Did You Know? 20 Fun Facts About Canada

fun facts about canada

Canada, the land of maple syrup, stunning landscapes, and famously polite citizens, holds a treasure trove of fascinating facts. From its unique wildlife to its diverse cultural influences, Canada never fails to captivate and surprise. Let's dive into 20 fun facts about Canada and uncover what makes it truly special.

Atlas with a map of CanadaUnsplash

1. Canada is the second-largest country in the world.

Covering an expansive area of approximately 9.98 million square kilometers (3.85 million square miles), Canada is the second-largest country in the world, surpassed only by Russia. 

2. One of the longest highways in the world is in Canada.

Spanning over 7,800 kilometers (4,860 miles), the Trans-Canada Highway is one of the longest national highways in the world. Stretching from the Pacific to the Atlantic coast, this iconic roadway traverses diverse landscapes, from rugged mountains to rolling prairies.

3. Canada is a bilingual country.

Canada is officially recognized as a bilingual country, with both English and French designated as its two official languages. English is spoken in most provinces and territories, and French in Quebec and parts of Ontario, New Brunswick, and Manitoba.

Polar bear in Churchill ManitobaUnsplash

4. Churchill, Manitoba, is the "Polar Bear Capital of the World."

Situated on the shores of Hudson Bay, this remote town becomes a hub of activity every autumn as polar bears migrate through the area, waiting for the bay to freeze so they can head out onto the ice to hunt seals. 

5. Canada crosses six time zones.

From the Atlantic provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, which are 3.5 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-3.5), to the Pacific coast of British Columbia, which is 8 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-8), Canadians experience a wide range of time differences as they travel across the country. 

6. Canada has the longest coastline of any country.

It stretches over 202,080 kilometers (125,570 miles) and is dotted with rugged cliffs, picturesque fjords, and sandy beaches.

People playing hockey on a lake in Banff, CanadaUnsplash

7. Hockey is Canada's national winter sport.

The country's passion for hockey runs deep, with millions of Canadians lacing up their skates every winter to hit the ice. It's no surprise that Canada has produced some of the world's greatest hockey players.

8. Its national summer sport is lacrosse.

Originating as a game played by Indigenous peoples, lacrosse has deep roots in Canada's history and heritage. Known as the "Creator's Game" to Indigenous communities, lacrosse is revered for its physicality, skill, and spiritual significance.

9. Basketball was invented by a Canadian.

James Naismith, a physical education instructor from Almonte, Ontario, created the game in 1891 as a way to keep his students active indoors during the winter months.

Northern Lights in the Yukon, CanadaUnsplash

10. You can see the Northern Lights in Canada.

From the remote reaches of the Yukon and Northwest Territories to the shores of Nunavut and northern Quebec, Canada's expansive northern regions provide prime viewing of the Aurora Borealis.

11. Canada is the world's largest producer of maple syrup.

It accounts for 70% of the global supply. Québec alone produces more than 90% of Canada's maple syrup, earning it the title of the "Maple Syrup Capital of the World."

12. Poutine is a Canadian comfort food.

Poutine, a quintessentially Canadian dish, has captured the hearts (and stomachs) of food lovers around the world. This indulgent comfort food consists of french fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds.

Hand holding a maple leaf in a forestUnsplash

13. The maple leaf is a symbol of Canada.

Its symbolism traces back to Indigenous peoples who revered the maple tree for its nourishing sap and vibrant foliage. Today, the maple leaf adorns Canada's flag, currency, and countless cultural artifacts.

14. The name "Canada" has indigenous roots. 

It comes from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement." French explorer Jacques Cartier heard this word from Indigenous peoples in the 16th century, and it became associated with the land that would later become Canada.

15. Canada is home to the world's most northern settlement.

Alert is a remote military outpost and weather station that is situated at a latitude of 82.5°N. Despite its isolation and harsh environment, Alert plays a crucial role in monitoring polar weather patterns and supporting scientific research in the High Arctic.

Moraine Lake with mountains in the backgroundUnsplash

16. Canada is home to more lakes than any other country.

Canada boasts an astonishing number of lakes, with over 30,000 of them scattered across its expansive territory. In fact, lakes cover around 9% of its total land area.

17. The telephone was invented in Canada.

The telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell, a Scottish-born inventor living in Canada. Bell conducted his groundbreaking experiments in Canada, and it was in Brantford, Ontario, on March 10, 1876, that he famously spoke the first words through his invention.

18. 9 out of 10 Canadians live in the US-Canada border region.

Approximately 90% of Canadians live within 160 kilometers (100 miles) of the Canada-United States border. This densely populated border region stretches from the Atlantic provinces to the Pacific coast, encompassing major cities such as Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Ottawa.

Beaver swimming in a riverUnsplash

19. The beaver is Canada's national animal.

The industrious beaver holds the prestigious title of Canada's national animal. Known for its engineering prowess in building dams and lodges, the beaver symbolizes resilience, hard work, and perseverance.

20. The coldest ever recorded temperature in Canada is -63°C.

Canada is known for its cold winters, but did you know that it's also home to some of the world's coldest inhabited places? The village of Snag in Yukon holds the record for the lowest temperature ever recorded in Canada, plummeting to a bone-chilling -63°C (-81.4°F) in 1947.

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