50 Interesting Facts About Canada
Almost everyone has heard of Canada. Most people can easily point out where it is on the map because it is so hard to miss. But have you ever wondered why many non-Canadians are unable to say much about this country, except perhaps that there is a lot of snow?
As one of the world's largest countries and home to many ethnicities, you would think that many people would be very familiar with Canada. Instead, it is often just referred to as the northern neighbor of the US. In fact, people around the world seem to know more about Mexico in the south than the nation up north. So, prepare to be amazed by these Canada Fun Facts!
But there is much to discover about this beautiful country. So read on to uncover cool fun facts and even really weird yet interesting facts about Canada!
Most Interesting Fun Facts about Canada and its Population
1. Canada truly embraces multiculturalism.
In 1988, Canada became the first country with a national law that acknowledges multiculturalism (although this view was first officially recognized in 1982).
Canada's founding races are the Indigenous people, British, and French. But today, there are many different ethnicities from the various regions of the world living in Canada.
2. It was once called New France.
Canada's name is believed to have come from the word "Kanata," a native American (Huron-Iroquois) word for "settlement" or "village." Although "Kanata" was used to describe a particular village, explorer Jacques Cartier named the area he visited as "Canada." Centuries later, "Canada" replaced "New France" as the name of France's territories up north, eventually becoming the name for the entire nation in 1867.
3. Canada's landmass touches three oceans and has the longest coastline in the world.
If very few countries worldwide border two oceans, it is rarer to find a country in the world that is bordered by three. The Pacific Ocean borders Canada at the west, the Arctic Ocean up north, and the Atlantic Ocean in the east.
4. It contains some of the biggest islands in the world.
Three out of the world's ten largest islands are found in Canada: Baffin Island at #5, Victoria Island at #8, and Ellesmere Island at #10. The latter two are both located within the Arctic Circle and have very small populations. In addition, Canada has the longest coastline in the world.
5. Most of Canada's population only occupies 20% of the country's landmass.
Canada is the 2nd-largest country in the world. Although it is a huge country, Canada's terrain is quite extreme (think super freezing with nothing around to eat). So the farther north you travel, the less likely it that people live there.
6. The people in Canada's capital city are quite young.
Ottawa is the capital and fourth-largest city in Canada. It is also one of the youngest cities in the world, where nearly 50% of the population is under the age of 35. A quarter of its people were born outside the country.
Mind-blowing Fun Facts about Canada's Animals
7. Polar Bears really need to stay cool.
The unrelenting cold of the northern part of the country is the perfect living condition for these magnificent creatures because temperatures above 10 degrees Celsius cause them to overheat. This is why they are perfectly adapted to walk on the drifting sea ice and swim in the freezing water to hunt seals.
8. You cannot keep a "unicorn of the sea."
Perhaps the most interesting of the 30 whale species found in Canada is the narwhal, dubbed as the "unicorn of the sea." With a very distinct tusk protruding from its head to a length of nearly 10 feet, such an animal would be great to see at a zoo. However, all efforts to raise one in captivity have led to failure.
9. Wolves are not howling at the moon.
The wolf can be found in Canada's less inhabited areas, such as British Columbia and the Yukon. There is one common myth that wolves howl during a full moon, as seen in movies. Wolves do this to call and assemble the other members of the pack to a particular location, not because of the moon itself. If you are an animal lover, don't forget to check the 50 animal fun facts, or play the animal trivia quizzes.
10. The cougar is a very athletic cat.
The cougar is one formidable predator. This solitary and territorial hunter can jump vertically up to 5.5 meters (18 feet) and leap forward up to nine meters (29 feet). Its sprinting speed averages 56 kilometers per hour (34.8 miles per hour), and it can carry prey that is four times bigger than itself.
11. The grizzly bear's hump is actually a muscle.
The reason behind the grizzly bear's tremendous forelimb strength is the huge muscle on its shoulders, which looks like a hump. This muscle allows grizzlies to rip into the ground or rotting logs as it searches for food. It also gives them the power to dig out a place to sleep during the winter.
12. Polar bears do not need a long sleep.
Most brown bears need to hibernate during the winter because food is scarce at the time.
