Five Facts About Canada You Might Not Know

We don't live in igloos!

Some people expect to see this when they get off the plane, entering Canada, but they are disappointed.
Some people expect to see this when they get off the plane, entering Canada, but they are disappointed. | Source

1. We don't live in igloos!

Did you expect to come up here, just a few miles North and see people in igloos, hunting seals and wearing enormous, awkward fur coats? Really? Sorry to disappoint you, but Canada's climate is pretty similar to the U.S. -- a little bit colder overall, but we definitely don't have polar bears for pets up here.

And even the people who once lived in igloos, the Inuit, haven't done so for decades. At least not in the igloos we think of as igloos (snow houses). Technically, the word for igloo is actually the Inuit word for house, so we all live in igluit (the plural form of iglu)

Sure, a traditional hunter up North might build a snow house for hunting, but generally, most Northern dwellers are too busy watching their big screen t.v.'s and texting on their smart phones to worry about building an igloo.

Mounties Then

This is how we think of the Mounties. This was a painting by John Innes, in 1920. Not now!
This is how we think of the Mounties. This was a painting by John Innes, in 1920. Not now! | Source

Mounties Today

This is what most Mounties ride today!
This is what most Mounties ride today! | Source

2. Most Mounties don't ride horses!

Most Royal Canadian Mounties ride in cars, not on horses. Sure, there is a troop that parades around on some horses once a year, to some fancy music, for the tourists, but most of the RCMP just drive cars, like any other police force. I mean, horses would get kind of spooked if they were to have to chase criminals in the city. And it would be kind of hard to catch a drug-dealing crackhead on a horse, wouldn't it?

The image of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is well-known, though, and that is another reason it is kept alive. In fact, the RCMP made a controversial licensing deal with Walt Disney to control who has access to their image. They have a website that sells products with their image, called the Mounty Shop. Since 2002, they have been able to raise over one million dollars for programs within Canadian communities.

So, when you feature Canada, don't think that we have all these serious looking police men riding around with big hats on these big animals, policing our city streets. We don't. That would be just weird, especially for 2012.

Jim Carrey on Canada

Canada is Big

Canada is very big!
Canada is very big! | Source

3. We are very big

We are a very big country. In fact, the second biggest country in the world. Our square mileage is 3,855,103 square miles, which is six percent of the earth's total land. So, if you have a great aunt twice removed who moved to Canada in 1945, there's a big pretty chance we don't know her. And if you are coming here for a holiday, don't expect to see most of Canada in one trip. Unless you're planning on staying for six months. We have many big, cosmopolitan cities, mountains, beaches, prairies.

Famous Canadians

4. A lot of talent comes from Canada

Much of Hollywood's talent comes from Canada. Here is a who's who of Canadian talent, people you probably didn't know were Canadian. (If you did, kudos to you.)

Many Canadians with talent do end up moving from here, in order to pursue bigger opportunities down South, but they do not forget their Canadian roots.

Singers who are Canadian

  • Avril Lavigne
  • Celine Dion
  • Nellie Furtado
  • K.D. Lang
  • Chantal Kreviazuk
  • Alanis Morissette
  • Neil Young
  • Justine Beiber
  • Paul Shaffer
  • Shania Twain

Bands Who Are Canadian

  • Finger Eleven
  • Sum 41
  • The Guess Who
  • Tragically HIp
  • Blue Rodeo

William Shatner

Yes, Captain Kirk was Canadian!
Yes, Captain Kirk was Canadian! | Source

Actors who are (were) Canadian

  • Keanu Reeves
  • Pamela Anderson
  • Dan Akroyd
  • John Candy
  • Michael J. Fox
  • Jim Carrey
  • Michael Ironside
  • Leslie Neilsen
  • Mary Pickford
  • Matthew Perry
  • William Shatner
  • Keifer Sutherland

Lorne MIchaels

Lorne Michaels, founder of Saturday Night Live, is a Canadian boy.
Lorne Michaels, founder of Saturday Night Live, is a Canadian boy. | Source

Producers who were (are) Canadian

  • Samuel Goldwyn
  • Jack Warner
  • Lorne Michaels
  • Norman Jewison

Game show hosts who are Canadian

  • Monty Hall
  • Alex Trebeck
  • Howie Mandell

Journalists who are Canadian

  • Peter Jennings

"Talking to Americans" Show

5. We make fun of people who know nothing about Canada

We make fun of people who don't know anything about us. In fact, there's kind of a cottage industry based around this phenomena: there used to be a television show that went around asking Americans questions about Canada, called "Talking to Americans." Americans were asked questions about Canada, and some pretty ridiculous answers followed. Instead of being offended, we just found it funny.

