25 Intriguing Facts about Canada

April 10, 2024

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Maple leaf

You probably think you know a lot about Canada, eh? The country is world-famous for its polite people, maple syrup and ice hockey.

Well, you’re in for a treat as we take a look at some of the lesser-known facts about the Great White North. How many will surprise you?

1. Moose, wolves and bears, oh my!

It’s estimated there are over 200 mammal species in Canada, including three species of bear and moose, the second-largest land animal in North America. Canada is also home to the world’s second-largest gray wolf population (after Russia).

2. Canada has over 35 national parks

There are 37 national parks and 10 national park reserves in the country, including Wood Buffalo, the largest national park in Canada.

3. Canada’s national motto comes from the Bible

Canada’s national motto is ‘A Mari Usque Ad Mare’, which translates to ‘From sea to sea’. The Latin phrase is from Psalm 72:8 in the Bible.

4. Hockey is Canada’s national winter sport

People playing ice hockey
People playing ice hockey on a frozen lake

Ice hockey is Canada’s national winter sport, while lacrosse is the country’s national summer sport.

5. Canada has more than one time zone

There are six time zones in Canada: Pacific, Mountain, Central, Eastern, Atlantic and Newfoundland. Most of Canada’s provinces use standard time from the beginning of November to the beginning of March and daylight saving time the rest of the year.

6. Old time rock (and roll)

The world’s oldest known rock (still embedded in the planet) is bedrock in northeastern Canada. The Acasta Gneiss Complex in the Slave craton is estimated to be around four billion years old โ€” for some perspective, planet Earth itself is estimated to be 4.5 billion years old.

7. The US has invaded Canada twice

Although they have a long history of being strong allies, the United States has invaded Canada twice during two wars. The first time was in 1775 during the American Revolutionary War and the second time was during the War of 1812.

8. Canada’s Thanksgiving is in October

Canada’s Thanksgiving is annually held on the second Monday in October. It was originally held to express gratitude to God for keeping the first settlers safe in Canada and later evolved to celebrate and thank God for a bountiful harvest each year.

9. Winnie-the-Pooh is named after a Canadian bear

Winnie the Pooh book
Winnie the Pooh, written by A.A.Milne

In the 1920s, A. A. Milne frequently took his young son, Christopher Robin, to see the animals in the London Zoo. One popular animal was a black bear from Winnipeg, Canada, called ‘Winnie’. Little Christopher Robin loved the bear so much that he named his stuffed bear after her. And the rest is history!

10. Canada’s name is a mistake

It’s likely Canada’s name originated from an indigenous Huron-Iroquois word ‘kanata’, which means ‘village’ or ‘settlement’. French explorers in 1535 probably misheard the word when local indigenous people were directing them to a nearby village.

11. Russia is the only country larger than Canada

In terms of total area, Canada is the second-largest country in the world, with an area of 9,984,670ย kmยฒ (3.855 million miยฒ). However, if you remove its lakes and only consider land area, Canada is the world’s fourth-largest country.

12. Canada’s famous sons and daughters

Many Canadian actors and actresses have made a splash in Hollywood. This includes the likes of Keanu Reeves, Pamela Anderson and Jim Carrey. The country also has numerous famous musicians, including Justin Bieber, Avril Lavigne and Leonard Cohen.

13. Canadians love maple syrup

Maple syrup bottles on a shelf
Maple syrup jars for sale

There are few things Canada is more famous for than maple syrup. In 2023, the country produced 10.4 million gallons (39.4 million liters) of the stuff. In the previous year, Canada produced a whopping 17.4 million gallons (65.8 million liters) of maple syrup.

14. Canada has the world’s longest coastline

Canada’s coastline is the longest in the world, measuring a total length of 243,042 kilometersย (151,019 miles). That’s the equivalent of running nearly 5,760 marathons!

15. The world’s second-largest lake is in Canada

Lake Superior, which has an area of 82,100 kmยฒ (31,700 miยฒ), is the largest lake in Canada and the second-largest in the world. The lake certainly lives up to its name!

16. Over half the world’s lakes are in Canada

Balsam Lake, Ontario
Balsam Lake, Ontario

Around 879,800 of the world’s 1.42 million lakes are found in Canada. It’s estimated that 561 of these lakes have a surface area that’s larger than 100 kmยฒ (62 miยฒ)

17. Canada gained independence from Britain in 1982

Canada was legally dependent on Britain up until the early 1980s. The Constitution Act of 1982 gave Canada its own constitution and it became fully independent. The country had been self-governed since 1867.

18. The symbol of Canada is a maple leaf

One of Canada’s most famous symbols is the maple leaf, which is also portrayed on the country’s flag. While the current Canadian flag was only adopted in 1965, the maple leaf has been used as a Canadian emblem since the 18th century.

19. Mount Logan is Canada’s highest peak

With an elevation of 5,959 meters (19,551 ft) above sea level, Mount Logan is the highest peak in Canada. This is equivalent to just under 130 Statue of Liberty’s stacked on top of each other.

20. Ontario is the most visited province

Northern Bruce Peninsula, Ontario
Northern Bruce Peninsula, Ontario

In 2022, approximately 5.85 million tourists trips were made to Ontario, making it the most popular province in the country. British Columbia had the second-highest number of trips, and Quebec had the third-highest.

21. Hi-diddly-ho, neighborino!

Canada and the United States share the longest land border in the world. The neighboring countries are separated by an 8,890 km (5,524 mi) long border. This includes Canada’s border with the contiguous US states and Canada’s border with Alaska.

22. Canada’s national animal isn’t the moose

Despite what you may think, Canada’s isn’t the moose; it’s actually the beaver. The fur trade has played a vital role in Canada’s history for hundreds of years, and the country recognized this when it made the beaver the national animal in 1975.

23. Canadian police give out ‘positive tickets’

In 2013, Canadian police began handing out ‘positive tickets’ to children for things such as good deeds (like litter picking), participating in community activities or wearing bicycle helmets.

24. Santa Claus is a Canadian citizen

Canada’s Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism formally declared Santa Claus a Canadian citizen in 2008.

25. Get your skates on

The Rideau Canal Skateway
The Rideau Canal Skateway

Canada is home to the largest naturally frozen ice rink in the world. The Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, measures 7.8 kilometers (4.8 miles) and has a 165,621 mยฒ maintained surface area.

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