However, Polar bears don't need this because their main source of food (seals) is available all year long.
Winter is one of the best periods to hunt because the sea freezes, allowing polar bears to roam even farther in search of seals.
13. The big bison can swim.
The bison is the biggest mammal on land in North America. Despite its sheer size, it is an excellent swimmer. This skill allows them to cross rivers that are over a kilometer wide.
14. Canada has a very BIG goose.
Weighing up to 20 pounds and also with a wingspan of 7.3 feet, the Canada Goose is the largest in the world. These monogamous and social birds live in a "gang" of up to a hundred goslings. The increase in numbers has been noted through the years due to the man-made spaces and structures that are suitable habitats for the geese.
15. Marmots are indigenous to Canada.
The marmot of Vancouver Island is a highly endangered species and can only be found in Canada. This animal, which is about the size of a domesticated cat, spends most of its life hibernating in moss-lined burrows. When spring comes, it sits on top of rocks to cool down or bask under the sun.
Canada Fun Facts about Its Great Places That You Should Visit
16. People have done crazy things at Niagra Falls.
For some reason, this magnificent tourist destination has inspired quite a lot of people to try death-defying stunts such as tight-rope walking and plunging down the falls in a barrel. The first person to travel down the falls in a cushioned barrel was Annie Edson Taylor, a 63-year-old widowed teacher. After the stunt in 1901, a number of people tried to do the same, but not all of them survived.
17. Get to catch the longest-lasting waves.
In New Brunswick, the Bay of Fundy produces the longest-lasting waves twice a day.
Because of the unique terrain, water from the bay sends water into the river, creating a tidal bore. People can raft or surf this wave for up to two hours!
18. There is a salty lake that nearly rivals the Dead Sea.
Little Lake Manitou in Saskatchewan is five times more saline than the ocean and just half as salty as the Dead Sea. The abundance of minerals like magnesium, sodium, and potassium makes it almost impossible for swimmers to sink. By the way, Canada has also the Great Bear Lake which is the largest lake in Canada, and another huge saltwater lake located in the northwest territories of Canada called Hudson bay.
19. Footbridges connect Calgary's downtown.
If you decide to explore Calgary, you will notice the expansive network of indoor walkways downtown, allowing you to go around without being outside. The suspended and enclosed bridges are called Plus 15 as they are 15 meters above the ground. The main purpose of this bridge network is to keep people comfortable as they stroll during the winter.
20. In Vancouver, people love taking pictures with a tree!
Stanley Park, Canada's national park, is usually the first thing tourists visit when they go to Vancouver. Inside this 405-hectare natural park is the iconic Hollow Tree, a very, very old tree with a spacious cavity. There are old and new pictures of various objects like cars, horse carriages, and even an elephant fitting inside the enormous cavity of the tree.
21. Quebec City is a great place to practice your French.
In Quebec City, 95% of the people speak French. The strong European influence is evident not just in the language but the architectural infrastructures as well. Their tourism slogan even says, "So Europe. So close."
22. It has the third oldest national park globally.
Canada is home to 48 national parks and reserves. Banff National Park is known as the oldest in the country and the third oldest in the world (started in 1885). It is famous for the Rocky Mountains, diverse wildlife, hiking and biking trails, and beautiful Lake Louise. Also, Mount Logan is the highest mountain in Canada and the second-highest point in North America.
23. One of Canada's ski lifts has broken world records.
With its vast terrain, the Whistler Mountain is a favorite of avid skiers, with thousands of people visiting during the busiest times of the year. Apart from skiing, hiking, and other activities you can do there, make sure you catch a ride on their famous gondola. The gondola that ferries people to the skiing spots is 436 meters up in the air, giving it a place in the 2015 Guinness World Records. For more geography fun facts, check our 50 geography fun facts or play the geography trivia games.
Weird but True Facts About Canada
24. Alberta has a place for aliens to land.
A couple of years before man walked on the moon in 1969, Canadians built the first UFO-landing pad in the world back in 1967 in St.Paul, Alberta. It has attracted quite a number of visitors, including Queen Elizabeth II. The humble town has hosted UFO conferences as well, one in 1998 and the other in 2000.
