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A List of Awesome Facts About Canada
1972: Team Canada
Cool Canadian Trivia
As a Canadian I thought why not share some fun and interesting facts about my great nation for your entertainment and education. We will consider interesting tidbits for each of Canada's 10 Provinces and 3 Territories.
- On September 15th, 1981, The West Edmonton Mall officially opened its doors. It was the largest mall in the world right up to 2004. It is still the largest in North America and the fifth largest in the world. The mall contains the world largest indoor water park, second largest indoor amusement park (which includes the world's largest triple loop roller-coaster), an ice rink along with numerous other attractions.
- On May 26th, 2009 rapper Cadence Weapon was sworn in as Edmonton's poet laureate. This was considered to be a somewhat controversial decision among traditionalist. It was also consider an important acknowledgement of the development of the Canadian hip hop scene.
- With its origins traced as far back as 1886, The Calgary Stampede is one of the world's largest rodeos. It also features a parade, midway, concerts, agricultural and First Nations exhibits and more. It attracts over a million visitors over the course of ten days.
- The Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League (CFL) holds a North American professional sports record for qualifying for the playoffs 34 consecutive years 1972-2005. Also Warren Moon who was the Eskimos quarterback from 1978-83 is the only player to be inducted in both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Canadian Football Hall of Fame.
Cadence Weapon - Real Estate (Video)
- Vancouver has been termed as Hollywood North (along with Toronto, Ontario) for its role in TV and film production. It benefits from its close proximity to Hollywood (a three hour plane flight). British Columbia (BC) is currently the fourth biggest film and production centre in North America (after California, New York & Ontario).
- Nanaimo born pitcher Jimmy Claxton became the first black baseball player to play in a professionally organised white league in the twentieth century on May 28th, 1916. He ended up playing two games for the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League. It would take another 30 years for Jackie Robinson to permanently break professional baseball's color barrier.
- In 1967, Nanaimo became the first place in the world to hold bathtub races with the inaugural "Nanaimo to Vancouver Great International World Championship Bathtub Race". Even though other worldwide localities have followed suit, the Nanaimo event is still considered the most renowned bathtub racing event.
- Born in South Africa, Steve Nash's family moved to Regina, Saskatchewan when he was 18 months old, before settling in Victoria, BC. Growing up in Victoria playing soccer and hockey he didn't start playing basketball until he was 12 years old. He would go on to be the most successful Canadian basketball player in history, winning two consecutive NBA MVP awards in 2005-2006, playing for the Phoenix Suns.
- In 2016 Manitoba won the title "Slurpee Capital of the World" for the 17th year in a row. With average sales of over 188,000 Slurpee a month, Manitoba is the world leader in Slurpee consumption.
- Churchill, Manitoba is known as the "Polar Bear Capital of the World". Since the 1980s, Churchill has built up a considerable tourism industry because people are able to safely view polar bears by use of modified buses.
- In 1972, Bobby Hull became the first hockey player to sign a million dollar contract when he signed to the Winnipeg Jets of the now defunct World Hockey Association (WHA).
- Folklorama is a two week multicultural event held in Winnipeg. It was first held in August 1970. Attracting over 400,000 visitors, it has become the world's largest multicultural festival.
- Even though Canada has a whole is considered bilingual (English and French), New Brunswick is the only province which is considered to be constitutionally bilingual.
- Russian born film mogul Louis B. Mayer (of MGM fame) grew up in Saint John New Brunswick. Also pioneering Hollywood actor and former president of the Screen Actors Guild Walter Pigeon and veteran actor Donald Sutherland were both born in Saint John, New Brunswick.
- Shediac, New Brunswick is known as the "lobster capital of the world", and it is the home of the world's largest lobster sculpture. The sculpture stands an impressive 35 feet long, 15 feet high and weighs a massive 90 tons.
- In 1910, Arthur Ganong of St. Stephen, New Brunswick is widely credited with inventing the first individually wrapped chocolate bars. Arthur followed in his impressive family lineage. The family business, Ganong Bros. Limited was formed in 1873 and is Canada's oldest candy company. Ganong Bros. is also credited with being the first North American company to come up with selling heart shaped boxes of chocolate.
The Royal St. John's Regatta (Video)
Newfoundland and Labrador
- Taking place since 1816 (earliest documented date, but some argued that it took place even earlier) the Royal St. John's Regatta is the oldest sporting event held in North America. Around 50,000 spectators attend the boating event each year.