I hope you had fun with these five facts about Canada that everyone should know. If you knew all of these, no one will ever make fun of you. If you didn't, well, now you do!

If you enjoyed this and would like to find out more about Canada, check out the 99 Reasons that I Love Canada.

For a poetic look at this country, see the article, Canada: Land of A Thousand Places.

More by this Author

Tell Me Some Facts About Your Country! 31 comments

Rolly A Chabot profile image

Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

Morning prairieprincess... over the years I have travelled much of Canada and the US and found most people to be knowledgeable of Canada. Yes there are some along the way who knew very little as well. Well written and I brought a laugh to me this morning so thank you for sharing with us.

Keep the igloo warm and thanks for the smiles.

Hugs from Alberta

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

Rolly, thanks for your comment! I am so glad it made you laugh because it was all in good fun! I believe that most people are pretty informed, too, but it's the few that aren't that make for such fun ribbing! It's so great to see you again! And I'll be sure to keep that fire burning. Take care.

Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

I think it's neat what you said about not being offended but thinking it's funny what Americans answer about Canada. That's cool. I loved your hub. I'm not familiar with the stereotype about Canadians living in igloos. Interesting about all the actors, etc... come to the US from Canada. I have several friends from Canada. Sounds like a really neat place. Hub voted up and many others!

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

Victoria, it's an old myth about Canada. There are a lot of urban legends about people showing up in the Toronto airport wearing a big fur coat in the middle of July. I am sure some of them are true but some may just be myths, too!

Thanks for your encouraging words. Take care!

Bianu profile image

Bianu 4 years ago from Africa

thanks for this. I honestly thought most of Canada is snowed under all year long.

I will now include a trip to Canada on my wish list

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

Bianu, we would love to have you here! We have snow from December to March or so, just like Northern U.S.A. Thanks for the comment!

intriguewriter profile image

intriguewriter 4 years ago from worldwide

wow love this! I have a client who is based in Canada! I plan on going out there at some point too! Thank you for the information. I actually did not know that some of those stars were from Cananda!

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

IWriter, I am thrilled if I could add to your knowledge a little bit. It's great that you are planning a trip and I hope you enjoy yourself. Take care!

alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

I pretty much knew all of this about Canadians but did not realize that mounties now drove cars. Well, I kind of romanticized them as being on horseback still. Voting this Up and Interesting.

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

Alocsin, the Mountie is a very famous image and well-known throughout the world, so I think perhaps a lot of people have this idea. Thanks for the great comment and have a wonderful day!

Kalmiya profile image

Kalmiya 4 years ago from North America

Ha ha! What a fun look at us Canadians. I didn't know the Mounties now drove cars but did know that a lot of our talent has gone south of the border. Thanks for a fun start to the day.

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

Kahmiya, yes, unfortunately, it's difficult to make it as big in Canada than it is in the States, which has ten times our population. Thanks so much for your comment. Take care!

chinemeremz profile image

chinemeremz 4 years ago

I thought brendan fraser is Canadian, then of course wrestler cum hollywood star Dwayne the rock Johnson had some canadian roots?

Canada Sure boast of real big stars, Is Justin "the stylish hair" Bieber canadian?of course he, then young money's Rapper Drake is not all yank as his mum is Jewish Canadian. My God I so much respect this country, I wish I were Canadian but...

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

Chim, yes, Brendan Fraser is another one. I don't know much about wrestlers but I am sure my husband would. Thanks for the respect; it means a lot! Take care and thanks for a great comment.

onlinereputations profile image

onlinereputations 4 years ago from Dumaguete City

You left a famous country singer by the name of Hank Snow! Voted you up anyway lol.