25. Bathtub racing is apparently a sport of some sort.
Bathtub races, on a land area or in water, are a thing in Canada, but the original race began in 1967 in Nanaimo, British Columbia. In Nanaimo, aspirants transform their bathtubs into a motorized boats every July, giving the city its nickname as the "Hub, pub, and tub City."
26. Frog Jumping is another entertaining activity up in Canada.
If bathtub racing wasn't weird enough, since 1970, St.Pierre-Jolys in Manitoba has been holding the "Frog Jumping Competition" as the main attraction in their annual festival. A contestant is given a chance to pick a frog, gently place it at the starting line, and then "encourage" the amphibian athlete to jump the highest before reaching the finish line. Organizers claim that all participating frogs are provided with the utmost care and returned to the wild after the contest.
27. Canada once missed out on "summer."
Although it is a cold country year in and year out, it does have a "summer season" (at least according to their standards). However, in 1816, "summer" never came to Canada. This was because a volcanic eruption in Indonesia in 1815 clouded the atmosphere with dust and smoke, erasing Canada's summer season the following year.
28. There is a museum about potatoes.
Poutine is Canada's national dish, so it's no wonder that the country dedicated a museum solely to the potato. Located in Prince Edward Island, the Canadian Potato Museum showcases the humble beginnings of the tuber. Outside is a hulking potato sculpture, while inside, one can see how the potato first came to North America as well as other antique collections from the 19th century.
29. Already covered with natural forests, there is a man-made one too!
Situated in Watson Lake, Yukon, the Sign Post Forest has made it to travelers' itineraries. Visitors come to marvel at the 91,000 signs worldwide and may even put up their own signs from their hometowns. It was presumably started by a US soldier named Carl Lindley when he painted and put up a sign signifying where he came from back in 1942.
30. There's a patch of eerie-looking crooked trees.
The Crooked Bush in Saskatchewan has attracted a lot of visitors due to the trees' bizarre growth. Instead of growing upright, the trees are growing in a very strange, horizontal pattern. Quite a number of theories have been connected to the trees' weird appearances, attributing their strangeness to aliens or even very gigantic rabbits.
31. Manitoba features a giant banana.
There are quite a handful of weird, giant replicas in Canada, one of which is a gigantic yellow banana in Manitoba. Specifically located in Front Street in the town of Melita, which is also considered as the 'banana belt' of Manitoba, the structure measures 30 feet tall. It is aptly named "Sunny" and has a blue jay perched on its right arm.
32. You can find half a house in Toronto.
The Half House in Toronto may not be too evident initially, but once you see it, you will surely do a double-take. It is the last one left of the original row houses in the area. The house has been literally split in half, with its once supporting inner wall now serving as a blank exterior.
Surprising Facts about Canada's Famous People and Characters
33. Santa Claus is officially a Canadian citizen.
This is a great fun fact about Christmas in Canada. Every year, millions of letters to Santa from kids worldwide are sent to a Canadian address that is apparently Santa's country of residence. In 2008, Canada even declared Santa to be a Canadian citizen and was issued a Canadian passport in 2013.
34. The hero Wolverine is from Canada too.
Although there are many other Canadian superheroes such as Captain Canuck and even Deadpool, arguably, the most famous Canadian superhero worldwide is the short-tempered, difficult-to-defeat Wolverine. Hailing from Alberta, Wolverine's butt-kicking ways have inspired many comic book fans worldwide.
35. YouTube led to The Bieb.
The world-famous Justin Bieber, from Ontario, Canada, rose to stardom after being discovered through a YouTube video uploaded by his mom. Since then, he has become a global sensation. He owns the clothing line Drew House, which bears his middle name.
36. It took a long time before Deadpool got the green light.
Ryan Reynolds of Vancouver has portrayed a lot of movie character roles, but the most iconic so far is Deadpool. It took ten years before the movie finally made it to the big screen. For this reason, Reynolds keeps with him the stuffed unicorn his character was seen carrying around as well as the superhero suit. Are you a movie buff? Play the movies quizzes or check our celebrity quizzes.
