is the northernmost permanent settlement in the world.n
  16. Canada became a country on July 1, 1867, when the British North America Act was passed by the British Parliament.m
  17. The Mounted Police were formed in 1873, with nine officers.g In 1920, the Mounted Police merged with the Dominion Police to become the famous Royal Canadian Mounted Police, an organization that now has more than 28,000 members.k
  18. While ice hockey is Canada's most prevalent sport, lacrosse is the country's official sport.h The modern game of ice hockey was developed in Canada, based on games that have been played since the tenth century.c The rules were first published in the Montreal Gazette in 1877.a
  19. basketball
    Basketball has become popular around the world since being invented by a Canadian
  20. Canadian James Naismith invented basketball to give his physical education students at the YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts, an indoor team sport to play during the long winters.e
  21. The capital city, Ottawa, was originally named Bytown after Colonel John By, who headquartered there while building the Rideau Canal to connect the Ottawa River with Lake Ontario.l
  22. Canada has the longest coastline of any country in the world at 151,600 miles.n
  23. The regent of England, currently Queen Elizabeth II, is the Canadian head of state.m
  24. North America's earliest undisputed evidence of human activity, 20,000-year-old stone tools and animal bones have been found in caves on the Bluefish River in northern Yukon.n
  25. North America's lowest recorded temperature was -81.4 degrees Fahrenheit (-63 C) at Snag, Yukon Territory, on February 3, 1947.n
  26. 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.d
  27. Canada contains 9% of the world's renewable water supply.n
  28. The official languages of Canada are English and French. Throughout Canada's history up to the current time, there have been conflicts between English and French-speaking Canadians.b
  29. Tensions between French Canada and English Canada reached a head in October 1970, when the Front de Liberation du Quebec (FLQ)?a terrorist organization that had bombed cities, robbed banks, and committed a number of other crimes?kidnapped the U.K. Trade Commissioner, Richard Cross. The army put an end to the revolt and arrested several hundred suspects.m
  30. In 1527, John Rut of St. John's, Newfoundland, sent a letter to King Henry VIII?the first letter sent from North America.n
  31. Charles Fenerty, a poet from Halifax, Nova Scotia, was the first person to use wood fibers to make paper. He started experimenting in 1839 and produced paper from wood pulp in 1841.n
  32. electric cooking range
    Thomas Ahearn of Ottawa invented the electric cooking range in 1882
  33. Canadians have made many important inventions, including Kerosene, the electron microscope, the electronic organ, insulin, the IMAX film system, the snowmobile, and the electric cooking range.c
  34. Canada is a major producer and consumer of cheese. In 1997, Canadians produced 350,000 tons of at least 32 varieties of cheese and ate an average of 23.4 pounds per person, with cheddar being the most popular.c
  35. Many famous authors have come from Canada, including Lucy Maud Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables), Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale), and Alice Munro (Lives of Girls and Women).c
  36. A black bear cub from Canada named Winnipeg (or “Winnie,” for short) was one of the most popular attractions at the London Zoo after it was donated to the zoo in 1915. Winnie became a favorite of Christopher Robin Milne and inspired the stories written by his father, A.A. Milne, about Winnie-the-Pooh.c
  37. The Moosehead Brewery in Saint John, New Brunswick, turns out 1,642 bottles of beer per minute.n
  38. Guy Lombardo of London, Ontario, first heard “Auld Lang Syne” as a teenage musician, when he and his brothers toured the rural areas that had been settled by Scots around his hometown.j
  39. Canada has made a significant contribution to rock and roll, beginning with “Sh-Boom” by the Crew-Cuts in 1954.i Other famous Canadian rock-and-rollers include Paul Anka, Neil Young, the Guess Who, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Steppenwolf, Avril Lavigne, Rush, Bryan Adams, and Barenaked Ladies.e
  40. Cryptozoologists claim that Canada is the home of several cryptids, including Sasquatch, a giant sloth-like creature known as the beaver-eater, a cannibalistic wildman named Windigo, and a number of lake monsters, such as Ogopogo in Lake Okanagan, British Columbia.c
  41. The natives of eastern Canada tell several stories of a mythical giant named Glooscap, who carved out many of the region's natural features to help him overcome his evil twin brothers. It is believed that these Glooscap stories might be the origin of many of the Paul Bunyan legends.c
  42. The world's strongest current is found in the Nakwakto Rapids at Slingsby Channel, British Columbia. The current has been measured at speeds up to 18.4 miles per hour.n
  43. west edmonton mall
    Galaxyland at the West Edmonton Mall is the world's largest indoor amusement park
  44. The West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta, was once the world's largest shopping mall. It now ranks fifth, but it still contains the world's largest indoor amusement park.n
  45. Alberta has 50% of the world's supply of bitumen.n
  46. The CN Tower in Toronto was the world's tallest free-standing structure until it was eclipsed in 2007.c
  47. Manitou Lake on Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron is the world's largest lake within a lake (41.1 square miles).n

-- Posted January 15, 2009. Updated February 22, 2009.

References

a Backcheck: Hockey for Kids. “Early Days of Hockey.” Accessed: January 29, 2009.

b Brown, Craig. 1987. The Illustrated History of Canada. Toronto, Canada: Lester & Orpen Dennys Limited.

c The Canadian Encyclopedia. Accessed January 30, 2009.

d Canadian Museum of Nature. "Biological Survey of Canada (Terrestrial Arthropods)." Accessed January 30, 2009.

e Canadians.ca. Accessed: January 29, 2009.

f Central Intelligence Agency. “The World Fact Book: Canada.” January 22, 2009. Accessed: January 31, 2009.

g Cruise, David and Alison Griffiths. 1997. The Great Adventure: How the Mounties Conquered the West. New York, NY: St Martin's Press.

h Dahl, Michael. 2006. Mankato, MN: Capstone Press.

i Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. “The Crew-Cuts.” Accessed January 30, 2009.

j Marsh, James. 2008. “Auld Lang Syne.” HistoryWire.

k Royal Canadian Mounted Police. "The RCMP's History." Accessed: January 29, 2009.

l Story, Noah. 1967. The Oxford Companion to Canadian History and Literature. Toronto, Canada: Oxford University Press.

m Watkins, Mel (ed.). 1993. Canada. New York, NY: Facts on File, Inc.

n Weihs, Jean. 1995. Facts about Canada, Its Provinces and Territories. Bronx, NY: H.W. Wilson Company.