- The Gander International Airport played a crucial role in helping to cope with the aftermath of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attack. 39 airplanes containing over 6,500 landed in the Gander Airport. Being able to adequately care for all of the passengers was an impressive task for the small community of Gander which had a population under 10,000. Both the airport and the community were praised for their extraordinary efforts.
- Port au Choix is a rich archaeological resource which chronicles the long history of Newfoundland. The finds includes remains, weapons and musical instruments, many which are dated as being over 4000 years old. Port au Choix has been declared a National historical site back in 1970.
- Newfoundland was the tenth and final province to join Canada. Newfoundland joined Canadian confederation on March 31, 1949. On December 6th, 2001 the province had its name constitutionally changed from Newfoundland to Newfoundland and Labrador.
Gander International Airport
Location of Gander International Airport.
- The Northwest Territories recognizes eleven official languages, which is more than any other place in the Americas. 9 of the languages are aboriginal, and the Northwest Territories is one of only two provinces or territories where aboriginals make up over 50% of the population (the other is Nunavut).
- Up until 1999 the Northwest Territories covered a land area of just under 3.5 square kilometers (in 1999 Nunavut separated from the Northwest Territories and became recognized as Canada's newest territory). That is an area bigger than all of India (despite the fact that at the time the population was barely over 60,000).
- Pro Wrestler Rocky Johnson (father of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) was born in Amherst, Nova Scotia. Rocky formed a number of successful tag teams, including tagging with Tony Atlas (they were known as The Soul Patrol) in the WWF (now WWE). Johnson and Atlas were the first African American tag team to hold the WWF/E tag titles.
- Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone who died on August 2nd, 1922 was buried in Baddeck, Nova Scotia. He made the following statement about Cape Breton, Nova Scotia: "I have traveled around the globe. I have seen the Canadian Rockies, the American Rockies, the Andes and the Alps and the Highlands of Scotland; but for simple beauty, Cape Breton out rivals them all."
- Nova Scotian's have proudly been referred to as "Bluenoses" since the 1700s. This is in reference to Nova Scotia's role in the exporting and planting of the Irish Bluenose Potatoes.
- More people speak Gaelic in Nova Scotia than in Scotland. Also North America's only Gaelic college is located in St. Ann's, Nova Scotia.
Alexander Graham Bell
- Nunavut is Canada's newest territory, separating from the Northwest Territories in 1999. It is also Canada's largest and northernmost territory or province as well. With Nunavut being officially recognized as a territory, it is the first time that the Canadian political landscape changed since Newfoundland became a province in 1949.
- Nunavut has the largest percentage of Aboriginal people in all of Canada. According to the 2011 Census report, about 84% of the population is Aboriginal. Northwest Territories is the only other territory or province with over 50% of the population.
Tim Hortons Cup
- Joe Shuster, the co-creator of Superman was born in Toronto, Ontario. As a young boy, Shuster had a job as a paperboy, delivering the Toronto Star. In order to get paper to draw on, he would go to local businesses trying to scrounge old wallpaper and whatever else he could get his hands on.
- Every winter a section of Ottawa, Ontario's Rideau Canal is transformed into the world's biggest skating rink. The ice surface is the equivalent to 90 Olympic size hockey rinks.
- SCTV was a Toronto produced Canadian sketch comedy show which was an offshoot of Toronto's Second City comedy troupe. Alums of the troupe and the TV show included John Candy, Martin Short, Rick Moranis, Dave Thomas, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Catherine O'Hara, Harold Ramis & Joe Flaherty. With the exception of Martin, Ramis & Flaherty (all Americans), all were born in Ontario. The show ran from 1976-84.
- Tim Horton, the Hall of Fame defenceman for the Toronto Maple Leafs (and other teams) was born in Cochrane, Ontario. Even though he had a solid hockey career he became more known for the coffee and doughnut shop bearing his name. Tim Horton opened the first Tim Hortons in Hamilton in 1964. Tim Horton died in a tragic car crash on February 21st, 1974.
SCTV (Video) - Great White North (McKenzie Brothers)
Green Gables House
Location of Green Gables house which is a major tourist attraction because of Lucy Maud Montgomery's acclaimed story Anne of Green Gables.