37. This inventor has robots named after the X-Men.
Growing up, Elon Musk was a geek and bookworm, reading encyclopedias, fantasy books, sci-fi books, and comics. After a Tesla factory was upgraded, the new robots were given X-Men names.
38. A Canadian MVP of the NBA.
Former NBA player Steve Nash was the first Canadian to be awarded an NBA MVP trophy, which he won twice, back-to-back. He did so while he was a member of the Phoenix Suns in seasons 2004-2005 and 2005-2006.
39. This award-winning director started in special effects.
James Cameron of Ontario, Canada, started learning to make special effects by working for B-movie directors and became an innovator of special effects in the movie industry. These skills helped him to, later on, create many standout films, including The Terminator, Titanic, and Avatar.
40. This Canadian model's stage name is from a cartoon.
Stunningly beautiful and svelte, model Winnie Harlow's real name is Chantelle Brown-Young. The name "Winnie" came about after defending her friend over the phone. When the boy on the other line asked who he was talking to, she saw Winnie the Pooh on her friend's shirt and replied, "Winnie."
41. Staying true to his roots, this Canadian singer is a big fan of Ethiopian music.
Born to Ethiopian immigrants who moved to Canada in the '80s, The Weeknd was inspired by several Ethiopian musicians. The Weeknd is also multilingual as he can converse in Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia.
42. The actor that likes keeping to himself.
Ryan Gosling moved from Ontario, Canada, to Florida, United States, where he joined The Mickey Mouse Club as a kid. Despite being exposed to a lot of people as an actor, he chooses to spend time by himself and once lived in the woods in his tent. He also loves spending his free time at home, just knitting.
More Strange Fun Facts about Canada
43. There is protection from being too apologetic.
Ontario has a law called the "Apology Act" of 2009. This was made to address the problem of Canadian's overuse of the word "sorry." This protects citizens in legal cases by not interpreting "sorry" as an admission of guilt but rather an expression of sympathy.
44. You can try a drink that is flavored by a toe.
Visitors staying in The Downtown Hotel in Yukon can order a Sourtoe Cocktail, which is essentially a whiskey shot with a special garnish of a real mummified human toe. You are not supposed to swallow the toe, though. Only let it touch your lips. Doing so is enough to receive a certificate stating that you belong to the Sourtoe Cocktail Club.
45. Some of their towns have really weird names.
A few towns in Canada have weird names, such as the town of "Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!" It is so unique that no other town in the world has a name with two exclamation points in it. Some of the other names cannot be mentioned in this blog lest parents complain.
46. Canada's money is full of color.
Compared to Monopoly bills, Canadian money is very colorful, unlike their southern neighbor, who only has green money bills. This makes it is easier to distinguish one amount from another.
47. Snow can be a delicious snack.
There is a tasty snack in Quebec called "tire d'erable," which is maple syrup poured over snow and then eaten using a popsicle stick. The name literally means "maple taffy." The coldness of the snow turns the maple syrup into a semi-solid, chewy confection.
48. People seemingly love clammy Caesar.
The Caesar is probably the most served drink in Canada, almost similar to that of the Bloody Mary. The cocktail is made of vodka, Worcestershire sauce, spices, hot sauce, and Clamato. Produces by Mott's, Clamato is a mix of clam juice and tomato juice that supposedly blends well in this drink.
49. Milk jugs and cartons are not in style.
Canada sells milk in bags made from plastic. It is said to be cheaper than the ones sold in cartons, but they are really challenging to pour. The best way to do it is to put the bag in a milk jug or pitcher, cut the corner of the bag, and then pour the milk into a glass.
50. Don't be turned off by the name.
You can find a sweet snack in Canada called "BeaverTail," also known as the Canadian Doughnut. This snack, however, has no beaver meat in the ingredients. The BeaverTail is a fried, hand-stretched dough in the shape of a beaver's tail that can be served with a variety of toppings.
So there you have it, 50 cool fun facts about this great country to share with your friends. We hope this inspires you to visit Canada soon to see and experience them yourself. Thank you for reading!