Canada: Random and Cool Canadian Facts About This Country
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Geographical, Historical and Cultural Facts
The topic of Canada is as broad as is the country is vast and diverse. Canada is world renowned for its friendliness, cultural diversity, peaceful nature, sprawling lands, fresh air and natural beauty. There is much to discover about this great country and with every page turned, there is something new to learn.
The Aboriginals were the original inhabitants of Canada who were nomadic as they lived off the land and followed the migration of the animals. Early explorers and settlers from Western Europe began arriving in the 1500s and in 1535, French explorer, Jacques Cartier, named the land “Canada”. The name “Canada” is derived from the word “Kanata”, which has its origins from the Huron and Iroquois languages, meaning “village”.
As the land became more settled and a government came in power, Canada officially became a country on July 1, 1867. Canada’s first Prime Minister was Sir John A. MacDonald. As with all birthdays, Canadians celebrate Canada’s birthday on the first of July with great fanfare marked with festivities, parades, public entertainment and extravagant displays of choreographed firework shows.
Canada is the second largest country in the world with the Russian Federation being the largest. This country spans from the Atlantic Ocean in the East to the Pacific Ocean in the West while the Arctic Ocean frames its northern border and the United States of America framing its southern border. In fact, the 49th parallel was chosen as the border beginning at the Great Lakes and stretching to the west coast.
With such an expansive border, the total area of Canada is almost 4 million square miles, or 10 million square kilometres. In comparison, the United States of America is 3.5 million square miles (6,064,958 square kilometres)and is considered to be the fourth largest country in the world, following China which is approximately 3.7 million square miles (9,582,955 square kilometres). For comparison, the United Kingdom consists of four territories which accumulate into 94,525 square miles (244,820 square kilometres). France, which is the second largest European country, is 211,209 square miles (547,029 square kilometres) in size.
Canada is composed of 10 provinces and 3 territories. The provinces are, from the west coast to the east coast: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador. Located in the north of Canada are the three territories, from the west coast to the east coast: Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Each province and territory has its own provincial capital. The country’s national capital is Ottawa, also known as the Nation’s Capital and is located in the province of Ontario.
Canada is expansive from coast to coast and the country encompasses six time zones, these are: Pacific, Mountain, Central, Eastern, Newfoundland and Labrador and Atlantic Standard Times. Touching three oceans, Canada’s national motto is “A Mari Usque ad Mare” meaning “from sea to sea”. Canada is very fond of its national animal, the beaver, which is on the five cent piece of its currency. The national flag is red and white, and displays the national emblem, the maple leaf. The national anthem is “O Canada” and is sung with great pride. The national police force is known as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who are internationally famous for their “Musical Ride” that is performed by mounted police.
Map of Canada
Have fun with Canadian trivia
A Variety of Random Facts
Are you amazed yet? Just for fun, here are thirty more interesting and random facts about Canada:
1. The two official languages of Canada are English and French, which is a reflection of Canada’s history of being settled by the British and French.
2. Canada has the world’s longest coastline measuring in at 151,600 miles (243,977 kilometres).
3. Nearly one-fourth of the world’s fresh water is in Canada.
4. There are approximately 2 million lakes in Canada as the land was shaped by glaciers, which created these lakes.
5. The longest river in Canada is the Mackenzie River, which is located in the Northwest Territories.
6. Canada is covered by one-tenth of the world’s forests.
7. Almost half of Canada is covered in forest.
8. Ships sail inland on the St. Lawrence River from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes.
9. Canada’s tallest peak is Mount Logan at 19,950 feet (5,959 meters) and is located in Yukon Territory.
10. Canada is composed of six main geographical regions: Appalachian Highland, Arctic, Canadian Shield, Cordillera, Interior Plains and Lowlands.
11. Canada produces over 60 minerals and metals.
12. Canada sells hydroelectric power to the United States of America.
13. Canada is the third largest producer of diamonds in the world.
14. Wood Buffalo National Park is the largest natural park in Canada. It is home to the largest herd of bison and has the only nesting site for the endangered whooping crane. This park is located in Alberta and the Northwest Territories.
15. Banff National Park, located in Alberta, is the oldest national park in Canada.
16. Canada has the longest national highway in the world. It spans from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Victoria, British Columbia for a total of 4,724 miles (7,604 kilometres). It is called the Trans-Canada Highway.
17. The most northern highway is located in the Yukon Territory and is called the Dempster Highway.
18. The world’s longest border between two nations is the one between Canada and the United States. Officially known as the International Boundary, it totals 5,525 miles (8,891 kilometres), including 1,538 miles (2,475 kilometres) between Canada and Alaska.
19. The most northern permanent settlement in the world is Alert, Nunavut Territory.
20. Canada’s national sport is ice hockey. The modern game was developed from a similar game in the tenth century and the first regulation rules were printed in the Montreal Gazette in 1877. In 1994, Bill C-212 which is also known as Canada's National Sports Act, was passed resulting in two officially nationally recognized sports: ice hockey as the winter sport and lacrosse as the summer sport.
21. The Head of State is, currently, the Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II.
22. On February 3, 1947, North America’s lowest recorded temperature was -81.4 degrees Fahrenheit (-63 degrees Celsius) at Snag, Yukon Territory.
23. The first letter sent from North America was sent by John Rut of St. John`s, Newfoundland to King Henry VIII in 1527.
24. Canadian inventors invented inventions that have altered the world in many ways. Some inventions include insulin, painted roads, IMAX film systems, garbage bags and there are thousands more.
25. In Saint John, New Brunswick, the Moosehead Brewery produces 1,642 bottles of beer per minute.
26. Famous Canadian musical artists include Diana Krall, Paul Anka, Neil Young, the Guess Who, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Steppenwolf, Avril Lavigne, Shania Twain, Bryan Adams and Barenaked Ladies.
27. Manitou Lake on Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron is the world`s largest lake within a lake at 41.1 square miles (106 square kilometres).
28. Canada is home to five indigenous breeds of dogs. One of them is the Canadian Eskimo dog, a breed that is in danger of losing its pure genetics.
29. Canada’s Rideau Canal Skateway is the largest outdoor rink in the world, and was placed in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2005. It spans 7.8 kilometres, or the equivalent of 90 Olympic sized ice rinks.
30. Canada is home to two official languages, English and French, but you will always hear a Canadian inject the local slang “eh” into his sentence.
These are just a few samples of cool and random facts which help introduce the diversity of Canada’s people, history, climate and culture. It’s a fascinating country to explore whether virtually or in real life. Canada – come and visit us!
© Arpil 26, 2010
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