Prince Edward Island
- Author Lucy Maud Montgomery, best known for her series of Anne of Green Gable novels was born in Clifton, Prince Edward Island (PEI). The Green Gables House in Cavendish, PEI is major tourism attraction.
- Canada's National treasure, country singer Stompin' Tom Connors was born in Saint John, New Brunswick, but he was adopted and raised by a family in Skinners Pond, PEI. One of Connor's most well known songs "Bud The Spud" is about a potato trucker from PEI. Connors is also well known for the "Hockey Song" which is played and sung along to in many hockey arenas. On March 6, 2013, he died at the age of 77.
- Completed in 1997, The Confederation Bridge connecting PEI to New Brunswick is the worlds longest constructed over ice covered waters. It is 12.9 Kilometers long and takes twelve minutes to drive across the bridge.
- PEI also played an important role in Canadian confederation. The Charlottetown Conference began on September 1st, 1864 to discuss Canadian Confederation. It was originally only going to be a meeting of the maritime colonies of the British Empire but talks were expanded to include The Province of Canada (which included both modern day Ontario and Quebec). Nearly three years later the Confederation of Canada took place on July 1st, 1967. Despite being an influential location in the discussions of confederation, PEI didn't join confederation until 1873, becoming the seventh province to do so.
Stompin' Tom Connors - The Hockey Song (Video)
- On November 1st, 1959, legendary Montreal Canadiens goalie Jacques Plante wore a goalie mask for the first time during a regulation game. Even though he wasn't the first NHL goalie to wear a goalie mask, he was the first to make it a part of their everyday equipment. By 1974 every goalie in the NHL was wearing a goalie mask.
- World renowned performance troupe, Cirque du Soleil was formed in 1984 in Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec by a couple of street performers.
- Canada's national anthem, O' Canada was originally written in French by Quebec born composer Calixa Lavallée. It was composed in 1880 in order to celebrate Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day. O' Canada has been widely accepted as Canada's national anthem since 1939 but it has not receive official recognition until July 1st, 1980.
- Legendary singer-songwriter, poet, novelist Leonard Cohen was born in Montreal, Quebec on September 21st, 1939. Many of his songs, such as the modern day standard "Hallelujah" have been frequently covered by numerous artists.
Leonard Cohen performing Suzanne (from "Live At The Isle of Wight 1970") (Video)
- Back in 2006, Canadian blogger Kyle MacDonald created the website one red paperclip which chronicled a series of 14 online trades that he made. It started with a single red paperclip and it ended with him owning a house in Kipling, Saskatchewan. For his final trade he bartered a role in the Corbin Bernsen's produced film, Donna on Demand for the house.
- Tommy Douglas who served as premier of Saskatchewan from 1944-1961 and who became the first leader of the federal New Democratic Party (NDP) in 1961 is widely viewed as the "father of Medicare". Because of his efforts Saskatchewan became the first province to adopt universal health care and his lobbying efforts as NDP leader helped institute the adoption of universal health care on a national level in 1966. In a 2004 CBC TV program he was declared as "The Greatest Canadian" as the result of a nationwide poll.
- Canwood, Saskatchewan, a remote area with a population of just over 300 people is home to a really cool urban legend. According to urban legend, apparently Albert Einstein use to play goalie for the Canwood Canucks hockey team. Apparently Einstein travelled to the isolated area to get some peace and quiet while he was working on the theory of relativity and he did play hockey in Germany back in his youth. Because there is no actual documentation of Einstein travelling to Saskatchewan and because according to local community sources the Canucks didn't form until 1958 (three years after Einstein's death) the story doesn't seem feasible.
- Famous cartoonist and The Simpsons creator Matt Groening's father (whose name was Homer) was born into a Mennonite community in Main City, Saskatchewan.
- The most endearing legacy of the Yukon is the Yukon Gold Rush (also referred to as the Klondike Gold Rush) which took place in the late 1890s. The Yukon Gold Rush has been immortalised in many films and novels such as Jack London's literary classic The Call of The Wild.
- The Yukon Quest is a 1000 mile dog sled race which takes place between Fairbanks, Alaska and Whitehorse, Yukon. It doesn't have the same notoriety of the Alaskan Iditarod, but the riders are expected to be more self sufficient and the inclimate weather conditions are just as challenging. Because of this fact, the Yukon Quest has been called the "toughest race in the world".
Jim Carrey Talking About Canada (Video)
Canadian Quiz for Non Canadians
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© 2012 CJ Baker