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

OLR, thank you so much for graciously forgiving me. I couldn't get everyone but I appreciate you pointing him out. He is definitely worthy of mention. Take care!

TravelinAsia profile image

TravelinAsia 4 years ago from Thailand/Southeast Asia

It is also worth mentioning that the last time the USA tried to invade Canada, we kicked the living crap outa them .. and went on to burn down the White House. Now I know all you Americans are going to have a tough time believing this, and I am sure they didn't teach it to you in school .. but you can just go to google and do a search for "the war of 1812" ..

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

TravelinAsia, that is definitely worth mentioning! Thank you for the addition in your comments. Yes, Canada did us proud in that battle. Take care!

Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Great hub, I have visited Canada twice, my husband proposed to me in Toronto so it'll always be close to my heart. I loved the Jim Carrey video, very funny. I quite liked the mounties on horses so am a bit gutted to find they've given up the gee gees for a motor, shame!

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

Jools, that is so cool that you have such a romantic connection with this country. I am sorry to break your heart about the Mounties but it get pretty rough over here in our cities, so it was necessary to get modern! Thanks for such a lovely comment. Have a wonderful Easter!

Vellur profile image

Vellur 4 years ago from Dubai

Great hub, Canada is a beautiful place. I hope to visit someday, voted up.

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

Vellur, that would be lovely if you could come. It is very beautiful. Thanks so much for the comment.

WritingPrompts profile image

WritingPrompts 4 years ago from The Garden of Eugene (Oregon)

I get to go to Canada now and then (mostly Toronto and surrounding area, but a couple times to BC as well). The first thing I usually notice are the road signs - the metric system and French words make me feel like I'm in a foreign land. Especially the metric system. My truck is 13'6" tall and all of the sudden I see a bridge ahead that's 4.3m!! Can I make it under? My math is not so good at 100 kph (at least we have km on the speedometer in my truck so I can tell how fast I'm going...)

I'd really like to see a hub about becoming a Canadian citizen. Sometimes I get so fed up with the US, I'd like to know what it would take to stay up north one of these days.

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

WP, yes, I understand about the road signs. We were on metric up until the 70's and then we switched over. A lot of people were upset about that. I feel the same way when I have been to the States -- confused on road signs.

About becoming a Canadian citizen -- we'd love to have you! Have a wonderful day.

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

Like many Americans my visits to Canada are limited. I have been to Canada when visiting Niagara Falls and when my son attended SUNY Plattdsburgh we visited Montreal.

I can certainly understand the myths surrounding Canada. We have them even in the US. No matter where you travel when you meet someone and tell them you're from NY they will say, "I have a cousin in NYC his name is so and so, do you know him?" Really? Yes.

This was a fun, factual hub.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

@Till, that's so funny! I don't know what people are thinking when they say stuff like that, but I guess they are trying to be friendly!

Thanks so much for your wonderful comment. Have a good day. profile image 3 years ago from upstate, NY

You definitely have the world's best national anthem, I love it when I hear, (Oh Canada) at the Olympics or at a hockey game. Some of my favorite Christian ministries are also based in Canada. I went to some revival meetings I'll never forget at the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship. I think those igloos could cut down those household bills though, but the family may not agree!

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 3 years ago from Canada Author

@Wba, we do have some great ministries here. Thanks for the comment and I don't think anyone would want to go with those igloos, ha ha! Take care!

Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

Now that we are semi-retired, the Canada you "Oh!" about will be seeing some of our tourism dollars (while they still have some value!) Fine Hub. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 20 months ago from Canada Author

@Perpsyacious, we would be glad to see you come! I hope you enjoy your holiday. My husband and I are planning a small shopping trip down to your country at the end of the month.

I apologize for taking so long to respond to your comment, but thank you so much, anyway, and take care!

Faheem Siddiqui 16 months ago

I am really board to read about you. I have been almost world travel. I am traveling every year and I keep budget for traveling. This year I was thinking about Canada but. ………. You don't have respect for customers. Just tell me what do you have. No Business. No jobs. There is a lot to say.

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